Saturday, February 5, 2011

He Wasn't Breathing!

Do you know what to do when your baby chokes?  By the grace of God I asked the pediatrician for a quick review about two weeks ago.

We were enjoying a great dinner with friends. I was sitting next to my Little Guy and he was eating like a champ. I was proud. Moments later, he started to choke. As in not-breathing-in-distress choking. I quickly pulled him out of his chair, flipped him upside down, and after about twenty back thrusts he coughed up a goo filled portion of dinner. He started breathing. We were so very blessed and thankful.  

However, he immediately began struggling again, breathing but stressing.  Keeping his color, but coughing and wheezing heavily with copious amounts of drool and goo coming out of his nose and mouth. (Did you know that excessive drool is a tell tale sign of a blocked/partially blocked airway? We did not).  He would calm down and then start up again every thirty seconds or so.
We began to think it was an allergic reaction as it sounded like his airway was tightening.  We were not overly concerned because he was clearly getting enough oxygen and he didn't seem too bothered.  But the wheezing was a bit disheartening. We headed to Urgent Care. They were concerned about a partially blocked airway, they wanted him in the ER.  The ambulance arrived. The paramedics believed he had aspirated food. We headed to the ER.  My little ten-month-old baby boy was in an ambulance.  But he was okay, he was breathing.  

The ER was a joke. I will spare you the details but after a few breathing treatments the doctor sent us home with "well, he has food in his lungs, he will probably get pneumonia" as our diagnosis.  Um...thanks.  We saw our pediatrician first thing in the morning.  She was very concerned and sent us up to one of the best children's hospitals in the world.  They too were concerned.  And no, they were not going to just sit by and wait for him to get pneumonia. They moved into action. The Pediatric ENT, and Pediatric pulmonologist were called in and our little guy was scheduled to head into the operating room.  
In Pre-Op, we met with the Anesthesiologist and her Resident.  Our nerves were calmed a bit by their patience and obvious care for our son. They gave the Little Guy something in his IV to make the "transition easier" and told us we would see an affect in about 30 seconds.  And in less than thirty seconds the kiddo was slap-happy drunk!  Handing him off to the anesthesiologist was not only the funniest thing I have ever seen (have you seen a "drunk" 10 month old?  It's hard not to laugh) but the hardest thing I have done as a mother.

In what seemed like 20 minutes later, the doctor came out holding a vile which contained the smallest pieces of food.  The doctor looked like he had won the lottery, so proud!  

All was better, resolved, healed.  Forty-five minutes later we were out of post-op and on our way home. So thankful to have a healthy baby boy with us.  So thankful for a wonderful hospital so close by! 

All of this to say.  Please know what to do if your baby chokes.  Please do not take the first doctor's word of advice.  Please thank the Lord for your healthy little's.


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