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Parenting Is Scary - Part 67982, or How We Ended Up at the ER Twice in a Day

Not from yesterday, but look at that cute sleeping girl! She freaks me out way too often.

Yesterday afternoon, while Little L was playing outside with her nanny, she tripped on the uneven cement path beside our house, fell, and hit her head against one of the cement steps. Suddenly, I heard her piercing wail from inside the house. Then I heard the nanny calling for me, flustered and unsure about what to do next. She quickly blurted, "She fell outside. She's bleeding! What should I do?!" By this time, blood was splattered on my daughter's face and t-shirt, and soaking through the paper towels being held against her forehead. The small, deep crater was pooling with blood every time we removed pressure from her head.

It's a miracle that I didn't lose it right there, but despite my inward fear I was able to maintain my outward calm; I rushed over to console Little L and check on her wound while directing my nanny to call 811 or 911. As she spoke with the operator, I checked my daughter's vitals and examined her wound. Thankfully, by this time it was no longer gushing with blood, so I was able to coax her into letting me spray-wash it with saline and apply a Hello Kitty bandage to protect it until we could see a doctor. Praise God that my girl was lucid, not vomiting, and not lethargic; she did not present as having a concussion (which was my biggest fear), and she was pleading to get some nye-nye and have a nap. Of course I denied her request, just in case she *did* have a head injury.

However, to ease the pain, I gave my kid a Jr. Tylenol. To her, it was like candy so she gladly gobbled it up.

Hubbs pulled in shortly after the firefighters and ambulance arrived. The wonderful first-responders all tried to coax my daughter into the ambulance, but she was so distraught that she absolutely refused to go anywhere with them, even if I accompanied her. She also fought them off when they tried to examine her wound, so they had to resign themselves to following our vehicle as we drove her to the ER.

We had to wait for several hours in the ER before being seen. Little L had calmed down and was actually enjoying her Mommy/Daddy time at the hospital; she was such a patient little trooper despite her injury, which I'm sure must have ached. However, when a nurse finally looked behind the Hello Kitty bandage and saw the depth of her cut, he figured that she would need stitches. This pronouncement sent her into inconsolable tears once more. Thankfully, we were ushered into a room shortly afterwards, so the poor folks in the waiting area didn't have to listen to her loud, dramatic sobs for long.

While we waited for the doctor, we bribed her with Skittles and Corn Nuts. Both proved to be a hit, and she was calm again until the doctor arrived. We all anticipated that she would need stitches, but thankfully the doctor figured that we could just glue her wound shut and bypass the trauma associated with getting sewn up. Little L still wailed and fidgeted throughout the procedure, requiring both Hubbs and I to hold her down while the doctor pinched her wound, applied the glue, and waited for it to set. Once it was all done, we were free to go! We stopped at Dairy Queen to get our brave little warrior princess a chocolate sundae treat.

Then, in the evening, Little L began to complain that her wound was aching. Since it had been more than 6 hours since her last dose of Jr. Tylenol, I agreed to give her another dose. This time, however, I would give her the full 1.5 tablets according to her weight. After I cut her half tablet and closed the cap on the bottle, I went to clean up the shattered remains of the second half of the pill. I was only in the kitchen for maybe a minute or so, when Little L ran up to Hubbs and I and proudly proclaimed, "Look, Mommy! Look what I did!"

In her hands was an empty, uncapped Jr. Tylenol bottle.

She had figured out how to uncap the lid.

Hubbs and I looked at each other, and we freaked. Poor Little L was devastated to see how our expressions changed instantly to worry, and she began to cry as we interrogated her on where the rest of the Jr. Tylenol pills were. She quickly confessed that they were in her tummy, and immediately we grabbed our keys and ran for the door. Little L sobbed as soon as we told her we would need to return to the hospital, and she begged us not to go back. We tried to explain the gravity of the situation, and despite her pleas we loaded her into the vehicle once more. As Hubbs drove, I called 811 and then Poison Control to see if there was anything we could do in the meantime. While 811 proved useless and the 90-year-old nurse who I spoke with should have been fired for senility, the Poison Control nurse was incredibly helpful. Once I answered her questions about the Jr. Tylenol and my girl's weight and age and how many pills she ingested (I'm guessing in total, about 7), the nurse was able to reassure me that a trip to the ER wasn't actually necessary. Of course, by this time we were already parked in front of the ER door and getting ready to unload Little L; we ticked off the ambulance that was pulling in because we were obstructing the entrance and not really moving quickly. The nurse explained that for her weight, Little L would have needed to ingest an entire new bottle of Jr. Tylenol before it was a toxic dosage. While her gobbling up so many tablets might result in some serious pain relief, it would not likely cause nausea or any kind of organ damage. We were instructed not to give her any more Jr. Tylenol for the next 24 hours, and advised against checking back into the ER.

Given our own reluctance to wait for hours in the ER again, we turned the car around to go home. We were cautiously relieved, but still uncertain whether the night might prove the Poison Control nurse wrong. Neither of us slept all that well last night, but Little L? She was out like a light, thanks to her Jr. Tylenol OD.

Yesterday was one of the most challenging and nerve-wracking days we've had as parents, and our girl is only 3.5! I'm not really sure if my heart will survive until she is 18.


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