This little girl took a liking to this little statue. She smiled at her coyly. She read her brass book. She made a friend.
This little girl took a liking to the vast tanks filled with vibrant marine life. She was mesmerized. She lost herself in an aquatic fantasy.
This little girl took a liking to the balmy sea sand. She adorned sea sand on her sweet little bottom like any toddler should when on holiday.
This little girl also took a liking to our Allergex tablets.
We aren’t exactly sure how many she swallowed but it was more than 4 and less than 8. Enough to be considered an overdose the doctors said. The discovery nurse told us to hurry to casualty. A paramedic advised us that her breathing would start to become shallow. We hurried as fast as we could down the windy beach roads to the nearest Netcare.
The Casualty Staff were fantastic. They were calm. They were thorough. They were sympathetic. The doctor on duty meticulously checked and rechecked the info. She consulted with a pediatrician. She used her medical journals for guidance. In the end she advised us that the safest and most reliable solution was to flush out her little tummy with activated charcoal.
The doctor walked in with a big sinister glass of “coke”. Zoe took a big sip and spat it out with utter disgust. It wasn’t coke mom? The look of questioning disappointment was a punch to my gut. Little did we know this was just the beginning of the agony and torture she had to endure for the next hour. Pain that was unfortunately necessary.
We inserted the suppository in her bum. She cried.
We helped the nurse wrap her in a sheet, hold her down and force the activated charcoal down her mouth. She cried some more.
We helped keep her still while the doctors stuck the tube down her throat and funnel the activated charcoal down to her tummy. She cried hysterically and she begged for it to stop.
At one stage I walked out. A concerned passerby gives my arm a reassuring pat and tells me it will be over soon. All I can hear is my child’s incessant pleading.
It was heartbreaking.
What felt like an eternity, eventually ended. Tiredness hit like a ton of bricks and our efficient casualty nurse guided us up to the paed ward for the night. Within minutes of lying her down in the cot her tired and battered little body drifted off to sleep. So much so she hardly woke for the blood tests. Her eyes were heavy, she whimpered a bit and after two viles of blood were taken it was time to rest.
We’re home now. There is an empty packet of Allergex in our memory jar for 2012. A reminder of Zoe’s first visit to the ER and hopefully the last. A reminder to be more careful. A reminder of just how precious she is.