Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sometimes It's Just Plain Scary.

David ate a light bulb!

Not an entire light bulb. Just enough to send me into a spiraling panic!

On Tuesday evening I was cooking dinner. David came to the baby gate that separates the kitchen from the dining room and I heard him crunching something. I asked him what he had and he handed me a piece of glass. I looked around the corner and saw a lamp on the floor and David was just crunching away.

Long story short..David is fine. No damage seems to be done. Things seem to be passing without trauma.

The ER staff moved very quickly, but they were all skeptical that a four year old would eat glass. It's painful to have glass in ones' mouth. I had to let them know that David has autism and whatever you believe about what a four year old will do doesn't apply here. He ate the glass, I saw him chewing glass, my husband and I removed glass from his mouth. HE ATE GLASS!

This wasn't an ordinary light bulb. That would be too easy. This was one of those mercury containing, energy saving, thick, spiral tubed light bulbs.

So we wait and see. David seems fine, His appetite is fine and his digestive system is working fine with no signs of trauma.

Momma on the other hand was traumatized.

I'm not a crier, but I cried for two blocks during the drive to the hospital. I kept remembering those stories about Vietnam POWs who were fed ground glass..I know, I'm a little loony.

I told the ER doc that there was mercury in the light bulb. I described the bulb to him and he said they were florescent and did not contain mercury.

Momma knew better.

I called the manufacturer who confirmed that there was a small amount of mercury in the bulb, in the tubing itself. A small amount of mercury, about the size of 1/2 a penny, but most of remains in the base during use.

I called poison control. A nice nurse who answered the phone said that the mercury used in these bulbs is "an elemental mercury and not toxic"

Huh?!?! I didn't know the words mercury and not toxic could be used in the same sentence.



Kamilla Bell said...

OH MY GOODNESS! How traumatizing for you! Seriously!! I wish you the best and hope with all my might that this doesn't affect your son in a negative way. I agree, when does mercury and toxic not go hand in hand?

Amy said...

{{hugs}} to you. It's hard with autistic children - my oldest is a mouther and puts everything and anything in his mouth. We have to keep an eye on him but it's hard. Please keep us posted.

Marla Valdez said...

Hey! My name is Marla and I came across your blog! I love reading it and have learned some things from you! I totally understand about going to the ER and being told that everything is ok.

My son overdoesed on Prozac. (I put him on it for a small period of time) Anyways, I went to answer the door and he drank the whole bottle in that short period of time. They told me that he should be fine... "Moms come into the ER all the time that have taken their whole bottle of Prozac and are just fine"! Docs Quote-

Momma knew better here and made them do more!

I love reading your blog and I hope we can talk. I just started a blog and I hope I can network with other parents. I hope your son is doing well! My son is almost 4 and his name is Cassius (pronounced Cashes)

Well, take care and I look forward talking to you!


Kelly Yates-Rice said...

Hi Marla.

Thanks for the kind words. It's amazing how quickly a moment can change things!

Please send me an e-mail, I'd love to talk with you.

Janet said...

When our son was three he ate half a box of microscope slide covers- glass slide covers. I too was thinking about the POWs and ground glass on my way to the doctor's office. In a very strange sort of way it's reassuring to know my son's not the only one who chomped away on glass. Luckily our doctor knew us and wasn't nearly as suprised as I was by what had happened. Everything turned out fine, no ill effects other than a couple of small cuts in his mouth. I hope your story turns out just as well! :-)

Kelly Yates-Rice said...

Hi Janet,
Thanks for sharing. It is comforting to know that David isn't the only glass eater in the world. We're a week out, so I think he's fine.

Catherine said...

Wow! When one of my kids dropped a mercury thermometer, I called poison control and they told me the mercury in the thermometer was the "non-toxic kind." WHAT?

Love your blog!