And the nurse asked, “Is her name Vicky?”

3 Sep

I was in the middle of preparing Jade’s dinner when the smell of menthol hit my nose. I looked around the kitchen but couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Another waft, another look, but I was concentrating on getting the meal done and didn’t think about it too much.  Then I heard the metallic clang of Nanuq’s water dish being splashed by a mobile infant.  Damn!  I crossed the kitchen to rescue the water dish before Halia could finish bathing in it, but as I approached her the smell of menthol grew stronger.  I started to call out to Michael to see if he could locate the source of the smell.

And that’s when I saw the open jar of Vick’s VapoRub.

A jar of Vick’s VapoRub, used only two or three times, purchased in Ottawa in June when Jade was so sick and we couldn’t give her any medicine.  Brought home to languish in a suitcase on the floor of Halia’s room until yesterday afternoon, when I finally removed it (and one pair of socks) so that I could finally put the damned suitcase away.  Brought upstairs in an empty club pack diaper box along with some clothes I wanted to give away.  And then forgotten.  On the floor.

Halia managed to take the jar out of a plastic Ziploc bag, unscrew the top, and put a cute paw print in it.  It got smeared over her shirt, her jeans, her ears, the diaper box, the floor… and since she’s at the stage where everything goes into her mouth, probably also her mouth.


Mark the date down on the calendar, honey, ’cause today’s the first time Halia gets to be admitted to a hospital.

We got through the Emergency triage fairly quickly.  Of all the ingredients in Vick’s VapoRub, the only one that is really worrisome is camphor.  You want to know what a toxic dose of camphor can do?  You’ll love this: camphor messes with the central nervous system in such a way that it can cause seizures.

Happily, I was told that a toxic dose for Halia would be about a teaspoon of Vick’s and it’s unlikely she got even a half a teaspoon down.  Still, they wanted me to stick around for 6 hours of observation.  The doctor kind of hinted that he couldn’t in good conscience discharge us before midnight, but that I didn’t really have to stick around if I felt the risk was low.  Officially, I was supposed to hang out in the lobby, check in every hour, and come right back to Emerge if she got “twitchy”, so they could give her a dose of Valium.

Oh, really?  And what if it just so happens that I have Valium at home?

So here I am blogging with a baby in a cradle next to me, on seizure watch for another couple of hours.  And just to reassure you, I am not at all expecting to see one, especially given how happy Halia was during our entire hospital visit. 

But it’s my fault she got into the Vick’s in the first place, so the least I can do is watch her breathe.  And thank God that she can breathe so peacefully.


10 Responses to “And the nurse asked, “Is her name Vicky?””

  1. Nai-Nai September 3, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    sent our love. she’ll be ok. talk to you tomorrow. Oxoxox. Oma will go to Berlin today, big demo. there are 140 tractors from Luechow. she asked about your blog last night. Take good care about yourself.

  2. Lindsay September 4, 2009 at 3:27 am #

    They sure keep us on our toes! Glad to hear she’s OK.

  3. IndyComp0T1 September 4, 2009 at 4:55 am #

    I am constantly amazed by how quickly kids manage to get into trouble. I’m convinced that they can break the light barrier. Glad to hear that Halia seems to be doing well though! 🙂

  4. Andrea September 4, 2009 at 9:00 am #

    Heh. I imagine Halia isn’t the first that has gotten into something like this, and won’t be the last. Stuff happens. Glad she’s okay.

  5. myra36 September 4, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    Yes, kids definitely keep you on your toes! Glad everything worked out.

  6. Jenny September 4, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    it’s always something!

  7. Lindsay September 4, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    A friend of ours 1 1/2 year old got into vaseline the same way, and spread it in handfulls all over the walls, bedspread, clothes, teddy bears….give them a jar of something they can play with and they don’t want it, but something they aren’t suppose to have….well, we all know what happens with that. Glad to hear everything turned out alright.

  8. Sharl September 5, 2009 at 6:06 am #

    Oh My Goodness! That’s remarkable that Halia was able to open the jar! I’m so glad that more got on her than in her! I can’t imagine how worried and stressed you must have felt!!

  9. allmycke September 5, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    So glad to hear that Halia is OK.

    Reminds me of when my son got hold of a full of container of baby powder while I was in the shower…. He sprinkled the stuff A.L.L. O.V.E.R. the apartment – floor, chairs, table, TV, desk and kitchen counters… He did that in the 3 minutes it took me to have a shower!


  1. 2009 in review: the cop-out « Fawnahareo’s Place - January 3, 2010

    […] I was in the middle of preparing Jade’s dinner when the smell of menthol hit my nose. […]

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