It's a very long and tangled story of a narrow miss, lots of frightening diagnosis, waiting, pain and a very wide network of concern and love. Not sure I am up to telling the whole story that I told around twenty seven times yesterday, to an even greater number of medical professionals.
Here is the short story; we dodged the bullet. There was, in the end, no Vascular Ring, no swollen artery and no cancerous growth. There was only my sweet Pearl getting her two cents in. Literally. There was a period of four days between Tuesday Nov 28th when she got her chest x-rayed, and Sunday morning when we first became aware that she could no longer swallow solid food, that she ate two pennies, and they became lodged in her esophagus. Swelling ensued and started pressing in on her trachea, cutting down her airway to less than a pencil's thickness and closing. After a second CT scan and some very quality medical interpretation finally ruled out some scary potentialities, they operated on her last night and removed the pennies. Also they checked out her lungs closer and found...stuff, among which was a small bit of popcorn kernel that she had at some point inhaled. She has a respiratory condition that has a long name but falls under the catchall diagnosis of "asthma" and we will be pursuing that. From home. Which is where we are now.
I have alot to do, I have alot to process. A night spent on the PICU (intensive care) floor in Primary Children's Hospital is a humbling experience for the mama of the healthiest child there. We shared a room with a five month old baby girl named, of all things Purl (same real life name as my baby only spelled different). The road ahead of her and her mama... well, it will be longer and harder than "asthma." Just to walk from making a phone call in the waiting room back to the room where Pearl was, was to walk a gauntlet of the pain and suffering of the sickest and most catastrophically injured of children, and their families.
I am grateful. I am tired. I am home.