Yesterday Beth was bound and determined to go to the hospital.
It seemed every time we turned around she was doing something dangerous.
I was sitting at the top of the stairs talking to Jeffrey during his lunch hour, and she kept getting angry with me because she wanted to slide along the narrow edge between the wall and the stairwell, and I just wouldn't let her. Because I am mean like that.
Later, Jeffrey and I were talking in our room, and the Mommy senses started tingling. I leaped up, looking for Beth, and saw her trying her hardest to shove a flat blade screw driver into the outlet. Which is sad, because the outlet cover, which I am usually so vigilant about keeping plugged in was sitting on the floor right next to her. I had pulled it out so I could plug in my computer, but then the kids had moved my computer and had forgotten to put the cover back in place, thus leaving an enticing hole for Beth. Add to that the fact that Keith had accidentally pulled the faucet knob in the bathroom off, so he had my tools out, and so access to my screwdriver was very handy because he hadn't put them away properly, instead he had placed them beneath the uncovered outlet in my bedroom.
And thus began the chain of events.
For some bizarre reason, I had decided to make kool-aid yesterday. I never make kool-aid, but it has been unbearably hot, and I have been feeling quite a bit like June Cleaver, and felt like indulging. So I splurged like a 49'er on payday and got those adorable little humans of mine some sugar infused drink to add color and sweet comas to their childhood memories.
Yesterday I decided to make Mango Peach. Because mangoes and peaches just happen to be the two of my favorite fruits, and I called that the most amazing luck ever, to find a drink that contained both at once! It had to be absolutely lush, I was sure of it! I was so excited to try it and share it with those partners in joy and crime of mine.
Pity it really wasn't all that good. It had such potential!
But while Keith and Faye ran in and out of the house, chasing goblins, vanquishing trolls, and conquering kingdoms, Beth and I attacked dust bunnies and dirty dishes all the while keeping the four of us hydrated on the orange liquid of mango peach nectar of childhood called Kool-aid.
Jeffrey got home from work and needed to do some work on his car. I decided I needed to bake him some bread as payment for when he finished. Because every good mechanic needs payment, and since mine wasn't charging me an arm and a leg for service, he needed something, and my man loves nothing better than a fresh baked loaf of bread, that is what he would get.
Except that is not what happened. Adrienne called and needed a ride to pick up her car from the mechanic. I happily jumped at the chance to help her as she is always there to help me and many others when they are in need, so of course I could repay the favor. I scooped Beth up in my arms and headed out the door. Except as I got there, I realized that I couldn't bring Beth with me, because there wouldn't be a car seat for Adrienne's baby, so I would have to leave Beth home. I explained the situation to Jeffrey, he agreed to watch her as I would only be gone for a short while, and he held her so she would be safe as I drove out of the drive way.
I drove away taking care of Primary things in my head, as that is always what I do when I have a spare and quiet minuet. I prayed for some guidance and direction because every other time I had attempted to pray, I was interrupted by Beth bursting into the room, jumping onto my back, or trying to squish beneath my arms and join me. I always had to end quickly, though, as she made me laugh and was far too distracting for me to get anything accomplished. And so I prayed, as I always do when I drive, because I really can't get any peace and quite at any other time. And as funny as it sounds, I really do love that!
Near Adrienne's house I noticed there had been an accident and that there was a lot of traffic, and how grateful I was I wasn't going that way. At about that time, my phone rang. It was Jeffrey. He was slightly panicked. He told me he had been draining the wiper washer fluid and had turned to find a tool in his tool box. When he turned back, he noticed that Beth had scooped up the cup that was collecting the orange mango peach colored fluid, and when he looked at her, she had it all around her mouth, as if she had just guzzled it.
He didn't know if she had swallowed any, or a lot, or none at all and had simply put it up to her mouth. He had no idea. He no longer had the container for this fluid, as it was at least a season or two old, and he worried that this had some antifreeze in it.
Now, I am an expert with calling Poison Control. I have done it so many times with my other kids, that I didn't even worry. I told Jeffrey to get her to drink a lot of fluids right now, but if it would give him peace of mind, I would call poison control. He said it would, and so I said I would call them as soon as I stopped the car (I was in Adrienne's neighborhood by this time).
I hung up the phone with him, and nonchalantly called them, breezily explaining the situation, and confidently told them that I had already told him to flush her with fluids and to watch her. Which is the advice that I have always received when I have called in the past.
Not this time.
"I'm afraid fluids wont do any good this time, hon." the lady kindly said. "You need to take her to the emergency room right now. Which hospital will you be taking her to so I can call ahead and have them ready for her?"
I was floored. Not only be her words, but by the calm way she spoke them. As if she were asking me the time of day. No alarm in her voice, no worry, just fact and kindness.
By the time I got off the phone, Adrienne had come out, and tears were streaming down my face. She gave me a hug, which somehow squeezed more of those tears out, and I then I was off driving again. Except I had forgotten about the accident and the rubbernecking induced traffic.
Now, as a side note, I am not prone to road rage. I don't shout at drivers, as I know they cannot hear me, and I find it silly to get so upset over something I am so powerless over. But for possibly the first time in my life, I was shouting, and screaming at the traffic in front of me. I was calling Jeffrey frantically. Except I was accidentally calling his work phone so he wasn't getting any of my calls. And the cars in front of me who were "purposefully" driving so slow, well, it is a good thing that cursing people doesn't actually work. And that they will never know my ire of that moment. I drove as fast as I could, squealed my tires into the driveway, and shuddered the van to a halt in front of a bewildered Jeffrey.
I jumped out of the van, I am sure looking like a lunatic, with tears still streaming from my face.
