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The Luckiest Day of My Life

Grace screaming is no big deal. She does it four or five times a day.

What she said after the scream made my whole body go numb and the air suck instantly from my lungs.

“ALLIE IS EATING YOUR MEDICINE!” she cried, standing in the bathroom door.

I’d been sick for a day and a half, and I’d run to the bathroom a few minutes earlier under duress, naked and still wet from a shower with Allie.

“Take it away from her!” I told Grace. “Get it out of her mouth!” To say I finished my business in a hurry would be a pathetic understatement.

When I got downstairs, I swept Allie’s mouth, nothing. I noticed a slightly blue toothpaste-looking foam around one side of her mouth, and I knew. She had chewed up and swallowed one of my bipolar meds.

I googled and called poison control, and they told me to call 9-1-1 right away.

It’s a good thing I was numb because those instructions would have otherwise left me an anxiety-filled mass of blubber weeping on the floor.

I called; county control dispatched. I hastened to find clean clothes to cover our naked bodies.

As the minutes ticked by, Allie laughed and ran around the house, unaware of the time bomb slowly digesting in her belly.

Even now, four whole days later, I feel nauseous just to think about it.

While we waited for the paramedics to arrive, Grace cried. Hysterically. “It’s all my fault!” she sobbed, as if she were the responsible adult left in charge.

“Grace. It’s not your fault at all. It’s Momma’s fault for leaving the pills where Allie could find them.” I told her, looking right into her eyes and thinking about the moment hours earlier when I saw the pill box on the end table. The little voice in my head (that can only be God) said, “Put that up on the bookshelf.” I didn’t get up and do it right then, and it slipped my mind.

I had just enough time to get dressed before my mom, a police officer, and the paramedics arrived.

Everything happened quickly after that. The ambulance ride, the ER, the vital signs, the toxicology consult, the charcoal drink she eagerly gulped down right up until she lost consciousness.

I sat, rocking my limp baby, trying to coax the unnaturally black liquid down her gullet a few drops at a time.

There was another whirlwind, heart monitors and breathing monitors and pulsox and EKG and I don’t know what else. There were nurses and doctors in and out.

And then she started to cry and reach for my neck.

Awake, uncomfortable, and wanting only Momma and the iPhone, Allie was back and back to stay.

I called Poison Control at 1:43 in the afternoon. We walked out of the hospital at 6:47. It felt like ten minutes.

I am thankful to God who gave me the peace that passes all understanding and the grace to be strong and calm when my family needed me to be.

I am thankful to the hundreds of family and friends and acquaintances and strangers who were praying for Allie and sending us notes of encouragement through Twitter, Facebook, and by text message.

Most of all, I am thankful that God didn’t take my baby away from me and that she will have no lasting consequences from the drug.

Who needs a $540 million lottery? Last Thursday was the luckiest day of my life.

© 2012 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

12 thoughts on “The Luckiest Day of My Life”

  1. My friend, you are a good mom. I’m going to tell you again, you are a great mom. These things? They happen. I’ve learned that in my time in parenting — it reminds of the time Samuel {before he was diagnosed with Celiac} swallowed one of those craft sequin stars. It got lodged in his throat — and there I was in the hospital, getting transferred to Childrens, him undergoing an endoscopy, etc — and I remember standing in my laundry room picking out spilled sequins so none would get into my laundry. One did. And look at the domino effect. He was okay. I still can’t look at sequins the same. But I remember weeping and weeping and crying. And then a friend looked me in the face and told me that I was a good mom — so that it was I am doing to you.
    I am so glad that Allie is okay. You are right to be thankful, joyful, and jubilant. So often these things knock us back to center, to the real important. And hooray for your Grace!!
    Blessed so much by you and blessed to call you my friend.

  2. Oh my goodness how terrifying, thank God everything worked out, I didn’t win the Mega Million either but I feel the same way; my girls have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, clothes on their back, and they are happy and healthy and that is better then winning the lottery! But speaking of winning something, Grace should win the big sister of the year award!

  3. I am so glad everything turned out ok. I saw your tweets right before an incredibly busy weekend and hoped that it had turned out that way, but hadn’t had time to check. Thank God she is ok!!

  4. I am so glad she was okay. My mom used to leave her meds out where the kids could find them and I would go ballistic. It is a scary situation to find yourself in. Glad she is okay and now you take a breath and stop kicking yourself. We are human we make mistakes…

  5. Oh how awful!! I’m so glad everything is okay! Kids just put about anything and everything in their mouths. It’s suprising that any of us are still here. We must be here for a reason. So glad it had a happy ending!!

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