Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My First Ambulance Ride

I sit here after an insanely crazy morning trying to figure out how to describe it.
My daughter is currently happily playing in her playroom, and my son is napping.
It leaves me here for the first time today with a little bit of peace.

This morning started off like any other crazy morning in my house with two kids and just me.
I normally start my Keurig for my morning coffee with my son on my hip, and my daughter seated at the breakfast bar.
I have a bumbo chair that I normally seat him in, but he was being extremely fussy, so I held him with one hand while trying to fix a bowl of cereal for my daughter with the other hand.
Before I knew it, my son started flailing his arms around, and I watched in slow motion his tiny little hand go straight under the coffee stream coming out of my Keurig.
It's crazy how everything seemed to go in "slo-mo", and instead of pulling his hand away quickly, I felt like he had his hand under that stream for an eternity before I snapped back into reality.
As soon as I pulled his hand away, he started crying this shrill cry of pain that I've never heard come out of him. 
I immediately turned the cold water on, and ran his fingers under it.
Next, I wrapped an ice cube in some paper towels and put it in his hand so he could hold onto it.
They looked a little red, and I thought, "phew, hopefully, this is as bad as it's gonna get."
After 25 minutes of his inconsolable, torturous cry, I looked at his fingers, and realized it was starting to form a little blister.
I panicked, and decided to take him into the ER by our house.
He screamed the entire way there, and when we got to the ER, as soon as I saw the front desk lady, I broke down in tears telling her my son had burned his hand.
He was screaming, I was crying...I had bed hair that I managed to whip into a crappy pony tail...we were a hot mess.
Thank God my daughter was being brave, and kept reassuring me that "it was ok".
She even kept singing the whole time to Mattis hoping her singing would calm him down.
The last thing we needed was all 3 of us to be a blubbering mess.

I felt like the worst mother ever.
I kept thinking in my head, "way to go, you idiot! you get the award for mom of the year!"
I felt horrible.

We were admitted immediately, and when the doctor came to look at it, he suggested because of the size of the blisters, he wanted us to go the the Children's Burn Unit at Shriner's in Boston.
I freaked out.
Burn unit?!
That's where they take seriously injured people!!!
When he realized how distraught I was, he called an ambulance for us.
I think the fact that I told him I get anxiety driving into Boston and the fact that there was an incoming snow storm made him realize we needed an ambulance.
He reassured me that he didn't think it was a bad burn, but because they specialize in burns in children, he thought it'd be best. 
By the time we were settled in the ambulance, the Tylenol had kicked in, and my little guy was fast asleep in his carseat on top of the stretcher.
It was the first time, I felt a little bit of peace, and the EMT awkwardly tried his best to comfort me. (he was a REALLY young guy, and I was probably some crying hot mess of a cougar to him)

So I didn't know this, but Shriner's Children's Burn Unit is one of THE best burn units in the country for children.
As soon as we got there, I was warmly welcomed by a team of nurses who were so upbeat, happy, and positive.
I felt immediately calm just because they made me feel like my son was the most important patient in the world.
They took Dannika to the supply room to get bandages and gauze for Mattis, and they even let her listen to his heart with their stethoscopes.
Dannika felt like "Doc McStuffins".
They opened the bandages from the first ER, and the blisters on his middle and ring finger had doubled in size.
I started having a panic attack, and again started bawling.
I kept telling them what a horrible mom I was.
Because the size of the blisters were so big, and they were on his tiny fingers, they decided it was best to pop the blisters.

The 5 minutes it took them to pop the blisters, treat them, and wrap his hands up were the 5 most agonizing minutes of my life!
My son was screaming in pain, and I felt absolutely helpless.

Afterwards, they discharged us, but I loved how they did not rush me out to the waiting area.
The nurses told me to nurse him for as long as I needed, and closed the door.
 They told me if I needed anything to call them.
They took Dannika out of the room, and played with her.
She came back a few minutes later with two stuffed animals that they had let her pick out for herself and Mattis.
Seriously, if every hospital had staff as chipper and happy as children's hospitals, the hospital wouldn't be such a bad place!

