Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Story of the Pretty-Pretty

Once upon a time there was a sweet little girl named Abigail. She was a curious, adventurous, stubborn little thing who brought her parents immeasurable amounts of joy and kept them on their toes.

One evening, Abbey and her brother Luke were playing nicely together in their room, when Abbey started crying. Daddy went in to check and found his sweet girl pointing to her nose and saying "ow!". Daddy brought her out into the living room for some Momma Hugs, but the crying continued. Then sneezing occurred. Lots of sneezing. The Momma and Daddy pondered what could be the cause of these tears, and decided perhaps their baby had bumped her nose on something, so Momma doled out some infant ibuprofen. The sneezing continued, as did the tears. When the concerned parents asked their daughter where it hurt, she pointed very distinctly to her right nostril.

Suddenly it dawned on the Momma that something could be stuck up there. (Do not judge this Momma for being slow to suggest this, as she is tired a lot of the time, and her brain function isn't quite what it used to be. Also, neither of her children had ever shown any interest what so ever in shoving things up their noses).

Daddy grabs a flash light and looks...nope, can't see anything up there. Hmmmm....what could it be then? The parents are at a loss. Then the Momma looks down as she strokes her baby's hair and realizes only one lone pigtail remains - where there was once two.

Another glance with the flashlight confirms the Momma's suspicions. The missing purple "pretty-pretty" is indeed wayyyy up her daughter's nostril.


The parents do not panic, as surely this will be fairly simple to remove. They ask their daughter to "blow". She obliged, but the pretty-pretty did not move. Tweezers were brought into the picture, and still nothing. At one point the Momma closed the other nostril, and put her lips over her baby's mouth and blew air in, hoping the pressure would send the purple pretty-pretty flying out of her baby's go.

At this point the Momma decides it's time to call the pediatrician, who suggests the family head to the Urgent Care. The Momma grabs coats for herself and her daughter and tells Daddy and brother they'll be right back. The Momma is so confidant this will be a quick "in-and-out" at the Urgent Care that she almost doesn't even grab the diaper bag...but at the last minute decides to toss it in the van.

A short jaunt to the Urgent Care, endless paperwork and a 15 minute wait later, the Momma is explaining to the nurse what had happened. Sweet baby girl cries as she is poked and prodded for weight check, temp, pulse, etc. Doctor comes in and sweet baby girl FREAKS OUT as Momma holds her down while the doctor tries to examine her nostril. The doctor then proceeds to shock the hell out of the Momma as he declares "I can't even see it up there, and she is thrashing around way too much for me to even attempt to get it. I could injure her. You are going to have to take her to the ER to be sedated."

At this point, nothing - absolutely nothing- about this is funny anymore.

I seriously could not believe what he was saying. Sedated?!?! For a tiny rubberband up her nose?!?!

So from there I had to pack up my baby and head to the nearest ER. Thank God I have a friend who works as a nurse there, so I sent her a text message that we were on our way. It was miraculously slow in the ER that night, and they took us right back to triage where it was confirmed Abbey would need to be sedated in order to safely remove the pretty-pretty. We spent a long time waiting for a room in the ER to open up, which ended up being a blessing because it gave Abbey a chance to warm up a bit to her surroundings. It also allowed for enough time to pass between when she had last eaten and when they would begin the procedure. It also gave me a chance to accept the plan. And, it afforded some cute moments, like when I let Abbey play with my cell phone (normally completely off limits) and watched her glide her finger across the touch screen, reminding me in that one motion how much she actually watches me. Or when she put the phone to her ear and said "hi la-ler!", warming my heart to hear that her brother is the first person on her imaginary call list. Or when she walked towards the door, turned halfway around to look at me, held one finger up and said "be right back", looking about 13 years old.

Finally we got a room, and met our sweet nurse. She was so tender with Abbey, even bringing her a little teddy bear! The doctor came in and introduced himself. He was very calm, kind and reassuring. He said he would administer Ketamine, either via injection into her thigh muscle or through an IV. I opted for the shot. I couldn't imagine holding her down for an IV placement, and then fighting her to keep the IV in.

As he was explaining his plan, David arrived. (my sister Vanessa came to the house where Luke was asleep) I was so relived to see him. He is always so calm during these types of situations. The doctor ran his plan by David, and we signed all kinds of paperwork.
Throughout this time, Abbey and I were sitting on the hospital gurney, and she was playing with the remote attached to the bed, and my cell phone (note to self: pack more than 2 books in the diaper bag...those exhausted themselves quickly). She was pretty content, but carefully keeping an eye on everyone in the room. As we got closer to procedure time, she snuggled into me, clearly aware something was about to happen. A respiratory tech applied several leads to Abbey's body, which she didn't love, but tolerated. They had me lay flat on the bed, and hold Abbey against me as they gave her the shot. She screamed, which was to be expected.

That part didn't bother me so much. I've heard my babies scream enough time from getting shots. She clung tightly to me and I tried to hold her just as tight back, and stroke her hair and whisper in her ear...whisper that I was proud of her, that it was going to be okay.

She eventually stopped crying from the shot, and then just kind of laid there and cuddled with me for a bit. Then she started tripping out. THAT was hard. Her eyes were darting back and forth (the doctor had warned us that would happen, but assured us she wasn't in any pain) and she got a far off gaze about her. She kept lifting up off my chest and trying to reach for my face saying "Momma? Momma??" sounding so confused and slightly afraid. GAH that was the worst. It was all I could do to keep my breathing steady and voice calm as I said "Momma's right here baby" and softly sing You Are My Sunshine over and over while praying her eyes wouldn't be able to focus on the tears streaming down my cheeks.

