When It Rains, It Pours
or, in our house, it vomits
These days I rarely get sick. It’s been at least a couple of years since I’ve had anything significant, and that was just a cold with a lingering cough. I figure between intentional vaccinations and all the bugs I have been exposed to through my kids over the years, my immune system is in its prime; fighting off bad bugs without me even knowing what’s going on.
Then something, probably a virus, brought me to my knees (literally).
I woke up Saturday at 3am with severe, stabbing pains in my stomach, and the convincing feeling that dinner was not going to stay in my body for much longer. This was the start of hours of my body trying to rid itself of everything in my GI tract by both available high speed evacuation routes. And even though my body was continuously expelling stuff, the pain in my abdomen did not get better. After only 3 hours I was laying in bed, begging for mercy.
Number 4 was having her birthday party at our house that day. And with each passing hour I tried to convince myself that the next hour would bring relief in time for me to pull myself together for the party. But it just wasn’t happening and I finally told Spouse that he was just going to have to fly solo.
He managed to pull everything off (Good job, Spouse!) and I remained sick throughout the night. The next day there was nothing left in my body to come out, but I was useless and spent the day on the couch half comatose.
The next day, Monday, I was partly functional – good thing because Spouse went to work and I was left to run things. I still had pain in my stomach every time I ate something, but I got through the day ok. Number 1 was complaining of stomach pain, so I let him stay home. He did not get sick that day, and I started wondering if maybe we had dodged the worst of it.
I shouldn’t have wondered.
That night, our voracious black lab puppy ate an entire prescription bottle of fluoride tablets – not a pill was left. Spouse and I furiously flew to our respective computers to see who could find out the most information about fluoride and dog toxicity first. The information we found was contradictory, so I called our local animal hospital to see if they had any info. They didn’t, but they gave me the number for Animal Poison Control (did you know that exists? I didn’t).
Apparently it’s run by the ASPCA, and is not a free service. But when you are worried about your animal’s life, what are you going to do?
According to Poison Control, the fluoride was not a problem (whew) BUT the sugar substitute in the pills, xylitol, is toxic to dogs. Like 100x more toxic than chocolate, coma-inducing, liver failure-inducing toxic.
Poison Control wanted me to induce vomiting by giving her hydrogen peroxide. I couldn’t help thinking about the irony of the situation – that I had been trying to stop my own vomiting all weekend, and now I needed to make my dog vomit.
I scoured the house for hydrogen peroxide, but we didn’t have any. So Poison Control told me to get her to a vet emergency room IMMEDIATELY.
After giving them my credit card info, of course.
Oh, and by the way, they said, if you happen to have any maple syrup in the house, you can rub it on her gums to try to prevent hypoglycemia.
If you follow this blog, you will see the humor in this.
Thank goodness we live close to a pet hospital – I rushed her there at 11:30 at night and they induced her to vomit and started her on an IV. But I have to tell you – she was fine throughout. She never showed any signs of toxicity and continued being her happy, dopey, I-eat-everything black lab self.
While I was sitting in the waiting room, Spouse texted me to let me know that Number 1 was up vomiting. I got home around 1:30 (Maggie had to stay at the hospital) and then spent the night coordinating bathroom trips for Number 1 and my mother, who also now had the bug. (It was a long night).
They were both ill for at least a couple of days.
On Wednesday of that week (nope, the week wasn’t over yet) we had our 212th cold snap of the season. While we were basking in single-digit weather, our furnace started vomiting water all over the basement. It turns out that our boiler plate had cracked and the repair guys were out 3 times in 2 days trying to keep it sealed enough until it could be replaced. We had no choice – minus one year of college for one of the kids.
That night I went to pick up Maggie from the vet and I was pulled over by the police because my headlight was out.
Somehow I hadn’t had time to fix it.
Maybe it was because life was vomiting on me?