It was similar to most days with kids, but for some reason they were wearing me down more than usual. My husband had a work event and wouldn’t be home until late. Kat and Reece refused to nap so when bedtime came they went down without a problem, a few minutes early even. Normally, if I’m solo I just go upstairs and scroll my cell or read a book. Instead, I watched a little TV. At 9:50PM my husband, Rich, texted to let me know he got an Uber and would be home at 10:20. I decided to get ready for bed and stood up. BAM. Terrible pain in my lower right abdomen.
I quickly sat back down, but the pain remained. I called one of my brothers to see where he was and found out he was further away than my husband. I asked him to call my other brother and have him come to the house, hung up, and still didn’t call 911! I called my husband and let him know what was happening, THEN called 911. 911 asked me if the door was unlocked. I wasn’t sure. Somehow I managed to get to the door and unlock it, even locking the cat in a bathroom on my way. I may have been dying but I wasn’t about to let this cat escape the house again. My priorities, I know, were not as they should be.
The EMTs arrived about a minute later. They did an assessment then asked which hospital we should go to. During discussions about hospitals I shushed the EMTs because I thought I heard one of my kids wake up, it was the damn cat meowing. My father got to the house and was shaking his head probably thinking “WHO CARES if it is the kids awake or cat meowing!”
My brother pulled up as I was being rolled out of the house, and as the ambulance was pulling away my husband arrived. Rich had been taking an Uber and he said the driver was rushing to get him home after overhearing the EMTs on the phone with him asking how far away from the house he was. “I’m five minutes away, five minutes…”
I’m lucky that I have family nearby but after the entire thing happened I realized I should have done things a little differently.
If you think you need 911, CALL 911!
I already knew this, but I still waited over five minutes before calling. First responders would rather needlessly take a call and make an unnecessary trip than be too late. The EMTs won’t be angry or annoyed, I swear. By the time I did call it was hard to talk, not a situation you want to be in – especially since I was by myself.
In a medical emergency you have to be selfish
My kids are my number one priority, but as is the case in an airplane, put the mask on yourself first before assisting anyone else. Again, call 911 if you are ever in doubt and call them first. If you have small children, either call friends/family after calling 911 or have the first responders take care of this for you. They were completely prepared to have a police officer stay and wait for my family to arrive.
I was conscious and responsive, so I was allowed to refuse and request where to go. Always know how far away Emergency Rooms are from where you live and if they also include pediatric care. Also check with your doctor/pediatrician to see which hospital they are affiliated with. Depending on the situation, the ambulance will drive to a further hospital. I strongly recommend talking to your insurance about if you ever need an ambulance because I’ve been very unpleasantly surprised with a bill. I was able to fight out and only pay the ambulance copay, but you have to do a lot of research.
Make a plan
Hindsight is 20/20. In the future, if something like this should ever happen again, I will call 911 immediately. If I’m able to, I will call a friend who lives in my neighborhood to come to my house right away for my kids and to call my family for me. If there’s no time or I have to stay on the phone with 911, I will ask the EMTs to call for me. This way I’m not worrying about these things and can focus on getting the help I need.
In the end, the doctors determined had a ruptured cyst and by the next day I was feeling back to normal (albeit really tired from my late night ER visit). While it wasn’t life threatening, based on the symptoms it did warrant a hospital visit as it could have been a heart attack, kidney stones, or appendicitis!
As I said before, if you even think you have to call 911, then you need to call 911. Don’t wait.