Issue #33 – UFOs in the Nose…Objects That Are Queer in the Ear; Our Personal Experience

Posted on Posted in All Articles, Down Syndrome and Congenital Heart Defects, ENT

UFOs in the Nose…Objects That Are Queer in the Ear

Our Personal Experience

Sarah Sander


I described in a previous article, the struggle with sinusitis Moishey endured as a young child.

During one particular bout of a brand-new green-nosed infection, he sneezed exceptionally powerfully and out came a barrage of nasal junk, mixed with sparkling sequins and beads. It became obvious why Moishey’s school arts ‘n crafts had arrived home incomplete. Half of the decorating pieces were up his nose.

We took him to the ENT. While we spoke to the doctor and described what had occurred, Moishey obliviously played with the toys in the doctor’s office. The doctor was humored, but not surprised by our tale. She told us that remarkably, all kids across the board vehemently deny sticking objects up their noses, even after they are shown the evidence. It seems they are embarrassed after the (mis)deed is done and hide behind denying it.

After a few more minutes of conversation with the doctor, she invited Moishey to sit onto the exam chair. He climbed on like a gentleman, the doctor asked him how he was doing and he promptly blurted out, ‘I put a bead in my nose.’ The walls shook with our collective laughter. Moishey was never one who quite fit the mold; he was always the out-of-the-box kid and here, moments after the doctor relayed universal statistics, Moishey proved those facts wrong!

After an uncomfortable exam, Moishey’s nasal and sinus cavities were deemed clear and a round of anti-biotics was the order of the day.

The doctor then relayed a surreal story to us.

One day a patient, a neuro-typical little girl, was brought in by her parents who suspected that the child had pushed something up her nose. The little girl was dressed and behaved like the ultimate princess. She wore a pink ruffled tutu dress, tiny dainty lace socks and shiny Mary Janes adorned her feet and her hair was bejeweled with a sparkly accessory. She looked like she was going to perform at a ballet festival.

She sat onto the examining chair and immediately crossed her hands in her lap. The doctor asked her whether she put any object up her nose and she angelically, yet strongly denied doing so. The initial exam showed otherwise and a CT scan was indicated. The results? A rusty screw that had been pushed up the nostril had worked its way up to the child’s brain, prompting emergency brain surgery to remove it.

So much for angelic princesses.

When my youngest son, who is now a wonderful teenager, was six years old, he sat into the bathtub one Friday for his pre-Shabbos bath. I took the handheld shower and proceeded to wet his hair and he suddenly started howling in pain, clutching at his ear. Initial questions yielded no responses, only continued cries and shoulder shrugs. After much prodding he finally admitted that one of his classmates convinced all the boys at lunch that if they stuck a piece of bread deep into their ear, it would come out the other ear. My adventurous, yet gullible wise guy son tried it. And now that the bread came in contact with water it became water-logged and expanded; the pain was excruciating.

It was Friday afternoon, close to Shabbos. I called our family pediatrician and asked him whether this warranted a trip to the emergency room. He told us that if Motrin can bring the pain under control then we could wait until Sunday morning when he would see us at his office.

On Sunday, the doctor was able to see the piece of bread with his otoscope, but could not remove it. On Monday we visited a local ENT who vacuumed the bread out with an ‘ear vacuum cleaner’, a brilliant device for not-such-brilliant kids who stick stuff where they shouldn’t.

No doubt, almost every family blessed with children has their own treasure chest of stories of objects pushed up noses and into ears. And we dare not forget objects in mouths and the choking hazard they present. Let’s not even go there…!