Yes, today I'm thankful for both Poison Control and 9-1-1. This thankfulness comes from two separate incidents over the past few days.
Saturday - Calling 9-1-1
My daughter MJ & I were getting everything together to go deliver Girl Scout cookies, when my daughter looked out the window and said, "Mom, there's a little girl sitting in the middle of the road."
"What?" I replied, pulling my coat out of the closet.
"It looks like the Smith's *(changed last name for confidentiality) little girl."
Quite honestly, at this point my thought was, if it's the Smith's girl, then the family must all be outside and they're going to nab her. I wasn't worried. We live on a very quiet cul-de-sac. So I told MJ to grab her coat and get ready to go deliver cookies. Just a few minutes later, we exited our house and started down the drive way. At the end of our cul-de-sac, I could see one of our neighbor's with is car parked in front of the stop sign, holding a little girl about 18 months - 2 years of age. He yelled to me, "Is this your little girl?"
Just then I realized the little girl MJ told me about was not my friend's little girl. MJ and I rushed over. The little girl had on long cotton pants and a long sleeved cotton shirt. Nothing else to keep her from freezing. Our neighbor pulled out some towels from his car to warm her feet, which were soaked and bright red from the cold. I sent MJ back to our house to get warm blankets for the little girl.
At the same time, I realized another family I knew from Girl Scouts was also pulled over on the side of the road. She came over to us. Between her & my neighbor, I found out the little girl walked out of our cul-de-sac and was standing in the middle of the busy road our little circle branches off from. Neither my neighbor nor I had ever seen this little girl before. I asked my friend from Girl Scouts if she had a cell phone. She gave it to me and I called 9-1-1, then asked her to go get my friend, Mrs. Smith* to see if she might recognize the little girl.
By this time, MJ returned with the blankets for the little girl and I was on the phone with dispatch. Not even a minute later, from the end of our cul-de-sac, we see a white van pull out of one of our neighbor's house and speed up to where we are all huddled around this little girl. Her grandfather stepped from the van, white-faced and worried. Apparently, when the mom had left for work, leaving the little girl with grandma & grandpa, she had not closed the garage door. The little girl opened the adjoining door and wandered out without the grandparents noticing. The situation was resolved and the little girl went home with a very grateful grandpa.
So, why am I thankful for 9-1-1? Have you ever had scary dreams when you can't do something you know you really need to do to be safe? For me, that's usually calling 9-1-1 on my cell phone. I push the numbers over and over and over again - but it either doesn't connect or the call goes to Utah (I kept my cell # from before I moved to the midwest) and the dispatcher can't help me or figure out where I am. I have these dreams often enough, that there's this part of me that's been terrified that a true emergency would happen and I wouldn't be able to get help because the emergency service on my cell wouldn't work. I was grateful to call, not only get a local dispatcher, but also someone who knew exactly the location I was talking about. There was no lag in line, no, "please hold while I connect you with a local dispatcher", just fast service.
Monday - Calling Poison Control
Ever since becoming a mom, we've had our fair share of calling Poison Control. I still remember our first phone call. Isaac, who was somewhere between 2 & 3 years old, climbed into my garden tub, and discovered my bowl filled with those cute bath oil beads. You know, the ones that come in all sorts of cute shapes. Well, he thought they were pretty cute too - and he must have thought they'd taste pretty good too cause he ate a few. That was my first introduction to Poison Control. Thank goodness my hubby was home cause I freaked out and didn't know what to do. =)
Well, Monday night we had our first Poison Control call for our youngest - Anna. After dinner, I instigated "Family Hair Cut" night. I got both the boys done & was just finishing Anna's haircut when the Schwan's man arrived. So, I sat my stuff aside, put in my order, then got distracted helping the kids finish their baths and getting ready for bed. Then I sat down to read a book while I waited for John to finish a phone call so I could cut his hair too. Next thing I know, Anna is standing at the top of the stairs, rubbing her eyes and saying, "Mommy, my eye hurts!"
I went upstairs thinking she got hand soap in her eye again. She's always washing her hands and not getting all the soap off, then rubbing her eyes. But it didn't smell like hand soap. It didn't really smell like anything, but her eye was all red and getting puffy. I took her in the bathroom and tried wiping it with a washcloth & called for my hubby. He came in and checked it out. Anna was still complaining, but not screaming or crying, and her eye was still turning red. I stripped her down, put her in the tub, and started dumping water over her head to irrigate her eye, while John went to investigate. He discovered the mini oil container for the clippers had been all squeezed flat.
We called our Sprint 24 hour nurses line. They gave us some feedback and thought she'd be okay, but also told us to call poison control just in case. Which was a good thing because when we called them, they told us that even though the oil can stop burning, if the eye isn't flushed until the red goes away, it can cause a chemical pink eye and cause vision damage. So we flushed and flushed and flushed. Anna was not happy with us at all, but her eye did return to a normal white and all the puffiness disappeared - and today she's still doing just fine.
So, today I'm sending a HUGE thank you to all those awesome emergency people who answer the phones & respond to our phone calls. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!