When you have children, you have to be ready for anything really – cuts, bruises, grazed knees, broken bones and all sorts of things especially when you have little adventurers who have no sense of danger whatsoever. I carry a brilliant Daisy First Aid kit around with me in my baby bag (you can read all about them in Oopsy Daisy ) and I have done a First Aid course but sometimes nothing can prepare you – like “The Day She Almost Died” and I almost lost my little girl. It was my mother that saved her life and the wonderful ambulance and hospital staff that checked her over and made sure she was okay. They also helped me keep calm in what was a terribly frightening situation.
Recently we had another encounter with the NHS or rather the NHS and their 111 Direct telephone service that left an altogether different feeling in my mind than the appreciative one that was there previously. Alyssa and I were sat at the table doing some drawing together and my mum was walking around cleaning with a cloth and some Anti-bacterial spray. She popped out to the kitchen to get something and a few seconds later I got up and turned around to retrieve some more crayons and paper which took me literally seconds. As I turned back round I saw and heard the sound of the anti-bacterial spray squirting and when I looked at Alyssa, it was in fact her that had sprayed it, whilst it was pointing towards her at eye level. My mum and popped out to rinse her cloth and left it on the table and I hadn’t noticed. I quickly whipped it away from Alyssa and switched it to off and grabbed some water wipes to wipe round her eye and face.
A few moments later, my mum came back into the room and we noticed that Alyssa’s eye was going red and there was a spray pattern across one side of her face where the product had obviously landed on her skin. I took her and with wild protests being yelled at me I rinsed her face whilst my mum checked the bottle. It was a non-bleach product and simply said to rinse thoroughly and we knew what sensitive skin she had too. My mum had a good look and was pretty sure she was okay but we thought we would ring 111 just in case as it was a Sunday so our local doctors wouldn’t be open and we didn’t want to waste anyone’s time down at A & E. So I rang them just to get some advice.
I spoke to what sounded like a youngish man. He asked the standard entry questions and for my phone number so he could call back if we got cut off and checked no one was dying. I then explained what had happened. He disappeared and I was on hold for 5 minutes. He then came back and asked me details about the spray and if there were certain things in it which there weren’t and he then put me on hold for another 6 or 7 minutes. During this time, the redness had gone from Alyssa’s face and her eye had returned to normal and she was happily playing. He then came back on the phone and told me that I needed to continuously run water through her eye and down her face for twenty minutes making sure that it was running away from her face and to do this NOW. He could hear me moving and I was telling him I was doing this and he asked me 7 or 8 times if I was actually doing it or not – I am sure the screaming and shouting from Alyssa and the sound of the shower would have been evidence of this. He said it was just a precaution and to carry on doing this. He then put me on hold for another ten minutes.
When he returned, he checked I was still rinsing her eye, which again I said yes to and also told him that the redness had gone. His response was that it didn’t matter I had to keep rinsing and I was to go to A & E immediately (how am I meant to do both exactly!!) I was told where my nearest one was and that they were being informed that I was coming then I got “We are telling them you are coming. You are to be there within the next hour. If you aren’t we will be phoning you to ask why you haven’t taken her there.” Wow – okay I get she sprayed something in her eye, but it’s not like her leg is dropping off! Then I got”How did this happen anyway? Were you not watching her? Was she unsupervised?!” As a matter of fact she was but kids can do anything in a split second which you would know if you had any. I explained calmly what had happened and I could hear him tapping away and felt judgement seeping down the line. “Well, go to A & E they are waiting or we shall be calling back in an hour.” I strangely thanked them and was gone.
We popped Alyssa in some pyjamas, popped an eye bandage on her from our Daisy Kit so she couldn’t rub it and headed to hospital. I sat in the back with tears streaming down my face whilst my mum drove and was panicking that I was going to arrive at the hospital and social services would be there to assess whether or not I was a fit mother and that all of the doctors and nurses would be waiting there to judge me on what a terrible mother I was. Do you know what?! We got there and they didn’t even know we were coming. They didn’t know what the problem was and were completely clueless. We waited in the queue like every one else and were seen by a lovely triage nurse for assessment and then a nurse practitioner who said she was absolutely fine and if it looked sore later to drop in some ointment we were given and to go home and enjoy the rest of our Sunday and waved off with smiles.