Friday, October 24, 2008

All this talk about Day of the Dead this month, and my thoughts keep returning to my stepsister April.

April Carlson was a beautiful woman with a smile everyone remembers. She and I went to Vancouver BC together, to INXS and U2 shows, dined at Capitol Hill restaurants, and went dancing. We texted every day and spent hours on the phone. She was a great friend to me.

The last thing April did on October 15, 2006—before calling family because she had trouble breathing—was clean her bathtub. We know she was using Drano. It’s possible that it mixed with another cleaner used either by her or the building maintenance staff, or simply that ventilation wasn’t sufficient.

I asked my doctor about this, and he mentioned being aware of multiple cases in which patients had died after mixing cleaning agents. Common examples he gave were combining bleach with vinegar, ammonia, or cat urine (in the case of cleaning out a litter box). All three combinations can produce a deadly gas.

While we’re not certain this caused April’s death, I’ve since shared this important information with a lot of people and most of the time the response is surprise. That tells me that more people need to hear this message.

So >>
· Read household cleaning product instructions.
· Do not mix your cleaners!
· Keep rooms ventilated when cleaning.
· And if you’re ever feeling faint, or your throat and nostrils begin to burn, pick up the phone and dial 911 immediately.

April was just 37 when she passed away. I’ll remember her fantastic sense of humor and her love of Ireland, mystery novels, bread pudding and British actors. And I’ll never forget the special way she had of making me feel great.

When I got my first client at Conexión Marketing, she was the one who enthused, “We need to celebrate!”

And we did.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely woman and a loving tribute. I'm so sad I never met April.


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