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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why I Am So Thankful Today

Yesterday, the 6yr old had a close call. To be honest, and without trying to sound dramatic, it's the closest I've ever come to thinking I might lose a child.

Hubby and I took the 6yr old and 8yr old ice skating yesterday. Their first time. Both Hubby and I hadn't been since our youth. As soon as we got there, we wondered what the hell we'd gotten ourselves in to? I mean, really, falling on the ice is hard enough when you're 14, but when you're nearing 40? Potentially disastrous!

My first time around the rink I was as nervous as anything, and incredibly hesitant. I skated at a snail's pace - convinced I'd spend most of the next few hours doing the same thing. 

The boys took a quick lesson. As they attempted to move themselves across the ice, one hand holding firmly on to the top of the wall surrounding the ice rink, I worried about them falling. But both boys are not particularly daring. They treaded carefully. Not like another young boy in their class, who, it seemed, had little, to no, coordination whatsoever - or fear - and was flat out on the ice more than what he was attempting to skate on it. Still, kudos to him for getting straight back up and giving it another go.

But as the lesson progressed, so did our boys. I took a few more laps myself, and started to feel much more confident. The plan was for Hubby and I to take the kids around the rink a few times after their lesson before heading home. The lesson was wrapping up with a chair racing relay. One child sat on the chair (the 6yr old), and one pushed the chair, skating along the ice (the 8yr old). The treat for doing well? A lolly. 

Both boys (just like the other participants) received a lolly, which we made them save until after the hot chips we bought (to help warm them both up, and Hubby and I as well). Whilst the boys finished up their food, I went for another lap of the rink. As I returned, I leaned over the wall to say hello to my family, and then I noticed Hubby holding the 6yr old's head, concern written all over his face. "What's wrong?" I asked. 

"The lolly is stuck," Hubby replied. He was panicking. I looked at the 6yr old. He was trying to cough.

Now, as a rule, I don't usually panic when the kids hurt themselves. I keep quite a clear head, and I don't presume the worst. Ever. Perhaps I've seen too many "false alarms" over the years. Or rather, situations that end up not being as bad as what they could have been. There's that good old saying, "Boys will be boys," and certainly, I've found that to be true. Regular readers here know that's it not overly unusual for us to visit a hospital with one of our boys in tow on occasion. Like the time the 8yr old was knocked out after a fall. And the time we thought the 3yr old had swallowed a piece of burst balloon when we found him throwing up and pieces of the balloon surrounding him (it turned out to be a gastro bug). Then there was the fall on the clothes airer that ended with the 3yr old in hospital getting 4-5 stitches. However, in the past, these situations have all ended well, and even though we were concerned for their health at the time, we also kind of knew they'd be ok. 

Not this time.

When I checked the 6yr old's face, I realised this wasn't one of those false alarms. He was struggling to free the lolly from his throat. Really struggling. 

It was at that point that Hubby lifted him up and placed the 6yr old semi upside down. The 8yr old was now distressed. He was crying, "Oh no! Oh no!" calling his brother's name. I raced off the ice, with not a hint of concern that I may fall, and ran towards them, skates on and all. The 6yr old was coughing, which was a good sign, but Hubby hesitated to whack his back, rubbing it instead. (And I would have done the same. The thought usually is to not pound their back if they're coughing, as whatever's stuck might make its own way out, and hitting their back might actually lodge whatever's stuck further down. However, if they don't cough, and can't get their breath, then you should try a whack on the back.) 

At this stage, the 6yr old stopped coughing, and looked as though he may just throw up the lolly. He was going red, and unfortunately, although some saliva seeped out of his mouth, the lolly didn't come with it. It was then that Hubby called for me to get help. 

Eventually, we had staff members surrounding us. The 6yr old didn't seem to be coughing as much now. He was still struggling. The Manager ended up taking the him and did what I was about to do myself. He held him semi upside down, and began to pound his back. 

It was at this point that a few things happened. 

1. An elderly lady approached and suggested we try and dig the lolly out from his throat with our fingers. (Unless you've exhausted all other possibilities, my understanding is that this is not a great option. You could push the object even further down, blocking the windpipe.)

