Spice Up Your Inbox. Subscribe Today.

enter your email address:


I probably would have spent the past couple days stressing about packing, traveling without Rick (he’s meeting us in Italy) and 14 year-old pilots. But instead I spent a whole day in the ER because nearly 4 year-old Dylan ate an entire bottle of Hyland’s homeopathic baby teething tablets for breakfast.

I really wish she had just had a bagel.

Unfortunately, these teething tablets (which have no child safety cap) contain a tiny amount of a toxic ingredient called belladonna.

Belladonna sounds so pretty and lovely, doesn’t it? According to Dylan’s ER doc, not-so-pretty.

Except for some flushed cheeks, Dylan is quite perky and a-ok at the hospital but they want to monitor her vitals. Dylan is certainly doing a whole lot better than the guy across from us who had some kind of altercation with a co-worker earlier that morning.

And he has knife wounds to prove it.

And he is handcuffed.

And three cops are questioning him (No, they are not particularly hot. Well, one is ok.)

I am trying to keep Dylan very entertained and distracted while this guy explains to the police that the knife fight at his workplace is so not his fault. I actually sort of believe him.

We witness all of this because the pediatric unit is under renovation. Thankfully, a very nice nurse quickly moves us to a more quiet, less knife focused part of the ER.

Cheery Dr. Chris (last name omitted so he doesn’t google himself and find my blog) explains that we will be here in the hospital for the next 6 hours. And that’s when I realize that I really, really need a tampon.

“So I’ll be back to check on Dylan in a little bit. If there’s anything you need, please just let me know,” Dr. Chris says exhuberantly.

“Ok thanks,” I reply. “Umm… well there is one thing… I could really use a tampon,” I ask in my very hush hush tampon voice. Why am I so embarrassed? Don’t these doctors perform rectal exams while drinking their morning coffee? I can’t imagine that the idea of a woman having her period is really going to send them into a nervous frenzy.

“Let me see what I can do!” Chris responds with a bit too much enthusiasm. And he dashes off to hunt for tampons.

Turns out, there are no tampons.

Just maxi pads in this hospital.

But I’m informed that the nurses are asking around. And before long, two nurses hand me a couple tampons. I am so ridiculously grateful. Dr. Chris even stops by to make sure I’m “all set” with the “issue” we discussed. Yes. Yes. All set. Got my tampons.

Meanwhile, Dylan is rocking the ER… grilled cheese, french fries, toys provided in part by the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation and videos. Except for the EKG, she is loving this place.

By 4 pm, cheery Dr. Chris gives the allclear and we head home. Rick and I promise to never again leave any kind of medicine within the kids’ reach. Dylan promises to lay off the teething tablets and stick to more traditional foods. Hope the girl likes pasta and paninis.

Quick Note: My dad is flying to Italy with me and the girls. I didn’t want you to think that I was completely insane and traveling there on my own.

I am preparing for severe Blackberry withdrawal symptoms.

46 Responses to that belladonna is a real witch

  • Mama Bee says:

    #1. I would shit myself if I were in your position (i.e. in the ER).

    #2. Re: having to ask for a tampon (see #1)

    #3. Re: not having access to your Blackberry (see #1)

    #4. Re: going to Italy. Hmm…yeah, pretty jealous on this one. Meow meow.

    Have a great time!!

  • marie says:

    Last year my older girls (3 and 2 at the time) found that same damn bottle of teething tablets. Thankfully, only half of it was gone between the two of them. When they saw me coming, they started grabbing the little tablets and shoving them down like they were the best candy in the world!! For us, the big side effect was dry mouth and thirst. Those girls drank about 64 oz each within 2 hours…honest!!! Glad everything is ok!

  • francine Kasen says:

    One day before Jen left for her 6 week abroad program she was in the hospital with an intense and mysterious pain! Very scary, and it repeated 4 weeks later in Barcelona….middle of the night phone call and all! The point…..It doesn’t stop ’til you’re dead!!! Arivaderchi! XXXX Franny

  • karen says:

    Belladonna was recommeded to me as a homeopathic fever reducer. . . I stick with good old Motrin, although I’m sure a whole bottle of that would be a free day pass to the ER, too. Enjoy the gelatos in Italy.

  • Jessi says:

    So glad Dylan is okay. My son drank a sample bottle of chloroseptic throat spray when he was younger.
    Glad your problems were taken care of too.
    Have a great time in Italy. Be safe!

  • Aimee says:

    YIKES. ER’s stink. ESPECIALLY with kids. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw your tampon story…any women could relate to this and our “time frames”. Good for you for getting enough courage to ask for it! I am not sure if I could have…I might have made my husband ask! 🙂

  • Oooh, nothing like good times in the ER. I have no doubt that Dylan enjoyed herself. I remember one late night visit to the ER with Brian when he was 3. They had a TV with cartoons on it (and that year we had no TV at home, as we were living elsewhere and hadn’t bothered to bring ours). As Larry was finally buckling Brian into the car to go home, Brian said, “Thanks, Daddy – that was fun!”

  • kristen says:

    I’m so glad to hear Dylan is alright – how scary. Wonder what happened with knife wound employee, wonder if it really wasn’t his fault.

