Queue's latest crisis, by my Loving Wife

Just when you thought it was safe to put away the first aid kit... Queue strikes again. For those of you unfamiliar with Queue's history let me bring you up to date. It all started 6.75 years ago.

I gave birth to a crisis waiting to happen. He has been known to enjoy the occasional stick of anti-perspirant, get his head stuck between the stair rails, break one of the hardest bones to fix, stand up on the porch swing, jump from a perfectly good bench onto a cobblestone courtyard headfirst knocking himself unconscious and now...misplacing a quarter.

The main crisis started around 5:30 last night. (That would be 10-29-01). While minding my own business starting a load of laundry and giving Jeff instructions what I wanted him to add to the tuna salad...I noticed a slightly irregular noise coming from the top of the stairs and racing it's way to the bottom. Somewhere around the kitchen this noise became a full blown "oh my god there's something going to kill me" scream. (for those of you who don't know that sound it's something like the noise made when one comes face to face with one's worst fear. Anyway...the scream stopped and I reached Jeff in the kitchen in time to hear the fateful word..."Quarter" uttered from the lips of this little nuclear accident.

Still not 100% clear on the crisis I watched and listened as my darling husband said, "what"..."you swallowed it"? With that my little bundle of joy nodded his head then promptly threw up on the kitchen floor.

Now the house is in full-blown chaos. Jeff trying very unsuccessfully to determine the location of the quarter. (You see every time he opened his precious little mouth to give us a possible glimpse of the quarter he threw up.) Me I'm yelling at Jeff to leave well enough alone before he ends up getting this thing lodged in his windpipe. My reasoning as long as he's breathing we're doing ok. Both of us then rushing upstairs to discard the "lazy" clothing we were wearing for a hastily grabbed pair of jeans. Then we were off to the hospital to find out where the "Quarter" was.

Once we arrived at the hospital we got to go to x-ray (see below). They located the quarter and determined that it was truly stuck where it was when the little angel again threw up on the floor. (At least it wasn't mine this time.) Queue got to take a wheel chair back to the holding room where he promptly fell asleep, quarter and all. Mind you that the quarter is lodged in an area of the throat that is not restricting breathing but is making it very difficult to swallow and with the slightest movement is causing vomiting. So here we sit...I holding the spit basin and trying my best to keep his sleeping head upright in order to avoid more floor coloring.

We get to see it then...the doctor brings in the pictures. One look has Jeff & me giggling like children...do you think if we pull his arm a whole lot of quarters will come out? We know this is not funny but it is all at the same time. The doctor then leaves us to see if he can find the reinforcements. You see the little human tornado can't just do something that only requires one doctor...we always end up waiting for the specialists!

So the doctor comes back...just to let us know that fortunately for us there is a hospital in the state prepared to take care of this but it doesn't happen to be the one we're at. Again fortunately for us it is local unfortunately it's Children's Hospital which now means an enormous wait.

So we set out once again to locate a doctor who can remove the lodged chunk of metal from my son's throat. We arrive at Children's about 30 minutes later...roll the boy into the ER in his wheel chair and are greeted by the receptionist. We field the normal questions...how old, what meds etc...Then comes the one no one's expecting. Do you know what caused the vomiting? So now I think..."Gee no I don't. Could it possibly be the quarter lodged in his throat that the other hospital called you to warn you about? Again to the holding room. Again he falls asleep. Again vomiting & x-rays. We now know they're calling the surgeons (specialists) to come decide how best to remove this.

Choice A: shove a short soft tube down his throat without putting him to sleep with the goal being to shove the quarter into his stomach where it will then (supposedly) pass through his system with no harm done.
Choice B: put him to sleep shove a longer tube with a camera and a claw on it down his throat to locate then grab the quarter with the goal being to pull it out.

Now as a Mom I'm rooting for choice B. Sounds much more user friendly especially when we're talking about things being shoved down peoples throats. As usual however I couldn't be that lucky. The surgeons (specialists) decide on choice A. So enter the surgeon Doogie Howser's younger brother. he's 10 years old if he's a day. Also enter 3 nurses and a few med students. They proceed to wrap the boy in a sheet so he can't grab (cocoon like but not as pleasant I don't think). Then Doogie takes this blue hot rod curler looking thing and shove it down little man's throat. Telling him all the while it's just like swallowing a hot dog.

Now it may just be me but weren't we as parents taught that hot dogs are chokable items and should never be swallowed whole but should be cut into tiny unrecognizable pieces before consuming? Silly me I thought that was the problem in the first place...someone swallowing something they shouldn't! Beside that how natural and possible is it to swallow something when you have the uncomfortable sensation of choking and not being able to breath because this thing is now constricting your airway.

Anyway they succeeded in shoving this quarter into his stomach as the next set of x-rays showed. My son returned to his typical monster self. We still haven't eaten and don't think we ever want to again. And we learned that even a quarter is worth much more than just 25 cents as the bills will shortly show when they start arriving. After all specialists and multiple x-rays aren't cheap. Think we could pay them with the quarter?

Please feel free to threaten your little angels with the attached x-ray. If I can save you the trauma I will be fulfilled.