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A Visit to the Hospital

Yesterday involved a very serious scary adventure. I was in the bathroom when my son decided to investigate my purse. In my purse he found a blister pack of Nicorette Gum. My last quit smoking attempt was in the fall of the year so I had no idea how many gums were in the pack. I knew he ate at least three because those compartments sported teeth marks and saliva. Considering that there are 15 potential gums he could have eaten I was terrified he would get nicotine poisoning

I called poison control and they told me to go to the hospital which I did.

I was not impressed with their speed. The intake nurse was deathly slow and then the intake nurse was just as slow, all the while the sugar coating was dissolving and he was absorbing nicotine through his gut. Then we finally got put in a hospital and saw the Dr. He prescribed activated charcoal. The nurse then came in with a bunch of charcoal juice and said make him drink it. AND LEFT. That’s right she left.

What a nightmare!

Trying to get a two year old to drink charcoal juice is pretty impossible if you have no idea how to go about it. I tried the direct approach first. “Would you like to drink some nice black?” I asked. This canny plan resulted in about 3 millilitres of activated charcoal ingestion. Then we tried holding him down and forcing him to drink it. Did you know that 2 year olds can very accurately smack your hand away? In fact they seem to sprout extra limbs just for the purposes of knocking charcoal away from them. Finally we settled on a plan of holding him down and dumping liquid into his mouth. Then the nurse came back for the purpose of telling us that we were upsetting him and that we should keep him calm. She also told my husband to stop being so upset and be strong for his son.

Then at some point we were told we would be transferred to the pediatric unit. We went up there and we had to stay until there was no chance of anything bad happening. Matthew thought it was great fun to run through the circular hallway and he was dead bored. For a little guy who is so active I’m afraid that the entire experience was pretty boring. Boring and children don’t mix very well. He watched TV for a while and got an x-ray of his stomach. Around bedtime I thought a good activity would be to give him a bath. There was an immense bath there and we got some soap and made some bubbles which was lots of fun for Matthew. Some splashing occurred and my husband and I got soaked. There were lots of laughs and giggles. It was just what we needed after a panic ridden day.

Finally the Dr came in and watched Matthew for a while and asked us a lot of questions.It turns out that he’s a Pediatric Neurologist and he told us to get a referral from our pediatrician to come and see him. Now there’s no doubt that Matthew is super bright. He knows the alphabet and how to count to 100 and alternating numbers and so many amazing things. But he is extremely active. And the Pediatric Neurologist is concerned.

Which leads into an interest of mine, neurodiversity. Exemplified in an extreme by certain examples such as Temple Grandin who is autistic and to a lesser degree by myself and my husband who are both “geniuses”. My level of intelligence occurs in about one in 40,000 people. My husband’s level of intelligence occurs in about one in 400,000 people. Finding each other was a relief for both of us. In a sense we are both social outcasts mostly I think because the things that are of great interest to us are not interesting to other people. We had a very nice discussion a few days ago about Bose-Einstein condensate. Conversely stuff that interests other people doesn’t interest us too much. I don’t care for sports, most TV shows, my hair, clothes, makeup and lots of other things like that make up the majority of most people’s activities.

So the idea that my son is different then other children is not really scary to me, of course he’s different he’s our child and we both are extremely different from other folks. The idea that we would have a “normal” child is genetically improbable. At the age of 37 I have come to grips with my differences. It’s ok that I’m weird and don’t think like other people at a fundamental level. I like the way I am and think now. As a child and young person in school that was not the case. I was told and felt like I was wrong. I can’t help thinking that this whole nightmarish experience was a cloud with a silver lining. Meeting that particular Dr on that particular day is a bit of a miracle. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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