Last Wednesday Christine phoned me at work to say that Emma had put a Rice Krispie up her nose. Apparently Christine had come downstairs and Emma had said that this was what she had done. When asked to remove it, she’d pushed it up further with her finger. When asked to blow her nose, she’d then sniffed instead. Given the cold she had at the time I assumed it would just find its own way back out in the general flow of things! However, when Emma took 4 hours to go to sleep that night and was complaining of earache we decided to phone the surgery the following morning. They said they didn’t go poking around up noses but that we should go to casualty and so the saga began…
After a couple of hours in casaulty we were finally seen by a heavily accented doctor who shined a bright light up Emma’s nose and declared that he couldn’t see anything and that we’d need to come back the following day for the ENT clinic. Emma was quite disappointed to leave having enjoyed playing with their toys and gained a good selection of stickers from the doctor.
I took Emma back to the hospital at the appointed time on Friday. This time we just had to wait for them to find a room in which we could see the consultant and three junior doctors. Once again, they shone a light up Emma’s nose and declared that they couldn’t see it. If Emma had been a bit older they would have explored further there and then but they didn’t think (and were probably right) that she’d be happy with them poking round. The consultant seemed to think that, although the offending Krispie would either go over the top and down her throat or simply disintegrate, in the latter case, the remains might cause infections for a while to come. The only option was therefore for them to put Emma under a general anaesthetic and for that, we would have to wait for the next children’s list on Tuesday.
A letter duly arrived saying Emma had to be at the hospital for 7:30am for the ‘morning list’ having had nothing to eat since the previous evening. Thankfully when we phoned to confirm we were told that the operations were ordered by increasing age so Emma would get to go first. Once again, it was my job to escort Emma whilst Christine stayed at home with Duncan. Emma was very obliging during check-in, stopping her playing with yet another new set of toys whilst there was more looking up noses, measurement taking and application of creams. At one point I thought we were going to be sent away again as they normally delay operations if the child has a cold but the consultant decided we would go ahead.
We didn’t have long to wait after Emma was gowned up before it was time to carry her to theatre. This was the first point at which Emma got upset – whilst the anaesthetist attempted to peel the sticky covers off the cream on the back of Emma’s hand! The cannular was inserted without much fuss and I returned to the ward leaving behind a limp Emma.
By half nine I was called back to theatre as Emma was coming round. They had given her nose a good cleanout but hadn’t found anything that you wouldn’t expect to find up there. So, we’ll never know what had happend to that Rice Krispie. Emma recovered very quickly and was soon tucking in to a couple of rounds of toast (what else would come after cereal?!). Another moment of anguish whilst they removed more sticky plasters and then more when it was time to go and we hadn’t finished playing with the stickle bricks! Emma wanted to know whether we could come back tomorrow so I think it’s safe to say she hasn’t been greatly traumatised by the experience. Let’s just hope it is enough of a lesson to prevent her putting anything else smaller than her finger up her nose!