Friday Mental Massage: The Toxicity Edition

This was not the best week I’ve ever had. It wasn’t the worst, by far, but in terms of week’s I’d rather not re-live, this one ranks in the top 50 or so. I can think of maybe two or three moments during the week when I thought, wow, this is great. So, let’s massage a few toxins from the noodle, eh?

  • How much was in that bottle?–So, yesterday, I was getting ready to take off to the park for an hour when I thought it would be a good idea to poke my head in on the boy. He’s newly independent during play time–a great thing. The empty four-ounce bottle of generic Children’s Tylenol next to him–not such a great thing. After we went through the whole, “How much of that did you drink?” routine, I screamed at the wife to join us. Turns out the bottle was 3/4 full or so when the kid pulled a Daddy and drank it all. Three doctors and Poison Control agree (!) that the amount the boy chugged was not enough to mess up his liver. To answer the questions I have received. No, I have no idea how the boy got the childproof top off the bottle. Yes, I know how the bottle was left in his reach. Yes, he seems to be feeling fine. Yes, panic sucks as much as you might think. No, I’m not still angry, but it took 16 hours of fuming before I chilled. An interesting side note: the final doctor told us to postpone the boy’s trip for dental work today because any pain killer they might give him might push him over the level of toxicity. Thanks for all the messages of concern. Especially, thanks to my highly medicated friend Pauly who sent this message: “Put on some Pink Floyd on the stereo and let him mellow out.”
  • I am a cliché–After the silliness subsided, I couldn’t focus on anything for a while, so I did what every Man does. I went to Home Depot. I bought ten-penny nails and a bunch of wood. An hour later, I was in my attic putting down more space to put our rapidly growing pile of junk. Of course, I hit my thumb with a hammer…because I am a walking, hammering cliché. It hurts worse than a cliché should.
  • Completely baffled by the NFL–The called-back touchdown in the Pittsburgh/San Diego game last week was as ugly as it gets. I started checking to make sure Tim Donaghy didn’t have a new job. According to my friends who know these things, the swing in Vegas was anywhere between $66 and $100 million. And people are worried about poker being rigged.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra–The wife and I are taking a night out for the first time in a month this weekend. On Blood’s recommendation, we’re joining another couple couples for Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Normally, when I pay this much for music tickets I know at least a couple things about the band. In this case, I know nothing and am flying on recommendation and the chance to go out with friends.
  • Pre-holiday jitters–You know, I love holidays. I really do. They are steeped in tradition and are full of great memories for me. Anymore, though, I’d almost rather just skip from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. To say I’m not looking forward to the next month would be a mild understatement. Only thing that keeps me going is trying to give the boy memories that are as good as the ones I made in my childhood.
  • Sometimes….–even the Mental Massage doesn’t work, which is why I bid you all a good weekend. Be safe, y’all.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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6 Responses

  1. AgSweep says:

    You’ve met my 23 yr old strapping son. Long story short, I was hanging laundry in the basement (cause we were poor and didn’t have a dryer). Drew, crawling, not yet walking, sitting under the clotheslines playing. I look down to check on him and he has a can of liquid wrench in his mouth. I grab it, it has no cap. Swallowed? I still don’t know. Drs, poision control. No ill effects. I still get an adrenline rush just thinking about this. Stuff happens in a blink of an eye. When your boy is 23 you will understand that it is only the very, very lucky parents who make it through unscathed.

  2. Bam-Bam says:

    When not-so-mini-Peb’s was still very-mini, I turned my back on her in the tub long enough to grab a fresh towel just behind me. About a minute after starting to dry her hair, I noticed the shampoo bottle on it’s side and empty. (think hotel travel size)

    While not appearing completely rabid, there was sufficient frothing at the mouth for me to figure out what had happened.

    My keen knowledge of all things fathery told me, to wash down the shampoo with as much water as she could drink. According to the Doctor, I made an excellent decision too, based on the gentleness of the brand in use!

    The panic and stress finally subsided, with the last of the “bubble” farts a few short days later.


  3. Astin says:

    I think you’ll like the TSO. You surely know their one big hit. Think Carol of the Bells on electric guitar (Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24).

  4. Little Willie says:

    Fortunately, figuring out the dangers of poisoning is mostly just math.

    Children’s Tylenol = 160 mg Acetamenophin per 5 mL

    4 ounce bottle = ~118 mL

    3/4 bottle = ~90 mL

    90 ml * 160mg/5ml = 2880 mg Acetamenophin

    For single, large dose ingestions in the healthy child, the minimum toxic dose is 150-200 mg/kg body weight. Most toxicologists agree more on the 200 mg value.

    Little Otis weighs about 40lbs

    1 kg = 2.2 lbs

    40 / 2.2 = 18.2 kg

    18.2 kg * 200 mg/kg = 3640 mg

    So, Little Otis was about 800mg short of the Minimum Toxic Dose. Of course, this is assuming that all of our guestimations were correct about how much he drank, how much was in the bottle, how much he weighs, etc. Most parents tend to overestimate the amount ingested, so he should be good.

    As an aside, everyone should know that Tylenol ingestion is one of the most serious accidental and intentional poisonings encountered by physicians. Of all the things out there that can kill you, it ranks about as high as they come. It’s kinda strange that you need a prescription to get Viagra, but only a pulse and a couple bucks to buy one of the deadliest drugs on the market.

  5. Maudie says:

    Tip: stick a piece of tape at the level the bottle is, or mark it with a marker.

    Do the same to the bottles in the liquor cabinet… don’t wait ’til his 13…

    I discovered at the tender age of two that aspirin isn’t candy. Ate the whole bottle…

  6. Da Goddess says:

    Thank God the Boy was okay after the Tylenol incident! And those child-proof lids? That only means that CHILDREN can open them and adults can’t.

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