Batteries are not for eating.

Last weekend before kindergarten begins. We went to the lake to enjoy the gift of sunshine and squeeze in a little more fun. Broke out the homemade slip ‘n slide, whipped up some healthy smoothies and were getting ready to pop over and visit the neighbors (Aunt and Uncle). Then, it happened.

He was supposed to be changing his clothes (his were wet from slipping and sliding) and I hear a choking noise… and a panicked ‘Oh no. Mama! Mama! I just swallowed a battery. Am I going to die? Am I going to die?’. He popped the back off of his sisters little key chain phone, somehow managed to get the small button battery out of the back and then ‘needed to know what it tasted like’. Unfortunately, he had some spit to swallow and that battery went right down the hatch.

I did what most moms do in an emergency like this: called my mom. She said ‘Get in the car and get him to the hospital RIGHT. NOW.’ So we did that. We loaded up the dogs and kids and booked it to the closest emergency room, almost an hour away. In the mean time S is freaking out in the car, my mom is freaking out waiting for us at the hospital, and G (who is three) was trying to talk everyone down. My husband was about 7 driving hours away at work and started packing up when he heard the news.

We were brought back right away at the ER. Not a good sign. They did an x-ray and then the doctor said the surgeon was on his way down. I said,’ Wait. What? Surgeon?’. She explained that these are the worst kind of batteries- the only kind they really worry about- and can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Great. Two days before kindergarten emergency surgery.

After a few hours of the doctor wavering on her surgery recommendation based on the opinions of experts in internal medicine, pediatric surgery and his pediatrician they decided it would be okay to wait for a day, with laxatives and see if he passed it by himself. And gave us things to look for as far as signs it was leaking or stuck. Great times. So off we go back to the cabin (since all our stuff was there) to wait for poop. I didn’t realize how much poop would become a part of my life after having kids. Heads up for those of you without kids.

We loaded little man up with his favorite snacks and laxative to get things moving. Daddy got there about four hours after we got home from the hospital, just in time to help smoosh through poop looking for a tiny battery. No luck that night or early the next morning.

The good news is after we ran and got coffee/looked for moose, we came home and S had to poop, but didn’t tell us. A little bit later we discovered the battery had been sitting in the bathroom in a small bowl (that fits on the toilet to catch poop. That’s apparently a product. We own two now. Just in case you need it.) and had a giant poop dance! Hallelujah!

You’d think that’s the end of the story right? Lesson is ‘we only put food and drink in our mouth’, right? NOPE! Not the end. Kindergarten started and in the excitement I forgot to tell his new teacher about the incident. So when Sawyer had blood in his stool at school, they didn’t think it was important to relay that information, or as the nurse said ‘We can’t believe everything five year olds tell us.” Well… if that’s the case, maybe school nurse isn’t the job for you. Just saying.

Good news is I’m now on the nurse’s call list if something happens to my kid. I also got to meet the principal and share my concerns. And the teacher was so apologetic. And I will be communicating directly with her if there’s a similar incident. More good news: our pediatrician said it’s probably just from passing a foreign body, and if it happens again to bring him in. No repeats yet.

His best buddy at school (I drive them home from school, his mom takes them there in the mornings) told me not to worry. ‘He solved that problem, Ms. Kiri. He just isn’t going to poop anymore.’ We will see how that goes.

So let’s all remember: we only put FOOD and DRINK in our mouths. Food. Or. Drink.



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