Friday, May 23, 2008


OK, so the kid eats things occasionally. Usually a dandelion or something completely innocuous (like playdough). Sigh....

I wasn't sure what to title the subject of this one. It could have been "2 Pounds Sterling," or "In Which We All Ride in an Ambulance," or "This Too Shall Pass."

Matthew had a couple of coins this morning- I glanced and saw they were British coins from our bedroom. I was going to take them away, but went to put the carpet shampooer away first. He USUALLY doesn't put things in his mouth anymore. Usually being the key word.

I came back downstairs and Matt is whining and covered in drool. A wet fist holds the penny. The other coin is gone. I asked the boy where the other coin went.

"Matthew, where is the other money?"

"I eat!"

"Did you really eat it?"

"Uh-huh! I eat!"

I thought for a minute that we would just let it pass through his system, then thought better of it and gave the pediatrician a ring. 2 hours later they called me back and sent me in to outpatient services at our local hospital. They wanted an X-ray to make sure the coin went into Matthew's stomach and wasn't lodged anywhere else.

An hour later we have X-ray films and a very large white circle shows that the coin was indeed swallowed, and was not moving through his system. It was stuck in his esophagus. I had both boys on my own at that point, and they called the pediatrician who instructed the nurse to take us to the emergency department.

Matthew, 20 minutes later, was situated in the ER watching Winnie the Pooh as I was frantically trying to get hold of Dennis. Large objects that sit there for a long time usually won't come out on their own if they are stuck in the esophagus. They usually have to put the child out, use a foley balloon to inflate the esophagus, and withdraw the item. Our local hospital can't do the procedure on children, so we are to be sent to Buffalo Children's hospital via ambulance, in case the coin obstructs his airway (a very real danger at that point).

Dennis finally arrives (I nearly had to send Matthew by himself for the 2 hour ambulance ride) and I join Matt for the long ride to the hospital. Matthew thinks this is a ripping good time, shouting, "Go truck! Go go truck! Big truck! Go truck!" throughout the entire ride. We get to the hospital at about 2pm, exhausted. Matt is VERY hungry (his last meal was the coin at 8:00am, and breakfast at 7:00am).

We sit in the ER at Children's until 4:00pm, when they finally come to get Matthew for X-rays. Matt is sitting on Dennis's lap and suddenly does some gyrations and pumps his neck up and down, swallowing hard. Sure enough, they did the final X-ray before the procedure, and he had managed to get the coin into his stomach. Good news! No nasty procedure and we were free to go home to let the coin pass (a 2 pound sterling, after comparing various British coins to the X-ray spot).

So now we are waiting for a diaper worth $3.96, according to the current exchange rate. Though I probably won't be using THAT coin any time soon!


Drew's Mom said...

Oh. My. Gosh. What an ordeal. Glad to hear everyone is safe and home.

Val said...

Oh my, I know you were frantic, just hearing you had more than one kid w/you tires me. Well, as tempting as it may be, don't take a picture of the expelled least don't blog it!(grin)

leahlefler said...

Shudder- no worries, there will be no pictures! The Queen has yet to make a graceful appearance. Sigh...

Loudest Mom said...

OMG! Funny recap, frightening/stressful story! I have one child who swallowed a penny at age 5???? She *totally* new better, and instantly freaked out. My husband told me I was overreacting so we didn't take her in, and frankly I have no idea if it 'passed'. I'm hoping for the best, seeing as she is now almost 12 :)

Megan said...

How scary!

Anonymous said...

Whoa! What a day for poor mom! You must have been calm and collected since Matt rode so happily in the back of an ambulance! Most kids would be scared, no? Glad you had a happy ending!