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Sunday, January 29, 2012

One of those days.....

It was a day like any other, filled with the best of intentions.  It held promise and plans.  It was a Saturday and sunny and mild to boot.  I got dressed and went to get Austin out of bed.  He was in the mood for cuddling.  A diaper change could wait 5 minutes, surely.  We snuggled in the rocking chair under a blanket and started reading "The three little bears".   And then, well, and then I was very wet.  Apparently the diaper change couldn't wait.  So I changed and dressed Austin and then I got dressed.  Again.  I went into the living room and stepped onto a very wet carpet.  Daisey this time.  I got a bucket of soapy water, got on my hands and knees and scrubbed the carpet.   Spilled the soapy water on me.   I got dressed.  Again.  Things were not going as planned.  Still, the sun was shinning and Becky and her girls were coming to decorate Valentine cookies with us.  It would be a fun day.  We went through our morning, ate lunch, I put Austin down for a nap and headed for the kitchen.  Since Becky would only be able to stay a short time, we decided I would bake the cookies ahead of time and let the kids decorate them.  I preheated the oven, rolled out the first batch, popped them in to bake and started rolling out the second batch.  <Loud piercing noise.>  Um, that would be the carbon monoxide detector.  I hit the reset button, nope, this was for real.  I called 911, grabbed a sleeping Austin in blanket and headed outside with the dog and Brian.  Austin woke up to an exciting show of fire engines and police cars.   Turns out the CO levels were pretty high.  High enough for the Medic to decide I should be seen at the hospital since I had been so close to the stove which was the source of the leak.  That, and my lips and cheeks were too red which I learned is a sign of CO exposure.   I left a message on Becky's answering machine that we had a "situation" developing and she'd better hold off on driving over.  Brian grabbed Austin, the firemen fanned out the house, and they put me in the ambulance and sped away.  OK, my plans were definitely derailing quickly at this point.  So now I am sharing a ride with a very sweet, very talkative EMT guy who by all accounts failed the, "how to keep a patient calm and relaxed" course in his EMT training.  He proceeds to tell me that the level of CO I was exposed to was a fatal level, and that my lips and cheeks were a definite sign of my exposure.  I assured him, I really was ok, just a little nausea and headache, but nothing severe.  He then tells me at the hospital they would do an arterial blood gas stick, or something like that, to test my levels.  I said, you mean they'll do a blood test, no big deal.  Oh no, he assures me.  This blood test would be directly from my artery in my wrist, not a vein in my arm and it is quite uncomfortable, but necessary.  I wouldn't soon forget this, but they will surely numb me with ice first.  He continued on about this and then informed me that the heart monitor was showing an elevated heart rate, another sign of CO poisoning.  Or perhaps "too much information poisoning", I thought.  I suggested that maybe all this talk of "uncomfortable" procedures might just be making me a wee bit nervous.  Well, in the end, I just got oxygen and a regular blood test, I turned out to be fine and was released.  Brian picked me up and since we now had no stove, we searched for a place to eat dinner.  The first place was "temporarily" closed, the second restaurant had closed permanently, the third and forth places had a long, long wait and the last place was IHOP and we ate there.  We stopped at LOWES on the way home to buy new CO monitors, since the firemen told us the old ones would be shot now that they had been exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide.  Since we still didn't know the source of the problem, I did not feel comfortable sleeping in the house without new ones.  In any case, we finally made it home, walked in the living room to find... another Daisey accident.  And so the day ended as it had started.  But, as I sat in the rocking chair that night, with Austin again in his pjs and me snuggling him under a blanket, saying our prayers, I realized in the end, it had been a good day.  We had been in the hands of God, protected by His mercies.  We had had a CO detector and it had worked right away.  We live in a place safeguarded by police and firemen who come at a moment notice when help is needed.  There are medical teams with advanced equipment should I have needed it and a hospital minutes away.  Restaurants abound to temporarily fill in for non working stoves.  It was an inconvenient day, a day with ruined plans.  And ruined cookies.  But at the end of it, I found myself safe at home, cuddling with loved ones....just plain blessed.

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