On Tuesday afternoon I got Elizabeth up from her nap. I had opened a package of pistachios which Gabriel and Abby had been enjoying. I sat down with Elizabeth and started shelling and hulling the nuts for her to eat. She then started coughing like she was choking on the nuts. I swept she mouth and she spit out the rest. I gave her some water to drink. She drank but all the while she continued to cough. She coughed for a good 20 minutes when I decided to head next door to get a neighbor's opinion on wether I should take her to the ER. After another 20 minutes of fairly steady coughing I took her to the ER. After 1 hour of waiting a nurse practioner looked her over, said she was fine, and that the nuts just irritated her throat. They sent me home.
The next day I was still feeling a little foolish having gone to the ER but at the same time felt it had to be more than just irritation that caused all the coughing. I met Matt for lunch with the kids. During lunch Elizabeth was not acting herself. She didn't eat, would barely drink and was falling asleep at the table. I took her home and put her down for a nap. An hour later I got her up because she was fussy. I noticed two things at this time she had a fever, 103 degrees, and was taking fast, short breaths, kinda like when you are winded after running. I called the doctor's office and got an appointment a few minutes later. When the doctor listened to her and heard the history of the night before he suspected that a piece of pistachio was in her lungs. He then ordered a STAT X-ray at Columbus Regional Hopsital. We got our x-rays and then received a call from the doctor's office telling us to go home the doctor would call us soon. Unfortunately, we thought it would be safe to feed Elizabeth at this point. We were eating when we received another call telling us that there was an obstruction in her left lung and that we were to take her to Riley Hospital. At that point I packed what I thought I might need and headed north. Once we arrived at Riley and got check in I found out the mistake in giving her anything to eat. We had to wait until at least midnight until they could do the surgery. I the mean time her vitals were dropping. By the time they took her her oxygen saturation was at 88% and her pulse was up in the 17o's range. The term for the procedure they were doing was broncloxopy with foreign body removal. When the doctor came to talk to me after the surgery she said that the piece was located in the lower left lobe of her left lung. She handed me a container holding the piece and said it was as big as the tube in which it was stuck. I was also told that there was fluid built up behind the blockage which they suctioned out but would be concerned of pneumonia developing. They went ahead and admitted her at 3:00 a.m. because she was running a fever and high vitals.
Today we were finally sent home around 3:30. Elizabeth was so ready to go she picked up my purse, headed for the door and said "Go Home, Now." She waited long enough to get our paper work and directions and then we left. Elizabeth fell asleep in the car and slept the entire ride back home.
So there is Elizabeth's story. And btw, this was our first trip to the emergency room for any of our kids. I hope and pray that we don't have to do anything like this again.