Saturday was busy and I came in the door exhausted at 9:30. I jumped in the shower and got ready for bed. Sleep was the only thing on my mind. My legs and feet were tight and throbbing.
I went in search of Advil. Realizing the bottle was empty I grabbed the blue dosette sitting on the top self in the medicine cabinet hoping there was some left in there. Nope. (It's the seven day pill container I throw in my purse, every time Grant and I leave town. Usually filled with over the counter stuff and a dose of Grant's Seroquel)
The dosette was empty, except for the Monday and Thursday compartments. The white caplets in both compartments looked identical to me, in the haziness of a near dark bathroom. Thinking it was all regular strength Tylenol I popped three pills into my hand. Then swallowed them without a second thought.
I crawled in bed quickly and fell asleep...Less than hour later I startled awake shivering uncontrollably, I yelled at Grant to turn off the AC rattling above my head. I felt woozy and foggy. My arms and legs were jerking, I felt disjointed. I looked up and saw Dallyn hovering beside me. I thought he had died and was coming to me as an angel. I was instantly terrified. Grant told me Dallyn wasn't there, he wasn't even home from work yet. "What's wrong with you? Just go back to sleep."
I was still shivering, I got up and stubbed to the bathroom attempting to get in the shower to warm up. I turned on the water and then realized I couldn't coordinate my legs to step in the tub, my head spun. In a moment that can only be divine clarity I looked at the bathroom counter to the still open dosette and realized one was Tylenol and the other was Seroquel. Oh my GOD, oh my god, oh my god. I took Grant's Seroquel. I screamed for him.
How much did you take?
He called poison control. I tried to vomit.
Call an ambulance I begged.
Poison control told Grant anything over 100 mg is a problem. I had had nine times that. 900 mg. And asked how close the hospital was. 10 minutes.
If its any longer you need to call an ambulance.
Grant got me in the van and Alex drove. Poison control had already called the hospital, they knew I was on my way.
I got in a wheelchair unable to hold my head up. I mumbled through the questions at triage and they took me back to a gurney.
They put in an IV port, hooked me up to a continuous monitor my heart, O2 and blood pressure.
I couldn't lift my head. My heart racing faster than I have ever felt in my life. My mouth dry as a desert I could get words out. I thought I was going to die at any moment.
My head felt separated from my body. I had little control over either.
The next 14 hours felt like a nightmare. I would startle awake my heart racing and racing, my head swirling. Unable to adequately express my needs or questions or fears. I wondered when death would come. I was poked and prodded. Had several EKG's. Unable to ask or understand I was terrified.
It was after noon on Sunday that I woke up with a doctor talking to me. My head still so foggy but I could comprehend some of what he was saying...
My heart handled the crisis. It would take a few days for the Seroquel to leave my system, but there should be no lasting effects or damage.
Okay so I wasn't going to die...
The were still concerned about my lack of coordination, shakiness and difficulty walking. And told me it would be some time until I could go home. (Picture a new born giraffe trying to walk from the gurney to the bathroom.) I reminded them that I did have cerebral palsy and that it might be making the muscle control issues worse. They agreed and let me go home.
It took days to clear the fogginess and have my physical strength. It is going to take even more time to work through the effects of trauma.
This has been really hard on my sweet heart too. His guilt.
"If the medication wasn't needed and in the house, this would have never happened."
Not being able to help me in the way he wanted because of his own illness is heartbreaking to him.
I am still trying to make sense of it all. Looking for understanding and purpose. This is just one more thing to add to the list in a very challenging year. Will I ever be worthy of normal? How could I have been so careless and stupid? Why now? (shoulder shrug)
How grateful I am for the many acts of great kindness we've experienced this week. Especially for the friend who drove and showed up on our doorstep and knew exactly what to do and say to give us both the courage and hope to continue. There are indeed angels who walk among us, there wings just hidden from view.
It's just going to take some time....
PSA: Don't ever take medication out of its prescribed bottle and store it in anything unlabeled. I have since thrown out all our dosettes. And I will never again buy Tylenol or any other medication in forms that looks so similar to Grant's meds.