Last week, we had the lovely experience of taking 2 year old Xia to the Ear, Nose & Throat specialist to remove an unidentified wad from her left nostril.
Oh, the joys.
A week prior, I had noticed that one side of her nose was a bit runny, and had developed a sore at the entrance to her nostril. She kept picking at it and saying, “Boo-boo hurts”. After about two days of noticing her nose being a bit drippy, it ocurred to me that something just might be up there! After all, I have fished stickers out of her nose on various occasions.
I laid her down, and using a flashlight, I peeked up in there. I could definitely see something blocking her nasal passage almost entirely… but it just looked like a big booger or something. It definitely wasn’t identifiable. I decided I’d give it a couple of days to see if it would come out. I did try to help it loosen, by administering saline drops into her nose, and sucking it throughout the day with a nasal aspirator (the blue nose bulb thingy).
But by mid-week, it was still there. I expressed my concern to Jerry, “I really thing something is stuck in there!” Suddenly, I felt an urgency to get it out. What if it got infected or something?
I became a little more aggressive with the nasal bulb, sticking it further into her nose to try to retrieve the object. She was so sweet, and just laid on the couch while I worked on her. She even helped me squeeze the bulb a few times. Whatever it was, it was way up there. And it wasn’t budging.
Next, I got a Q-tip, hoping that whatever it was would stick to the cotton swab and pull right out. But I don’t even think I got the Q-tip in far enough to touch it. I was afraid I’d hurt her.
I brought out a pair of tweezers… but was too chicken to attempt it. I definitely didn’t want to push whatever it was any higher, or hurt her in any way. I wanted so badly to just go in and pull it out! But I just couldn’t do the tweezers. If there had been something visible that I could grab a hold of and yank, I would have. But the blockage was completely smooth in her nasal passage, with nothing to grab onto whatsoever.
I hopped online searching for more ideas. And from the stories I read, this is a very common childhood occurrence.
One method suggested was to close the opposite nostril, and gently blow in her mouth (somewhat like CPR). It felt very awkward, but I tried it. And although I did hear the mucus bubbling in the affected side, this method did not blow out the obtrusion like I’d hoped it would. I tried to get her to blow her nose, but she only sniffed instead. Which was cute, and made me laugh, but totally didn’t help.
I had to get it out! I was desperate people. Desperate!
And then, I found this tutorial: Vacuum removal of object stuck in child’s nose.
Oh, yes. Yes I did.
Jerry duct taped a straw to the end of the vacuum nozzle, and we turned that bad boy on with high hopes of sucking the intruder right out! (Now, before you freak out on me, please notice in the directions that you do NOT put the straw into the child’s nose, but just hold the straw as close to the opening of the nostril as you can get without touching skin.)
Unfortunately, our vacuum sucks… or, doesn’t suck… either way, there was no suction whatsoever through that little straw. So, we had not luck with this trick either.
So, the next morning I called her pediatrician. Of course, they freaked out that I had let it stay in there for several days, and wanted to get her in right away. Before I made an appointment, I asked the nurse what kind of equipment they had for removing foreign objects from noses. She told me they have alligator tweezers. I inquired, “Do you have anything to suck it out with? ‘Cause I don’t think you’ll be able to get it with tweezers.” She said that they didn’t have any other tools for extraction… just tweezers. “But if we can’t get it out, we can refer you to an ENT,” she included. I asked her who they recommend, and said that I would call them and see if I can get in without a referral.
Why pay the pediatrician to try to get it out, when I can go straight to an expert?
Sure enough, the Ear Nose & Throat specialists got me in right away. Sweet! Since we were paying out of pocket, we didn’t need a referral.
As I got the kids ready to go, my mind began to flood with “what-ifs”. What if Xia won’t be still when they try to get it out? What if they have to sedate her? What if they can’t get it? What if she’s traumatized for life by this experience?!
I was so worried. Sweet Xia, she had no idea what was about to happen.
Jerry got off of work in time to meet me at the ENT. I was so glad he was there with us. Xia was so sweet. All of the nurses were talking to her, telling her how cute she is… and she just jabbered in her normal incomprehensibly sweet chatter.
The doctor came in fairly quickly. And he was super nice. “Yep. Something’s definitely in there!” he said, as he looked through his lit up magnifying tool thingy. She laid very still as he squirted two puffs of numbing spray into her nose. Then, we were led into another room where there was an operating style table for her to climb up on. I wondered how she would do once they started to go in. And I played with her, trying to make her feel more comfortable.
This child. She wasn’t phased a bit. She was in the best of spirits, laughing and being her usual silly self.
The doctor came back into the room a few minutes later, accompanied by three nurses. Here we go, I thought.
They laid her back onto the table. One nurse held her head, while another held one hand. I held her other hand and reassured her. The third nurse stood behind the doctor, assisting him. The doctor talked to Xia for a minute, and showed her the screen up above where she could see herself on the monitor. There was a camera on the end of the tool he was using, or something.
Then he lowered a big light over her face, preparing to go in. I watched anxiously for her reaction, and was so incredibly proud of her as she just closed her eyes as tight as she could, and didn’t move an inch or make a peep as went into her nose with a long, hooked tool. And in one magnificent in-and-out motion… the blockage was out!
It was out!! I was overjoyed. I thanked him profusely. And the nurses all praised Xia for being such a good girl. I was so proud of her, and so grateful she cooperated under such intimidating circumstances.
We examined the slimy wad and concluded that it was some kind of paper? Maybe? It was hard to tell. But it was a good size, whatever it was!
The doctor made sure that he’d gotten it all out, and that there was no infection, and then gave me the a-okay that all was well.
I can’t tell you how grateful I was to that man. And Xia seemed happy, too. As we were checking out, I looked down at her and noticed that she was inhaling and exhaling through her nose, like, “Hey! I can breathe again!” It was so cute.
And with that, we were done. $125 later… we were back home and happy to have all that over with. And the relief was worth every cent.
Please Lord, let her have learned her lesson!! Good grief. The things they do!