Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I won't be winning any Mommy of the Year awards for this one

Do you ever have something happen, something that is not fun and pretty terrible and even embarrassing? Then, as the days and months go by, and you put some distance between yourself and the incident, it doesn't seem quite so bad? And you can even see a tiny bit of humor in it?

Well. This is one such episode. (Warning to my mom...don't freak out. It all turned out ok.) :)

It happened this past February. It was a stressful time, Ricardo's dad had just had his stroke, and we were going back and forth to the hospital several times a day, trying to figure out what was going to happen.

It was a Friday evening, and we were home relaxing. Ricardo went to take a shower, and I was vegging out, watching TV. Savannah was playing on the other side of the couch, where I couldn't see her, but I could hear her coloring.

This is where my mothering skills take a turn for the worse. I was so engrossed in whatever I was watching that I didn't realize that Savannah had left the room. For at least 5 minutes. It suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't heard her in a while, so I went to see what she was up to.

Now, obviously, I don't always know what she's doing throughout the entire day. She pretty much roams around, comes and goes as she pleases, and that's fine. But as any momma can tell you, when things get quiet, it's time to investigate.

She was in our walk-in closet, playing on the floor. Fine, I thought. She's entertaining herself. That's good. Then I took a closer look. And gasped.

She had climbed up on a chair and then on some suitcases that we keep in the closet, grabbed an old (and ugly, I might add) discarded purse that I don't even use anymore, and then dumped out the contents all over the floor to play with them.

Among them was a bottle of Excedrin Migraine. In a childproof bottle, of course.

Which was childproof no longer.

She was surrounded by all of the pretty little green capsules, taking them in and out of the bottle, having a good old time.

Did I mention I gasped? And probably screamed. I jumped on her, made her open her mouth, looked at all the capsules. Nothing in her teeth....good sign. No wet capsules....good sign.

But still. How can you be sure about something like this? She never gets candy, so I was pretty sure she wouldn't think it was candy and eat them. She wasn't in there very long. They weren't wet. Oh my. Oh my goodness. I'm a terrible mom. How did this happen? I didn't even know I had them! Why didn't I check on her 5 minutes sooner? I don't even take Excedrin Migraine anymore! Why didn't I throw them away 3 years ago? What if she really ate 17 of them? What if she DIES from poisoning?

Such were the thoughts that raced through my head in about 1.5 seconds.

I called Poison Control. The guy was not very helpful, but really, I guess there's not much he could do. He told me a few things to look for, and he also did a calculation on the amount she would have to eat in order for it to be harmful. I think it was something like 5 or 6. I asked him if I should take her in to the ER and he said yes, he would recommend it.

It was already about 10:00 at night. She was exhausted. I was exhausted from crying and freaking out. We went ahead and put her to bed, and I thought I would sleep in her room just to be close and keep an eye on her. Being the calm and collected mother that I am, I couldn't leave her alone, I kept hovering over her, touching her stomach to see if she was breathing. Which she apparently didn't like, because she woke up, screaming. Which led me to think something was wrong with her because she wouldn't quite crying. Which led us all to freak out and head to the ER at midnight.

We arrived at the ER, and after a long wait, her name was finally called, and we were taken back to a bed with a curtain around it. Vitals were taken, questions asked. I had to keep repeating my humiliation to different nurses, all the while praying they wouldn't turn me into Child Protection Services.

Then the doctor came in.

For the record, I like most people. I want to see the best in them. I want to connect. I want us all to just get along.

But this doctor? It was a lost cause from the beginning.

We told him our story, and the look he gave me would have normally made me curl up in a ball and shrivel away from mortification. However, being that it was so late at night, and my daughter's well-being was at stake, I decided not to let it bother me.

Doc: So where is the bottle of medicine?

Me: (blank look) Um. At home. In the trash.

Doc: (glare of disbelief) Well! That's pretty much the most important part of this. I won't know what to treat her with unless I know what she took.

Well, sor-RY! This is my first attempted child poisoning and all, so forgive me if I'm not familiar with the protocol.

Doc: How many were in the bottle to begin with?

Me: Um. Well. I really don't know. I have not used them in over 3 years. I didn't even know they were there.....

Doc: (basically rolling his eyes)How far away do you live?

We tell him.

Doc: (thoroughly incredulous by now): You drove by five hospitals to get here!!!! Why???? Why would you come here?

