Monday, January 21, 2008

I Was Right the First Time

We’ve had a huge project at work and instead of having downtime during the holidays we were working every spare moment. I might one day get to take a day off, but not this week.

On Friday morning, I decided to have a run before getting ready for (more) work. I went back into the living room and discovered El Guille…

I’m going to interrupt my narrative to say that my pediatrician and I had a discussion the other day about vitamins. I didn’t want to give Proximo the prescription vitamin drops, fluoride yes, vitamins and fluoride, no.

“You have something against vitamins?” smiled the pediatrician in that ‘Surely Mrs. Jet Set you must be joking’ kind of way. I assure you I am not.

“Don’t you think, though, that if breastmilk is low in Vitamin D, it must be that way by natural design?”

“No,” says my otherwise kind pediatrician, “Because Ricketts is natural too.”

Point and counterpoint, but your argument fails to win over my skepticism.

Thursday night, I was in Costco picking up dinner when a huge bottle of vitamins came into my line of vision. Maybe I am being too strange on the vitamins thing, I thought to myself. At the very least, it’s probably no big deal if I pick up a bottle and start El Guille on the dole. In fact, it’s probably an extremely responsible Mother of the Year type of thing to give your child a daily vitamin. And that’s how I walked out of Costco with a bottle of Kirkland’s Signature Children’s Chewable Vitamins in Dino Shapes, Iron Free, 300 count.

The next morning, Friday, I walked to the living room to get my running shoes and there, on the coffee table, was one large bottle of Kirkland’s Signature Children’s Chewable Vitamins in Dino Shapes, Iron Free, 300 count, open, with the dino shapes in various piles on toys.

But how? I asked myself, How? The bottle was closed! Never even opened! How could El Guille have gotten through the plastic safety seal on the outside, the child-proof cap? He got through the foil--although that one is on me because I taught him to open his own yogurt foil lids. The cotton was scattered about the room. Child-proof cap! Child-proof cap!

“Did you eat these?” I said calmly to El Guille

“Yes! They’re good!” El Guille said, happily.

“How many? How many?”

“A lot!”

I grabbed all the vitamins and put them in one location. 300, that was what the bottle said, so I started counting.
“..10, 11, 12, 13,” I said out loud, knowing that I needed to be accurate in the number of consumed pills.

“13! 18! 11! 20!” El Guille shouted, happy to be playing a counting game. I wanted to wring his neck, but decided to keep calm before the Chewable Dino Shapes finished him off from the inside.

52 missing. 52 missing vitamin pills.

This is probably just a call for help, right, not an actual OD attempt? He's El Guille, not Nikki Sixx.

I called Poison Control.

“Can you give me the exact name of the vitamins as it appears on the label?”

Kirkland’s Signature Children’s Chewable Vitamins in Dino Shapes, Iron Free, 300 count.”

Poison Control said that if the pills had iron, we would need to be in the emergency room for a stomach pumping. As it stood, El Guille would have to eat 50 pills a day for several days for it to do any lasting damage but that, “He might have a bit of a tummy ache.” A bit, OK. I can deal with that.

Except it wasn’t a bit, it was writhing, the kid was miserable. I rubbed it in at every point of time.

“My tummy hurts! It hurts!”

“Did you take the bottle?”


“Does your tummy hurt?”

“Yes, make it stop.”

“You ate the pills from the bottle, that’s why it hurts. I can’t make it stop.” And so on.

The tummy ache was only the beginning, as the vitamins began to come out from both ends of the boy. I ran out of sheets to put on his bed. I had to call in to my boss to tell him I would be late. “Just take the day off, or do what you can from home,” he said. The ordeal was so bad that the carpet cleaners are coming Monday--we had to move the furniture to cover the stains until then.

So, I finally got a day off of work, but it was more work than being at work. My kid made it through a child-proof cap and ate 52 vitamins.

Maybe I legitimately do have something against vitamins.


nyscof said...

