(I stepped away from my computer for a few minutes, and when I came back, this post automatically posted itself. If you received a draft version, here is the full thing).
Last week Thursday afternoon, I was upstairs laying down for a few minutes, and my boys were supposed to be having a quiet time looking at books but were watching Tom & Jerry cartoons instead. My two-year old came upstairs and said, "Mommy, me put cup up my nose." I looked and didn't see anything, but when I went downstairs, I saw that he had shredded a 4-ounce Dixie cup (the kind with the wax coating) on the couch. I figured that he had tried to put a piece in his nose but didn't actually do it, since I couldn't see anything.
That night, though, while he was sleeping, his right nostril was really stuffed up. I knew something was definitely up there then. Plus, the side of his nose started to look a little swollen. In the morning, I tried to use the nasal aspirator several times until he became uncooperative. That's where my husband took over. He was able to remove a small piece of Dixie cup paper. Then we thought we'd take a break and see if that fixed it, or if there was still more.
I called the doctor's office to find out what we should do. But, of course, with it being a holiday weekend, they were not there. Through the day, as he would cooperate, I used the nasal aspirator on him to see if we could work anything else down. We prayed a lot, too, for God's help and mercy.
Before I finish the story, aren't our noses fearfully and wonderfully made, as Psalm 139 declares about our bodies? The way our bodies recognize and attack something foreign is further evidence to me that we are not here by accident, but by the design of an extremely intelligent (and loving) Creator. My son's nose was producing everything it could to naturally rid itself of the Dixie cup. It started to emit a foul odor as well, as his body was working to decompose whatever it was that was in there. All this caused me to marvel at how God made our noses.
So while our noses are wonderfully made, they aren't made to hold pieces of Dixie cups. By day's end, we knew we had to give it one more shot, or else we had to take him to the hospital. My husband had to hold our little guy very firmly, and armed with a small flashlight, the nasal aspirator, and a pair of tweezers, he was able to remove another small piece of the cup. None of this was pleasant, or easy, since our son was crying so hard and saying, "Daddy, my nose hurts. My nose hurts!" as well as, "Mommy, I'm scared."
My husband knew that the little piece couldn't possibly have been big enough to be causing the problem (and the stench), so several more nasal aspirations later, he saw something large blocking the nasal cavity on the right side. It was too high up to safely pull it out with tweezers, so he worked with the nasal aspirator some more. Amazingly, the piece came down close enough where he could remove it.
Our son had managed to tear about a one-to-one-and-a-half inch piece off the top of the Dixie cup, wad it in thirds (or thereabouts), and stuff it up his nose. The piece easily fit on my ring finger nail. No wonder it hurt so much coming back down. I don't know how he got it up there in the first place.
It's out now. His nose is clear. I'm so thankful that we were able to remove it on our own without a costly medical bill. Definitely a "mom's-(and dad's)-in-need-of-mercy" moment." Hopefully it will never happen again--not with a Dixie cup, or anything else for that matter!