Today after Sunday School I was walking toward the nursery when someone said, "Did you hear that Gabe got a bead stuck up his nose?"
Aaron and I made a bee-line for the junior church room.
"Gabe, do you have a bead in your nose?" I asked.
Gabe was calmly playing with toys.
"Yes," he said.
"How did it get there? Did you stick it up there?"
"No. It got up there by accident," he said.
Okay. I have no idea how a bead gets up someone's nose by accident. But when you're five, a lot of things happen by accident.
We got Gabe home as quickly as we could so that Dr. Grandpa could try to get the bead out. It was stuck up there way too far, though. We spent a tense 10 minutes with Gabe on the sofa holding him down while Grandpa stuck this long stick-like plastic probe thing into his nose. Gabe screamed and screamed and screamed.
All the screaming and crying just made it harder to get the bead out. So Aaron ended up having to take him to the emergency room.
The emergency room doctor asked Aaron to first of all plug Gabe's left nostril with his finger and blow hard into Gabe's mouth.
Good idea. Too bad it didn't work.
Next he stuck a catheter into Gabe's nose with a vacuum extractor attached to it.
Another great idea. But that still didn't work.
Next he stuck another catheter up into his nose with a balloon on the other end. I guess it was also designed to suck small objects out from small children's noses.
Unfortunately, that didn't work either.
Finally he applied some topical anesthetic and probed the nostril with another long stick-like device. I didn't really want to hear about how far he had to stick that thing up into Gabe's nose, but I guess he had to be pretty aggressive with it to get it behind the bead. Blagggh!
But, gross factor aside....
Pop! Out came the bead. A large blue bead -- the kind you use to make salvation-explanation bracelets. The blue in the bracelet usually symbolizes baptism.
In Gabe's case, it was a baptism into the I-know-better-than-to-stick-things-up-my-nose club.
I came out of this whole ordeal realizing that it could've been a lot worse. When you live with a physician, you hear some great comparison stories. And my in-laws were not remiss in telling me about the little boy who came to the doctor with bad breath. No one could figure out why he had bad breath, until they looked up his nose. There was a pea in there. A small, round, green pea. A small, round, green pea that had been there a very, very long time. So long, in fact, that it had actually sprouted in the damp recesses of this child's nose and was tangled into his sinuses.
I guess in comparison a bead's not so bad.