An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Scary Night

picture found using google image search

Another all nighter with the kids, but this one took a scary turn around 3:00 am.

I was working in my craft room while the boys played around and watched their Dragon Tales movie (PBS dvd) when suddenly David came in crying, sputtering, and talking in a slightly squeaky voice.  All I could get from him at first was “take me to doctor” which he only says if he’s been hurt or doesn’t feel well.  I immediately started trying to figure out what happened but all I could get out of him was a bunch of echolalia (his Autism really aggrivates me at times like these) and something about a bleeding mouth (his mouth wasn’t bleeding).  Thankfully, I was eventually able to calm him down enough to find out he swallowed one of his toys (still don’t know which one though) and I called 911 immediately.

The dispatcher walked me through all the check points and safety measures that I needed to do while waiting for the ambulance, but when they weren’t showing up as fast as he hoped and David started taking a turn for the worse (started wheezing and squeaking got worse, plus was sputtering more and having trouble breathing) he talked me through the heimlich manuever which, by the grace of God, I was able to do correctly even though David was fighting against me on it.

I never saw anything come out, but seconds before the first responders arrived I heard something move in his throat and he was suddenly talking and breathing a whole lot better.  By the time the EMS arrived, they checked him out as thoroughly as possible and were able to confirm whatever he swallowed wasn’t in his throat anymore or in his lungs and double checked his oxygen levels (proud of my little trooper as he let them put the sensor on his toe even though he was too frightened when they went for his finger 🙂 ).

They told me the life threatining part was over now and gave me some options of what to do now and I decided to take their list of instructions for watching him and to call my pediatrician in the morning for follow up.

David has done a lot of things in his 5 years of life… a good portion of them leading to dangerous moments too because of his cognitive issues, lack of understanding, danger awareness, and low ability to learn from common mistakes (ex: climb on counter, fall off = don’t do that again for most kids.  David’s though = once tears stop everything else is forgotten so right back up he goes >< ).  He hasn’t put me through a choking scare though since he was just a wee little guy and even then it wasn’t even a real choking scare.  At least not like this one…

I am just so grateful he is okay, but I have to admit I am not quite ready for when whatever it was comes out.  The EMS crew said he will “pass it” eventually.  Umm… I am curious as to what he swallowed, but I don’t know if I want to go digging in his poop to get it back for him. lol  I also am not looking forward to the pain David will go through when it finally gets to that point. 😦

Things I am thankful for
David’s safety and caring first responders and EMS crews



  1. marciakayx

    Poor little guy, and poor mommy too!

  2. Thank goodness he could alert you to the fact he needed a doctor.
    Never a dull moment with kids. When my son was 2 he walked up to be, dark blue in the face and a block in his mouth. That was 10 years ago, I might get over it one day with drugs and therapy. LOL.
    Today my gratitude is our access to medical assistance.

    • so glad your son was okay. I would have panicked if David was already turning blue.

      And yes, even though his doctor requests tend to be 90% unmerited (he usually just needs a bandaid or a good hug or something), I am beyond thankful he was able to come and get me and that he had a way of letting me know I needed to check him out. My heart shakes in fear at the thought of how this could have turned out if not for that moment and the help of the emergency personnell later on…

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