Saturday Sabine choked. Not like, “Oh, I swallowed some water wrong!” choked but like CHOKE choked. On Veggie Booty. I don’t really want to recount the whole story. I’d rather share what I learned that night – both humorous & informational. I will say that the ordeal involved not breathing, then breathing again, then a trip to the ER, then some puking at the ER, then a clean bill of health and being discharged. That sums up what you need to know before you read the lessons gained. Here is what I have learned about choking incidents:
– Take a First Aid/CPR class. One that covers infants, toddlers, adults, pets, everybody. Give yourself a refresher from time to time. Hang the pictorial instructions on the fridge, if you have to. Just make sure you know it.
– In an emergency, it is normal to forget (or to think you’ve forgotten) everything you learned in the aforementioned class. You haven’t. Your body will put your mind to work. Just go with it.
– It takes longer to say the word “asphyxiate”, and then to define it, than it does to say, “stop breathing.” Use small words when dealing with frazzled and half-awake husbands/daddies.
– Parking lot barricades are probably there for a reason … like maybe there’s a giant mud hole that will sling mud up to your windows if you drive through it. Don’t drive through it. Seriously. Don’t.
– “She just isn’t herself” is a PERFECTLY viable excuse for taking your child to the ER. Mom knows best. And not talking and/or refusing popsicles are logical reasons that your child is not herself.
– It’s OK to “just you wait” people if they don’t believe “she just isn’t herself” to be a viable excuse. Particularly when you are proven right 30 minutes later. They deserve it.
– When you’re headed for x-rays with your toddler and asked, “Any chance of pregnancy?” they probably mean you and not her. Also 27 weeks is apparently not visibly pregnant.
– If your child chokes, take them to the ER. Just take them. Even if you think they’re fine. According to my BFF & former First Aid/CPR Instructor Holly (who I totally didn’t ask for permission to quote, but I doubt she’ll mind since she is A) the smartest person I know and B) I am deferring to her excellence.) “Too often, parents think that once they’re breathing again, everything will be fine, but that’s often not the case. There is frequently tracheal or esophageal damage or something aspirated that can cause problems later, and xrays are the only way to know.”
– No one in the ER cares that you are in your pajamas. They also do not care if you are simultaneously covered in drool, snot, tears & vomit. They only care that your kid is again talking, smiling, and happily drinking orange juice. So you really don’t need to apologize for your appearance.
– At some point, it’s OK to laugh about the ridiculous parts of an emergency. It’s OK to scream, too. Or cry. Or whatever you need to do to keep yourself from really thinking about the “what if’s”. Because the “what if’s” will drive you insane. And insanity is pretty unproductive in an emergency.
– Little girls who choke and stop breathing get covered in kisses, at least two nights in their parents’ bed, a case of popsicles, and a new playhouse. At least they do in my house.