For the past couple of days I have been so incredibly tired. I have had a headache, confusion and dizziness as well. My young son has been experiencing stomach ache, nausea and being extremely light headed upon standing. I thought it was the start of our contracting the current flu epidemic. My older son has been out with his friends most of the time and my husband was away in another state on business so they have been feeling fine. When my husband arrived home yesterday, he immediately complained of a really weird smell in the house. I smelled nothing at all. 

He was in the basement trouble shooting the source of the smell while I took the dog out to the backyard to go potty (normally I take him out the front door). The air blowing out from our basement was really strong smelling although I did not know what it was so I joined my husband in the basement and we found that the smell was coming from the central air heater. My husband called our air repair company and explained the situation with a smell coming from the unit. The technician warned us that the heating coils were most likely burning out and to be aware of carbon monoxide blowing through the vents in the home. This concerned us of course and regardless of the bitter cold in Chicago, we opened the windows, turned on the ceiling fans and aired out the house. Just to be on the safe side my husband went and purchased two carbon monoxide detectors/alarms. He installed one in the basement and another on the upstairs level where our bedrooms are  located. 

My oldest son spent the night with friends and right before bed I took my youngest son on a jog to get some fresh oxygen pumping through our blood. Then before my husband and I went to sleep we cracked some of the windows and went to sleep. Sure enough in the middle of the night the detectors went off warning us of high levels of carbon monoxide. 

My husband turned off the heat. We all bundled up in warm clothes and got my son and our dog some fresh crisp air. Then we slept the rest of the night as best we could with the windows open enough to create a flow of fresh air. Without those detectors we honestly may have not woken up this morning! 

Now my sons are out of the house and my husband and I have the windows open and fans on. We cant get the heater fixed until Wednesday when I am off work, so we will live life like they did in the good ole days without the modern comforts of central heating.  I am lucky that my sons and I made it two days in the shut up house with such high levels of Carbon Monoxide. Thank God we were at work and school most of the time! So frightening. . . and the boys and I never smelled a thing. 

(Working in 26 degrees with FRESH air and chilly fingers) 

A lot makes sense now. Our physical and mental symptoms are explained. And I have had blog partners and friends send me a large amount of corrections to my posts from the past few days which is not normal for me. I was thinking it was because I am so tired and combined with the Carbon Monoxide Inhalation I now understand what has been happening to me and my family. 

I honestly thought that Carbon Monoxide Detectors/Alarms were more hype than necessity. I had never heard of anyone affected by this and so we never bought them. We have smoke/fire detectors of course but not the other. Now I know better. I hope to educate my dapper friends so that you and your family can stay safe!

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
headache – weakness – dizziness – nausea – abdominal pain – vomiting – shortness of breath – confusion – drowsiness – blurred vision – loss of consciousness and ultimately death.  It is also highly flammable! 
How to Prepare and Take Precautions:

1.) The main thing to note is to get a detector for your home. 

2.) Second, if you have the above symptoms and suspect that their could be poisoning in the air in your home PLEASE ventilate the area as you get the people and pets out of the house, away from the house and into fresh air. 

3.) Call the fire department to assess the air quality, locate the source and make recommendations as to whether medical treatment is required. 

! Have a Fabulous Day ! – Jenny at Dapperhouse