Friday, February 10, 2017

MIA - CO Poisoning

I've had a few questions lately regarding me "slacking off" on posting on my blog.  I'm sorry for being MIA!!!  A couple weeks ago we had a huge scare, that has thrown me off my kilter a little.  Let me tell you the story...

It was a Thursday evening and we all headed to bed a little later than normal.  I had a headache and couldn't seem to shake it, even after using essential oils and taking an herbal tincture (both by themselves usually take care of it!)  For the next few hours, I was up, sick to my stomach, with a killer headache, stumbling around, thinking "gosh is it going to be a rough day."  I had no idea how true that statement was!  At around 3:30, the 17 month old woke up throwing up.  I stumbled into their room, with my hubby right there as well.  We started getting her cleaned up and in the process woke up the older two girls.  They complained of the same thing I did... nauseousness and a headache, with the oldest barely being able to walk.  "Carbon Monoxide" immediately came to mind.  We took the girls to the back door and opened it up wide.... The chilling 7 degree air and bone chilling wind nearly made us close the door back up, but instead, we ordered the girls to sit there as I went to go get blankets for them.  Hubby went down in the basement and opened up the windows down there.  After covering the girls that were awake up, I went and told the boys to get up and bring their blankets.  They too felt off.  The 5 year old was carried from his bed to sit with the others, as he did not arouse as easily.  Then I realized the three year old was still asleep in her room, so I went to go get her and carried her out to the door as well.  At that point, I could hardly walk!  Dizziness was taking over.  I could only manage a few steps and then would hit my knees, pull myself back up, and repeat.  In the meantime, hubby grabbed the kitten, put her in her cat carrier and brought her up to the door, as well as having the dog lay down with the children.  Hubby opened and stood at the front door breathing in the fresh air as I joined the children at the back door.  By 4:15, we were no better... the oldest and I still could not walk.  We knew we needed to get checked by the ER... 45 minutes away.  We grabbed the dog's crate and put her in it and the open backdoor, put a fire screen at the back door to keep any wild critters out, and let the kitten free in the basement, keeping the windows wide open.  The children were handed their snow boots, and we all went to the ER... in our pajamas ;)

Oh if I could explain the looks on the ER staff's faces when we told them all nine of us needed to be seen... and only two had ever been to that hospital!  Between trips to the restroom to be sick and keeping all the children comfortable, the information for each of us was given including past medical histories and symptoms.  Thankfully some of the children by this point had started to feel better!  Hubby and I had already discussed the fact that the maximum number of rooms we wanted to be split into was three... if they were going to do more than that, neither he nor I were going to be seen.  Praise God, they decided to put us in two rooms!!!  The doctor talked with each one of us, did some tests, and then put in the order for blood work.  Honestly, there didn't seem to be too much concern... we had woken more than 1.5 hours before at that point and were feeling better.  Then the blood work results came back and panic was in the air!  All nine of us had CO poisoning... and it was pretty bad!  Our three year old was the lowest at a little over 15... three of us were over 21.  Had we been at 25 or higher, we would have had to been flown out!  Instead, we were all put on oxygen.... for over FOUR HOURS! 

While on oxygen, the police came in.  At first, I couldn't understand why the police came in... then it dawned on me... this was a poisoning incidence.  So we answered all his questions, he said the fire department would be checking out the house, then he left.  At this point, those of us that were on oxygen tanks, had used them all up.  So we got split into four rooms, so that each of us could be on a wall unit.  Thank goodness one of the rooms had three set-ups!  The four hours seemingly crept by.  The children colored and watched cartoons.  I went from room to room checking on everyone, as Brad had the sleeping baby.  Finally time was up, and they ran more blood tests.  Only four of us were retested and all of us were below ten... so we got to go home.

In the meantime, the fire department came and investigated the house.  The decision was it was from the wood stove.  Yes - the wood stove.  I didn't realize it was even a possibility, but there were a few factors... the biggest was the pipe that leads from the woodstove to the chimney was leaking.  Add to that the chimney needed cleaning (though it was not blocked, so that alone did not cause it), and later we figured out that due to the amount of wind in the area, it was causing our draft to be off, as the chimney needed to be taller.  So we replaced the pipe, cleaned the chimney, and installed three CO monitors.  We also, later, added an additional three feet to the chimney. 

Overall, it was a blessing... Once again God demonstrated His sovereignty.  He had complete control over the situation, He had E1 wake up at the right time, He helped us know what was wrong, He enabled my husband to drive, and helped us stay together rather than completely apart.  He also helped the fire department find the issue, as well as helping us to fix it.  God is good!!!

And so this is why I have been MIA.  I'm still fighting a little "brain fog" and some fatigue, but overall, everyone is doing beautifully!  I'm hoping to start posting more about what is going on, on the homestead as well :)