20140821

Accidental Childhood Poisoning (satire)

When I was a little boy I had a nasty experience with fuel oil. This experience falls under the category of "accidental childhood poisoning."

My family was visiting friends, and I decided to check out the outside of the house. After spotting a hose attached to a big metal tank behind the house near the kitchen window, I thought, "Oh, there must be water at the other end of this hose."

To my surprise, as I sucked in less than a mouthful of fuel oil, I felt it burn my mouth — the oil probably also temporarily damaged my stomach and intestines. At least, it gave it a good cleansing from the inside out!

Within 48 hours of ingesting the fuel oil, my poo turned green for a day. The major traumatic experience was especially heightened while my mom was scolding me.

Of course, I was a stupid little boy who accidentally poisoned himself, but I survived the experience. It's great being really young, and having a body that is growing. It can shake off being poisoned by a mouthful of oil.

Do I worry about the risk of kidney and liver cancer due to exposure to a toxic petroleum product? No, I see no need to worry about cancer since the stress caused by worrying is much more dangerous on the short-term by causing forgetfulness, depression and mood changes.

Today, I don't even have nightmares about this experience which happened to me over 40 years ago.

Here is what I learned from this experience:

Never suck on a hose attached to a big tank near a house, thinking it contains water. That's not water; that's fuel oil.

A child's body can shake off a mild poisoning. However, there might be unforeseen psychological effects due to child neglect that will have to be worked out with your parents.

Even so, this is a case of accidental childhood poisoning and possible child neglect, for the reason why my family was visiting family friends was due to my father being invited to socialize over a couple bottles of beer.

Within Japanese culture, drink is important to loosen the tongue so that the drinker can relax and unwind while forming social bonds with friends. Unfortunately, most people who drink sometimes do not exercise moderation in their drinking by not setting a limit to how much they drink. At the time, my father was a social drinker and waited until he is sober before the return home.

Quite possibly, I was unsupervised by my parents and wandered off to encounter the childhood poisoning incident.

Whenever my family visited this family friend, I liked exploring their property which had a creek flowing through it, which used to have fish in it. Today, a part of the property was converted into Kiyo Park in Surrey, BC. The creek still flows through the property that became the park.

So I am thankful that I remember this experience today because childhood stupidity led to this near-poisoning.

Instead I take responsibility for that wrong action of mistaking fuel oil for water because it makes it easier to take my parents off the hook and then take myself off the hook. The incident is so old that my mind has buried it deep, having resolved it decades ago.

This incident stays in the pot of my traumatic life experiences because it is so old only I remember it. My father has passed away so he is absolved of his part in the incident, and my mother is 85 and does not need to be reminded.

References:

Overview of petroleum product poisoning: http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/toxicology/petroleum_product_poisoning/overview_of_petroleum_product_poisoning.html

Cancer due to petroleum product: http://www.ag.ny.gov/environmental/oil-spill/what-are-health-effects-exposure-petroleum-products

Stress and its effects: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050

Japanese drinking culture: http://www.savoryjapan.com/learn/culture/drinking.etiquette.html

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