Monday, March 7, 2011

Home Again

We are on the mend.  And home now.  For those of you who maybe haven't heard yet, I apologize for not calling each of you, but we were preoccupied just getting better.  What happened?  We had carbon monoxide in the house on Saturday and were taken to the hospital for treatment.  We are doing better now though and I thank you for your prayers and support during this rough time.

I thought I'd share our story in case it helps any of you.  I pray though that you will never have to know these things but just in case you do, here's our story.  First, we have the flu.  We started with it on Saturday morning.  Fevers, vomiting, coughs, the whole nine yards.  Because of the fevers it was hard to know that we also were being exposed to carbon monoxide.  We just kept thinking we were so sick because of the flu.  Finally in the afternoon I lay down for a nap, and as I lay down I just had this feeling about it being CO poisoning.  But I just brushed it off and took a nap anyway.  When I woke up several hours later I had a screaming headache.  I came downstairs to find all the kids really lethargic and Joel was sick too.  Then the dog threw up.  And I realized something just wasn't right.  See the thing about CO sickness is it can be disorienting.  So make sure to always have working CO detectors in your house.  They need to be replaced every two years and check the battery every six months.

At this point I asked J to check the CO detector (which wasn't working) while I called poison control.  I just wanted to find out what the symptoms were.  The nurse at poison control was super helpful and suggested that we just get out of the house and drive into the bigger city nearby to get a new CO detector.  He said if we felt better once we were in fresh air to just go to the emergency room.  So we bundled up all the boys, opened the windows for the poor dog and drove into the city.  J and I noticed that we did feel better after the drive in.  But we decided to just purchase the new detector and go home and plug it in.  It was so hard to know what was going on with having the flu at the same time.

When we got home the new detector went off immediately so we called the fire department and they came right away.  They pulled us all into the ambulance to check our CO levels and we all had elevated levels.  So they took us in two ambulances into the hospital.  It was so scary.  I felt so bad that I hadn't followed my instincts earlier.  Watching little Hen with the oxygen bag on and little Owl, who by this time was barely awake.  Ugh.  It was horrible.

But the goodnews is that it was totally treatable and although we did have elevated levels it could have been much much worse.  They treated us with oxygen for a couple of hours until our levels came down and they sent us home.  Well not home actually, to J's parent's house.  The firemen and our local utility company had checked our house out and found nothing.  Isn't that strange?  And even today, we had a furnace guy come and check out the house again before coming home and he found nothing too.  He did install an extra fresh air vent into the house though and I feel much better about things now.

Anyway, here's what I learned about carbon monoxide in case you'd like to know.  First of all, not all CO detectors are reliable.  The fire department suggested that we get the kind that plug in because they are super reliable.  Also, detectors should be installed lower to the ground, because CO is a heavy gas.  This is one of the reasons that pets usually get sick when there is CO in the house, because they are low to the ground.  When all of this was happening our kids were all sleeping on the floor, which is the worst place to be.  If you think you might have CO in your house, it's best to just get out.  Open some windows and doors and just get out.  CO poisoning can be disorienting so it's best to just call someone for help.  Don't just brush it off.  I keep thinking about how we could've all just kept sleeping that night.  We are so blessed to be alright.


  1. oh my goodness, so glad you are all ok.

  2. i am so so grateful that you followed up on your instinct. what a horrible thing to go through and you're feeling so poorly on top of it. it was a good wake-up call to me to be attentive to that possibility. i am in tears thinking of you all needing emergency care and just feel so grateful you are all right.

  3. Thanks b. :) The boys LOVED the book you sent. LOVED it! And are currently making lego things from the drawings in that book. :)

    D, please tell dan that j was so tired when he got home from work that he just about collapsed. poor guy. i hope he'll find time to call you guys soon. it was good to hear dan's voice even for the second that I had. we are still feeling low, but they are all awake today and playing so that is wonderful!

  4. Oh Reba. Debbie told me last night about your horrible scare and I'm soooo sorry you all had to go through that, but soooo grateful that you are all OK. I have procrastinated for a year getting a detector - yes, I know it's the law, but.... Maybe this is my wake-up call!! Take care!

  5. wow.

    how odd that nobody could find any CO in your house. at all. makes you wonder...
    i'm glad it turned out okay and nobody was hurt. <3

  6. Merry, It was good to hear from you and thank you so much for the well wishes. I hope you do get a detector! You are a special mama person and need to be here for your girls!

    L, it was terribly odd. and even a bit frustrating. the only thing that we can think of is that by the time the utility company was here the windows and doors would've been open for a good two hours, which maybe would've altered the reading? It still doesn't make sense though. I'm just glad we are alright and I'm glad you're glad that we are alright. :)