Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eveready Lied

It quickly became a story to tell around every campfire. We were camping out west of Leavenworth, Kansas, last December when the scoutmaster’s cell phone rang. In the age of cell phones, no scouting dad who leaves his phone turned on escapes the weekend without taking at least one call. The amount of calls that some dads receive is ridiculous. I avoided that hassle by leaving my cell phone turned off and in the car. It remained that way until the scoutmaster’s phone rang early on a Sunday morning. We heard him mumble “okay” a few times, and then he leaned over my chair and quietly said, “Your wife says ‘turn on your cell phone and call her’.” Captain Chaos was sick and the Boss wanted my help. Apparently the expression on my face was a picture worth a thousand words, and on this weekend’s campout that picture was shared with more than a few newbie dad campers. Everyone had a good laugh.


Yesterday, while I was camping with the boy scouts at the annual Klondike Derby, Captain Chaos swallowed a battery. She didn’t swallow just any battery. She swallowed an Energizer CR2032 wafer battery. When The Boss called me on the campout and told me what had happened, I assured her not to worry. It was an Energizer. It would keep going and going and going and eventually come out the other end. That did nothing to assure The Boss, so I suggested that she call the poison control center. They suggested x-rays to make certain that battery had cleared the girl’s esophagus, and then became the most intrusive public service that you can imagine, demanding the name and number of our doctor, the hospital we would be taking the girl to, the name of emergency room physician, and a copy of his financial portfolio. They actually called back to our house at least once while The Boss was running around trying to get the Major and the girl ready to go. She assured the gentleman that she had the situation under control. He persisted. His rational was that the hospital would eventually be calling him for advice, so he would just call ahead. After a bit of arguing, she finally explained to him in a rather exasperated voice that since she cared for our daughter during a heart condition and a stroke she thought she could handle a swallowed battery.

He said, “Oh.”

Now, the advice that he gave was good advice, and somehow the emergency room doctor at our local hospital managed to access the situation without needing to call poison control. Go figure. X-rays showed that the battery had indeed become stuck in the Captain’s esophagus, and since the girl who thoroughly enjoyed all of the attention lavished upon her by the nursing staff of our local hospital had once had a fundoplication, the chances of the battery actually passing into her stomach were fairly slim. Her case was transferred to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, with a CMH doctor-ordered ambulance ride for the girl and her mother. I had, by this time, arrived un-showered from the campout dressed in only the finest smokey camp attire, to deliver the insurance card for the girl and take charge of the Major. The ambulance driver went to the wrong hospital, doubling the driving time of a trip that The Boss could have legally made in 45 minutes had they allowed us to drive ourselves. Their concern for the Captain possibly having the pesky battery block her airway dictated the need to have a trained EMT along for the ride. There was room for him in our car.

Sometime after midnight, the Captain went into an operating room for a short procedure to remove the battery. She’s resting comfortably, out of danger, while the Boss sleeps on a couch in the corner of the room. The doctors want to perform a test to make sure that the girl’s esophagus wasn’t perforated. That will be today or tomorrow. I am about to rouse the Major for a very early return to the campsite to gather my gear, to help the troop pack, and return to town. After the BIG GAME, the game that the Boss wants to watch at the hospital so as to not be disturbed (like the girl will let that happen!) I will drive down to relieve her and spend the night with the girl.

The last thing I heard one of the scout dads say as I left the campsite yesterday was a cheeky, “Aren’t you glad you left your cell phone on?!” He was teasing.

And so life goes on, just one more blog post away from sanity…

10 comments:

Pippi said...

He. Hehehehee. Since the Captain seems to be in the clear, I can afford to laugh at this one, right? :) Best wishes for her recovery and yours. No doubt you and the Boss will need to catch up on sleep this week.....

Michelle said...

Praying that the Captain will not have any damagae done!! Poor thing!! And of course, the poor parents right? Hopefully, the both of you can get some rest in the comfy hospital chair! Take care!

Linda said...

Saw the title of this post. Hadn't read it yet. THEN saw Melissa's FB post. Everything suddently became very clear. Oh. My. Goodness. Never a dull moment in Bedlam.

Look at the bright side, this will give Melissa something to distract her from the Packer loss this afternoon.

GingerB said...

My goodness, Apathy sounds a very exciting place this weekend. At the beginning of your story I thought it would end with poop checks to find the item, as it did for my mother when I'd swallowed a penny. I have a friend who used to have a dog that repeatedly ate her hearing aids. Being a devoted animal lover, she was always more worried about the battery in the dog's innards than the $1000 replacement cost per device, but apparently dogs have a fast moving digestive system and she could never dissolve the battery casing in time to suffer injury. Hey look, our discourse devolved to poop again! I'll be thinking of the Captain this weekend, and of the Boss, who I imagine is rather tired. I can find the children's hospital to be anything but helpful in easing my mind. This week, when I refilled a prescription for carnitine for my 2 1/2 year old daughter, it came with a sticker warning her to consult a doctor before breastfeeding. I have warned all her "babies" not to nurse. Yeah, it makes sense to me too.

Brownie said...

wow. That poison control guy thought he was far more important in the medical scheme of things than he actually was.

Hope things come out alright. I must confess that my heart gave a jolt when I saw that your dd was in the hospital. I had to quick read your blog to see what happened.

Pamela said...

Jack aspirated a piece of wicker Easter basket when he was 8 months old, and we had the same trip to the ER and bus ride and specialists and everything. So scary. Glad your girl's alright.

Oklahoma Granny said...

So glad the Captain is alright.

Marlis said...

Goodness, I am glad Captain is alright! I had to babysit two of my neighbor's kids one day when her middle child swallowed a quarter. They found the quarter lodged in a precarious position which could have been very scary if it had moved. Kids just do the darndest things.

Kathleen said...

OK...so I was a little lost on FB but said a prayer anyway. Now finally time to check Blogger. So glad to hear she is OK, and will pray for her recovery and that there will be no problems with her esophagus as a result. And for you and the Boss too...thinkin' you need a little extra strength and peace from above right about now!

The_Kid said...

Geez, the 2032 is a big one. I just bought one of those for my garage door opener...
Glad she's doing well.