The Bead

Yesterday, Leah and Liam sat down and made a bead-phone with this bead-art craft kit we have (you stick little rubberized beads on a mat with little posts in a pattern, then iron the beads so that they melt together and stick, so you can then remove the art). Liam took his newly made phone into his room when it was naptime, and Leah continued on with her day.

A short while later, she heard Liam at the top of the stairs, crying. Coming upstairs to see what was up, he held up the phone, one corner-bead missing, and sobbed “the bead came off so I put it up my nose”.  So, stifling a laugh as best she could, she tried to comfort him while seeing if it could not be removed quickly. Realizing it couldn’t be quickly removed, and trying to console Liam, she called me. We decided to take him to Children’s Hospital emergency to see what they could do.

I left work and met them there, and then of course we waited for an hour or so. It didn’t appear that the bead was bothering Liam, who quite happily watched a movie on my phone, and played in the waiting room until we were called. Finally, we went in, and a nurse had a look up his nose to see the bead, which was apparently quite a ways up there.

Deciding that suction wouldn’t work, they first tried to have Leah blow it out, by essentially doing a variation of mouth-to-mouth. So Liam lay down on the bed, and they wrapped a sheet tightly around him to try and immobilize him. While I l held his legs down, and a nurse tried to hold his head steady, Leah gave a short, quick, hard breath into Liam’s mouth, which should, in theory, dislodge the bead, which it did not.

The next attempt was to use tweezers, but to do this a new nurse had to be brought in, who was stronger, as Liam was (understandably) really upset and squirming. The tweezers did NOT go well at all. They made 3 attempts, which had the end result of no rescued bead and an increasingly inconsolable Liam. He was crying so much that Leah had to step out of the room because it was too upsetting. He looked terrified, and while the doctors & nurses conferred on a next step, I tried, somewhat futilely, to console him. I asked him what he’d like to have as a treat after they got the bead out (a brownie) and told him to think hard about  a brownie, not what they were doing to him.

The final technique was to use a catheter to inflate a balloon behind the bead up his nose and pull it out that way. To do this they had to tip the table back more, so his head was pointing down to the ground. This time, with Leah helping hold him steady, and me holding his legs down with one arm while he was squeezing the fingers of my other hand, the doctor successfully introduce the catheter up his nose, inflated the balloon and pop! out came the bead. Success! So we gave him hugs, and I think every single person in the room asked him if he would put anything up his nose again (his sobbing answer, “no”), and then we left, headed out to get him a brownie.