I'm sorry you had such an unfortunate event with your child. That's really scary. But don't let your guard down with fluoride. Fluoride is much more toxic than vitamins.

Fluoride is neither a nutrient nor required for healthy teeth.

Several children have died from ingesting too many fluoride tablets. One died from swallowing, instead of expectorating, his dental fluoride treatment.

Fluoride is more toxic than lead.

Read the back of the toothpaste tube. It says to contact poison control if too much is swallowed.

for more info


wendysue said...

I think you are seriously looking at a best-seller book! I mean look at how well that "Marley and Me" book did about that dog! Just imagine the stories in your "El Guille and me" book! My pediatrician always said unless my kids were having fast food 3x a week and didn't have any total food aversions they were fine without vitamins. We do them pretty infrequently around here. . usually just in the winter months.

AND here goes the dental hygienist in me. Fluoride IS essential in healthy teeth. I would be happy to show you the pictures of the children's teeth that we bring into the dental college on "Dental Day" to treat from the rural communities in Nebraska that do not have fluoride in the water vs. those that live in communities that do. . .it's sad. Yes, call poison control if your kid swallows the whole tube of toothpaste but really, you'd do that with anything else, like, um, vitamins.

I'd like the see the evidence of the kid that died from his dental fluoride treatment. There is no way. The kid would have to chug the whole bottle of fluoride, then he would end up with a really upset tummy.

Ok, rant over. I'm tired, and I hardly got started.

compulsive writer said...

I love the dental hygienist in Wendysue.

As for El Guille. Oh my. I do hope he's feeling better. And I'm so glad you decided against the iron.


(And what's with the "breastfed babies need vitamins?" thing from the pediatrician? Argh! Way to fight the good fight.)

b. said...

What are we going to do with that kid? Poor kid.....
You're a good mama, though. Helping him associate tummy ache with choices....THAT's a good mama.

Amen to Wendy and the Hygienist in her.

I gave my first son Vitamins with Fluoride with iron (the kind you squirt in their mouth.....adopted/no breastfeeding) sporadically at best. The other two....not.
They are all just fine.
My Ped said the same thing Wendy's did.

Chief Momma said...

Oh my, that sounds awful!!! Your child is a prodigy, no doubt.

My doctor is trying to get me to give my baby those awful vitamin D supplement drops. He will have nothing to do with them, he spits them up everytime.

fijiangirl said...

I always forget to give my kids the fluoride drops, I even left them in the bathroom next to their toothbrushes to help me remember but we end up brushing our teeth in the hallway with the kids. So far no major problems with out the fluoride.

Emily said...

i am so very sorry about your day off. Ugh.

Azúcar said...

The fact that we don't have fluoridated water pisses me off. Can we fight that fight and win this time, CW?

My pediatrician is a really nice guy, he's kind, he's sweet, he's great with the kids, so I choose to ignore him on some of the parenting things that are none of his business. Time will prove me right on some of our disagreements (because the studies are already out there) so I'll patiently wait for him to come around to Common Sense Parenting.
If he doesn't, no matter, he's still a good doctor.

Ems- I'm sorry about my day off, too. Maybe someday.

Rynell said...

We have the same vitamins. So far no one has over dosed on those. My boys fight over who gets the TRex and my girl doesn't like them. I do the whole "if you eat too many of these you will get very, very sick" speech when I open a new bottle.

I'm so sad that El Guille had the get-very-very sick experience. Poor guy = poor mama. Thank goodness for no iron...

Kalli Ko said...

Vitamins out BOTH ends... yech!

My condolences, and I wish fluoride tasted better.

c jane said...

I want to see "the picture."

compulsive writer said...

I'm right by your side.

b. said...

ps. Nikki Sixx is kinda cute.
Fascinating story. I might have to check that book out.

Sue said...

Bleck. Hope he is feeling better.

kiki said...

There's a picture?! I wanna see it too!

I'm not sure why, but I suddenly have the urge to shout, "RYDELL HIGH, BEAT THE CAVALIERS!"

