“Oh No, I’ve Fallen Down … Mommy Please Get Up … “
By Angie Seth @kateygoalie
It was so painful. An awful leg cramp in my leg. It just happened just as I was getting out of bed. My 4-year-old was lying next to me, wide awake. Although extremely painful, it was just a leg cramp, I pushed myself up to put my foot on the floor to help ease the pain … it worked. It was now time to get up and get my daughter ready for school.
My son, who is a year and half old was still sleeping in his crib. Good. As I got ready to stand, it happened … I felt hot, tingling, the room spinning … I was going to pass out. Solution: get my head down, get onto the cold floor to cool myself down and stop the dizzy spinning in my head.
Blank … blank … blank … I am lying on the floor, just breathing, still dizzy, still hot, completely numb. “Mommy get up … Mommy please get up ….”, my 4-year-old is looking at me, leaning over my bed. I try to get up, but can’t move. I keep breathing … keep breathing …. “Mommy … “. I try to look at her, but can’t move, can’t really say anything. Finally the spinning stops. What happened? My head hurts … why does my head hurt … there’s blood … why is there blood?? I finally get up, and try to figure out why my head hurts, and why there is blood on the floor. My leg still hurts … my head hurts. I go into the bathroom to see I have cut the upper side of my head. There is a good amount of blood, but I cannot tell how deep the cut is. What did I hit? I lay down on the floor … how could I have hit my head. I am so confused.
My daughter sits down on the couch in the living room, quite, and so mature. She doesn’t ask me anything, but just stays close to me. I realize I need help. I am all alone with two young children, confused, and in pain. I clear my head and figure I should call my Dad. He is a doctor and can at least check the cut on my head. I have to call my husband. I call my Dad first … “Papa … I got dizzy … I think I fell down and hit my head. There is blood … Roy is not home … the kids are here … Katey (my eldest) has already left for school. I think I need help…” He tells me to put ice on my head and he is on his way. Next I call my husband. I hear the concern in his voice … he keeps me talking until my Dad gets there. Then he rushes home.
I am still so confused. In the meantime, my beautiful little girl is staying by my side, quiet, and so mature. She looks so concerned but tries not to show it. Tears well up in my eyes. What if I couldn’t get up … the children … what would have happened to the children? I could care less about the cut on my head or the dizziness … the children were my biggest concern. Fast forward … I am fine. The diagnosis is the cramp in my leg was so intense it caused my body to shut down.
The entire experience got me to realize I had not prepared my younger children for an emergency. My eldest daughter, of course knows what to do … call 911, CPR, etc. But for my 4-year-old, this was a first for her, and hopefully her last. I needed to explain to her what happened. I needed to reassure her I was ok. I needed to teach her what to do in case of an emergency.
So as the days went on, every now and then I would sit down with my young daughter and talk to her gently about what happened. Her response every time was” “Mommy you can’t fall down anymore” … my response: “Mommy is just fine and she will try not to fall down again”. I could not promise her that nothing will never happen. Life is too unpredictable … I needed to prepare her. But how does one do that without freaking your kid out?
Well, communication is the key … I live by it. So she and I have talked about what happened. We have practiced dialing 911 … just in case Mommy or Daddy cannot get to the phone.
So here are my tips on what you need to do to prepare your children in case of an emergency:
• Talk to your kids
• Practice calling 911 and a simple dialogue “I need help”, etc, for them to say over the phone.
• Teach your kids their home address (but it is only something they disclose in case of an emergency, to a family member, police officer, firefighter, or paramedic)
• Sign up for a children’s CPR class … it good for you to learn and for your kids to learn.
• Have an “in case of emergency” card on your fridge with phone numbers and instructions your child can follow.
• Talk to your neighbor with your child so they know they can go to them in case of an emergency.
• Have an emergency plan and practice it so your child knows the routine.
• Once again, talk to your kids. They need to know that things can happened … but they also need to know there are things they can do to keep everyone safe.
My little one is only four years old, but she already has the instinct to do something if something does go wrong. In this case she tried to wake Mommy up. I plan on building on that and really teaching her the skills she needs to have that will help her help others later on in life. I will do the same with my son … all the same things I did with my first child, who is now certified in CPR. She and I will be taking a renewal class very soon!! Don’t take your health for granted… I have 3 precious reasons to keep healthy and live a long life!