Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

0430 a.m.

“Hello, this is poison control, how may I help you.”
“Hi, can you tell me if it’s dangerous to swallow a denture tablet.”
“One moment, please, while I get the information. How old is the person in question?”
“Um… fifty-nine.”
Silence, then finally, “Can you tell me which brand of denture tablet.”
“Um, just a second…..Polident. I have the list of ingredients, would you like me to read them out to you?”
“No, M’am. That’s not necessary. Was it swallowed whole or after being put in water?”
“Neither. It was chewed and then swallowed.”
More silence, then, “Chewed? Was this deliberate?”
“No! No, it was an accident. I thought it was a Tums. In fact, I took it with 2 other tablets that were Tums, which is why I didn’t notice right away. I thought the Tums were oddly salty, but I swallowed them anyway. Then my throat started to tingle, and I finally noticed the empty Polident wrapper in my other hand. I was planning to soak my dentures after crunching up the Tums. Instead, it seems, I tried to do both things at once.”
“I see. Well, the good news is that you’ll be fine. The ingredients are mostly soap and salts, so you may get some mild intestinal irritation. I recommend you drink plenty of water and keep food in your stomach for the next 12 hours or so. If you get heartburn, you can take an antacid.”
“Like a Tums?” I asked.
Finally, she laughed, “Yes, M’am, Tums are fine, but please be careful.”


  1. DonDueed says


    I should tell you about the time I got an ibuprofen tablet lodged in my sinuses.

  2. kestrel says

    0_o Yikes…

    Although… working with livestock, I can assure you that I’ve had my shots and been wormed. And it was not voluntary at all. **shrug**

  3. says

    I hope you’re fine now. At least you got an excuse for nibbling all the snacks today. I guess the person at the other end of the helpline at least had a fun story to tell at home.

  4. says

    When I started reading this I assumed that Jack had swallowed the pill. Years ago my mom babysat my aunt and uncle’s Spring Spaniel, and had to deal with him eating an entire package of candies, including the wrappers.

  5. voyager says

    I would very much like to hear the rest of that story. I’m trying to picture it…

  6. springa73 says

    Oh no! Glad that it turned out not to be too serious.

    The picture of the woods is lovely too!

  7. says

    Ouch. I am glad nothing serious has happened, but mixing up medicines can get really serious.

    I looked it up and I think it is simply daft that denture cleaning tablets look in appearance the same as some tablets intended for ingestion. That should not be the case, external-use-only medicine should have a form that clearly and unambiguously distinguishes it from internal-use medicine, especially when said medicine will be used with higher probability by elderly people. Like the tablets should be rectangular, or star-shaped or something like that, definitively NOT the same round flat shape that multivitamins have.

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