I was beginning to wonder the same thing....if I had known I would have gotten him as our doc, I would have driven 50 miles out of the way. And for the record, since we have never had to take Savannah in anywhere, or ourselves for that matter, this was the only ER that I knew of that was reasonably close. Five hospitals! Whatever!

In the end, Ricardo drove all the way back to get the pills. I stayed with Savannah, who had to get blood drawn twice. Not a pretty picture.

Ya'll, we were there for over three hours. Three. We waited and waited and waited for the lab tests to come back to see if she had anything in her system. The doc popped his head in a few times to tell us it should be any second, which it wasn't. Savannah got a second wind somewhere during this time and jumped around on the bed, peeked under the curtain at the patient in the next partition over, drank some horrible charcoal substance that was supposed to counteract the poison, pretended that her Pooh Bear was pooped and that she had to change his diaper, then pooped herself which was so convenient seeing as I had forgotten to bring any diapers or wipes along.

The doctor finally came back with the verdict. She hadn't taken any pills.

They discharged us, and then came the final disgrace: they handed me a pamphlet that basically said, Since you can't keep your baby from shoveling poison into her mouth, here are a few tips to help ya with that.


And the nurse also said to me, "Next time I need help opening my child-proof lids, I'll know who to call."

Hahaha. Nothing like a little humor at 3:30 a.m. Hahahaha.

And do you want to know the only thing that made me feel a little better during all of this? Right before we went to the ER, I sat down and googled child poison excedrin bad mommy. Or something to that effect . And what should pop up but this link to a post done by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. Just reading her story and all of the comments that were posted there made me feel like I was not alone in my loser-mommy situation. It's nice to have support at a time like this.

So the moral of the story is:

1. Things happen, and all we can do is pray and trust God to watch over our little ones when we can't be there every second.

2. I am not alone in sometimes not being the best mommy in the world.


3. Please! For the love of all that is holy, don't hang on to really, really ugly purses and store them in your closet full of expired and lethal medicine. Chances are....you're gonna regret it.


Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I think it happens to all of us!! My 2 and 5 year olds got into brand new bottles (childproof) of vitamins...and I didn't even know until my kindergartner got home and found the empty bottle! I freaked. Luckily, they were gummy ones and don't contain iron! Phew!

I have so many other stories :) You're not a bad mommy :) You sound like a fantastic one!

Happy Wednesday!

Melissa said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog! You sound like an amazing mom. My daughter once sucked all the ink out of a pen and the other one gave herself a very unfortunate haircut because instead of watching them, I was probably blogging. The Lord watches over them with eyes that never wander. Rest in that and enjoy the blessings that they are!!!

Jennifer said...

We're certainly not perfect! Thanks for sharing your story so the rest of us feel normal :)

Keith said...

Oh my! Thank you for the assurance up front that everything turned out well. I had a similar experience with one of you...it's so frightening. You can't be watching them 24/7. Praise the Lord that He's always watching!

Anonymous said...

oh dear. I know it's not funny, but....that's funny.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Linda said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you went through this. Of all the indignities, though, what the nurse said when it was all over just takes the cake. You shoulda said, "Thanks, lady. I was hoping someone would joke about this traumatic event."

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Oh my goodness. You sweet thing. What a nightmare. I'm so glad she was ok.

One time I couldn't find my two year old anywhere in the house. Finally, I looked in my closet. She had somehow shut herself in there and then eventually fell asleep on the closet floor. Surrounded by old purses. I felt so terrible; it was dark in there, she must have cried. Ugh. She is 9 now and I could still cry thinking of it.

Lisa said...

Oh how scary!
And you are so right--if things are quiet, it's a bad sign.
I am glad she's OK.

Jenny said...

THAT is scary. And that would SO happen at my house. Except MY bottle of Excedrin would have been sitting out on my dining room table or something and Taz would have been sitting on top of the table with them all spread out around him. And I would have not seen him there, even though I was sitting on the couch 5 feet away.

You are not a bad mommy! You're awesome!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

I have called Poison Control four times. That I can remember.

My most shining moment was once when my mom found 15 month old Eva Rose walking around with a Vicodin in her mouth. I had it in my hand to take, and then I answered the phone...

(I had just given birth, by the way, I am not a hydrocodone addict.)

I can ALWAYS top your bad mommy stories. Really. I'm hear for ya.