03 April 2012

goldie the brave

on saturday afternoon, goldie choked on a peanut m&m. it wasn't just like she coughed a few times. she legitimately choked to the point where i was hitting her back while she was bent over my lap. the coughing fit lasted for about 5 minutes and she spit up most of what went down. it was sad, and she cried for a little bit, but she recovered and went back to playing as usual. later that evening, i noticed she was wheezing with every breath. her appetite also had slowed down a lot that day. i figured the wheezing was happening just because she had coughed so hard and for so long, but turns out i was wrong.

i had a bad feeling all day on sunday and i couldn't sleep sunday night because i was so worried about her. i checked on her 3 times during the night to make sure she was at least breathing "normal." but her wheezing was bad, and it wasn't going away. after talking with my mother-in-law, who is an RN (and a good one at that), and my brother-in-law who is a doctor, we decided that i should take her to the doctor first thing monday morning to get it checked out. here's what my sunday night looked like:

1 am: finally fall asleep
2 am: annie randomly wakes up. rock her back to sleep.
3 am: annie wakes up again. this time, she was NOT happy. stayed up for 2 hours. this never happens.
5 am: get annie back to sleep and finally get in my own bed.
6 am: jake wakes up for an early morning flight. i'm a very light sleeper... 
7:45 am: goldie wakes up for the day (she normally sleeps until 8:30)

when you add it all up, i got MAYBE 3.5 hours of sleep sunday night. it was the most random night ever. monday morning came along and i was pretty tired. i called my pediatrician and made an appointment for goldie at 11:30. at the appointment, the dr. listened to goldie's lungs and guessed that something was lodged in there, causing the wheezing. she sent me to the hospital right away. luckily i still had some wits left in my brain because i decided to stop at home first to get my church bag, which has everything from candy to toy cars to books to crayons and paper to stickers to diapers and wipes... it's stocked. my father-in-law gave goldie a very sweet blessing and watched my little annie for us. away we went.

12:30 pm- arrive at the hospital, but went in the wrong entrance. it took awhile for the staff and i to figure out that my appointment had been made in the emergency wing... so we walked our way down there and got settled in.

goldie with her new "bracelet," being a good little girl.

the girl loves to color. i mean, loves it.

we waited for awhile. the doors were automatic, so G kept running to them like she was going to escape. this is when the constant chasing after my toddler began. she is busy, even when running on no food and no nap.. the girl does not quit. she'd give any little boy a run for his money. after making friends with everyone in the waiting room and most of the staff, they finally called our names and sent us to what i like to call a "holding room." only curtains separate you from other patients, so everyone hears everyone's business. of course goldie turned this into a game and kept running into everyone's "room" (under this curtain, through that curtain, over and over). the good news is that she was laughing and happy the entire time, which was my number 1 goal. we played and laughed and i basically let her run a-muck. 

we searched for dinosaurs together:

"shh! listen! i hear a dinosaur!" (this wasn't our curtain, by the way)

we played with her friends:

we colored some more:

we sat and sang songs together:

goldie sings awesomely loud. pretty sure she made everyone's day with her renditions of "itsy bitsy spider" and "twinkle twinkle."

we wrapped ourselves in the curtain so our hair would be crazy:

we played dolls together:

we got tired together:

we waited for a very long time. finally, our people came to us one by one. first we needed an x-ray. goldie wasn't a fan of that, but even through tears she said thank you to the wonderfully nice people who were doing all the work. she really gets over things fast and becomes instantly happy after hard thing are over. i love that about her.

after the x-ray, we waited some more. a few doctors came in, listened to her heart (by this time she knew the drill. breathe deep. cough. look in the eyes, ears, mouth. etc.) she always sat very still and was very obedient, bless her little heart. they made us wait until 6 pm because she had eaten around 12:30 (like 3 bites of a sandwich, but it counts). around that same time my wonderful mother-in-law came to be with us. she basically took the medical reigns and did all my dirty work so that i could focus on goldie. what a huge blessing... she'll never know how much it meant to me that i didn't have to be alone during all of this. finally we were walked to the prepping area for the procedure. goldie was given some medication to help sedate her a little bit. my brain is so fried right now that i honestly can't even remember what the procedure was called, but basically they put her under (scary) and put a scope down her throat to see what was stuck down there. the remove whatever they find. the procedure can last up to an hour, depending on how bad things are. 

keep in mind that it's now 6:15 and goldie has had no nap and no food. it is literally an understatement to say that she was well-behaved. i never realized that i could look up to my 2-year-old and think so highly of such a small little person. she just listened and smiled and obeyed and laughed and made friends with everyone. she truly is one of the most wondering human beings i know.

 just had her meds...

we like stickers in this family. a lot.

and finally, she starts to get a little loopy and very tired. this was sort of hard but sort of funny at the same time. it's incredible how as a mother, your emotions are just weird during moments like this.

my brave girl.

they took her away from me and it felt like someone was literally tearing my heart out. one of the doctors was so nice though.. a young mother, 38 weeks pregnant with her second girl (automatically i loved her). she asked what goldie's favorite movie was, and carefully took goldie and her purple night night (her blankie) in her arms with "finding nemo" playing on her iphone. i was so thankful.

they walked away and i said a tearful prayer. this was the first time this entire day that i had let myself have a moment. i figured i was allowed to have one. just one. it was short and sweet. then i realized i hadn't eaten or drank anything all day either (because that would just be rude), so i got some food in me and started the waiting game.

we didn't have to wait long. 25 minutes later, our beeper went off. the doctor comes strolling in with these:

two chunks of peanut had gone down her airway and lodged into her left lung.

