...or at least we thought she did.
The kids were sitting on the couch on Friday when suddenly Alex and Olivia ran into the kitchen to tell me Gracie had swallowed a battery. Eric and I ran over there and saw that she had taken apart a light-up necklace and one of the button batteries was missing. We asked her if she ate it and she said yes. We did a quick preliminary search of the area and the button was no where to be found.
Eric and I weren't sure what to do. She obviously wasn't choking. It was just a small button battery that could easily be swallowed whole without incident. But there's also the fact that it was a battery.
I did a quick google search and saw immediately that this could be a very dangerous situation. In fact, it is such a serious event that there is actually a hotline set up just for this emergency.
The National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline is a division of Poison Control. This is a 24/7 hotline that can be reached at 202-625-3333. If you or your child accidentally swallows a button battery, you should call this number immediately.
When I called and explained the situation, we were told to take Gracie to the ER right away so that she could have an x-ray. If the battery had already passed into her stomach, then we would just wait for it pass. However, the emergency in this situation is that sometimes those small batteries can get caught in the esophagus. A button battery stuck in the esophagus can "leak or the electrical current passing through adjacent tissue can generate alkali." This can cause severe burning and can lead to death in worst case scenarios. This damage can occur in as little as two hours also, that's why immediate action is so imperative. Check out their website for all the facts and procedures.
So as soon as I got off the phone, we decided that Eric would take Gracie to the ER. I am not the best in stressful medical situations with the kids. Oh, I can do it when I have to, but since Eric was available, it just made sense for him to go.
The other kids and I continued to search every conceivable place we could think of in an effort to find that battery. But it was no where to be found. We sat down and said a prayer and I eased the kids fears.
Then I needed my own fears eased, or at least a sympathetic ear. I knew I couldn't call Eric. My sister wasn't answering her phone. My mom and dad were out of town and I didn't want to worry them, especially if there was nothing to worry about. So I did the next best thing. I hopped on twitter and tweeted the situation. Within seconds, I was receiving replies of concern and prayers. I even received some helpful advice.
Eric texted me the progress when he was able to. And then I got this text: "No battery. I'll call when we leave."
That's right. The x-ray did not show any battery! I think I breathed about a thousand sighs of relief and said a thousand prayers of thankfulness.
There are so many things to be thankful for here!
- I am thankful Gracie is okay. I am thankful she did not swallow a battery. And I'm also thankful that even she had, she was in good hands.
- I am thankful for Isabelle, Alex and Olivia who helped me search for that button as we worried together.
- I am thankful that Eric is my rock and support and that he knows me so well. I'm also exceedingly thankful that he loves our kids with a fiery passion only a dad is capable of, and which grants him the ability to sing the theme song from Dora The Explorer for an hour straight with a two year old in an emergency room.
- I am thankful for the knowledgeable and compassionate folks at The National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline.
- I am thankful for Gracie's ER doctor who happily showed her her bones and heart in her x-rays. And for the nurses, who lavished her with an inordinate number of Dora stickers.
- I am thankful for all my friends on twitter and the immediate human connection I found when I needed it.
Stop by Heavenly Homemakers for more Gratituesday and 5 Minutes For Mom for more Tackle It Tuesday.