December 8, 2010

Alva and The Styrofoam

This is one of our Christmas ornaments. Inside, you'll find a small, square styrofoam that looks like this.


As we all know, styrofoams can easily be torn apart into small pieces. Alva knows this too cos she has experimented with styrofoams before.

Now this is Alva at 15 months. At this stage, she is very inquisitive and adventurous.

Last Sunday, when nobody was looking, she tore apart one of the ornaments from the Christmas tree and stuff a piece of styrofoam ball deep into her right ear. When hubby discovered this he went ALAMAAAAK in the most dramatic manner which sent me running over to the living room  in seconds. The moment I saw Vava's ear, I went ALAMAAAAK too. I guess we both panicked.

My first impulse was to turn Alva on her side and give her left ear a gentle tap. That's what I normally do when water gets into my ear, so I thought this method could work. I did this a few times tap tap tap but nothing came out. Damn! I looked at hubby and his expression read:  Are you nuts? That will never work. My expression read: Shut up. After a few failed attempts: tapping her ear, turning her upside down and tilting her head, I got a bit frustrated cos I still couldn't get styrofoam out. Hubby said there was only one rational thing to do and that was to go see the doctor immediately. Right. Why didn't I think of that?

So we went to the after hours clinic at Upper Riccarton and saw a lady doctor. I think she must have had a tough day cos her eyebrows were not drawn, her hair was a mess and she had eyebags the size of China. That probably explains her unfriendly demeanour towards us. Anyway, she examined Vava's ear with an otosope and confirmed that there was indeed a tiny ball of styrofoam  inside. She asked hubby to hold Alva firmly while she tried to extract the styrofoam with a special forcep. Slowly but surely, she manouvered the instrument into Vava's ear and after a minute she managed to get it out. Phew! I wanted to make sure that everything was okay so looked into Vava's ear once again. When I did, I almost fainted.


Miss-know-it-all who was already seated on her comfy chair didn't like what she heard. She knitted her brows in disbelief and said Are you sure? Of course I was sure. She stood up reluctantly, took her otoscope and  look into Vava's ear once again. Seconds later she confirmed it. "Yeah. There's another one". That's the bad news. The worse news was, the second styrofoam ball has gone too deep for her to extract using her normal forcep. We were told to wait outside while she made a few calls.

Ten minutes later, she came out with a paper in hand. Due to the delicate nature of the situation, Alva needed to see a specialist at the Ear, Nose and Throat Department in Christchurch Hospital. We were given a referral to see the doctor and the appointment was scheduled on Monday. Before we left, she dropped another bomb on us. During the procedure, Alva would need to be really really still.  If we fail to control her, she may be given an anesthetic. I was shocked. This whole styrofoam thingy had just become my biggest nightmare.

On Monday, we got to the hospital at 9.15 am and headed straight to the 5th floor. After the routine registration, we were asked to wait at the waiting room.

Since there were 5 others waiting there, hubby thought it would be a very long wait so he went to the cafe to get some pastries. I was against this but he said he was very hungry. *Eye roll* Come on la. How can one be hungry when one's daughter is about to be anesthetized right?  I mean, the wise thing to do was to ignore one's hunger pang and just stay put. You're with me on this right? Okay. Whatever. So he went down. No sooner had he left when a nurse came out to call Vava's name. CRAP! Just what I expected. I walked in, all the while cursing under my breath. SHIT SHIT SHIT.

In the doctor's room, I was in a foul mood. The procedure began with the usual Q & A about when and how the 'accident' happened. When that was done, I was told to get onto the bed with Vava on my lap so that the nurse could wrap her up in a white sheet. This was done to keep her still during the removal process. Using an LED otoscope, the doctor showed me the location of the styrofoam inside her ear and told me he was going to start immediately. I suddenly felt sick inside. Oh God! I can't do this alone. Just seconds after that, hubby appeared. Phew! I could breathe again.

Hubby took over and held Vava on his lap while the doctor inserted the slim forcep into her ear. It wasn't an easy task cos Vava tried hard to break free and when we wouldn't let her, she went hysterical. She screamed and screamed at the top of her lungs and she made sure everyone on the 5th floor heard her. You know how you get brain freeze when you drink your smoothie too fast? Well, that's the sensation I got when I heard her scream. I'm sure everyone felt the same way. Just look at the doctor in the picture.