2. A guy, standing on the ice rink, leaning over the wall, calmly asked us what was wrong? My immediate thought was that he was a doctor or something, and was perhaps about to advise what else we could do, or better still, get in and help. "He's choking on a lolly," I replied hurriedly, expecting that by announcing that, the man would jump over the wall and save our child. Instead, he just said, "Oh." And that was it. THAT. WAS. IT. He had nothing! Zip. Na-da. He was just being damn NOSY! (Yes, I was angry!)

3. I suddenly thought that perhaps I was about to lose my son.

I bent down to check his face again, rubbing his back furiously, then hitting it, trying to free the lolly. It was then he started saying, "I'm ok. I'm ok." 

"He said he's ok!" I called out, so that the Manager would release him. The 6yr old was lifted upright again. His face was red. His eyes were red and watery. He put his hand to his throat. "I can still feel it," he said, referring to the lolly. Obviously, he was feeling the effect the lolly had had on his throat. "Can you breath ok?" I asked. "I think so," he whispered. 

Hubby asked a staff member if she could please fetch some warm water, in hopes that it would break down the remainder of the lolly. He had the 6yr old drink two cups of it. 

And then it was over. He was fine. And I was, to say the least, relieved. And so thankful. And trying not to think of how differently this could have all ended.

It's not that I haven't thought about it before. A day can start off just like any other day. We make plans and assume we'll follow them through, and get through the day as best we can before it's time to fall in to bed that night, in preparation for getting up the next day and doing it all over again. We never assume something so awful could happen, that could change not only our day, but our life. Forever. We know it's possible, but it's almost always the furthest thing from our minds. (Mostly.) 

I haven't been able to stop thinking about how fortunate Hubby and I are that yesterday continued to be just like any other day, even after "the incident". So thankful.

I'm just so glad that I am at home, typing this post ready for tomorrow (Wed), the 6yr old and his brothers tucked safely in to bed. Our lives still intact. So very thankful. 

Falling on the ice, it seems, was the least of our concerns. 



Ami said...

Gosh Jodie, so scary. My heart was pounding as I was reading that. What a horrible thing to have to go through. I'm so glad, beyond glad that it all turned out ok.

The other day I woke up thinking that I'm not just having a baby I'm going to be a parent. That probably sounds strange. Anyway, you're a great mum Jodie and like I said I'm so happy that it all turned out ok. xxx

P.S What was with the nosy guy, always one in every crowd. Idiot.

lifeinapinkfibro said...

That is terrifying. It's also my worst nightmare. I'm a bit like you about accidents and the like - blase unless there's a lot of blood. But the choking thing - nightmare. Mr3 had a similar incident with a chip a few weeks ago. Did we panic? Hell, yes. And then, the next day, booked in to do a First Aid course. I'm so glad your guy is okay!

Anj said...

Scary, but you kept your cool...is it this bad for parents with little girls? I have not had too many incident with my little guys yet, but know that my 3yo (who managed to split his head open on a slow moving boat on a calm, flat Noosa River) is likely to test me. @altait, you've got the right idea about First Aid courses...my last cert was after my 5yo was born. Time for a refresher!

So glad to hear your happy ending, Jodie!

Jane said...

Oh my goodness. I think I held my breath while reading that entire post.

I remember my brother choking on a barley sugar lolly when he was 6. My grandparents were looking after us and they were TERRIFIED to say the least. 12 years later, he has not eaten another barley sugar since.

So glad to hear he is OK now! (But I bet he won't want to go ice skating again for a little while...)

miss carly said...

oh wow. im glad that everyone is okay xx

i think when something is seriously wrong you just know, compared to the bumps, bruises and cuts that happen. like when the boyfriend zapped himself. i went into panic mode. but calmly.


Thea Smith said...

Oh gosh, I had my hand on my heart and my eyes couldn't read quick enough.
Thank God he's OK.
Those thoughts are usually the furthest things on our minds because they're too painful.
How right you are, it takes but an instant to change things forever. xx

MegsyJ said...

Thank God your little boy is OK. I can't imagine how you felt, watching all that happen. Just so scary. So so SO happy everything was fine. xxx

Madmother said...

Oh Christ, that is scary. Boy 1 choked on a fish finger when he was younger. I was in the loo and my friend was in the kitchen. He was blue couldn't make a sound when I screamed, did the same, turned upside down and pounded (which was what we were told back then). Fish finger came out, nearly murdered friend. She still doesn't have kids, and I can see why.