here's what i learned about peanuts:
don't give them to kids under 5 (same with carrots and other hard foods). i knew that. goldie eats peanut butter all of the time, but i rarely give her actual nuts. little did i know that peanuts are the most dense nut (and maybe food) that a person can eat. as adults, we aspirate food all of the time. but our lungs have the capacity to cough it out-- we're strong enough to do that. little children don't have that power though, so if something gets caught down there, it's stuck. if a peanut in particular gets lodged down there, the oil can badly irritate the lung and the throat, as well as eventually cause pneumonia and other infections. and if it's a chunk or two like goldie had, then it makes breathing very difficult.

he lectured me, so now i know. and so do you.

anyway, her procedure went well and they got it all out. thank goodness. waiting to see your child after something like that seemed like an eternity. but finally she was brought to me and i felt so relieved. by this time we were in a shared room. she was very out of it and very emotional. i could hear her saying "mama mama" over and over again as she was coming down the hall. it hurt my heart. when she was finally put in my arms, i just kept saying, "mama's here, it's okay goldie. just rest. mama is here." she calmed down and i laid her on the bed. laying next to goldie and playing with her hair, singing and humming songs, and holding her little hand was one of the most tender moments i've had in my entire life. i felt so thankful that she was okay. i felt so thankful for modern medicine. i felt so thankful that she is a healthy and strong girl. i have so many blessings.

i can't look at this picture without my heart swelling up.

i laid with goldie for 2 hours while they monitored her oxygen. the nurses basically quit checking on us because my mother-in-law took over, thank goodness. she is the most amazing nurse, i'm serious. goldie started to wake up, grabbing at her IV and whatnot. she was so serious, but i started to sing this song that i made up that gets a laugh out of her every single time.

"there once was a dinosaur and he says ROAR. he says ROAR. he says ROAR! there once was a dinosaur and he says ROAR! 

sounds silly, but i do a funny voice every time i say "roar" and she thinks it's hilarious. she didn't move her head, but she moved her eyeballs and gave me this look. then she smirked. it was one of the happiest moments for me... at that moment i knew she'd be fine. 

at 11:30 pm, we were discharged and on our way home. two popsicles, one horrible sore throat, a bad cough, and a breathing treatment later, goldie was a happy but tired girl. when we got home, she went right to sleep and slept the whole night through. this day was the longest 12 hours of my life, but very defining for me.

i've never had to go through something like that with my children. they've always been healthy and strong, and they still are. this is something that i'm very thankful for. i mean, seriously i thank heavenly father daily that i have healthy children.. it's the biggest blessing i could as for. monday was so hectic and could have been very stressful, but when i look back on it, i felt very calm all day long. i knew she was going to be okay, and my main concern was to create a place of happiness and fun so that she wouldn't feel nervous or afraid. looking back, we actually had a very fun day together. it was a special time for goldie and i, and i feel thankful that i was given that opportunity to grow and become a stronger person. i'm also thankful that she was able to grow as well.

i feel like she really trusts me now. i mean i know she always has... i am her mother, after all. it sounds odd, but i feel like our relationship is very different now, even better than it already was. i was certainly blessed that day with more strength than i was capable of. i was running off VERY little sleep, but the day was a success and we got to come home after all of it.

i wanted to document all of this because i think goldie will like to look back one day on how brave she was at such a young age. this girl will move mountains in this life, i know it. she is very, very special.

today was spent doing this:

 she was most excited to see annie out of everyone.

and yes, we kept the peanuts.


Jonah and Aja said...

I'm so glad everything turned out okay. What a scary experience! Glad Julie could come too. She's amazing. Keep those peanuts forever! Aniston swallowed a paper clip when she was about Annie's age and I kept it and the 4 x-rays of it moving through her insides... scary then, but now one of my favorite keepsakes.

Rachel said...

What an amazing story!! So glad Goldie is okay. And good to know about not having them eat carrots either...Syd was just eating carrot sticks in Wal-mart yesterday and chocked a bit on them. You're such a good mama!

AaReAn said...

oh my gosh Jenna, this broke my heart. I actually got teary eyed just thinking about it. I get so emotional when it comes to things like this...(medical stuff) I was a HUGE bawl baby when I had to take Sage into the ER after she had fallen off the counter to check if anything happened to her head...oh my gosh I just don't do well.

I am so glad everything turned out okay...what a little trooper your little Goldie is. And I am NEVER giving Sage another peanut..she likes to eat them out of my trail mix. This has scared me to death. No more peanuts.


Cami @ All Things Lovely said...

im so glad she is ok. what a heart breaking experience!
she is one strong little lady...and so precious!


LoAnn said...

Wow! I am so sorry that you and Goldie had to go through that. I am really glad that it all turned out ok. Thank goodness for doctors and hospitals. You are such a great mom and to recognize that there was soothing wrong is really good, especially with your first child. Goldie is such a beautiful, sweet little girl and was so good to go through all of that. I bet you are glad it is over.

Erin + Geoff said...

what a brave brave girl. I'm glad you told that story with so much detail cause you're right, Goldie will LOVE reading it someday, and I really enjoyed it too! This is such a crazy thing to happen.. I'm glad she is OK.

holtkamp said...

that is so scary! i'm glad she is ok! i had no idea about what foods you can or cannot give to kids. -jen

Kurt and Carli said...

Thanks for sharing this story! I have been feeding my daughter peanuts and other nuts lately and I will stop!! That is too risky! I also had to take her to the ER (for stitches) recently. It is amazing the range of emotions you have when it is your own child in these unfavorable circumstances.


Katie said...

What a crazy story. So glad she's ok. She really was brave (not to mention super cute in that hospital gown with her hair in a bun!) thanks for sharing the food info.

abby said...

gosh jenna, i am so sorry for all of this! what an ordeal! so so glad she is ok.