Friday, November 10, 2006

Up yer nose with a rubber hose

I thought we were past this phase...

We were all driving home last night around 9:00 from dinner at a friend's house when Becky suddenly started crying in the back seat. The reason? "I have a bead up my nose!" she wailed. We were about five minutes from home and she wasn't having any trouble breathing, so I tried to convince her not to sniff (no dice). Once we got home I took her upstairs while Bern got the flashlight and I got the Tweezers of Futility. I had a look and I could see something sparkling WA-A-A-AY up there. No way were metal instruments going that far. We called the doctor, who told us to try a home remedy that usually works -- holding the unobstructed nostril closed and giving her a strong puff of air mouth-to-mouth. Also no dice.

So off we went to our health plan's Urgent Care clinic, thankfully (I say that because the alternative would have been the hospital ER, and since she wasn't spouting arterial blood, we would have been seen after five hours if it was a quiet night). The harassed-looking physician assistant didn't seem too optimistic about the chances of getting the bead out without resorting to anesthesia and other unpleasant measures, but the super-nice doctor gave it a shot after having me again try the mouth-to-mouth thing -- after which he commented that this was the first time in his career that the technique hadn't worked. He tried on plastic-tipped Bead-Removing Instrument with no luck. But hallelujah -- the second attempt with Heavy-Duty Bead-Removing Instrument caused the bead to pop into my lap. From peering up her nose, I had thought the bead was about the size of a sequin, but no -- it was about the size of the tip of my pinky. Good old Becky. She never does anything halfway.

The only consequence today was a couple of tiny blood spots on Blanket Bear (the result of a minor nosebleed after the beadectomy) and a swell item for show=and-tell: a chicken that the doctor made from an inflated surgical glove and ballpoint pen. I put the bead in my pocket and am now on a mission to find one of those kits where you can make clear acrylic paperweights with things frozen inside for eternity like amber. Or maybe I'll wait until she loses her first tooth. I've wanted to do this little art project ever since I met a reporter who had one of those things on his desk. I picked it up and loooked at the multitude of small browning-white objects inside.

"Are these your baby teeth?" I asked, trying t maske conversation.

The guy barely looked up. "Nah. That's my mother's gallstones."

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