I thought when we took Cooper to the ER for downing a bottle of off-brand Nyquil we’d met our family quota for accidental over the counter drug overdoses, but I guess I was wrong.
We’d just gotten back from a quick last minute trip to Utah (more on that later) and Ellen beat me to unpacking a bottle of off-brand Children’s Tylenol. Somehow she got the top off (I’m seriously doubting the integrity of childproof lids on off-brand medications . . . ) and I found her in the bathroom chugging the bottle’s contents as quickly as she could. By this time we knew the drill. Noel called poison control while I got the kids into pajamas. Then we all loaded into the car and drove to the hospital. Ellen thought everything was a really fun adventure until the nurses brought out the needles. By the time they’d drawn enough blood for their tests Ellen had thrown up her lunch, bled all over the sheets, and screamed loud enough to break glass. They wanted us to try and get her to drink a charcoal mixture that would absorb the acetaminophen and protect her liver, but she wanted nothing to do with it. After Ellen, me, and the entire room were covered in black goo from her kicking, screaming, and repeated vomiting we were finally given permission to just give up. We all sat there shell-shocked with the exception of Cooper who erased all the doctor’s notes on the whiteboard and drew abstract works of art. Since we wouldn’t know anything definitive until at least 10:30 we decided to take Cooper home and had a good friend come stay at our house while he slept. (Thanks Pam!)
Fortunately, the second round of blood tests showed Ellen’s acetaminophen levels going down so we were able to close the door on the overflowing hamper of dirty sheets and towels (pretty sure our hospital co-pay was worth that alone) and head home. We’ve resolved to be even more diligent about keeping medicines away from the kids and have our fingers crossed that we don’t become pros at this.