A Tiny Disaster

disaster (n.) 1590s, from Middle French désastre (1560s), from Italian disastro "ill-starred," from dis-, here merely pejorative (see dis-) + astro "star, planet," from Latin astrum, from Greek astron (see star (n.)). The sense is astrological, of a calamity blamed on an unfavorable position of a planet.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” - Carl Sagan

On Saturday, February 21, at 1pm, I began taking 65mg of Iron pills at a rate of one each minute, on the minute.

At 2:39pm, I vomited and ceased taking the pills.

At 5:03pm, I began experiencing diarrhea and vomited again.

At 6:36pm, I admitted myself to Methodist Hospital of Chicago. I was asked multiple times if I was trying to hurt myself. I responded no.

My iron level was at 290, and I was told normal was 175. 500 was high toxicity. I was placed on a full 1L IV drip. I was told I would be kept overnight for observation.

Six hours later, at 12:30am, my blood was drawn again (though it clotted quickly with all that iron), and it had gone down to 245.

Another 1L IV drip was ordered, and another six hours passed. My iron had reduced to 190. My case was closed with poison control.

I was required to stay an additional number of hours until I could meet with a staff psychiatrist and be cleared that I wasn’t trying to hurt myself.

I was discharged from the hospital Sunday, February 22, at 3:54pm.