After ten minutes of torture, it was all over. The styrofoam ball was finally out! Yay! Everyone in the room sighed simulatenously when this happened cos all the screaming stopped too. Peace was once again restored on the fifth floor and now everybody could hear themselves think. Me? I was just relieved that no anesthetic was used in the procedure. That was my greatest fear. When it was time to go, we thanked the doctor, bid the nurse goodbye and headed home. Everybody's happy.

My little Alva is okay now. A great lesson to learn from this incident? DO NOT let your babies touch styrofoam. It's dangerous and it'll make your life miserable. The End.


Mimi said...

OMG! Funny pula saya rasa when I read this, but of course it's a panicky situation.. Thank God Vava's ok!!

TheWanderingSumandak...... said...

OMG! That's funny but terrifying as well! When I was small, my mum told me that I used to stuff corns, green beans, ground nuts or anything resembles biji-bijian inside my ears and nose! Apparently, the habit stopped when she told me that those little bits that I stuffed inside my ears/nose will grow and come out from my stomach and mouth!
btw, Vava looks so adorable in the picture :)

Lizeewong said...

Mimi - Panic + Stress = BLUR BLUR
Hehe..Yeah, she's fine. Sia buang semua tu styrofoam.

Ennie- Alala...ko pun mcm si Vava la ni moi. Galangas ni kan? hehehe...My mom told me the same thing about biji tarap.

Amanda Christine Wong said...

LOL! that was hilarious! nakaaal oh u're kids! but cute as well! :D

Lizeewong said...

Yes Manda. They ARE nakal :)
Now that Alva's bigger, ada fight suda sama c Alden.

StellaClaire-Richard said...

nasib baik si Alva teda apa2 suda.. risau pula sya baca post ko ni..haha..mmg bikin panic oo..

JIPP said...

wahh. can't believe somethin like styrofoam can bring that much trouble. Tapi mmg siok mo kasi patah2 tu barang. Gotta warn my sisters about this then. :-)

CathJ said...

OMG!! same like mimi..hihihi... I am so speechless.. you really open my mind to be more careful in future..

But.. I remember my mom told me, that I made the same 'mistake' as your baby girl did.. I took the cigarette paper (Looks like aluminum inside the box)and put it inside my ears too... and have to go see doc to take it out.... ha-yaaa.... ~.@

debrajill said...

o cute vava! hehe..kasian jua dia~ but yeah tidak hairan kalau kids ni..glad its over and nothing serious kan~ take care kak!

Lizeewong said...

Thanks Stella..Panic skijap juga la :)

Jipp- Pasal siok la tu dia main..hehe..Didn't expect she would stuff it in her ear!

Cath-OMG! You did it too??Hehhehe...Normal la tu kan? Curious ba tu at that stage..Hehe :)

Ya ba Deb..Nda hairan kan..Girl pun sama juga galangas dia..:P..You, Fredo and the little ones take care juga :)

chegu carol said...


Wait...I gotta check the ornaments on our Christmas tree dulu. Ada element of styrofoam or not. Mana lah tau the kids at home (altho they are considered big enough compared to vava) pandai2 pigi main with those styrofoam and shit happens. palis2.

anyways, glad she's ok now. stunt betul oh kan si vava and den2 hehehe

Lizeewong said...

Kay - Iya bah..Mcm mau ada 10 mata mungkin baru buli monitor ni...Org teda high BP pun buli jadi high...:)

karulann said...

Adeh.. me kelambatan cerita :) Astaga... :) from a simple styrofoam to a huge problem... chklist for me: no more styrofoam for christmas decor or any decor that kids can access..

:) 10 eyes also don't think it's enough to monitor a kid.. Just recently my friends kids became a laptop engineer, literally. The kids woke up early than the parent and saw the laptop on top of the table. Took it down, and using pen poke the keyboard and nearly 80% removed the whole keys on the keyboard... :) And the dad spent nearly the whole day putting it back again..

Lizeewong said...

OMG. Buli tahan juga the boy ah! Hehehe..My son did that once, but he only managed to take out 1.