10 October, 2008

When a Parent Feels Helpless

My daughter swallowed a rock, a magnet rock.  I am not sure why a nearly 9 year old swallowed a rock, but that is what she did. 
She ran downstairs to tell me what happened, and I picked up the phone to call her doctor's office.  The rock part didn't bother me much; the magnet part did. 
Within an hour we were dressed and heading for the emergency room.  We were chatting and nervous, and the favorite stuffed dog was in tow.  I didn't know if we would be there for a moment or a day.  I didn't know if we would be just one of many seeking assistance.  But I knew that I had to keep the Diva calm and at ease. 
A calm emergency room was a welcome site.  Within 15 minutes we were checked in.  She was asked to tell her story.  "Are you sure you swallowed just one magnet?"
"Yes," she answered with conviction.  But we had the check; she had to have an ex-ray; we had to know where the magnet was, that there was just one, and that it had not caused problems. 
The bright lights turned her hair from dark blond to golden as she lay on the bed.  The sheets looking all the whiter given her vivaciousness and her enthusiasm for the adventure at hand.  Her curiosity was stronger than any anxiety.
"DO you want to ride to the ex-ray room?"
"No, I will walk.  I walk at least 2 miles a day."  And off she went.  
I breathed deeply, holding tightly to her stuffed and well loved dog.  The momentary silence wrapped itself around me.  I bent over to ease the nauseous feeling in my stomach and the lightness creeping into my head.  No longer required to be strong, I clung to my Diva's special friend as the rush of adrenaline left my body.  There is nothing like a hospital with its clinical atmosphere and harsh lighting to leave a parent feeling helpless.  I wanted, at that moment, a hand to hold or a shoulder to rest against.
She returned.  "They only saw one!"  
"Good, where's your sweatshirt?"
And she took off for the door.  No longer scared of the hospital, my little Diva was ready to do it herself.  She finally had the excuse to explore; to move!
I sent her back to the bed and asked a nurse to get it for her.  
Within the next 20 minutes we had been ushered to the ex-ray room to see her stomach and intestines.  The magnet had, to everyone's surprise and delight, already moved into the intestine.  
Then we had our papers and were out the door.  
We were gone 2 hours; just two hours!!  From the moment we left to our happy return, only, two hours had passed.  Yet for me, it seemed like days.  I felt the after effects long into the following day.  I slept heavily that night knowing that my Diva, my little shanachie was okay and would be okay.  Yet, the feeling of helplessness and the desire for that strong hand and warm touch lingers.  I was never alone throughout this situation, but that desire for touch was felt all the same.   


T said...

Whew girl! I could hear your apprehension in this post. You had me freaking out a little. Aren't you thankful that they see it all as an adventure in their naivete? Ah.. if only we could see it that way.

Glad to hear that you're both ok!

Mike said...

And you didn't stick her to the refrigerator to see if she stuck. What kind of mother are you?

Happy to hear all is well.

cathouse teri said...

So the doggie was there for you! :)

Anyway, do we get to hear the story of how she managed to swallow a rock?

Recently, I accidentally swallowed six benadryl. Yeah... SIX! At once! People would ask, "How did you accidentally do that?????"

harassedmomsramblings said...

Gosh how frightening!

My daughter is prone to getting things stuck in her nose, in her ears - so I know exactly that feeling of entrusting your kiddy to someone else!!

dadshouse said...

Scary stuff! Though, now that she's okay, I am suddenly imagining her browsing at the jewelry counter, and coming home with expensive earrings magically stuck to her belly :-)

Hope she's all better!

The Exception said...

It is an experience that lingers throughout the week - her irritable and me in tears this morning. Crazy right, I mean, she was and is totally okay!! We just haven't had time to relax and be still. I haven't had time to come to terms with the idea that something happened and, although I handled it without her ever realizing I was stressed (consciously that is) I was very stressed and, well, I didn't like doing it alone; having to handle it all on my own.

As for the story - she likes to suck on things... and this smooth, small rock (naturally magnetic from the southwest) seemed like something to suck on. She was reading and down the rock went. The things kids do...

She is totally and completely fine!! I think we both need some time to do nothing but, outside of that, health wise, she is great!

mama llama said...

I was waiting to hear this story...I'm so glad all turned out well.

Be well, TE...and Diva.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

So glad to hear everything is fine now. Kids are magical at aging us beyond our years!

single mom seeking said...

Can I just add what an amazing mama you are?

You are.

KennethSF said...

Aww, if the incident weren't too alarming, I might tell you Diva is just trying to furnish solid proof of her magnetic personality.

Perhaps, under similar circumstances, if the reassuring hand of a significant other is not available, a friend's hand might prove just as comforting.

Scotty said...

Ack! Glad to hear everything is ok..

I am wondering if she's looking for it.

Aaron said...

Are you gonna punish her by making her sift her poop to make sure it passes? :O

The Exception said...

She is an amazing kid - which leaves me looking like a great parent!

Kenneth - She has a magnetic personality... and she knows now that it stands alone without requiring proof or help!

Scotty and Aaron - she did keep an eye out but we fear she missed it (we wanted to make sure it left her system but no... she didn't sift through anything) ;)