Monday, February 4, 2013

Extra Energy for Kate

Life is dangerous.
There is always something you can worry about, try to avoid or try to prepare for.
My Megan is a Class A Number 1 worrier.
(I have NO idea where she gets it from)
I tell her all the time that usually the things we worry about most never happen.....
And the things we hadn't even thought of...well do happen.
Megan has been worried about Katelyn choking since.....
Well since her first breath I guess.
Every time Kate clears her throat I see Megan spring in to the Heimlich Maneuver position.
When Kate started eating food Megan cut everything up into minute pieces.
Which was fine until Kate decided that she wanted to feed herself.
The pieces were so tiny that she would have needed a microscope.
And that's a mean thing to do to a little person who is just figuring out how to use her thumb and forefinger.
I did not share that same fear.
I was a battle hardened mother of three.
One of my children who shall remain nameless, would stuff HIS mouth so full that it would set off his gag reflexes immediately and there would be sounds coming from his mouth that no mother should have to hear.
HE could eat a banana in three bites.
Our pediatrician said that I should cut everything up into tiny pieces so that he would not choke.
I did.
HE just waited until my back was turned and then HE would just scoop them all up into a pile and shove them into HIS mouth.
I would know this because of the awful gagging noises.
I hate to say this but I got use to the sound.
So much so that when we would go out to eat, I would forget that it was unusual and would always be surprised at the terrified look on the other patrons faces. I would just give them a wave so that they knew everything was okay and to go back to eating their normal sized pieces of food.
(By the way HE who shall remain nameless still eats like that minus the noise)
So Kate's little coughs never scared me one bit.

Last Sunday I was sitting on the floor during Relief Society (women's organization) meeting at church.
Kate is so wiggly that it is just easier to join her on the floor than try to hold her on my lap.
She likes to sit close, which of course is no problem for this Grandma.
She was sitting against me with her back to me playing with toys from my purse.
Her mother was sitting facing her on the piano bench listening to the teacher.
I was concentrating on trying to name every sister in the room.
I game I like to play which I picked up as RSP.
I was stuck on one sister in particular.
I knew her but I could NOT remember her name!
I hate when that happens and so I concentrated even harder trying to block out all distractions.
All of a sudden I felt a rush of adrenaline and panic.
"Check Katelyn's mouth"
The message was quick and clear.
I stuck my finger in and swept over her slippery little tongue and pulled out....
A watch battery
For a second I just stared down at it, for sure that my eyes were playing tricks on me.
I thought, of all the things she could have swallowed that would not have alarmed me...
A penny,
old food,
A bug,
anything but a battery.
Where did it come from. This is not somebody's house but Church for Pete's sake. I scanned the floor and saw a second little shiny button battery.
I looked in the garbage can next to us and saw a broken key chain that had a little light where the batteries had come from.
How many batteries were in it to begin with I wondered?
I signaled for Megan to follow me out in the hallway, not wanting to alarm her but not feeling confident that there were only two.
I looked up what to do on my phone while she fiddled with the case to see if it looked like there was only two batteries to begin with.
On Google I punched in...
"baby swallows watch battery"
Thousands of articles came up, but the one that caught my eye first was
"Toddler dies from swallowing watch battery"
No I am not ready that one OR showing it to Megan.
I find the poison control centers advice.
Watch batteries are particularly dangerous because they do not have much protective coating on them to keep the battery acid from leaching. If it is able to pass through to the stomach then usually there is no harm, but if it gets stuck in the esophagus it can be fatal. The child should immediately be x-rayed.
Both of us studied the broken key light.
Were there two batteries or three?
After calling the pediatrician, her mother and father decided that it was not a question that we could leave up to chance.
So I watched as their little family loaded up their car for their first trip to the emergency room with a child.
I hope that it is their last....
Something tells me that with life...we never know.

P.S. Xrays showed no battery. Whew! Katelyn was perfectly fine.
P.S.S. When her Dad was waiting in the ER he told a joke that no one laughed at. I did though when they came home.
He was asked if she had any other symptoms from swallowing the battery and he said,
"No just a little extra energy"
Ba ha ha ha ha ha.
You crack me up Dave!

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