25 August 2006

An evening in the life

First off, let me say this: Nora is fine. Throughout all of what I am about to relate, she was at worst pissed off, but she was never ill or lethargic or anything like that. Ironically, I think she came out of the whole experience least effected.

The short version: Nora somehow got a bottle of Motrin open and ingested at least half a pill, at most four pills. Chris and I took her to the ER (while my folks assumed care of Mairi), a nurse called Poison Control, they recommended Nora be held for observation for a couple hours, and four hours later we were released and came home.

The slightly longer version: At about 6pm yesterday, we were about to go out to dinner with my folks. Chris walked over to our house to get the Subaru, taking Nora with him while I got Mairi ready to go. The Subaru arrived in my folks' driveway, I walked out to the car with Mairi, as Mairi was getting in her seat she looked at Nora and said, "I don't think she should have those." Chris and I looked over, saw that Nora had an open Motrin bottle and orange stuff around her mouth — we have no idea how on earth she got it, it's normally in the glove box between the front seats, nor do we know how she got the "child-proof" cap off.

Chris and I ran to the other side of the car, got Nora out of her seat and started swiping out her mouth with our fingers. She started yelling, Mairi started crying, it was lovely. We found two partially chewed pills in her mouth, ten to twelve in her seat and on the floor of the car — out of a 24-count bottle. After a brief discussion, we sent Mairi with Mom and Dad and took off for the urgent care facility (MedPoint) closest to our house.

At MedPoint I immediately told the receptionist why we were there. She talked to the doctor, who said we'd better head over to the ER. At the ER, one nurse checked us in and took Nora's vital stats while another got on the phone with Indiana Poison Control. We found two more pills in her onesie, and that with the fact that I knew we had used at least three doses (two pills per dose = six more pills accounted for) got the possibly ingested count down to four to six at most. Poison Control said to keep her in and observe but didn't recommend that her stomach be pumped (as we had sort of expected).

So, we waited. First in the waiting room, then later in an ER patient room. Mom, Dad and Mairi had followed us first to MedPoint and then on to the hospital — since dinner had been skipped, they took Mairi down to the cafeteria and fed her, sending Chris back with some caramel corn for him, me and Nora to eat. At about 8:30, Chris and I decided Mairi really ought to go home and get to bed (her normal bedtime is 7:30), so Mom took them home and Dad stayed with Nora and myself.

At about 9:30 or so, I asked the nurse if we really needed to stay. Nora had been playing, running around the room, giggling, waving to the nurses and patients going by outside our room — it had bwell wel over the recommended two hours and there was obviously nothing wrong with her. The nurse said I could check Nora out, but the new doctor was coming on shift at 10:00 and would probably see us almost immediately. I agreed to wait a bit more, but said if no one was able to see us by 10:15, we were going to leave.

Please understand, I'm not complaining about the care we received — it was simply obvious that Nora was fine by this point, and I felt bad taking up a room that someone else might need more! Okay, and I was bordering on totally exhausted, plus rather hungry. But mostly it just seemed foolish for very busy hospital staff to spend any more time on us.

At about ten to ten, the doctor on staff came in to see us. I answered several questions, most of them for the second or third time, he looked at Nora, asked to see her walk, and went off to consult with the nurse(s) who had talked to Poison Control. He came back, discussed various things to watch out for with a child her age, and said we should go home. Nora was asleep before we were two miles form the hospital. Dad got me some fast food on the way home, and I went to bed as soon as I could after we got there. (For all the good that did — for some reason I didn't sleep too well. Go figure.)

Today Nora is totally her normal self, none the worse for the experience as far as we can tell. And Chris and I have started a top to bottom re-evaluation of every room in the house for child-proofing!

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