We have had quite the adventure over the last couple of days.
First, the back story:
Ever since Chase was a newborn he has always had raspy, wheezy breathing. I had asked my parents and his Dr about it but of course he wouldn't be doing it at the time they were looking at him. So we were told he may just grow out of it. He did stop the wheezing between 8 or 9 months old or so.
Then he got a little sick around when he turned a year old
and ever since then he has had this gurgley breathing. It sounded like he had mucus in his throat and was just too young to know how to cough up. At first it was not all the time, it did not bother him, he was still happy, played and ate well. So we didn't think much of it.
I was trying to figure out a pattern on when it would happen to see what may be causing it. If he was aspirating food or drink, if he had asthma, if he had any food or seasonal allergies.... But I could never figure out a pattern.
Over the last month or so he had developed a little cough that wouldn't go away. About 2 or 3 weeks ago the cough started to get worse. When we went to NC last week everything got much worse. I don't know if it was just a coincidence or if it was the elevation or humidity. But the gurgley breathing was all the time, not just sometimes. His hacking cough got so bad sometimes he couldn't catch his breath between coughing attacks. He was just not happy either and was not wanting to eat much. So we knew that whatever was going on with him was definitely starting to bother him.
Dad and Gwen were finally able to see what I had been
talking about and they both checked him out. Dad was thinking a possible dairy allergy or sinus infection. Gwen was thinking a foreign body in his throat. So I called and made appointments with his Dr and the ENT to get him checked out as soon as we got back to Utah.
He got a little better as soon as we got back to Utah and was doing well on Sunday, but then on Monday he got much worse. So Tuesday morning I called the Dr to see if I could bump up his appointment to that day and not when it was originally scheduled for Wednesday.
Luckily we were able to get in. The Dr tried two different
breathing treatments with no improvement so we were then sent to Riverton Hospital to get a chest x-ray. After the first x-ray picture was taken and it popped up on the screen we all knew what was going on. There was very obviously a coin or something like it tuck in his esophagus! They took another image from the side and you could see it was in his esophagus with a lot of swelling around it, so it was starting to cut off his trachea. That explained why his breathing had slowly gotten worse.
We were immediately sent to Primary Children's
ER (since the Dr couldn't get us checked straight into the OR). Everyone that I spoke to were very surprised to hear that the coin could have been in there for possibly 4 months since that is when the gurgley breathing started. But they understood after I explained that his breathing has always been weird, so it was kind of normal to us. Somewhere around this time both my dad and Gwen showed up when I wasn't even expecting them! It was so nice to have them there so I wasn't alone. I had told Kollin not to leave work until we knew what he plan was. The ENT's came in and said after measuring the coin on the x-ray that it was a quarter!
The ENT's started going over with me what they were going to do to get this out of him. They wanted to do exactly what I was expecting them to do and that was to sedate him and scope it out. They would put a tube down his throat and send a small camera with pinchers at the end down the tube and grab the coin. Very straight forward. The only issue was the amount of swelling that was around it, and how much damage that would cause taking it out. At first they were planning on doing the surgery as soon as he had been NPO (no food or drink) for 6 hours so they could safely sedate him, which was only a few more hours away. And then we could most likely go home the same day!
While we were waiting they came back and said the ENT that was going to do the surgery had an idea that could make things easier. He wanted to give him some doses of steroids to try to make some of the swelling go down and make it easier to get the coin out. Which meant we now had to stay overnight while they did he steroid treatments and surgery would be in the morning. So it was an amazing idea, but just wasn't fun to think we had to stay the night.
We were moved to the RTU (Rapid Treatment Unit) and settled in for the night. Since surgery was now not until tomorrow we were given the OK to feed him. But that didn't last long because he was so upset while the nurses were getting hi settled he threw up everywhere. So the decided to keep him NPO to stay on the safe side. He was such a sad little guy.
Kollin and Tanner were finally able to come up and see us. Chase snuggled
right into Kollin when he saw him (I think he was mad at me for not being able to save him from everything going on). He was worn out and tired he started to fall asleep. So I took Tanner for walk and when we got back Chase was completely out. Tanner was really sad when he had to leave Chase and me and go home. But I told him he could have a sleepover in Mommy and Daddy's bed with Daddy and that he was going to play with Cooper tomorrow. So that cheered him up. Chase slept for couple hours but woke up after my dad gave him a blessing. He is such a light sleeper that just feeling my dad's fingertips on his head stirred him enough to wake up.
I eventually got him back to sleep and he only woke up one other time during the night. It was nice that he was able to get some sleep although I didn't sleep that great.
Bright and early in the morning (about 6:15) the ENT team came in to tell me what time surgery was going to be (7:30 or 8) and what they've decided to do. They were still planning to do the scope, but the Dr wanted to check hi trachea as well to see if there was any damage because of the swelling.
As soon as they left I called Kollin and told him to get
going to get Tanner dropped off and up to the hospital since the surgery was going to be so soon. We didn't have to wait long until they came to get Chase ready to go to the OR. The next thing I knew we were being walked to the OR. We went into a waiting room and I spoke with the anesthesiologist and Dr Meier, who was the ENT doing the surgery. I had met him before when Tanner liked to put things up his nose, so it was nice to be familiar with him already.
They went over the surgery and the risks and then
it was time to had Chase to the anesthesiologist. Kollin still hadn't made it yet, so I was all alone when this happened. I was so worried my PTSD from Tanner would kick in and I would make Chase more scared, but I was very happy that I didn't.
As they walked away, with Chase screaming and crying
for me of course, I went to check into the waiting room then went find Kollin downstairs. We went outside for a minute and headed back up to the waiting room. As we were walking down the hall Dr Meir was already in the waiting room looking for us! The surgery was done and everything went smoothly. He said there was some irritation, but hardly any damage so recovery shouldn't be too difficult. Then he gave us the cup the coin was in, and it was just a PENNY! We couldn't believe it.
Then we went back into the waiting room
to wait for them to tell us when we could see Chase. A while later we were taken to the recovery unit and finally got to see him. He was till out cold and was taking a while to wake up. Which was expected, because Kollin and Tanner take a long time to wake up from anesthesia.
Once he was awake we went back to our room
to recover more and work on feeding him so we could be discharged. We were given a popsicle and jello. He loved the popsicle and he almost finished the entire thing. He also kept trying to get to our breakfast which was bacon, eggs and biscuits and gravy. We knew it was the bacon he wanted, but couldn't give it to him because he is now on a soft diet for a week or so. He was mad.
When the nurse came in to check on him she was
surprised to see him walking around and being completely awake. Since he was doing we she rushed the discharge papers and we were out there!
We aew now home and a day later and he is doing great. He's a little clingier than usual, but not bad at all. They best thing so far is that he is wanting to eat! He has finished anything I have fed him today when he has only eaten maybe half of things for the past while. So happy and excited to have my happy, hopefully not as high maintenance boy back!