Sunday, July 15, 2018

Quarter Patrol

(Using their money to buy ice cream)
Parents. We do a lot of things for our kids because we love them. Many of these things are gross in nature. That has been part of my job since July 1st. I have been on poop patrol with my 4-year-old, checking every bowel movement for a quarter. Yes, you read that right a quarter. That Sunday evening the girls were playing with their Uncle. He gave them some money for the ice cream truck. They were quite excited. My 4-year-old was rough housing with him, a favorite past time of hers, when she slipped the quarter into her mouth, unbeknownst to all around. I was brushing my 2-year old’s teeth when my 4-year-old came running into the bathroom making a choking, gagging sound. I held her over the sink as she sputtered out, “I swallowed money!” My brother yelled for my husband who raced upstairs, ready to spring into action. It’s nice having “911” living with you. It was all over quickly. She stopped gagging before my husband could get up the stairs and just looked at us.
I asked her what happened and she told us she accidentally swallowed money. I asked her which one and she replied, “I think a quarter.” I went to the room where she was playing and saw two dimes and a nickel in the room. The quarter was missing. Oh, why couldn’t she have swallowed the dime?! She told us she put it in her mouth because she wanted to jump on her Uncle and spit it out on him. I guess in her mind it sounded like a good thing to do. Take away the choking risk of putting anything in your mouth, money is exceptionally dirty.
I called my Doctor’s after-hours line and at first, they wanted her to come in right away but after consulting with a Pediatric Gastroenterologist they told me it was fine to wait until morning since she was acting perfectly normal. It was nice to avoid the ER. The next day we took her in for an x-Ray and clear as day, you could see the quarter right in her belly. They were hoping it would pass on its own so told me to check all of her stools for the next week and contact them the following Monday if it hadn’t passed. That night I had her sleep on a mattress in our floor. It wasn’t needed but I didn’t know what to expect so I preferred to have her nearby in case she started vomiting. Every day I checked for the quarter, hoping to find it and every day I was left empty handed. Talk about a dirty job.
(Playing at the park after the 2nd x-ray to avoid sitting in traffic)
The next Monday I contacted her Doctor and they ordered up another x-ray. They took one x-ray and I saw it right away, still sitting in her stomach. My Doctor referred me to a Pediatric Gastroenterologist and we met with him in Seattle that Thursday. By now he told us, the chances of it coming out on its own were slim so we might as well get it out of there. It’s not an emergency but the longer we leave it in there the more likely she may start getting other mild symptoms, like heartburn and a stomach ache due to it sitting in there causing mild inflammation. We scheduled her endoscopy for the following Tuesday, July 17th. Since she is only 4 years old they do general anesthesia as there is a risk with their breathing when taking it out. She will need a breathing tube during the very straightforward endoscopy and retrieval of the quarter. I wish she didn’t have to have anesthesia as the jury’s still out on how it affects children’s brains and development later on. But she’s an otherwise very healthy child and most of the research I read is for children under the age of 3. She’ll be 5 in August and she’s in the 98% and 97% for height and weight for her age so bigger than most 4-year old’s.
(Big kid for her age)
I am still on poop patrol, hoping to find this quarter so we can cancel our 5:30am appointment in Seattle but I’m glad all this “crap” (literally) will be over with Tuesday. I am very thankful this whole situation wasn’t worse. She could have choked on the quarter warranting Levi to use his firefighting/EMT training at home. It could have been stuck and needed emergency removal. It’s just an inconvenience for now. A story to tell when she’s older. She definitely learned her lesson. Yes, she has been told on countless occasions not to put things in her mouth that aren’t food. But if you know my 4-year-old, she’s the type that tends to learn things the hard way no matter how many times she’s been told. She tells me she wishes she had never put it in her mouth and that she doesn’t like it being in there. The Doctor told her she could have her quarter back, to which she replied, “It’s actually my sister’s.” She put her money safely in her bank and “ate” her sister’s. The lesson I’ve learned from all this is pay this kid in dollar bills! 😊

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