Then came the social worker.
I know why we have social workers, and I was so nervous.
I already felt like a horrible mom, and I was beating myself up over this.
I was afraid this social worker would make me feel the same.
She was so friendly, but at the same time, I could totally tell she was assessing the situation to make sure it wasn't a child abuse case.
Thank God my four year old could corroborate my story.

My amazing neighbor drove all the way down to Boston to pick us up, and he even offered to drive us into Boston for Mattis' next appointment.
He knows my fear of driving in Boston.

 So my son has second degree burns, and because it's a scald burn, they won't know the extent of the burn until 2-3 days.
We have an appointment back at Shriners on Thursday so they can assess it.
Until then, my son is stuck wearing a big sock over his little bandaged hand.
He doesn't even seem to realize the trauma that has happened this morning.
I think I'm more traumatized than he is.
I came home, looked at my Keurig, and seriously considered putting it away where I couldn't see it. 

I know accidents happen, and kids get hurt.
But it's hard when you were directly responsible for the injury.

Can I also add...
I was seriously amazed at the level of care we received at Shriners.
On my way home from the hospital, I walked through the lobby and saw a myriad of children with burns far more complex than my little guy's fingers.
It absolutely broke my heart.
With all these serious cases, the staff treated us like we were just as important as everyone else.
Seriously, an amazing hospital.
I seriously tip my hat to people who are willing to go into a profession working with sick and hurt children. 
There's no way I could be so positive all the time!


  1. So glad he is ok and major hugs for you. Don't beat yourself up about it.
    Glad D was a big help to you this morning also.

  2. Aww! I am so sorry for you and your little guy. Try not to be so hard on yourself, taking care of tow kids alone is hard! So hard!! And accidents happen. Mattis is so young he will recover and not even know anything happened! My heart goes out to you, taking a baby to the ER is the scariest thing ever, and then to not have your husband there to help with the panic attacks is so upsetting. And D just sound like such a sweet little girl, you are a great mom remember that!

  3. Oh man, I am so happy he is ok and yay for your neighbor. It's so hard when the kids get hurt, but nothing is worse than when it's your fault.

  4. Aww poor guy! Such an innocent mistake though, don't beat yourself up over it! I didn't realize the coffee came out that hot!

  5. Oh girl!! You certainly could use a coffee date huh?? I'm so glad you have a awesome sis for him to sing and calm him all the way there.. You are such an amazing mom and don't let your feelings tell you otherwise. You took him to the hospital, loved him, kissed him and cared for him.. nope you don't sound like a bad mom to me but rather the best there is!

  6. Aww girly...things happen..hes just gonna be a stronger little boy :). Thats so nice you had such a good experience at that hospital. Im sure it makes such a big difference when you know your child is in the best hands possible. Your a great mother with such cute kids!!!!

  7. Oh mama, I am so glad he is ok and that you received such amazing care. What a sweet little pea you have and you are an amazing mother. I completely understand the mommy guilt, it has a horrible, ugly head... but accidents (even of our own doing) happen and we cannot beat ourselves up for it. Think of your accomplishments and all you have done to raise your children. At the end of the day, it's hard for us to not focus on all that went wrong...but really, focus on what you've done right (which I know is significantly more) :) Hoping he heals quickly and so does your heart :) Much love to you!!

  8. Oh my heart! goes out for you and for your little guy. I'm so glad you experienced great care and were calmed by the staff at the hospital. I hope little guy is doing better. I'm sorry you had to go through this as a mom. But you are right these things do happen, they are accidents and we learn from them and move forward.

  9. Coming by Mommy Moments...Gosh, you poor thing. Please don't beat yourself up, it wasn't your fault. When my brother was 2, he fell into the bath that only had hot water in it and had 2nd degree burns from top to bottom and 3rd degree burns on his left foot where he'd stood trying to get out of the bath. My mum still blames herself, but from my point of view as a seven year old, I never saw that. It was just an accident. I know it's hard, and if it were me, I would feel the same. Hoping he heals well...

  10. Was just catching up on everything- poor little dude! I am glad the hospital was so good though and that he is healing well. Don't beat your self up about it!


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