The Great Grill Brush Emergency Room Disaster

Living in Florida, we love being outside as much as possible. Until today, this has also meant that we love cooking and eating outside as much as possible. We have grilled pretty much anything you can think of.

For a quick lunch today (really yesterday by now), we decided to grill chicken. We were not very far into the meal when R knew something was very, very wrong with his food… And his throat. It felt sort of like a bone was stuck in his throat, but he knew it was not a bone. A feather? It felt more like a feather than a bone. But surely he would have noticed if the chicken we were grilling was still covered in feathers?

Nope. It was a metal bristle from the brush he had used to clean the grill before cooking. The meat was covered in these teeny tiny little bristles that had come off on the grill. He tried coughing it up. He tried to induce vomiting. It was wedged in his throat. Just under an inch long, but strong enough that it was not going anywhere.

We drove to Daytona to the emergency room, where after five hours of waiting, an x-ray that could not detect the bristle, and then a CT scan that could, he got admitted to the hospital until a specialist could scope the bristle out of his throat.

While waiting five hours in the emergency room, there is a lot of time to Google your situation. Turns out that swallowing bristles from grill brushes is more common than you would think. And it can get very, very bad. Like emergency abdominal surgery bad. Which I don’t want to think about, because this is already the Most Expensive Grill Brush In History.

It was very weird driving back from Daytona after R was admitted into the hospital and we were told we had to leave. All of our previous recent hospital visits had involved our daughter, and we were allowed to sleep in the hospital room with her because she was a child.

When we got back to the car, E broke down in hysterical tears because we were leaving without her daddy. She had been so well-behaved and adult-like during the past five-plus hours that I had not noticed how worried and in distress she actually was. And I was strung-out from the whole ordeal and the fact that I had to drive a longish way home at night, with my failing bookworm/computer nerd eyes. I told her to tell me every type of dragon that she knew and what their special qualities were. That lasted us 45 minutes, and we only made it to Slitherwings. I feel like she carried me home.

I think I have given up on sleep tonight. I have been listening to my “sublime” playlist, which goes from Philip Glass’ Glassworks to Beethoven’s 9th symphony to Saint-Saens, trying to calm my mind.

I am going to take up cooking in an oven tomorrow. Who ever went to the emergency room over duck?

4 thoughts on “The Great Grill Brush Emergency Room Disaster

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