Yes, the title is shocking, but it happened. I never thought this would happen to me. I am careful and deliberate. I have 3 kids, I know all about child safety. I used to work in the ER and, if I am being perfectly honest, would judge people that let this sort of thing happen. But it happened. Hadley overdosed on her levothyroxine.
I won’t make you read to end to know that Hadley is perfectly fine and has been monitored since the incident occurred. Sunday morning started out like most others. I was in the kitchen getting everyone breakfast ready before church when Tuck and Hadley came downstairs from their room. I opened Hadley’s weekend bottle of levothyroxine (she takes a lower dose Monday through Friday) and removed half of a pill. I set the half pill on the counter, told Hadley to take her medicine, and I walked away. Less than a minute later, she proudly brought me an empty pill bottle and said, “Here Mommy, it’s all gone,” while smiling ear to ear.
Stunned. Speechless. Confusion. Disbelief.
I asked her if she really took all of the pills in the bottle and she happily nodded. We always make a point to tell Hadley what a good girl she is for taking her medicine, so this response makes perfect sense.
Nervous. Sick. Scared. Panic.
I ran upstairs to tell Kyle what happened. I know there were not very many pills left in the bottle. I am about 95% certain that there were 2 whole pills left, which would mean that Hadley just took FIVE TIMES her normal dose of levothyroxine. I started Googling which only served to push me right over the edge while Kyle was clear-minded enough to call Poison Control.
Guilt. Shame. Fear. Angst.
Kyle came to Hadley’s room to find me on the floor with her, crying and trying to get Hadley dressed for the emergency room. He told me that Poison Control did not feel that the dose Hadley ingested warranted a trip to the hospital just yet. They told us to watch her and that symptoms may not arise for 6-12 hours. Together we called the Endocrinology office and were immediately put through to the Endocrinologist on-call (kudos, Akron Children’s). Unfortunately, I forget his name, but the physician we spoke with was so kind and immediately brought me back to an anxiety level that I can handle. After I explained what happened, his first words were, “She’s going to be OK.” He explained that she may experience symptoms like feeling warm or hot, sweating, agitation, and restlessness. He told us to keep her hydrated, watch for fever or vomiting, and to call him back if either of these occurred.
Relief. Grateful. Embarrassed. Calm-ish.
Since no symptoms, if any, were expected for several hours, we finished getting ready and headed to church. A few extra prayers sure couldn’t hurt. I checked Hadley’s pulse several times throughout the day and she stayed right at 80 beats per minute. Sunday night she went to bed at her normal time and had no issues falling asleep. Later, I scooped her up and put her in our bed, just for good measure. Monday I kept her home so I could watch her for another day and thankfully, all is well. She slept in her own bed though, she’s a bed hog.
I still can’t believe that I let this happen. Not only did I leave the pill bottle within Hadley’s reach, but I also didn’t tighten the lid. Here’s the part where most people would ask you to keep your judgmental comments to yourself and that you can’t say anything worse than I have already thought myself. But I am not going to do that. I write this blog to keep a real, honest account of our struggles and triumphs with Hadley’s illness. I share this blog to be vulnerable and transparent and hopefully helpful to others. I’ve always welcomed your comments--good, bad, and otherwise--and will continue to keep true to my word and my mission.