This post has taken me over a year to write. I get so emotional just even thinking about it. If your child ate or drank a chemical, poison or any type of medication, do you know what to do?
Three years ago I was just sitting down to lunch with one of the girls from work. My phone rang, at first I was going to ignore but as it rang and rang I got a sixth sense to answer it.
‘Hi Kellie, where are you?’
‘Kayla’s not very well’
‘She’s had an accident, but she’s okay’
‘Can you get to the Hospital as soon as you can’
‘Don’t rush love, drive safe, she will be fine’
I pleaded and begged for the person on the other line to tell me exactly what happened but they wouldn’t, just that she ate something she shouldn’t have. I knew something was seriously wrong.
I will never ever forget the drive to the hospital that day. I almost ended up in a hospital bed myself.
I arrived and ran into the receptionist in tears and when I told her who I was looking for she had a sorry look on her face, ‘she’s in room one hunni’. But room one was empty and so was two and three. But there were two nurses standing outside room four just staring at me. Then a Paediatrician on the phone stood up from behind a desk and said ‘we’ve been waiting for you, it looks worse that what it is… please try not to panic’.
There she was, lifeless with wires hanging from every part of her body. There was a nurse sitting on the side of the bed. There was this black coal like stuff all over the bed, on her clothes and all around her mouth. One of the machines was beating like crazy cause her heart rate was low. She began jerking as if she was having a mild fit. She was completely out of it.
Kayla had eaten a tablet that was sitting in a medication cup in a bedroom, a sedative called Clozapine.
‘We are concerned that she hasn’t been responding to well, could you talk to her, maybe your familiar voice will help arouse her.’ They wanted to see how she would respond, to see if she was alert under the effects of the drug. And she did. She tried to lift her head towards me. I will never forget it.
The Doctor then explained everything. He had never encountered an overdose of it’s kind. They were very concerned about her kidneys. Tallaght Hospital at the time didn’t have a dialysis machine available god forbid she took a turn for the worse so she needed a transfer to Crumlin.
They brought her up to the High Dependency Unit while they arranged the transfer. Within the hour she was transferred by ambulance with a High Dependency Nurse by her side, into the Nephro Urology ward of Our Lady’s Children Hospital.
That whole day is a blur. I remember the first time I saw her, that image will never leave me. I remember thinking she is going to die.
I sat up all night leaning on her cot bed drifting in and out. Every single time the machine beeped my stomach turned upside down, I would shake her and run to the nurse’s station in a panic.
By morning she was very distressed. The effects of the drug were beginning to wear off. She was slurring some words. She couldn’t lift her legs, her head weighed a tonne and her arms were like jelly. She didn’t know where she was. Even if she was able to move she couldn’t because there were so many wires hanging from her.
By lunchtime, she was hungry so the nurses helped me prop her up on a chair so she could have some toast. She ate maybe four or five bites, but according to the nurses, this was really good progress. They hooked her up to an IV and she slept for the best part of the day.
By that evening like some sort of miracle her blood tests came back clear. Every single one of them. Although she was still a little confused, she was up playing, being the loud-mouthed Kayla we all know and love. Thankfully she continued to progress until she was discharged.
My two year old was very lucky was extremely lucky.
In Ireland, one thousand kids are hospitalised each year with poisoning. After my experience, I cannot stress how important it is to keep all medicines, electronic cigarettes, washing and dishwasher tablets/pods/capsules, cosmetics and cleaning products locked away in a secure cupboard AT ALL TIMES. Also watch for stuff in the garden like slug pellets, weed killer, mushrooms and fungi.
If you think your child has been poisoned stay calm but act quick. If your child has eaten something make them spit it out and use your hands to remove any remaining pieces in their mouth, and do not give your child anything to eat or drink or make them vomit. And seek medical help immediately. If you are in Ireland ring the Poisons Information Centre in Beaumont on 01-8092166. They are open from 8am-10pm daily, outside of these hours call 999/112. And if you are living in the UK ring 999.
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