It seemed to take sweet forever before she fully gave into the meds and let herself relax. At one point one of the 5 medical people in the room said "I know we gave her an appropriate dose for her size, but I think she is fighting it..."
That's our stubborn little girl for ya =)

The doctor was incredibly patient, saying he wanted to make sure she was completely relaxed before he even attempted to begin. Finally we flipped her over, so her back was laying on my chest and her face up. They used a nose spreader, long alligator clamps, and a flashlight, and they had the purple pretty-pretty out in about 2 minutes.

I was SO grateful they were able to get it out.

All in all, I'm grateful for the whole thing. The ER doc was explaining had we not realized she had something up her nose, it could have gotten ingested into her lungs and she very likely would have developed pneumonia. Something so small - and nearly translucent- may not have shown up on a chest xray, and we would not have been able to figure out why the pneumonia would not go away. It could have been very bad.

I'm grateful for wonderful medical care and kind staff. I'm grateful that my baby is just fine, and VERY grateful I don't have to do things like that often. I do not know how parents of chronically - or terminally- ill children manage.

After the procedure was over, they flipped her back over so she was laying on her chest and I could snuggle her into me. We were told it would be about 60-90 minutes before the Ketamine wore off, and then they'd want to keep her for awhile to observe her. Fine by me. I did NOT want to take her home until they were positive we were ready. Once everything was stable, the nurse felt comfortable trusting the monitors that were on Abbey to report any problems, and left the room to check on other patients. David and I switched positions for a little bit so I could eat something (I was FAMISHED but didn't want to eat in front of Abbey while she was awake, since she couldn't eat).

After that, David headed back home and it was just Abbey and me. The nurse had turned the lights down and given me a blanket. It occurred to me then that this time was a bit of a gift. Our birth and subsequent hospital stay were not exactly conducive to quiet, relaxed bonding time. This time was. I was so relieved that everything had gone okay, and filled with a Divine confidence that Abbey was going to "come to" just fine from the meds, so I just laid there with my daughter against me, and snuggled in our little hospital room for the next hour.

She started to wake up slowly, but eventually was fully awake, and in a fantastic mood. Yea and Hooray. We played on the bed for awhile longer while the doctor periodically came in to check on us and watch her vitals. It was a bit hard to distract her when she asked for food (they said we couldn't feed her until the morning), but other than that, she was great. They finally agreed to discharge us, and I was able to pack up my baby and head home.

It was nearly midnight when we got home, and Abbey was reaching for her crib. We had to check on her a few times throughout the night (Doctors orders, just to make sure her breathing was on track) and she did just fine. She woke up after 9am the next morning, famished and happy =). Praise God.

For memories sake: a picture of the equipment used, and the trouble-making purple pretty-pretty.

So if you don't see any pictures of Abbeygirl with pigtails or ponytails any time soon, it's because although she seems to have recovered fine from Monday night's events, Momma is still a little traumatized.


Jen S. said...

Oh my goodness...WHAT A STORY, Kendra...I cannot believe that happened!! I'm just so glad everything turned out ok. What a relief. Glad to hear everything ended well.
Thinking of you guys...

Lauren said...

Oh my, that IS traumatizing! Glad everything turned out okay. When I was dealing with all the appointments for Noah's broken leg, I thought the same thing: How do the parents with chronically ill children DO IT? That takes a lot of strength.

Also, I hope I don't have any injuries or ER issues once I have multiple young children, because man alive it'd be hard to be separated from the other ones. Being a stay at home mom, I have no experience with that, and neither does Noah! So that wouldn't be good.

JillAileenJones said...

Oh dear-bless your heart. I am so thankful she is ok. When I was about that age I shoved a button up my nose. One from off my clothes-it was really tiny-they make them bigger now, probably for that very purpose. ha! My family was able to get it out with needle nose pliers but they all still talk about that. :)
So glad it turned out ok for you all
I was thinking the same thing-no pony tails for a bit.

Leslie said...

Oh my goodness!!! My youngest is right around the twins age and boy howdy has he been into some things lately...

When I was 3 I wanted pierced ears like my much older sisters so I shoved a bunch of unpopped corn kernels into my ears.

I am so glad it was found before she inhaled it. So glad you used the opportunity as a bonding time too.

Aunt Carol said...

I'm sorry you all had to go through that, but it made for wonderful reading including an appropriate happy ending. I'm surprised you didn't decide to shave her head rather than just opt to hide the pretty-pretties. It's such a blessing that you allow all of us to follow your "adventures". Thank you.

Love, Aunt Carol

Vanessa's Dad said...

You and David are SUCH good parents. Abbey and Luke are blessed.


Courtney said...

That's the kind of story, that before i was a mom, i wouldn't have understood. But here I am crying about what that must've been like to go through. What a situation. I'm so glad all is well.

Laura said...

I am so proud of you Kendra! You kept your cool and Abby handled it like a trooper. I got teary eyed reading the post because I know how scarey sitting in a hospital with your child can be. God is good!

Sarah said...

Ok. I know I shouldn't laugh, but that was really funny. Just the way you described it made me laugh. Poor girl. Gosh, now I'm a little hesitant about putting those in Audrey's hair.
When I was about 2, I stuck a crayon up my nose. That is one of my earliest childhood memories b/c I remember my mom screaming "just blow! just blow!", but it wouldn't come out. My parents love to tell this story. One day, this will be funny to you too.