The pediatrician's office said not to worry, that it was no biggie since his breathing was fine. A little while later I saw more sweet and sad Christopher tears as he pointed to his chest and said, "Mama, I can feeeeeeel it. It is right here and it hurts."
Off to the pediatrician's. Then off to x-ray. Yup - there it was.
And two hours later another x-ray. And five hours later another chest x-ray, this time at the ER in a bigger city with a pediatric GI. It sure was stuck. No doubt about it, Christopher's coin was lodged right at the sphincter between his esophagus and stomach. So we hung out awhile in the overflowing ER while first year residents took photos of his x-ray with their cell phones and mentally unstable patients taught Christopher a few new words and doctors made casts in the hallway in a bucket because there was no room in the inn.
We got parked on a stretcher in the hall, the four of us, and I counted that as lucky. So much for HIPA. We all knew each other's woes and causes and names and ages.
Christopher looked at me calmly and said, "Mom, are they gonna cut me open?"
"Oh, no, honey!" I exclaimed, wrapping my arms around his cute little four year old self trying to be brave.
"Well, that's good," he said, " 'cause if they cut through me, then they have to cut through God too."
He looked up at me with a twinkle in his eye.
"Why's that?" I asked.
"Cause He's in me, Mom..." in that cute, frustrated, "duhhhhh" voice.
Me: "You asked Him to be in you?"
"Uh, yes...." with silly raised eyebrows and in that same "adorable, pinch my round cheeks because I am four" tone.
We waited and waited, caught up with a high school classmate halfway through his pediatric residency, then waited some more before finding out Christopher would be admitted and surgery would be first thing in the morning.
"Because the coin was stuck so far down", one giddy first year resident told us, "they can't use the rigid pipe and ram it down his throat to get it". I kid not. Those were his words. They need to teach tact along with A&P, I recommend.
I bundled up Chase and kissed my two men staying behind. We prayed.
Yes, we look pretty scary at 1 am in the ER, but Sean looks scarier. I told him if I ran into him in the parking garage with his hunting scruff, I'd be scared. I love him and the hunting scruff has gotten two deer already so we're good.
I am sure that our red eyes, his scruff, the fact that we home school, have no insurance, and selectively vaccinate had nothing to do with the few raised eyebrows we got. "At least', I told Sean, "I'm devoid of the dreadful homeschooling denim jumper."
I sing when I'm nervous and hate dark parking garages so I sang my way to the van, mentally calculating how much everything would cost, glad we have savings, frustrated that the coin was stuck, frustrated that we'd have to cancel a long standing, difficult to reschedule appointment with Christopher's pediatric urologist in Albany the next day, trying to figure out childcare for kiddos during the upcoming surgery....
As I pulled out, I glanced at the vehicle next to me and screeched to a halt, grabbing my camera:
I'll take a sign however God sends it.
After three hours of sleep, my Mom came over to kid sit and my cell phone rang. "It's gone, mommy!!"
One last x-ray showed that finally the coin had gotten through!
We praise God because all through the whole ordeal Christopher was a gem. Normally terrified of blood and pain and anything outside his normal, he sat still and watched as the nurse gave him an IV, laid still for all the x-rays, kept his hospital bracelet on, and let me leave without panicking. This morning as the IV was taken out, he sat calmly, telling the nurse how to do it right.
I picked up my men at the hospital and we headed to Albany for Christopher's ultrasound and urology appointment.
Christopher's last ultrasound in April wasn't so good. My stomach started fluttering again during the long drive, wondering what more the day's ultrasound would show of his kidney damage and what his urologist would recommend and all these hopes for no more painful procedures that we have for Christopher. Seriously, there isn't too much worse than a scared child in pain, especially when the child is yours and there is nothing you can do about it.
I brought my camera, thinking I would ask to take a photo of Christopher and his urologist for the scrapbook, seeing as how we've known him and he's been steadily involved and such a blessing to Christopher's care for the last four years.
But that photo will have to wait until Christopher is six or seven years old! I forgot the camera in the van and Christopher doesn't have to go back for two or three years!!!!
His urologist said, "I don't know what you have been doing, but keep it up! His kidneys actually look better this time around!"
He kept commenting on how our son has been such a rough case and worrisome and how amazed he is at the look of things. Christopher still has one cruddy right kidney and one fairly good left one but they are chugging along doing their stuff. I love it when doctors are happy/amazed.
Absolutely exhausted physically and mentally and blissfully happy, we drove to buy Christopher his promised playmobil and head home.
I thought about the last two days and my lack of faith and how so many times we let our peace be conditional on the circumstances around us instead of the faithfulness of the One in us. This is a subject God has been working me through these last six months, remembering that my peace comes from the within and not from the out.
Sometimes in life we also just need the faith and support of others to help get us through a rough patch. Friends and family all over were praying and we love your prayers. Love em, love em... We love all the calls for support and help that we got. You all are really too nice. I even came home to clean laundry.
Sorry this is rambly and long, I'm still working on those meager three hours of sleep. Off to bed now and the happy spot for my head on my pillow.