Oh, the innocent-appearing shredded carrot. The restaurant I ate at (not for long) last evening garnishes their garden salad with them. Do you see how they curl a bit on the end? If you get a piece with that curly end down in your windpipe, it gets stuck! You, of course, have to cough, and cough, and cough, but every time you try to take a breath that thing gets pulled further into your lungs. The patrons of the (nice) restaurant look at you with wide eyes, the manager and wait staff come running, your daughter tries a Heimlich but you push her away because you've taught CPR so many years and you keep thinking no Heimlich if "they" are still moving air past the obstruction. You now understand about panic! When you finally cough that now nasty carrot and other contents up in your hand, no one wants you to go to the bathroom alone to wash - and an old OR nurse can't stand "contaminated" hands!
After everyone sits back down, your 3-year-old DGD crawls under the table to your side and asks "Dramma all right?" She then demonstrates how to cover her mouth when you cough like they do in preschool. The manager offers you ice cream, on the house, to try and "ease" your throat; DGD has to have a bite, and says "nasty" - they have a bit of nutmeg in their vanilla. Wait staff, and manager, come back several times as things are starting to swell, and wheezing accompanies the coughing. Take-home boxes appear, DD makes an appeal for an expedited check, the manager walks you out and helps you in the car, and everyone goes down the street to the local ER.
The security guard at the door tells you to put on a mask (NOT) since you are coughing, wheezing, unable to talk - DD is parking the car. The desk clerk pushes a button and in what seems like an hour, but was probably about a minute, an (excellent) nurse appears with a wheelchair, takes you straight back into a room, calls for a respiratory therapist, helps the admitting nurse takes vitals, and says he'll have the doctor write the order when the chart gets into the computer. Good, good triage nurse. DGD has to be up on the bed with you to make sure they are taking care of Dramma okay. The dinner out was a "treat" for her as she "survived" allergy skin tests earlier in the afternoon. She stands right next to the nurse and watches when she puts that plastic tube in Dramma's hand.
The rest is like you've done before: breathing treatment, an IV line "just in case", chest x-ray to check for remaining particles, an indirect laryngoscopy to look for damage (man does that Cetacaine taste bad), a bit of steroid for the road after feeling comes back to your throat. When Dramma stands up, DGD sits up on the bed, lays the BP cuff and O2 saturation monitor on her hand and says "my turn" and throws a fit when she doesn't get a "tiger" bandaide. This girl has no fear of hospital things - they've been a part of her life since birth weighing 2.7 lbs. By 8:30 PM you are at home, assuring everyone you are fine, and can really be alone - with the phone by your side - as DH is out of town playing with trains, again.
Oh, the manager at Longhorn - very nice man - gave DD his work and cell number, and wanted her to call when things were settled. (I did apologize for making them have to fill out an incident report.) DD did call, and next Tuesday, Wed, or Thursday, we will receive a free dinner, on him. I finished my steak about 1:30 this morning, with small bites, and it really tasted good. I think, however, that I will check for alternatives to salad for a while.
Hopefully tomorrow we can do some