>> Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I almost lost him.
If he hadn't taken the whole small bottle of Tylenol my teenage daughter was taking to school the next day (so she could help with pain from her tonsillectomy last week), taken them all so this his body reacted that night by throwing up, I might never have known anything was wrong until it was too late.
If I hadn't been worried when he threw up the second time that there was something more wrong with him than just stomach flu or eating something he shouldn't have (in a benign way - he's been known to bite candles and foam toys), I wouldn't have bothered Lee to keep looking. We were both tired and ready for bed, but it bothered me.
If the white powder Lee saw in the first purge hadn't made Lee wander into my daughter's bathroom and find the empty pill bottle (with the "child-proof" cap off) we had just filled that morning, I might never have suspected what he'd done until it was too late.
If I wasn't determined to be safe, I might not have gone immediately to the emergency room. Lee fretted, felt like it was unlikely Alex'd had enough to be dangerous since they tasted nasty or that it wasn't really the pills making him ill, told me I was overreacting and there was nothing they could do even if he had been poisoned. I took him anyway. A friend in college managed to permanently damage his liver because he took 12 (not the 30+ Alex took) and didn't get treatment. I knew how important it was to act quickly. (Note, that Lee never found any more pills and realized soon after I left with Alex to the hospital that Alex had taken them all. He regretted his gut let-nature-take-its-course thinking he applies to himself and was grateful I ignored him.)
If it wasn't for modern medicine that has an "antidote" that can help protect the liver (what acetaminophen can really damage) that can be given intravenously, going to the doctor might not have saved him. But the ER started him right away, as soon as they saw his sky-high blood levels and we were both shipped off to the city's Children Hospital.
Alex, throwing up, in pain, bewildered, in strange environs, over-tired (he didn't get to sleep until after 5 am), stuck with needles, became enraged, terrified, and fought the doctors, nurses and myself, trying to rip out then bite out his own IV. When we woke up after finally getting to sleep at 5 am, he was much his own self and, because of the early infusion of "antidote" his blood level of tylenol dropped by 4/5 in a matter of hours. Early results on his liver are promising, though we'll know for sure after more tests on Friday. Hopefully, the damage to his liver, if any, was minimal.
So, if you were wondering where I was the past few days, now you know. Alex is currently home and doing apparently fine. If there's a lesson here, it's that no one can prevent all accidents, even with child-proof cupboards and locking medicine cabinets. Accidents can and do happen and, sometimes, serendipity works with you...and sometimes it doesn't. Do the best you can, always try, and be grateful, be very very grateful when things work out alright.
I know what I'm grateful for...
P.S. My non-talking son has picked up new flirting techniques. He'd started to blow kisses (he held my hand and blew kisses at me most of the hospital stay when he wasn't trying to rip out IVs). He particularly liked one of the nurses particularly and not only took her hand but kissed the fingertips (freshly gloved fingertips, I might add). That's a new one.