When Son-One was twelve, he needed some push pins for a school project, so I brought home a handful of boutonniere pins from the flower shop where I worked at the time. The pins were about an inch and a half long with a pearly acrylic teardrop on the end.
Son-One had been working on the project for several hours when he wandered into the living room, where his siblings and I were watching some mindless, marginally entertaining show on Nickelodeon. He announced that he was taking a break and he sprawled out on the floor beside Son-Three.
We were all laughing at a particularly hilarious moment in whatever show it was when Son-One jumped up and said, "Mom, I did something really stupid. Am I going to die?"
Without knowing what stupid thing he'd done, but fairly certain that nothing life-threatening had occurred right under my nose in the middle of Angry Beavers or whatever it might've been, I immediately reassured him, "No, you are not going to die, but what did you do?"
Son-One held up one of those inch-and-a-half long pins and said, "I swallowed one of these." He said he had been chewing on the little plastic end when Son-Three, in a fit of hilarity, had nudged him in the shoulder, jarring him just enough that the pinhead had slipped from between his teeth and the pin slid down his throat.
"You are not going to die," I said again, though my heart had begun to race a bit at that point with visions of emergency surgery dancing in my head. "But I do think we should probably go to the emergency room."
When we got to the hospital, the ER waiting room was packed, but it's amazing how quickly you move to the head of the line when you hold up an inch-and-a-half long pin to the receptionist and say, "My son swallowed one of these."
We were ushered in immediately and Son-One was in x-ray within fifteen minutes. They could clearly see that the pin had made its way to his stomach, which the doctor said was a good thing. He said that since it had made it that far without getting lodged anywhere, it was likely that it would "pass normally" within 24 to 48 hours. We were instructed to come back right away if Son-One experienced any sharp abdominal pains or any other unusual symptoms, which, blessedly he didn't.
I assume the pin "passed normally," but I can't say with absolute certainty that it did, which is another blessing, if you ask me.
X is for X-ray
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