There’s Something In Her Nose… A Trip To The ENT

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 gladĀ  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!

25 thoughts on “There’s Something In Her Nose… A Trip To The ENT”

  1. Wow. I remember when I was a kid, my mother told me a story of some boy who shoved a bean up his nose, it sprouted, and it ended unhappily for him. I must have been brighter than the average kid, because when my mother told me that tragic tale, I remember wondering why any kid would do a dumb thing like that!

    But if you think the bean-up-the-nose tale is bad, my old boss brother-in-law stuck a firecracker IN HIS OWN EAR as a kid. Got his eardrum blown out, but he was already deaf when he did this.

  2. What if it had been an adult male and the wad was a hard bloody scab booger. And about every three days he picked or blew another on . pea sized. Mostly dry and dark ted in color. Please respond

    • I would like to know as well because I blow out quarter sized hard dry substantial scabs as well. If I use a qtip in the morning and clean inside it loosens it up and when I blow I could feel it come out and it makes my body cold. They are massive and have a structure to them. the closest thing it can resemble is a tulip. It’s scary because it’s everyday for me

  3. My little brother stuffed chocolate chips in each nostril and couldn’t get them out. My mom made him sit on a chair in the sun until they melted. Forty years later, I still remember him sitting there, with a stream of tears and chocolatey goo running down his cute little face.

  4. For my 3 yr-old, it was a chunk of ham. I could see it up in her nose, and I had our teenage neighbor hold her down so I could use the tweezers to fish it out. It was no problem for my daughter, but I thought the 15 yr-old was going to pass out!

  5. When I was nursing in a doctors office a young child came in with something lodged up in his nose. It had been in there awhile and he had the worst breath. We went through a similar procedure, but he was not quite as compliant. He had pushed a bean into his nose. It had been in there awhile and it was sprouting roots into his sinuses causing the aweful smell from that boy. Oh yeah, there was an infection to treat. Kids put stuff in crazy places. Lol.

  6. I know this one. My daughter Ceri stuffed a peanut up her nose (shelled) because she saw Dumbo do it. She thought she could eat that way, too. She couldn’t. I was able to just push my thumb down on the side of her nose and push it out.

    I had remembered at the time that it had been at least 2 weeks since the kids had watched Dumbo and peanuts were around! What a laugh!

  7. I feel for you! My now 13 year ols son suck a pebble in hiss ear… Took him to the ER and they had to send us to the ENT to get it out…. Fun times!!!

  8. When my 13 year old was 3, he put a popcorn kernel in his ear (a reason not to give popcorn to little ones?) I was giving him a bath one night and while washing his ear, he started crying. Me: oh, sweetie, do you have an earache? Hudson: it’s probably the popcorn. What?? When I asked him why he put popcorn in his ear, he said “I thought it was a good idea.” It was removed by an ENT in outpatient surgery for a total of $1800.00. That sucker was in there deep! Oh, and it was sprouting, so, we never were sure how long it had been in there. So glad your little one is okay.

  9. Oh my what an ordeal, so happy to hear it went well from start to finish. What a little cutie she is! My brother who is 51 now got one of those little plastic soldier’s (all green) in his notril. He was about 4 or 5 and bit the head until he removed it and for the life of me, don’t know why he put it in his nostril. Maybe for safe keeping… LOL

  10. I’m still waiting for the day one of mine sticks something p their noes…or in their ear. I hear it is common. One of my cousin-in-laws little girls stuck a pomegranate seed up her nose and they had to get the doctor to get it out as well. Luckily our family doctor is cheap, so it didn’t cost them much, and he used a tool that had a little circle on the end. He said it was the best tool for things like that and they didn’t even make it anymore…I’ve thought about finding one of those tools to have myself just in case. haha.

    • That tool sounds like a tool they use to clean old wax out of ears. A stick with a round circle or ring at the end. I would still leave it to the professionals though

  11. My now 4 year old decided one night to snort a lego. Yes, a lego. I remember laying in bed with him trying to get him to go to sleep and he found a small lego and decided to stick it up his nose. I remember him looking at me and saying “I just put something in my nose.” I was like “WHAT?” So I looked and sure enough there was a lego. I loaded up the kids and took off to the ambulance station since my husband was working and they tried to get it out with some forceps but of course it was scratching his nose and he was crying. My husband gave up and we called a local doctor we knew and at 9:00 PM he opened up his office and took my son in and got the lego out free of charge. We were so grateful and luckily if you ask him today if he’ll stick anything up his nose again he tells you “no way!”. lol

  12. Kids…. lol they do the silliest things. My youngest daughter was on a mission in her early years to find every way possible to explore her world and entertain herself. A more stronger willed child there has never been. She has swallowed pennies, stuck her fingers in outlets, shaved and shoved numerous raisins up her nose. The raisin incident was done while we were on a trip and although very cute it was very disturbing getting them out of her. You would think she would have learned from these experiences but sadly she continued. Her curiosity made her a walking disaster with mom and dad following her around everywhere 24/7. My wife and I thought she would never make 5 years old without a few visits to the hospital. One day her brother and sister were swimming in a lake. At two years old she insisted on swimming with them. I got tired of fighting with her and figured letting her find out on her own that a two year old couldn’t swim would teach her a lesson. I let go of her hand and she ran into the water and disappeared. I fished her out and she came up spitting water. That will teach her I thought but no way. She continued to fight to go swimming. I left my family on the beach and took her home.

    She’s eighteen now, head strong but very responsible. The apple of her dad’s eye!

  13. When my now 50-year old brother was eight, he started to have the worst smelling breath. Now, he was born with a cleft lip and palate and by eight he had undergone many surgeries, so when this breath issue came up, mom freaked. Infection? Dead tissue? Not wanting to possibly damage the delicate results of his many surgeries, she went straight to his ENT, who pulled a rotting pencil eraser out of my brother’s nose. This kind that are pointy and push down over the top of the actual eraser that comes on the end of the pencil. He had some postoperative itching and couldn’t get to it, so he had used the pencil to scratch…and then panicked when he pulled the pencil out without the eraser on it…so never said a word. Oh, his last surgery had been almost a year previous. That’s a long time to keep your mouth shut about doing something dumb ! Even if you ARE eight years old.

  14. Why do they do that? We had to go to the ER when my youngest got a piece of feed corn stuck in her nose. And a couple of weeks later, she stuck a pea up her nose at my Granny’s house…luckily, we got her to blow the pea out! LOL

  15. Oh my! There is nothing worse than being worried about your child! Mine are all grown, but of course, we once had our own up the nose experience as well. The two oldest boys were 2 and 3 years old. The oldest, Tito, apparently thought it was a good idea to have Junior put the tiniest piece of a crayon up his nose. When I saw it, like you, I was terrified that I would send it up even more if I tried to remove it. And we went through the various methods as you did. Then I took him to the pediatrician. While we were in the exam room waiting for the doctor, I finally asked, “Junior, why in the world did you stick a crayon up your nose?” And his answer has become a running family joke since, “I said no, but Tito said yes!” All I could picture in my mind was Tito holding him down and Junior saying, no, no and Tito shoving that crayon up his nose yelling, yes, yes! I guess my kids get their imaginations from me… LOL

  16. My oldest brother once got a rubber bullet stuck up his nose! My mom tried to get him to blow it out as well, but it wouldn’t move! The doctor was able to get it out, with no problems!

    Kids are funny – my youngest daughter once put a mini M&M up her nose! I didn’t do anything because I knew it would melt and come out and it did – a lovely shade of blue!

    Glad your daughter is fine and the annoying ‘wad’ gone!


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