Swallowing the Ladybug, Part II

Yeah, Suzie had swallowed it.

I looked around the desk for the charm but obviously couldn’t find it.  Meanwhile, my wife is making arrangements to get our older daughter to her parents because we’re going to need to take Suzie to the emergency room.  She then lays into me about not paying attention to Suzie, which in my opinion is a patently unfair accusation because she was sitting on my lap and I was tickling her at the time; if anything, I was paying TOO MUCH attention to her.  True, I had no idea that Suzie had put the ladybug in her mouth, but…well, that doesn’t exactly help my case, does it?  I only know that I couldn’t believe Suzie had done this – she had never really been one to put things in her mouth – and I couldn’t really defend myself against Laura’s complaints.

So basically we’re both frustrated and worried about our daughter, and on top of this it was a chore to wake Tina up.  Seems once she’s out, she’s OUT.  I roused her at least twice, telling her to get some shoes on to get ready to go to her Bubba’s only to find her asleep in bed three minutes later.  When her Bubba did finally get to the house, Tina still seemed confused as to what was going on and why I was yelling at her to get out to Bubba’s truck.

Anyway, Laura and I got Suzie, who had calmed down a bit by now, into the car and took her to the emergency room.  Suzie was asking questions about what we were doing, but was in strict agreement with the idea that the LADYBUG HAD TO BE GOTTEN OUT OF HER TUMMY. Unfortunately, Suzie thought this was going to be a pretty simple process: “I’ll go to the doctor and he’ll get the ladybug out?” she kept suggesting, and Laura and I could only hope it would be that simple.

We had no idea what was in store for us.

The emergency room was quiet when we arrived – the St. Joseph facility had practically just opened that year and we were able to walk right in and take Suzie to a room.  Then the waiting began.  The nurses, of course, came in and asked the pertinent questions, but we kept waiting for them to take Suzie for the x-ray.  This was about 10:15 or so.  Another 40 minutes passed before they took her for the x-ray, where they found that, yes, she had swallowed the charm and it was settled in her stomach quite nicely.

Here’s where the fun begins.  After looking at the x-ray, it’s determined that the ladybug should be able to pass naturally and that we should be able to take her home and just keep an eye out for it in a day or two.  Laura was a bit concerned about the antenna on the thing (they were a bit pointy) but that didn’t seem to worry anyone else.  I, on the other hand, felt a bit of relief, because I had visions of Suzie having to have surgery to get the thing out.  So at about 11:00 PM I’m thinking we’re going to be able to head on back home. Then the doctor being consulted said that it would have been different if the charm had had both a battery AND a magnet in it – either one by itself was apparently not a problem.

Well, damn.

Funny thing about those ladybug charms – they have the small battery to light up the LEDs but they also have a magnetic back to them (apparently to teach dads a lesson about not watching what their kids put in their mouths).  So when Laura lets the doctor know this little factoid he gets a bit more serious and starts making some phone calls.  And we’re back to waiting.

After another 20 minutes or so, we find out that we’re going to need to go to the Scott and White Hospital in Temple because there is no one in B/CS  who will use an pediatric endoscope.  [note: Laura and I at the time were outraged, thinking that some doctor just didn’t want to get out of bed.  Later she would talk to a friend in the medical field who explained the concern about liability among doctors who haven’t concentrated in that kind of procedure  and how the doctor in Temple is practically the best there is at pediatric endoscopy].  Then we are told Suzie will be taken by ambulance, which is an 80 mile trip, and that the EMTs have been informed but that we would have to wait not only for its arrival, but the arrangements to be made for the transfer.

Now, Laura is not the most patient of people in even the best of circumstances (don’t ever be in a car with her during rush hour traffic – it’s not pretty).  She’s a take-charge person (a reason I love her), and there were moments that I could tell that she was seriously considering packing up Suzie in our car and making the drive ourselves.  Which would have been bad because I would have ended up driving and then we would have ended up lost.  It didn’t help matters much that Laura’s dad was there kvetching about the waiting and generally being grumpy toward the staff, and thus stressing Laura out more.  Still, Laura remained calm and reasonable while I went home to pack some things for Suzie and Laura for the trip.  Suzie, meanwhile, slept.

Finally, at about midnight, the ambulance was ready to go.  Laura was to ride in the ambulance with Suzie while I followed behind in our car.  They got loaded up and we were off to Temple…

next time: the drive to Temple and more waiting

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