Yesterday morning I, hubby, and Ellie woke up with the sniffles. I knew that Moriah had conquered the start of a sniffle virus earlier in the week, so I looked at the goop in Ellie's left ear and in her nose and exclaimed to Jason: "SHE HAS A VIRUS! HOORAY!"
OK ok. Before you get too confused, let me explain. FPIES is an OVER-reactive immune system condition. Ellie's mondo immune system has caused her quite a bit of grief in her 27 months, but the one thing it does do is knock out any virus or bacteria coming her way with a vengeance. She was 18 months old before she had anything that looked like a virus and it ended up being an ear infection caused from reflux. This is actually pretty darn common with other FPIES kids, and keeps doctors baffled if they are smart enough to recognize the body regulating internal inflammation versus the common cold. So the result of her waking with snot? Celebration! Her immune system was perhaps regulating DOWN and doing what would happen in a normal body.
A couple of hours later I had Ellie laying on the floor to change her diaper when she pointed at her nose and said 'pick'. She had been doing this for at least three days, and I just assumed it was some new toddler fascination. Except this time I saw what looked like a giant red blood bubble in her nose. I panicked internally, tried to stay calm, and took a closer look. Wait....what...the....it looks plastic??
Oh yes. All that nose picking? Due to one lodged red pony bead in left nostril.
So much for the snot and celebration. How long had that been in there? Long enough to cause ear drainage. Oh.my.gosh.
We pinned her down and I tried to get it out, but the snot and the swollen nose and the worry by mommy to do additional harm kept me from getting it out. Sweet. Just how I wanted to spend my Black Friday funds - paying for an emergency room visit. And I also quickly realized that for the first time in my life I viewed the ER as a scarey place that could potential cause more harm than good. What would she be exposed to? What corn could she come into contact with? What if I don't catch it all? I took a deep breath and off we went.
Luckily they did not make us wait long; it appeared we were bumped to the front of the line. After I answered (three times) if she was current on her shots, why not and when were we going to be making an appointment for those, I decided I would begin to carry cards from the Vaccine Information Coalition in my purse for occasions such as these. And then I had to answer 'are there any medical conditions we need to be aware of'. My concern for avoiding corn based adhesives, etc. out weighed my desire to educate this ER staff so I gave a canned explanation and pointed to her medical alert bracelet (thank you Allerbling!)
Short story only getting longer, it was about a 15 second procedure using a crazy instrument someone designed for creative toddlers just like mine. The only problem was the 'water based lubricant' used to insert the instrument, which oddly caused Ellie to burp the remainder of the day. And out we went. No, I didnt save the bead. Though I should have since it was one darn expensive one.