Yesterday we had our first ER visit. Eliana was sitting quietly on the big, blue beanbag chair in the playroom watching TV. Next thing we know, she is running in to us in the office (note..20 feet away and totally open to view) to say she got a penny caught in her throat. Eventually, she ended up swallowing the darned thing and it got stuck in her esophagus. Thus, trip to ER.
ER arrival time: 11:40 AM
Once in the ER, they did a vitals check to determine that she wasn't dying. About an hour later, we went in for X-rays. They took 2 shots that showed the penny clearly stuck right above the muscle between her esophagus and stomach.
Another hour later, they bring me copies of the x-rays (yep...totally cool!). They tell me that because the penny is stuck, we are being transferred to Kaiser Santa Clara and she will be admitted there. They have a pediatric GI on call who was in San Francisco at that time, but will be traveling down to Santa Clara for her procedure shortly. In the meantime, let's put an IV in! YIKES! Eliana was very brave. They had a student nurse try first (I should have vetoed that!) but he failed and the regular nurse had to put it in her other arm. Poor thing!
Another hour later, we get the transfer orders and the ambulance shows up. Daddy arrives just in time to get to go on the ambulance ride with her. I, not being the chosen one as a result of the IV thing, get to drive myself to the other hospital. It turned out okay though, because I went home for a snack (being my first food of the day) and to feed the baby. Just in case the time is unclear...it's 3 PM now.
By 4PM I got to Ellie's room at the Santa Clara hospital. The doctors had already been in to check on her and order her new x-ray. Around 5:00, the radiologist showed up with his portable x-ray machine and took her picture right there in the hospital room. No traveling this time. The radiologist couldn't print out a copy of the x-ray for me this time, but he let me go with him to his workroom so I could see the x-ray on the computer. That was WAY cool! Oh...and the penny was still stuck in the esophagus where it had been all day.
New orders...call the Pediatric GI and go in with the endoscope and snabber-grabbers and yank that puppy outta there! The doc was on his way so we had to move fast to get her ready for the procedure. He was to arrive in one hour's time. A half hour later, they came in to hook up her IV to a bag and change her into a hospital gown. Another 30 minutes passed and the NURSES from OR came up to wheel her downstairs...apparently there is an orderly shortage there.
It was nearly 7PM when we got downstairs to the OR and met the doc and the anesthesiologist and signed all the papers. The procedure was only about 15 minutes in length, but they had to wheel her in, hook her up, knock her out, prep, proceed, un-hook, wheel her back, etc. All in all, it took about an hour before the doc came out with pictures of the penny in her chest.
I left the hospital with the pictures at 8PM to go home and feed the baby, say goodnight to Jayden and tuck him in, and change my clothes. I was preparing to spend the night there. I got back to the hospital at 9:30 and Dave called to say they were sending her home! When I got back upstairs, I found out she could go home only after she had eaten. She was sound asleep. Fortunately, the nurse dared to take the tape off her arm. She woke up! I prompted her with juice and jello. She was eager. She drank, drank, and ate. Then they brought her a meal I wouldn't eat, and she nibbled. They said "She needs to eat a bit more." Dave ate it. :)
At 11:55PM, we checked out and went home. PHEW! That was a long day!