As the only girl with 9 brothers, we would have expected Lily to be on the low end of medical emergencies. She is, however, the only one who has had broken a bone, and now the only one to ride in an ambulance. Yesterday I took Spencer, one of our 5 year olds to the store with me. We were just getting home and walking in the door when Steven, our oldest, came running upstairs with Lily (19 months) in a panic saying that she was choking. I took one look and saw that she didn’t appear to be breathing so I turned her over and started patting her back to dislodge any objects from her airway, and she started crying and coughing.
I was immediately relieved and so happy that Steven was paying attention when the boys told me that she had been drinking from something downstairs in my office before she started to choke. At that point I smelled the distinct odor of a spray I use on projects to cure super glue quickly. This is usually locked in my office, but one of her brothers had been using the computer with the door open, and she had gone in and found the bottle.
I quickly called poison control and they instructed me to call 911. 5 minutes later we had a policeman, 6 paramedics, many kind and concerned neighbors at our door, and Lily was headed out with Cassanda to get into the ambulance. I wasn’t sure what to do when a neighbor, who as she was arriving home had felt inspired to see what the policeman driving past was doing in the neighborhood and so had followed him, went in the house with several other neighbors and told me to go to the hospital with them and not worry, they’d take care of the kids.
By the time we reached the hospital, Lily’s coughing had reduced from once per second to about once per 5 seconds, but she did throw up before we got to the room in the ER. Worrying that the chemical had gotten into her lungs, the staff did a couple of x-rays and waited to see if any other symptoms would manifest themselves.
We had a friend come and help me give her a blessing and then our ecclesiastical leader, who also happens to be a medical professional, and his wife came and visited. All the while our neighbors are at our house taking care of our 9 boys and even cleaning up. I was able to come home at 9 or 10 to stay with the boys and Cassanda and Lily made it home a little after 1 in the morning. She is now doing much better and we are feeling much less concerned.
I find that with many experiences in life I learn something, especially from the hard ones. Here are some of the things that I learned or relearned from this experience that I hope to always remember.
- Accidents happen, we can carefully work to keep our kids safe by having locks on doors and closets, securing dangerous chemicals and sharp objects, etc., but accidents will still occur. We can look back, as we did, and think of all kinds of “if only” questions. If only I had put away that chemical better, if only I we had not let our son use the computer, etc., etc., etc. These types of questions don’t serve to help anyone, they only serve to inflict more pain on us than we are already experiencing. Please don’t ask these “if only” questions, these are accidents and should be treated as such, you are trying the best you can.
- Friends and family are a great blessing. Hopefully you have good friends and family, if you do, always remember that they are more than willing to help, your issues may not blast through the streets of your neighborhood with a siren call, but they will be there if you only ask.
- Heavenly Father is mindful of us and sends his “angels” to watch over us. If you feel the need to check up on someone, please follow through, like our neighbor and friend, you may be there at the exact moment when someone needs you the most.