Our first medical emergency. We made it over 2 1/2 years!
Cottage Time was over. One of Ian’s teachers asked me to show him what was in his pocket. Out came one yellow bead, one green bead, and one blue bead. The thought of “Oh shit he could choke on those or stuff them up his nose” crossed my mind, but he’s held beads before and we’ve talked about it and it’s fine.
We get in the car and he’s holding the beads. First thing, we lose the green bead (it falls in a hole and into the deep deep depths of the underside of his car seat). He asks for a carrot stick, and I watch him eating it while also holding the two remaining beads. I mention to him that beads are not food and to not put them in his mouth. Ok, mama. Then, I don’t know if it was him or me, but one of us brings up noses, and that beads do not belong in them. He immediately puts the blue bead in his left nostril (I’m driving and not even to the first stop light). I tell him, don’t touch it, I’m going to pull over. He starts to cry, and I try to explain to him how to cover his other nostril and blow out. He blows in and now I can’t see the bead (and yes, I’m still driving). He cries, hard, for about 45 seconds, then abruptly stops. I think, good, at least he’s not in pain. I pull over, take one look, and know I need to call the doctor.
Our pediatrician, who is the kindest, friendliest and most devoted doctor I’ve ever met, just happens to answer the office line and tells me to come in right away. We go in, he takes a look and tries twice, with poor Ian strapped to a blue board (which I deemed the “surf board and the doctor is going blue bead fishing!”). It was hard plastic with blue velcro straps for his head, arms, and legs. We told him he was wrapped like a hot dog. Wrapped and also being held by me and a nurse, he managed to get an arm out (reminded me of the double swaddle days where he would still be free from his diaper up by midnight). He was very cooperative and understood what was happening, but obviously having plastic nose speculums prying your nostril open and other metal instruments being put up your nostril is no hot dog picnic or beach day.
Our doc couldn’t get the darn bead. It was almost parallel to his eye. He called a friend who is an Ear Nose & Throat doc, and he told us to come right in. Coincidentally, his office was exactly ten blocks away from our house, to the number (1301). Ian is not full on crying but is whimpering and saying he doesn’t want to go see the other doctor, so I bring out the big guns and offer him gummies once the bead comes out. We get to the second doctors office and because I haven’t been there before, I get to fill out a mountain of paperwork and give them insurance cards and ids and, oh yea, try to manage a toddler who’s just endured a trauma and it’s WAY past his nap time. Enter second big gun, Netflix on my phone. He watches Curious George while I fill out paperwork, and listen to some deaf old bag who’s watching us from her wheelchair, talking shit to her nurse about my kid watching a “movie on that device.” “I guess the parents do that to keep them quiet.” Oh fuck off, lady. I get it, though, and I agree that videos should not be a routine course of parental action, but HELLO extenuating circumstances!
Luckily, we did not have to wait long. A very nice nurse with very swollen lips took us back to a room. I decided to let him watch George until the last possible moment. She took his temperature and said the doc would be with us shortly. He was, and I liked him immediately. Late sixties, easy, funny demeanor, he said, “Hi, I’m Bob.” Not doctor Adair. Big points (also Bob is my grandfather’s name…). He takes a look and says, oh dear. It’s way up there, and it’s round. We’ve got “one shot” he says, and if that’s not successful, we’re talking sedation in a hospital to get the sucker out. So now I’m tearing up and start praying (who am I kidding, I’ve been praying since 1:36pm). Come out, bead!
This time, no board, thank goodness. I sit in the patient chair with Ian on my lap. The doc spends a few minutes joking with Ian, checking his ears and his mouth before we get to the real thing. He dons his head lamp, and I hold Ian’s hands while the nurse holds his head. Nostril speculum in with little protest, and Ian doesn’t cry out until the doc has the metal instrument all the way up and over the bead to work it down. Ian cries out, and doc gets it partway down. One more time…and it’s out. Less than a minute. I burst into tears at the sight of the blue plastic. I don’t know whether to bury it or make a necklace. Ian immediately asks to hold it. Um, no.
Relieved and incredibly shaky, we head home, where he gets an entire snack pack of organic gummy bunnies, then he takes a long, late nap. He’s talked about it a few times, “I get the bead out of my nose.” “Special lamp for my nose for me.” “The doctor helped me.” “I say, ouch ouch ouch!” I’ve asked him a couple times if it hurts, and the answer is always no.