Well. So my son did the unthinkable. He got US$0.01 richer, and I’m not talking about his piggy bank.
Let me start by saying he is 3 and has long forgotten his habit of putting everything in his mouth. So when my daughter came running and saying that her brother had chocked on something, I thought of any type of food he could have gotten his hands on, but never a penny! So I immediately went into overdrive: Where is he? Is he breathing? Where am I?
He followed her and came into the kitchen crying seconds later and I was relieved to see he was breathing (crying never sounded so good!) and I could determine that the item in question was indeed somewhere in his tiny body. So I asked them (him!!) what it was and they told me it was a penny. I searched my brain to try and remember if I had ANY batteries lying around – not that we ever do, but in these moments you start to doubt yourself. As a parent. As a human being.
He is crying so hysterical now that he pukes. I search it in vain, hoping that the coin would have been there. No dough. So I lay out all types of coins so he can show me which one he has wolfed down and he points at the penny. I was relieved because I trusted him and knew it wasn’t a battery! So then I proceed to do what we all do when in doubt: GOOGLE! I found this blog of a mom in the same situation and her decision was to wait for it to pass. We decided on the same thing, but called the doctor just in case. She then advised us to take him to the ER in our local hospital the next day for an X-Ray. And if you must know, our local hospital SUCKS. So the next day, with no symptoms whatsoever, we waited. And we did that the next day, and the next. My husband had done the same thing at the same age, and his mother waited. My brother ate all types of weird things as a kid, and I never saw my mom rush him to the hospital. Don’t get me wrong, that coin could have been stuck somewhere and when it comes to your kid, you want to be safe!! But you also have a 6th sense, and I trusted mine. But after the 5th day, I had to take my daughter in with a nasty cough, and took him along to get looked at just in case. By then, dr. wanted an X-Ray just to see where the damn penny was. Sure enough, it was still in his stomach, hadn’t moved! No signs of it coming out. Believe me, I was inspecting his deposits religiously to make sure it wasn’t going to get flushed without my knowledge!
Doctor then proceeds to tell me she wants it removed (endoscopy!!! Going under!!!! Damn you, Penny!!!!!!!!) because it could be attaching itself to stomach walls. Take him to ER tomorrow, she said. Now if you were reading, you saw that our local hospital SUCKS, right? So we drove all the way to CHOP, adding only an extra half hour from the alternative hospital we were talking him to, and it was the best thing we ever did. Getting there, X-Ray tells us.. not much.So they needed to do a GI test to take a better look at the penny. More radiation! And to do it, his stomach needed to be empty (damn you, Gatorade!!) so they would need to pump his stomach. Mommy is in hysterical tears by now. G.I. doctor and main doctor are going back and forth on what to do, and it was then decided that since he seemed absolutely fine, we would give one more day (this time, no eating or drinking!) and they would decide what to do the next day. We bought one more day, but I’m a nervous wreck. Before we left, dr. managed to make me cry again by saying, “Mommy, you did a good job. We want to avoid harsh procedures on the little ones as much as possible, and you did great at watching his symptoms and trusting yourself. He is fine! Mommies always know.” :)
That’s my 3 year old’s little body!! How weird is that? And the “foreign body” of a penny.
Next day arrives, and mommy had to stay home with a sick daughter, so daddy took him all the way to Philly again. Boys day, we called it. And boy, was I happy when my husband texted saying the penny had moved and was right by his bottom!!! X-Ray showed it ready to make its way out!! So the boys came back home to a very excited mommy. Bathroom, anyone?? No? Ok, I will ask again in 15!
So, the next day, which made it the 8th day of the penny being swallowed, he went. I was preparing the above birthday party for my daughter. I layered my hand with 4397 plastic bags and went in. Cha-Ching!! I got $0.01 richer!!! It was a happy day. We were celebrating my daughter’s 5th birthday, and the Penny made its way out!!
So I guess that the point to this post is teach your kids to storage their coins in a coin jar!! Haha just kidding, although my son is now terrified of anything other than food going in his mouth, the point was to just trust yourself. Don’t panic! Our parents and grandparents ate of sorts of crap, and somehow made it. Of course, had it been something like a battery, that must be removed. And if you think there was any change in behavior, take them in immediately! Otherwise, wait for it with your 2856 plastic bags, and good luck!!