Calling 911 for the First Time
Our guest blogger Mommy Q on her son’s crisis—and some ordinary angels.
-Cathy Hale, MommyQ
A few months ago, I had to call 911. It was the first time in my life I’d ever had to dial those numbers, and it was one of the most eye-opening things to happen to me since becoming a mother. In fact, I was so rattled after it happened I had to wait until now to blog about it. Blame it on the silly yet nagging belief in the power of jinxing oneself.
It’s something we just don’t want to think about as parents, but accidents happen. I think most mothers have an incredible ability to handle accidents in a ridiculously calm manner. We just don’t seem to get queasy about vomit or poop or blood. Moms take it in stride. I’ve seen my share of scrapes, cuts, bumps and bruises on my children that have made my hubby – an athlete who is no stranger to pain and blood – wince. I may be a hyper, anxious person by nature, but if my child takes a tumble, I have an uncanny ability to quickly survey the situation and determine what measures need to be taken. I may freak out later, but I can usually keep it together during crunch time. This time was different.
I’m probably a helicopter mom, so it goes without saying my kids are never far from my reach, even in the house. My boys are almost six-years-old and just shy of three-years-old, so they still require a watchful eye. My oldest is also on the autism spectrum, so I think I hover for a decent reason.
On this particular day, I had gone upstairs to put some clothes in the dryer when I heard a loud thud and instant crying coming from downstairs. I think most moms have the ability to decipher between “slightly injured” crying and “serious” crying. This was serious crying. I sprinted downstairs to find my oldest son hopping around, totally stressed out, and my youngest son was screaming. I went into my eerily calm “mom mode” to avoid adding more stress and fear to the situation. I grabbed my little guy and sat him on the sofa, so I could look for the injury. While I was doing that, I kept asking them both what happened. I wasn’t trying to figure out who to blame, I wanted to know what he hit and where he hit it.
Nobody could give me a straight answer. This is when autism really hurts, because in most situations a child can give blow-by-blow details. My older son isn’t quite there yet. Within seconds, blood started flowing from my younger son’s nose. It wasn’t a trickle of blood, it was a stream of blood. I grabbed a paper towel to wipe him up and he started coughing. When he coughed, a big glob of blood came out of his mouth and he started making a choking sound. My calm thinking was quickly turning into fear and I started to feel an unfamiliar state of panic. My son, who was still crying, coughed again and more blood ran out of his mouth. Full panic mode. I had no idea what kind of fall he had taken or the point of impact. I looked at him, looked at my other son and I picked up the phone.