Caden may have aspirated this week during a choking incident. Late morning Wednesday I was sitting at the kitchen table while Caden played on a blanket in the family room with some Legos. Sherry was in the garage cutting JJ’s hair and Riley was in the play room. All of a sudden Caden jumped up from his blanket in a panic and started coming in my direction. Caden was obviously struggling to breathe. He was getting a small amount of air in and out and I thought he was having a really bad retching spell. My initial reaction was to pick him up and throw him over my shoulder and run upstairs where I knew the suction machine was located. I lay Caden on the floor at the top of the stairs next to the suction machine. I turned on the machine, opened Caden’s mouth and inserted the Yankauer (suction tube extension used to reach into the back of Caden’s throat). I hit something hard with the Yankauer that I had not seen when I opened Caden’s mouth. I did a finger sweep down the side of Caden’s mouth into the area just past the uvula. What I got back was a surprise. It was a jet engine from a Lego airplane. This pecan sized toy was lodged in Caden’s throat and covered with goobers. I have no idea how he was getting any air around it to make the retching noise I heard when I scooped him up down stairs a few moments earlier. I got the Lego piece out of his mouth and then suctioned the remaining goobers and saliva. When I turned the suction off Caden jumped into my arms and could only say “Sorry Daddy, Sorry Daddy, I sorry daddy”. My heart was racing about a mile a minute and I felt like I could cry. I just held Caden and assured him that he would be alright.
Everything did appear to be okay until late Thursday night. Caden popped a fever, had high respirations (common with fever) and had a ton of congestion. Friday morning Caden did not tolerate his first tube feeding very well. He just wanted to lay around and then the speed of his breathing began to increase. I went ahead and put him on the Oxygen saturation meter to check his SATs. He was hanging in the low 90s. This all happened as his physical therapist was arriving at our house. She, Sherry and I had a brief discussion about the incident on Wednesday as I suspected that Caden might have sucked fluid int his lungs while he was struggling to get air around the toy stuck in his throat. I went ahead and called the pediatrician and took Caden in shortly after lunch. The doctor heard some crackles in Caden’s lower left lung and his SATs were hanging at 93 in the doctor’s office. We were sent to MUSC for a chest x-ray. Within the hour the nurse called Sherry to let her know that the doctor had called in a prescription for Clindamycin a very strong antibiotic used to treat aspiration pneumonia.
We are treating and monitoring Caden at home. We ask you to pray that this treatment will work. With our new addition (two-week old Levi pictured above with Caden) we are by no means prepared to handle a hospitalization with Caden. Of course I am not sure we are ever 100% prepared for Caden to be hospitalized. The pediatrician said that if Caden had not improved in 24 hours we needed to get him admitted and on IV antibiotics. We appreciate your prayers for Caden and our family. Please pray for healing for Caden and discernment for Sherry and me.