Friday, October 1, 2010

Drama and Trauma

 1.     a : an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown
          b : the encountering of risks
2.      an exciting or remarkable experience

3.      an enterprise involving financial risk

When a person thinks of adventure, I seriously doubt that anything having to do with kids comes to mind.  More than likely they envision kayaking down the Colorado river or backpacking up Mount Fiji.  They may wonder how an innocent child could possibly bring anything but joy ( or house arrest) to their parents.  But adventure?  How do children equal adventure?   Oh, I can tell you how and I am only 29 months into this whole parenting gig.

Piper has already proven in her short life that she is going to keep me on my toes.  Right after turning one, she was cruising along the couch and fell backwards.  She hit her head on the coffee table and immediately started puking.  This lead to her having a CAT Scan in the emergency room.  In addition to this CAT Scan she has had an X-Ray of her entire right leg taken, chipped a tooth, and lost a toe nail.  And today?  Well, today she swallowed a battery.

We cleaned out our storage building and all kinds of goodies have been within her toddler's reach.  I think she found the battery on our dining room table because that is where the book light is still laying without its battery.  We were in the kitchen and I noticed that Piper had the battery in her hand.  I asked her what she had and told her to give it to me.  Her response was to put the battery in her mouth.  When she did this I exclaimed "Piper, don't put that in your mouth.  Give it to me!"  She said something that I don't remember which lead me to realize that her mouth was empty.  I said "Piper!  Give me the battery!  Please tell me you did not just swallow it!"  Her hands flew to her throat and a look of panic crossed her face.  After freaking out on her just a little, I called Matt.

When I told Matt, he told me, like most men would, that it probably wasn't a big deal and that it would pass on its own.  It wouldn't have mattered what he said, though, because I always call the doctor's office. When the nurse got on the phone and asked for my child's birth date, she laughed when I answered.  They are familiar with her to say the least.  The nurse told me to take her to the Emergency Room immediately because the battery mixed with her stomach acid was a very bad thing. 

At the emergency room I started crying as I explained why we were there.  They very quickly whisked us to triage and there we waited.  Once we got back there, it was like it was no big deal.  Piper, of course, was feeling fine so she was running around.  A friend of mine that works in Radiology came in to do the X-Ray of Piper's torso.  Piper thinks the idea of seeing her bones is awesome so she laid very still during the process.
Piper's X-Ray showing the battery in her stomach
When the Physician's assistant came in 30 minutes after Piper's X-Ray had been taken, we had already been at the hospital for an hour and a half.  He began to explain to me that objects like this will usually pass on their own and that they may want to take another X-Ray in a week to make sure that it was no longer in her body.  The old, non parent Lauren would have jumped at the opportunity to get the heck out of there.  But the mom in me told him that Piper's doctor had told us that the acid in her stomach could eat at the battery causing battery acid to leak out.  Mr. P.A. at this point told me that he would talk to the ER doctor, and that GI would have to get involved and Endo, and blah, blah, blah.  I honestly believe that he felt like I was an overprotective parent wasting valuable resources.  

(on a side note-  Piper has been watching this Mickey Mouse cartoon where Pluto turns red and she tells me "Look mom!  Pluto spicy!"  Mr. P.A. had red undertones in his skin and the whole time he was talking Piper kept whispering to me "Mommy, is he spicy?")

Twenty minutes or more passes and suddenly Mr. P.A. is rushing at me telling me that this is very serious and that we have to get Piper to lay on her left side immediately and not let her move.  He explains that the Endocrinologist needs the battery to stay at the top of her stomach and not enter into her intestines.  I assume that this is because it will be easier to get out if it is in her tummy.  Because Piper is a little firecracker, we are forced to wrap her up papoose style so she will lay still on her side. 

She and I are wheeled down the hall to another room.  An anesthesiologist is called in because my baby is going to have to go under general anesthesia so they can get the battery out.  This scares me.  This scares me a lot.  The anesthesiologist has everything ready and tells me to slide off the bed, leave the room, and don't look back.

In the waiting room, my best friend (who also works at the hospital) finds me in the hall, alone and freaking out.   But, she always makes everything better and was able to calm me down.    As an added bonus, she tells me that she will be Piper's nurse when she comes out of her procedure.  The procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete and then Piper is wheeled passed me to Recovery.  (By now, Matt has arrived and he and I follow our daughter down the hall)

I have no idea what that white lump is, but this is the inside of my daughter's stomach.  How many other parent's do you know that have this for their scrapbooks?
Seeing your child after they have been put to sleep is a very pitiful sight.  They had already removed the tube from down her throat and other unpleasantries, but she still look so frail!

Piper in Recovery. I'm holding the tube that is blowing oxygen in her face

They gave me the battery and it had already started to corrode.  So let this be a warning to all parents out there that a battery is not just another case of swallowing a foreign object.  The doctor told me after he got it out that if the battery had settled into a spot on her intestines it could have burned a whole through them!  Very serious stuff.

Piper did great and is fine.  The truth is that I was surprised at how well she behaved throughout the entire ordeal.  She thought the fact that she was able to eat two Popsicles in a row was pretty cool.  Her least favorite part was the not the I.V. in her arm, but the sensor on her thumb measuring her heart rate.  She thought her thumb was missing, poor baby!

In our rush to leave, I remembered to bring diapers but I forgot to bring my wet bag.  I find it humorous that when I asked if they had a plastic bag to put Colbie's soiled diaper in, I was given this:

Hardy, Har Har!

Piper is the reason why the title of my blog contains the word "adventure".  These first years have already contained more drama and trauma than I ever experienced in my life before she came along!  Thank you, Piper, for making life more interesting, but please, please, please try not to seriously hurt yourself!

*Defintion found at


  1. Lauren, I saw your status last night but had no idea this happened! I'm so glad she is okay! And I'm glad you called the doc beforehand, and stayed at the ER instead of leaving. I can't believe they were going to just let y'all go home without getting it out!!!

  2. I'm glad you didn't just go home when the P.A. (Physician's Assistant) said what he did at first. I'm glad you spoke up and told them what your Doctor's office said.
    I'm glad they got it out in time.
    Hope you Piper feels better soon. I doubt she'll be putting anything but food or water in her mouth for awhile.