December 1, 2009

Don't make my mistakes

Do you have things that you have lived through, that you never think about?  Simply just to avoid the pain of it?  I have a few of them. This one has recently been dredged up.  I have discovered that I can think about it without too much grief. I thought I would share. There is a lesson, or two or three, to be learned and maybe, just maybe it will save someone else pain.

When my daughters were 3 and 2 we headed to Long Beach for the summer. My husband had procured a internship, so we would spend the 8 weeks there with him, living with my in laws.  We drove two cars.  Me with the kids, and my husband by himself. All in one day.  When we arrived, I was dead.  Driving for that long does bad things to me. I was tired. I was grumpy.  My children were not.  All the pent up energy of being in the car all day burst out as they got out of the car, and even after a swim in the pool and many games of tag, house and overzealous rounds of hugging with their cousins, they were still ready to stay up and play. I put them to bed anyway.  I put them to bed and headed outside to the hot tub with my husband and some friends. I should have realized that they wouldn't stay in bed. That they would be too excited to sleep. That they would go exploring. Right into Grandpa's bathroom, where he kept his sleeping pills for the night on the counter in a paper cup.

The two year old saw those pills and popped them right in her mouth. But, according to my three year old, she said they were "yucky" and spit them back into the sink.  Grandpa found them right about then, sent them back to bed and came to tell us what had happened.  I ran in the house and called poison control. Isn't that what you are supposed to do?

I called, I explained. I gave the name of the medication and the dosage, her age and weight.  The man  on the line said that the dosage was small enough that it wouldn't hurt her and it would just make her tired. So we put her to bed.

Sometime, hours later, I could hear screaming. Inconsolable.  I turned over and realized my husband was gone. I figured he had it under control. I rolled over and fell back asleep.  Shortly, he came in with the screamer.  She was telling us all about the dragons and rainbows she was seeing. (She was a very articulate two year old.)  In short, she was hallucinating.  It took hours to calm her, and only by taking her in the den, the only room in the house that got completely dark, was I able to get her to go back to sleep.

The next morning, all was not well. I called poison control again. I explained the situation again. The woman on the line said that the medication should have worked it's way out of her system by now.  This was the moment I decided to go to the ER.

We checked in, and were rebuked at every turn.

"Why didn't you bring her in last night?"
"Poison control doesn't know what they are talking about, half the time."
"We could have helped her last night, but now. . ."

Four long hours later, the ER doctor gave us paperwork about the particular medication that our daughter had ingested.  "The medication has a half life of 30 hours."  Meaning, that it would be coursing through her system for the next week. Not only that, but in such medications, they often have the opposite effect on small children.  Sleep did not come easily that week.

That being said, after hours of being corralled in a small ER cubicle, she finally fell asleep in my arms.  The doctor had gone to get her discharge papers. And when she came back, she announced that before we left the nurse would need to take my daughter's rectal temperature.  I just stared in disbelief, and may have been a bit impolite.  But, I have to admit, it was a fitting end to a horrid day.

22 comments:

Barbaloot said...

Yikes-what a scary experience! I'm worried that the bad experiences I have (with people I don't want to see anymore) will come back to me when I randomly run into those people. I'm just certain there are people I'll run into soon that I never want to see again.

Kristina P. said...

That is so scary! And it's even scarier that Poison Control apparently doesn't know what they're talking about!

Kristina P. said...

So, I just realized that my comments are not being saved on several blogs! What is going on?!?

Emmy said...

Oh that would have been so scary. No wonder you don't try and think of it much. I can't believe poison control got it so wrong!! That is annoying.

wonder woman said...

Holy. Cow.

So comforting to know that Poison Control doesn't know what they're talking about.....

And really, thanks for this. We'll be driving to KS and Missouri for Christmas. We'll be exhausted, kids'll be wired, and my MIL practically has a pharmacy in her bathroom.

Sher said...

Oh my goodness, how scary! I'm glad she's ok now. I think we all have moments of parent guilt.

The Boob Nazi said...

Um, wow. How terrifying. I once called poison control because I thought I overdosed on tylenol. They laughed.

Liesl said...

Okay, so I can't trust poison control. Good to know.

Rochelle said...

That is a brutal experience. I hate the ER, I've never had a good experience there!

That Girl said...

Oh my not-an-adjective-to-describe-this.

I'll have to settle for ?!?!?!?!?!!?

Note to self: Poison Control is stupid. Go to ER.

MommyJ said...

Must remember... poison control equals stupid... poison control equals stupid. Half the time. That half the time is oh so helpful!

Scary story... glad everything worked out.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Oh no! I will have to remember that about poison control. Although, I also hate the ER. 20 people walking around in their jammie pants hacking and coughing, looking like death warmed over, *and* tiny cubicles. Eh. I'm glad that you can think about it without too much guilt. We have enough to worry about as moms without constant guilt from the past.

annie valentine said...

My four year old wakes up every night at eleven pm screaming his bloody head off. Why? He has to use the bathroom. Obviously.

(Glad you're finally able to share, we all have those horrible moments that are too painful to relive.)

heather said...

What a scary experience!

Only, how were you to know that poison control didn't know what they were talking about? I'd have done the same thing.

Sell...Party Of 3 said...

Seriously that is scary that poison control doesn't know what they are talking about. I guess I will just have to take my kids to the ER first. That sucks you had to go through that.

Lourie said...

Oh my gosh! How frightening! Poor girl and poor poor Mommy.

Melissa Bastow said...

And here I am trusting poison control!!! Why even have it, if they don't know what they're talking about?!!! My toddler ate dishwasher detergent a few months ago, do you think I should take her to the ER?

Also, what's with the rectal temp right AFTER you get your daughter to sleep? Stupid nurses. I hope you didn't let them.

Camryn said...

I'm not sure if it'll make you feel better--but I know several close friends and my sister who had similar experiences. The hallucinations were monsters and scary beasts.

My friend took it while she was prego--and same thing. She started screaming. Her world changed to everything scary and even her husband couldn't calm her down. Instead, he started singing to her--trying to let her know he was there and hoping she'd recognize his voice. Even though she saw him as a monster, she realized it was the drug.

My sister's kid did the same thing. That stuff is scary.

Don't feel bad--you did everything right. BTW--thanks for your sweet comments :)

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

It sounds like you guys did just what you were supposed to. Scary situation.

I wish people doing their jobs would do them. And be nice about it. Crazy ER and poison control.

Erin said...

That is a really scary story. Why wouldn't Poison Control err on the side of caution??? That's what I want to know.

Mother Goose said...

I remember that. The rest of the summer wasn't too bad though. Wait, there was that time she locked herself in Grandpa's bathroom!

Loralee and the gang... said...

Wow what a scary, sucky day! And really not too comforting to know that poison control doesn't know what they are talking about!? So next time, we will all call the emergency room for such situations. The ER's gonna love that!
:~P

Copyright Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug

Meaning all content on this blog is mine. So you better not steal it. Seriously.