"Where are the kids? We have to go right now. Beth has to go to the hospital this moment!" I sputtered.
Jeffrey stood for a moment watching me, and I had to explain again that I had just gotten off with poison control, they said to take her to the hospital immediately, and that time was of the essence, so we had to leave immediately!
The kids were next door playing, and right at that moment the dad got home, so it was very convenient for Jeffrey to run over and quickly explain the situation while I buckled Beth into her seat and we set off again, breaking every single speed limit ever set, and not even getting the juvenile joy out of it that I would have years ago.
It really seemed like we did hit every single red light on our way there.
We got to the hospital, and Beth the whole time was acting like she was fine. She was happy and thought we were on an adventure.
Bless her happy little heart, she certainly helped my tears disappear and my peace restore. Calmness came to my soul because of her laughter and chatter and concern for me every time she saw anything resembling a tear come near my eyes.
Jeffrey was a mess, though. He beat himself up black and blue, though. He blames himself for the whole thing, saying he wasn't watching her properly, and it is his fault if anything happens to her.
We only had to wait in the waiting room of the ER for about 5 minutes, and we were taken back. They told us that with this type of poison, it is always metabolic first, and then the physical symptoms happen, so watching her and seeing how happy she was and seeing how much fun she was having would do absolutely nothing to gauge how she actually was. But good heavens, that little girl charmed her way around the ER. Everyone there wanted to peek their heads in and see the curly headed cherub who was filing the whole floor with laughter and gaiety. She was throwing Jeffrey's keys around the room and chasing them down, giggling hysterically, thinking it droll and the greatest thing ever.
I did get a little tired of people asking where Beth's curly hair comes from. Especially when they would ask me while I was holding her.
The gaiety was broken by the nurses reluctantly coming in with the news that they were going to have to draw blood. Which they did on three separate occasions. Jeffrey and I had to pin my poor giggling baby down, while they poked her with needles. She was so pale when they finished, and it really broke our hearts.
I have never in my life seen Jeffrey cry, until last night.
Each time they took her blood, it made all three of us cry; the baby, Jeffrey and I.
Apparently for that particular test the blood must be specially packaged, and then carefully chartered to Salt Lake City where the test itself takes at least three hours, which meant we would have to be there four hours or longer. They also informed us that they would need to catheter Beth, to which she again amazed them with her super powers. We informed them that she would not need to be catheterized, because my amazing little cherub who is not yet two can use the potty and loves to show off to everyone that she is an expert at potty-ing.
They were duly impressed.
And something along the lines of having to take her blood every three hours, just in case the first test results didn't take. I don't remember. That, or they are secretly in the black market for baby blood.
And so, we sat there, waiting in a small room, trying to entertain Beth, all the while trying to bate our fears. Jeffrey kept talking about "what if," until I finally told him that "what if" was not an option for me because I couldn't bare to think about anything other than them telling us after a ridiculously long wait would be that she is fine, and we could take her home, and then we would have an outlandish bill to pay because we don't have insurance for the kids.
We called our Bishop who happens to be a childhood friend for both Jeffrey and myself. He immediately came up to the hospital and assisted in giving Beth a blessing. Adrienne, who had been helping to keep my spirits up with her witty texts that always make me laugh offered to bring some things to us from the house. She brought Beth's binki (which was heaven sent as she desperately wanted it every time they poked her to take her blood), blanket, and pajamas. My phone charger, and my tablet, as well as some medicine to help with my migraine that was beginning. She also stopped at a store and picked up some humus and crackers and a mix of cajun nuts all of which really helped my head because I think part of the migraine was from hunger, part was from lack of sleep, and part must have been from worry.
Around 12:30 we finally learned that Beth was fine. She had ingested some, but clearly not enough to hurt her. The toxicity level is 20 and Beth was at a 6. They let us go home. It was the greatest homecoming I have ever felt, and I am not saying that in my usual way of being melodramatic, I truly felt happier than I ever have to go home.
Meanwhile, my parents had collected Keith and Faye had given them dinner and put them to bed at their house. It was decided that they would stay there for the night and in the morning, Beth and I would go and get them. Which meant that she and I would be able to get the amount of sleep that we actually needed!
Today was quite a surprise, though. I did get a decent amount of sleep last night, which was heaven. And then today I ran errands with the kids. I had to go to my doctor's office to get some lab work done, and then we went to 2 different grocery stores. While at one of them, we were waiting in line for a long time. A new checkout lane eventually opened up, and they asked us if we would like to go to the new lane, meaning, did we want to be first in line. Oh my goodness, yes! The lady who was checking us out said she was very impressed with my calmness as the kid seemed to be climbing up the walls. Faye had no shoes on and was trying to poke holes in wheat and flour bags. Beth was being adorable and trying to add everything from the impulse buy items to the cart, and Keith kept pushing the cart, running me over. I was also surprised by how calm I was and how un-frenzied I felt. Because they are my little humans and I love their guts and I am so happy that they are alive and healthy and well!
There is nothing quite like the emergency room to put things into perspective, is there?
When Jeffrey got home from work today he told me that his co-worker and our friend had to leave work early today as they discovered whopping cough in their home. The whole family is now under quarantine. Jeffrey showered as soon as he got home from work so as not to spread any of the germs he may have gotten from work. What a scary thing this mortality is!
I just have to say, I am so happy I have this darling little family. And what a blessing they are in my life. And more than anything, it is so beautiful to me to see how protected and loved we are. How the Lord is guiding and protecting us in every aspect of our lives. It is so evident and obvious to me that we are being watched over, and I obviously have to give credit where credit is due.