    I’m insanely jealous that you’re going to Italy – it’s truly, my favorite country. Where are you going? I hope you’ll ply us with stories and photos so I can get my Italian on, vicariously through you.

    Safe travels. xo

  • we are big fans of the highlands tabs around here, but it always drives me bonkers that it doesn’t have a childsafe cap. So, now I keep them on the top shelf of the closet.

    Ciao Bella… Have a blast!

  • britt says:

    oh man! there is nothing worse than the feeling you have the second you realize it’s ER time. fun.
    sorry you had to ask man doctor for a tampon and it became his pet mission.
    glad dylan is okay.

  • jean says:

    I had an arnica (naturopathic)cream for my bum knee and it worked great until I got hives from one of the ingredients! Took a month to get rid of them. But, a child ingesting something toxic is much more frightening…Italy! I’m jealous–my hubby has never been to Europe and Italy is the first place I’ll show him…he has been to China and Japan though–not too shabby. Jean

  • Ashley says:

    Glad Dylan is doing well. Just wanted to give a shout out to my “former profession” I worked at the poison control center. I hope you called them 1-800-222-1222! They are always friendly and helpful! They are a valuable resource, those nurses and pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge Check out their website at http://www.aapcc.org/DNN/

  • Erin says:

    Gosh, glad Dylan is ok. That same thing almost happened to us. Why are there not saftey caps on those Hylands Teething Tablets!! Seems pretty logical to me. Have a great trip!

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Never too early to get the kids started on the effects of drug overdoses. If she remembers the ‘good food’/toys/games in the hospital and wants a repeat trip…you’re in trouble.

  • calikim says:

    Sorry about the Pill poppin’ incident, but this post was to funny none the less. Only you could make and overdose entertaining. Have a Blast in Italy. I’ve never been, but that is one place I must go!!

  • Cathy says:

    Wow–so glad Dylan is ok. Taking kids to ER sucks–one time we let James wheeze b/c we didn’t know it was a big deal (croup) until I took him to urgent care and, behold, he could have gotten really sick Way to make me feel like a lousy mom. Anyway, hope the packing is going well and you have a wonderful trip! Ciao!!

  • mayberry says:

    Hey, we had a handcuffed lady at our ER the other night too. Also a kid who got kicked in the ribs by a horse …

    Glad she’s OK, and buon viaggio!!

  • Pearl says:

    So glad Dylan is okay, that would have scared the crap out of me! Perhaps Dylan was just getting geared up for the trip to Italy with the Belladonna and all?
    I cant believe you didnt want to wear the diaperesque hospital maxi pad! If you played your cards right, you probably could have scored a pair of those mesh-paper undies too.

  • kelly says:

    Yikes to the Tampon issue and the fact that my daughter eats those teething tabs all the time. Okay…maybe not for breakfast, but still. Not sure what they find so appealing about them. Then taste like chalk to me.

  • Milena says:

    Sometimes, you leave me feeling like as if I’ve run a marathon while being stationary. This is one such time. Thank God Dylan is alright. Thank heavens for nice nurses who carry maxi pads. And where the hell are our husbands when we need them??????

  • Turbo says:

    You know what they used to use belladonna for? Back in the 30s and 40s, to help alkies detox. Nice.

    I look forward to the Italian posts!


  • Abby Siegel says:

    Sorry about your baby, hope she is doing ok! I have to warn you that blackberry withdrawal is harmful beyond belief. I have been in Argentina for 2 weeks now and I left my BB in my bag at the hotel (since we went traveling and it didn´t work down here anyway). When we got back and picked up the bags, I kissed it hello! I missed it that much even tho I can´t turn it on cuz it doesn´t work here in Buenos Aires!!! Good luck and make sure you get a good internet cafe like I did! Have a wonderful trip and see you in a few weeks.

  • Julia says:

    I’m so glad Dylan is okay. Isn’t it funny that you still have to whisper the word tampon? I mean at least you are asking for one and not just letting it all go on the floor!

    Good luck in Italy. I’m glad you have your dad to go with you. I can’t even imagine the that long of a trip with kids.

  • Allison T. says:

    So glad you brought the blog back to the tampon topic. Was really missing that. Ha ha. 🙂 (p.s. Do you know how to say ‘tampon’ in Italian? You know, just in case?

  • Madmad says:

    Wow. Italy-schmitaly! If you were brave enough to ask Dr. Chris for a tampon, you can handle anything – the trip will be a piece of cake. Have a great time. (Glad everything worked out in the ER, too!)

  • Raz says:

    You’re clearly the bravest woman I have ever met.

    I once had to ask a complete stranger in a public toilet if she had a tampon, and I swear I sat in a cubicle dying of shame for about ten minutes. Smooth.

  • Kim says:

    Jeezzzz.. I had no idea they could be toxic.. thanks for the heads up..

    And a hospital with no tampons..

    that is some bad day.

    Have a GREAT time.. 🙂

  • Jacki says:

    I am not the least bit jealous…we had a great time in Denmark. 😉 One day I do want to go to Scicily and see where my great-grandparents came from.

Leave a Reply to Mama Bee Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

kelcey kintner