Medical Emergency in the Family

Thursday night my writing was put on hold due to a medical emergency in my family. About 9:30 p.m. Thursday, October 5, my cell phone rang. The caller ID revealed it was my ex-husband. I answered the phone, but the only thing I heard was “I’m headed to the hospital.” My cell phone went dead! (I’ve been having problems with the battery on my cell.)

I knew it was one of my kids, and I could hear panic in his voice. Plus, he was very quick with what he said. At this point, I knew nothing else. The only thing I knew was which hospital to go to. Because it was one of the kids, I got scared and started searching for my husband’s phone, but I was too scared and couldn’t find it. Immediately, I woke my husband up and told him about the phone call and asked where his phone was. He told me and jumped out of bed. As I was getting ready to call my ex-husband back on a phone that worked, my phone rang again. I answered it, and when I did, I wanted to make sure I got the words out that my phone was messed up bad, so if I lost him again, he would call my husband’s phone.

I did get the message to him, and then I heard him say, “I’m headed to the hospital.” I already knew this much. I wanted to know which kid and how serious it was.

“Who is it? What happened?”
“It’s Cyndie. She’s hurt her neck jumping on the trampoline.”

The phone started to break up, so I knew I was about to lose connection again.

“Okay, I’ll meet you at the hospital,” I said as I ended the call.

I relayed the message to my husband. Then, I quickly changed from my nightgown to clothes. I didn’t put on a bra, didn’t brush my hair, nor did I put socks on. Instead, I threw on pants and a shirt, stuffed my hair brush in my purse and grabbed my shoes on the way out the door. Since my husband was driving (I was in no shape to drive at that point), I knew I could brush my hair and put my shoes on in the van.

On the way to the hospital, I thought it was odd they were jumping on the trampoline at that time of the night, and I mentioned this to my husband. He said she might have gotten hurt earlier in the day and it got worse. I told him that was possible, but at that point, the only thing I knew was how she got hurt, and I knew it was a neck injury. The neck injury is what scared me, because from my past experience in the medical field I knew those could become serious, especially if the injured person is moved, and when one of the kids are hurt, we always drive them to the hospital since we can get there quicker than an ambulance can get to us.

Twenty minutes later we arrived at the hospital. (I had calmed down a little at this point.) When I walked through the doors I turned to my right and almost cried when I saw her. She was lying on a stretcher with a back board underneath her, two blankets piled on top of her (she was cold), and a huge collar around her neck — a sight no mother really wants to see.

I didn’t expect what I saw. Usually when we went to the hospital for one of the kids, they would be sitting up on the side of the bed and the nurse would be with them. However, this time was different. She wasn’t sitting up, but there was a nurse beside her. I guess my ex could see the fear in me, and that’s when he told me they had to call the ambulance. He went on to say he knew it wasn’t a good idea not to move her, so he left her on the trampoline and a friend of his called 9-1-1 while he stayed there. I also discovered there were seven kids, including my two boys, jumping on the trampoline at once. Then my ex informed me that the kids were playing “popcorn.” Naturally, I asked what “popcorn” was, and he explained it to me. I told him about the rule I have when the kids are at my place: one at a time on the trampoline. Even though I can’t control what they do when they’re at their dads, I felt I could at least hint.

My daughter told me her little brother accidentally stepped on her neck and it popped. She also said she blacked out for a few minutes. She was scared (she’s never liked needles or doctors), and she asked the EMTs not to put the IV in, so they didn’t. They also requested no sirens and just used the lights.

When the ambulance pulled away, my ex said all the kids were crying, and my son cried, because he thought he’d hurt his sister bad (he’s 10). To top everything off, the next day (Friday) my oldest son would be turning 12 — what a birthday to remember.

Cyndie told me she didn’t like the ambulance ride, and she said she was never gonna get on a trampoline again. I laughed when she said she’d never get on a trampoline again, and I told her, “We’ll see.”

We waited for an hour as they took her for a Catscan. After the Catscan, they brought her back in, the doctor checked her out, and we waited for the results. A few minutes later, the doctor came back in and told us the Catscan results were okay. He said she would be sore for a while and gave her some Motrin for the pain (she’s 13 going on 14). He also said if she got worse to bring her back in.

I’m very thankful she’s okay! She is sore, and she says her back hurts a lot too. She also reports that the medicine doesn’t work. If those kids learned one thing from this whole ordeal, I hope it was not to jump with too many people on the trampoline at one time.

I guess I may have over-reacted a little to the whole situation by panicking, but I suppose all parents do when their child’s hurt and they don’t know all the details. Plus, part of me still thinks the Catscan wasn’t enough. I can’t understand why they didn’t do an X-ray or send her home in a neck brace, but I’m not a doctor, so I’ll have to trust the expert’s judgment and hope Cyndie heals fine.

The whole point of this story: If your child has a trampoline, have a rule of one at a time on the trampoline. It can still be fun. My kids have even made up a game they can play with this rule at my house that still makes the trampoline fun, and I’ll share the game with you if you want to know (post your comment and let me know).

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