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Silver Linings, and Lessons From Poison Control

God bless the California Poison Control center, or in my case, the California Center for Reassuring Nervous Moms.

It’s been a rough week. What was supposed to be a restful week off from court (more on that later) turned into caring for a sick toddler, and then myself, after I found out I had thrush from breastfeeding.

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A week off? Silly me.

Tiny Boss came down with a fever a couple days ago. No other symptoms, so all I could do was bring the fever down, keep him comfortable and snuggle with him as much as he wanted.

Unfortunately, as luck would have it, I contracted thrush, which means that not only does breastfeeding feel akin to sticking your nipples into a lamprey’s mouth (other mothers describe it as shards of glass in the breast), but Tiny Boss was also unable to comfortably breastfeed. So he’s been miserable. I’m telling myself there’s a silver lining. Perhaps he’ll finally wean?

Insert nipple here to find out what it feels like to breastfeed with thrush. Source: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/marquette/

Not breastfeeding friendly.
Source: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/marquette/

Last night, on day two of fever with no other symptoms other than some ear pulling, I decided to give Tiny Boss some of his leftover ear drops from his last ear infection. A couple hours later – coincidence or not – his fever was gone and he was back to his usual way of wearing me out – running around, grabbing stuff, spilling stuff, throwing stuff and just in general doing all sorts of stuff he’s not supposed to do.

Based on last night’s success, I elicit my husband’s help this morning in giving Tiny Boss another round of ear drops. Four drops, left ear only, easy enough, right?

WRONG.

In my defense, it was early, it was dark, and my contacts were sticking to my eyelids.

“IT’S SPILLING OUT OF HIS EARS!” My husband started yelling.

Apparently the drops were coming out of the dispenser but I just couldn’t see them, so I had been steadily squeezing a stream of antibiotics into his ear. How many drops did I give him?

“Like, maybe 10?”

“He’ll be fine,” I said, sounding much more confident than I felt.

That confidence quickly wore off, however, because Tiny Boss began to cry. Loudly. With tears and everything. What could be wrong? Did his ear hurt from the sudden, unexpected flood of liquid? Did some of it trickle down to his throat? DID I JUST POISON MY BABY?

The offending drops

The offending drops

I had no idea, so I did what every health practitioner hates (I only assume this because I hate it when my clients do their own legal research) – I turned to Google.

Unfortunately, “put too many ear drops” only turned up with two relevant hits.

The first one was from Yaboo! answers by some poor sap who used too many ear drops in one ear and now couldn’t hear. The second was a fact sheet from the New Zealand government for Cilodex, which sounds close enough to our prescribed brand of ear drops, Ciprodex.

For Cilodex, you’re supposed to rinse the ear(s) with warm water immediately and call a pharmacist or doctor “if you use too much (overdose).”

Wait, so you can overdose on ear drops? As far as the ear rinsing, I wasn’t even going to go there. It was too early to call the pharmacy, and I didn’t want to hear any lectures about not finishing the ear drops last time or using the drops this time without being prescribed.

The poison control center would be my best bet. 24 hours a day, staffed by MDs, RNs and pharmacists.

“My name is Steve. What can I help you with?”

“Um, I accidentally gave my son too many ear drops.”

“Sure. What’s your son’s name?”

“Raynor.”

“Full name please.”

And then he wanted my full name, and by this time I was pretty sure it was to call CPS or the cops if necessary, or at least to add me to the state roster of bad moms.

“How many drops is he supposed to have?”

“Four.”

“And how many did you give him?”

“Uh, maybe 10?”

“Oh boy.” Seriously. The man said that. But then he said these magical, beautiful words, words that were rang sweeter than Susan Boyle’s voice and brought more relief than Rolaids.

“He’ll be fine.”

Apparently you can’t really overdose on antibiotics, and since he didn’t ingest them, he probably won’t even get the stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea that is usually associated with taking too much of an antibiotic. Tiny Boss had used these ear drops many times before, so an allergic reaction wouldn’t be a concern, either.

Silver lining: I learned about antibiotics overdose and after today you’ll never find a more precise ear drop administrator this side of the Mississippi.

After that, everything indeed was fine, that is, until Tiny Boss managed to simultaneously spill a smoothie and tea on the coffee table and the dog ate my fried rice.

Silver lining? My coffee table hasn’t been looked this clean in months. Fried rice is unhealthy, anyways.

Shortly thereafter, I realized I did not have the day off and I did, in fact, have to go to court today.

To quote Liz Lemon: blerg.

Silver lining, anyone?

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About MOM THIS MOM THAT

I used to think being an attorney was a tough job. Then I had kids.

4 responses »

  1. Thank god for your post as I just googled “accidentally put in too many cipro drops in toddlers ear”! Same thing happened, I coukd not see the drops coming out and suddenly the ear was full of drops……bad mummy

    Reply
  2. Precisely what happened to me. Also Googled, then called Poison Control.

    Reading your account made me feel better. Not only am I not the only one whose done this, but I’m not alone in my mild overreaction.

    Did you also run across the weird “floxed” website with the tinfoil hat article about ciprodex being poison marketed for children? THAT was a fun headline to run across in my dad frenzy.

    Reply

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