Emma said...

My heart was racing just reading this - how scarey that must have been. Glad everyone is ok.
PS. I just read about you over at Writing Out Loud and am your newest follower :)

emlykd said...

so. scary. but you're right.. jamming fingers down there not good, as is whacking him.. but its such a tough call.. my heart raced the whole way thru this little post.. lots of loves.. and I will email u tomorrow.. I promise... xxxx

Brenda said...

Oh my goodness! That must have really scared your boy. He's a brave little fella though.XO

Kelly Burstow said...

Goodness me! How frightening. I've had a few choking incidents myself. It's positively terrifying! I'm glad he is ok.

Michele (MommaLioness) said...

That is petrifying - I could definitely feel your terror throughout this post - I am so thankful your son is OK!

Bernadette Morley said...

So scary. Nothing makes your heart explode like the fear your child in trouble and not being able to help. Sam choked on a freaking mentos about a month ago. They are banned forever. Glad he's ok. :) And you guys are too.

Liz K (LizK_is on twitter) said...

I am so glad you didn't lose him Jodie. So glad...

SeraphimSP said...

What a horrifying thing to happen. I am so, so glad he is ok. xx

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

My husband was 14 when his 3 year old sister began choking on a jaw breaker. He was babysitting and she was turning blue. Nothing was working so he finally tried to pry it out with his finger. Thankfully it worked and she refused to eat for several days. She would only try soup. Needless to say jaw breakers are banned in our house.
So glad your story ended as a happy one.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Thanks all for your lovely comments and support.

I have to admit, the day after it happened I probably felt worse - reality set in, I think.

I'm now a bit paranoid about the boys eating such things, which I'm sure will ease with time.

And once again, I'm very thankful it all ended well.

Thanks all! MWAH!

WarsawMommy said...

Over here from Mummy Time...

OMG. I must say: my biggest fear is one of my boys choking. I have no idea what it is, but it just scares me worse than anything else. Your story had me in a panic until the end (even though I knew it would turn out OK).

I am so glad it ended up OK.

Dovic said...

Golly that was hard to read...I was stumbling over the words! So glad all is ok. SO glad!


Nomie said...

Scary, very scary. Glad all was OK in the end. Nothing as heart stopping as your kids in danger is there?

Cinda said...

Hi I found you on FYBF.
That was a scary moment... I can imagine the sense of panic you went through. Thank goodness your son is ok.
I had a scary incident too when my middle son was about 2 1/2yrs. He was sitting in the living room playing with what I thought was his dinosaurs toys. It looked to me that he was chewing away at the dinosaurs tail but in fact he was putting it up his nose. I told him to take it out of his nose and he looked at me and burst into tears. I couldn't figure out why and then he pointed to his nostril.....OMG I could see something white inside.....
He was still only learning to talk and couldn't tell me what was in his nose so I panicked but didn't attempt to take it out myself fearing I might push it further. I picked him up and rushed him to the doctors and all the way he cried his heart out in panic too.
But as soon as I drove up to the front of the clinic it let out a big cough and out came the offending white thing..... it was one of his sister's PEZ lollies, almost dissolved being a sherbet based lollies.....What a relief!!!

TheRealSydney said...

Oh Jodie - that is freakin scary - been a long time in that situation but I remember when Charli had a choking incident and it's awful ... is there a proper first aid response? I guess we should all really know it ... heimlich ??

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Hiya Steph.

I did my first aid course a while back, but after talking to a few mums about it, I think what I thought it correct.

1. If they are coughing, let them cough. Don't hit their backs, as the item might lodge further down. Rub their back.

2. If they are not coughing, they're not getting in any air. You need to turn them upside down (or close to) and give them a good whack on the back between their shoulder blades.

3. Don't stick your finger down their throat to remove the object. This may actually push it down further, and cut off the airflow.

My friend called me the other day after reading this. Her son got a lolly stuck in his throat once. Like mine was, saliva was coming out, but nothing else. They took him to emergency. It took them half an hour to get it out!

I think you can try squeezing gently their ribs under their armpits, but from memory, you have to be gentle with young kids in case you do some damage to their ribs.

I've decided to look in to this further, and make sure I have the right info and I'll post it here.

Thanks for stopping by!! xxx