This little girl

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.


21 thoughts on “This little girl

  1. Glad she is alright. It really is frightening. My little boy spent three nights in the Pead ward at Umhlangha hospital at the start of this month for a lung infection. The hours in casualty were scary and the days in the ward passed in a blur. Hope that for both of us it was a one off thing. The whole experience made me really feel for those parents of kids with terminal diseases. Your whole life seems to revolve around the hospital.

    1. The experience also made my heart go out to the moms and children that deal with terminal illnesses. We were subjected to one tube and one blood test that was absolutely terrifying for my little girl. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have it done everyday :(

  2. Fiona when I read your FB posting I nearly had a heart attack. So glad she is OK now and that you guys had excellent service at the ER. I have been to ER with Child2 countless times and I know that it can be harrowing.
    I’m thrilled though that you guys had a great holiday despite this. Love the pic of her in the sand.

  3. Fi, the way this post has been written has made my heart clutch, I feel every emotion you felt during this scary time…

    Thank God she is just fine. Thank God you guys were calm under pressure. Thank God for those ER professionals. “A concerned passerby gives my arm a reassuring pat and tells me it will be over soon” – thank God for people feeling empathy for a Mommy who is scared for her child.


  4. Goodness me! I was stressed just reading that post, I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for you to go through. How aweful! Just happy all is okay now. X

  5. Oh, poor baby, and poor YOU. I’m so glad you were able to get the care you needed quickly. I’m so glad she’s okay. You’ve just inspired me to move up all out pill jars asap–Hannah likes shaking them now, but too soon, that will turn into opening them.

  6. Pingback: Hear hear! |

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