Caroline said...

ooh, that stinks. I don't do the whole vitamin thing because my kids think they're candy and I couldn't even tell a difference on the stupid pills anyways. erghh. I love doctor/mom disagreements.

more caffeine, please said...

Does the kid have a rubix cube?

Lois said...

Another great poison control story. Do they have YOU on speed dial?

I was never very good with the vitamin thing.

Of course, my doctor was the one that told me that the reason why my son wasn't talking yet was because "he's the middle child so you ignore him." I went to another doctor who suggested a hearing test. Guess what? He couldn't HEAR!

Besides, he should know that I ignore all my children equally.

Karyn said...

WOw. El Guille is quite dextrous. Maybe you should put his talents to good use... knitting or weaving or playing guitar. Think of all the mittens he could knit if he focused all that energy and fine motor skills!

Can you permanently adhere mittens to him? That might slow him down. A bit.

I hope the next day off doesn't involve ten extra loads of laundry. Sick kid laundry is the worst.

Julie said...

Ugh. I hope he's feeling better.

By the way--I love the picture you have of him with his longer hair in that earlier post for La Yen's W. He's a handsome little guy.

sarah k. said...

Ah, now I see. I had imagined a taste of vaseline, or deoderant, like mine have done. But the misery and clean up with vitamins are clearly too much. Among other things I look forward to with great anticipation is the time when I will no longer have anyone living in my house who can't tell when they're gonna puke or worse in time to get themselves to the bathroom and aim.

I'm so sorry. Your child has amazing thwarting skills.

sue-donym said...

So how did the carpet cleaners do?

Katie said...

That is so sad! I am sorry you had to experience that... I was giving vitamins to my kids (the same ones you have/had) and my Doctor said they don't need them because the food we eat is so vitamin fortified- they get everything they need from what we feed them. Sometimes - I want to take Doctors by the collar and say, "I know my body and I know my children.. so let me do what I think and feel is right.."

Melody said...

I don't know what to say . . . maybe, "Isn't it nice that the body knows exactly what to do with too many vitamins?!"

hope your week is better.

{natalie} said...

yikes, i will definately tell the higher ups at costco that the child proofing is not up to snuff. i can't believe he ate that many. yowzer!

ps. i'm for flouride.

Azúcar said...

Melody, that's kind of exactly what the Poison Control guy said.

Katie- I don't usually tell my doctor that, I just do the smile and nod, followed by the doing whatever I feel like anyway.

Natalie- I believe a strongly worded letter will be headed Kirkland Signature's way.

Karyn- I tried to duct tape towels onto his hands (but then his doctor complained so yada, yada, yada.)

Lois--the NERVE. Yes, and refrigerator moms cause autism. There's no end to the silliness sometimes.

Sue- the carpet cleaners were very good, our place is semi-sparkling.

Azúcar said...

Sarah k, it's true, I'm still sticking with my original sentiment that any morning when you have to call Poison Control is a morning where you don't have to go running (I got my heart rate up just by counting the vitamins!)

Ryan and Susie said...

Yikes, I'm sorry. The Costco vitamins are a favorite in my house too. Although we have the L'il Critters Gummy Vites (gummy bears). I actually like them too. They taste like yummy gummy bears. I've had to hide them on a top shelf because my kids ask for them ALL the time. I've always been frightened of this very thing. I'm glad El Guille is ok. Sorry about the carpet. Man, your carpet's been through the ringer this year!

rebrob said...

Wow. I'm sorry! I have never even dared to buy the "gummy" vitamins (have you seen those?) because I've been too afraid my kids would think they were candy and steal them outta the cupboard. Dino shapes are just TOO tempting, I guess.

Ah Britty said...

Umm..yeah..the same thing happened to me the other day. Brady got into our omega-3 kids chewable fish oils, which he is supposed to have 2 of each day. Nope, he ate ALL of them, at least about 50 too. Needless to say, fish oil was seeping out of his pores all day. Wasn't pretty. And those are expensive, too!!