With 26 years of nursing, countless numbers of CPR certifications, ACLS and PALS, experience in PACU, PEDS and NICU, I absolutely lost it tonight when my 6 year old granddaughter got a piece of hard candy stuck in her esophagus. I first thought it was in her airway, but realized she answered my question about what it was she swallowed. She was panicked, sticking her hand as far back in her throat as she could and gasping and screaming. I yelled for my husband to call 911 and he ran to bathroom where we were and saw she was breathing okay, but very panicked, clutching at her throat and chest (I imagine the stuck candy hurt). She finally vomited a few time and on the last up came the chunk of candy. She was absolutely panicked with pupils fully dilated in bright light. I was completely freaked out, screaming like a maniac.
Our emotional investment in our families really does impact our ability to react in a trauma situation. I would not have been able to care for a pet rock during that time. I do think if she had an occluded airway I would have reacted appropriately, at least I hope I would have been able to. My husband is CPR cert, so he could have stepped in. My granddaughter's mom (my daughter) said you'd never know I was a nurse, lol. Grammie first, nurse second!