Prompt: Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
The memory that came immediately to mind, is one from many years ago. We had just moved into our first house, and our children at that time were two, and one year in age. Many boxes still remained unpacked.
Our youngest child ‘JA’ was fast asleep having a nap, and the older one was playing in the house. The telephone rang, and though I can’t remember how long I had been on it, it was long enough that ‘JW’ became curious about what was in some of the boxes. The first I knew of it, was a loud cry to which I dropped the phone and ran to see where he was. I found him in the basement where he had opened one of the boxes, and was sitting on the floor rubbing his eyes and crying.
I looked in the box and it happened to be one that cleaning supplies were in, and was alarmed to find he had managed somehow to get the cap off the Drano container. For those who maybe don’t know, it was a very caustic bathroom sink drain cleaner, and as such very dangerous.
I panicked and ran quickly upstairs, one arm carrying our son, and in the other hand the container, trying as fast as I could to read the instructions of the effects it could have. I read that if it got into the eyes, to rinse with water and if swallowed to give as I recall, bread with honey on it to hopefully neutralize the ingredients. I held him near the sink and splashed water in his eyes for a few moments and then ran quickly to the kitchen to get him to eat the bread with honey on it. All I could think of, was that he was going to be blind, and possibly worse. I prayed that he would be okay.
He was crying all the time of course, frightened I guess also because of what I was doing. I grabbed the phone and called the doctor and they in turn gave me the number to call the poison control center for immediate help. At that time there was no 911. After telling them what I had done, they told me to take him immediately to the emergency department to be checked, which of course I did.
After the doctor checked him, I was so relieved to find that while he had rubbed his eyes, it was mostly inflamed around the eye but there was no damage to his eyes. The doctor said also, that it didn’t seem as though he had swallowed any, as there was no indication of any redness in his throat.
So we were sent home, and while we had to watch him of course, it seemed as though he was going to be okay. While it seemed we had handled the crisis, I was emotionally exhausted. As you can imagine it was a lesson learned, that you need to be aware all the time of not only what the little ones were doing, especially when distracted by things like the telephone, and also that all cleaning materials needed to be always out of little one’s reach.
I think I was definitely more stressed out, than even our son was.