Thursday, March 5, 2009

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Goldie went to bed early and then had me up at some very interesting hours last night. One of which took me a while to fall back to sleep. Seemed like a good opportunity to think about what to post on my blog. Out of nowhere I thought about the time the girls and I had carbon monoxide poisoning. It has been 6 years this winter.

We had a new gas furnace put in while I was pregnant with Swatcho because the oil one we had was very unreliable. Everything went well that year, but the next year we started having problems. Our house is heated with hot water, no ductwork, with the furnace in the basement. I would open the basement door to find it smoky and the furnace would have to try several times before finally lighting. Since my grandfather had installed the furnace I called the repair company he recommended. They were clueless, I would find them sitting in the basement staring at the owner’s manual. During this time our CO detector had gone off on a couple different occasions. I called the gas company more than once who came out and told me they couldn’t find anything and “those aren’t very reliable”. So, we call a new furnace repair company. They send a tech out, he makes some adjustments and things get better.

Then I wake up one morning, to my alarm clock, for MOPs. I had been tired and had another headache, but decided we should go anyway. I wake Mini Me up and get her to the bathroom. While I’m getting her toothbrush, she passes out. I put her on her bed and open the window next to her. The fresh air wakes her up so I put the girls in her room with the open window while I call the pediatrician. I ask her if it could be CO poisoning? Swatcho is only a year old and she is running around like nothing is wrong. Wouldn’t she be more affected? She tells me to get them to the ER right away. (In hindsight I should have called 911)

So, I shut the furnace off and drive us to the ER. My mom meets us there. They take us back right away, draw blood, and give us oxygen. The blood work comes back. We have carbon monoxide poisoning. Mom calls Hank who meets the fire department at our house. He didn’t get sick because he leaves the house to go to work. I had been in the house for 3 days straight. If we had ductwork we would have been dead. Really.

I wish the story ended here, but the fire department didn’t find anything wrong. So, I buy the most expensive CO detector I can find with a digital display. Sure, enough a couple weeks later it goes off. I leave the furnace on and the windows shut. Then, put the kids in the van and we sit in the driveway until the gas company comes. He finds it right away, coming back down the chimney. It was only happening when the weather conditions caused enough moisture to make the air heavy. The solution was getting a chimney liner. The chimney should be smaller for our gas furnace than the oil one we had.

Back to last night, I didn’t really want to type out this whole story. I don’t have time today. At 7:00 AM I woke up to 3 shrill beeps every couple of seconds. Whoa, that would be the carbon monoxide detector. Ok God, I’m listening, I’ll tell them. Someone must need to read this.


The basement door was open and the furnace and the dryer were running. We shut them off, aired out the house, and Hank will clean the furnace after work. This CO detector is new; apparently they expire in 5 years. I read this on the packaging of the new one I had to get the day the old one quit working. I love the digital display because I can see how bad it is. Like, this morning, it was no were near the levels of the time we got sick.

8 comments:

COOLWHIP said...

We've had ours go off a few times, It's always when the air pressure is low. It freaks me out. my husband is always saying, don't worry, just wir it out. He resets it, and it's fine. I am on edge for the next week. How did we all survive childhood with no detectors, and furnaces???

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Oh my goodness, how scary. You are very lucky with that first incident.

Beverly said...

How scary! You are very lucky! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds so scary! Thank heavens you are all okay!

Monica said...

Oh my that would have been very scary!!! And then how weird that it went off this morning!!!! When things like that happen to me it's like, okay God you really are here listening to my every word :) And I would have thought the exact same thing okay somenone needs to read this story...Hope their is some Divine intervention going on and I'm gonna go check my carbon monoxide alarms (I did just buy new ones last year) just in case it was meant for me :)

Karen said...

Wow, that's scary. I'm glad everyone was alright.

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SunflowerMom said...

Yikes! That is crazy scary! I don't think we even have a CM detector. Thanks for the warning, I will get one!