Tag Archives: emergency

The Drama Gene Hit Little Brother with a Vengeance.

Six Becomes Seven

Six Becomes Seven

Sibling Number Seven.

Eight years younger than me.

If you’ve lost track of who’s who, click here.

The Adventure Begins

The Adventure Begins

Though the drama gene skipped over my younger brother Rick, it hit little brother John with a vengeance.

Every day, some “emergency” required shrieks of help. Most likely he required someone to open a box of cereal or maybe find a favorite toy.

One blistering hot summer day we heard John’s familiar refrain. “Help! Help!”

The entire family ignored him.

The cries continued. “HELP! HELP!”

Mom and I looked out the kitchen window.

That don't have this ride at Disney World.

That don’t have this ride at Disney World.

John crouched next to a rusted disc, a piece of farm equipment covered in sharp metal saucers used for cutting through the soil.

His yelling continued while he motioned frantically for us to come outside.

Mom groaned. “Teresa, go out and tell him to pipe down.”

“Hold your horses!” I shouted, and slowly sauntered over to his rocking body. “What’s the big emergency now?”

He flopped back in the grass and moaned, “Help me.”

Blood oozed from a gash the length of his calf. Struggling to keep myself from fainting at the sight, I assisted him inside where Mom wrapped a dish towel around his leg to stem the flow.

Since a weekend didn’t go by without one of us falling out of a tree or running into a barbed wire fence, ER trips were common events. Between us, I can count at least five broken arms and one broken leg, not to mention dozens of stitches.

The weekend before John’s accident, Mom had snatched up one of her children and marched out of the hospital when an uninformed doctor tried to tell her “Vicks does nothing except make the kid slippery and hard to hold.”

She inspected John’s cut to see if  it qualified for an emergency room visit. With a heavy sigh, Mom turned to big brother and said, “Put him in the car.”   Mike scooped John into his arms and I held the back door open while Mom went to grab her purse.

Mike started down the concrete steps and then he stumbled, tossing John into the air.  The two of them landed with a thud. When the dust cloud settled, a coffee can lay on it’s side, the moist dirt spread in a circle and the surviving worms slinking away, escaping their fate as fish bait.

“Who left this can of worms on the step?” Mom shouted. I would have answered, but I was too busy high-tailing it to the barn.

Even into adulthood, John’ss the one of us that continues to be an emergency room regular.

A cracked rib when a dune buggy flipped over on top of him.

Unconscious from a prolonged 104 degree fever.

And one night in a Mexican hospital when, too lazy to walk around his hotel bed, he’d decided to jump across it, cracking his head open on the ceiling beam.

So, now when he calls for help, I listen. Well, most of the time anyway.

In Case of Emergency, Call Me…Unless…

If there’s an emergency, I’m there. That is to say, I want to be there, but most probably you’ll find me elsewhere. There’s something about that instant, when calmer heads should prevail, that makes me want to do an Usain and bolt.

I found this picture on the internet and I’m a little afraid they used an actual image of me from several years ago as their model (although I don’t think I’d ever really wear white cowboy boots.)

The office where I worked had a fire – a paper warehouse – yes, scary, right? When the alarm went off, I dropped the phone receiver, picked up my purse, and ran down the stairs. I’m pretty sure I knocked a grey-haired old lady down on my way.

When my son, Phinias, was little, he got burned by…well, by me actually. I was making spaghetti and just as I carried the boiling water to the sink, he did that toddler thing where they grab both your legs in a vice grip.  Later, in the emergency room, when they asked him what happened, he said, “My mom poured boiling water on me.”  Which was kinda true so then it took several hours with a social worker for me to retrieve Phinias.

Anyway, I was supposed to change his bandages every day and put salve on the burns.  I tried.  Really I did.  But I just couldn’t do it without gagging.  So, I did what any grown woman would have done in the same instance – I called my Daddy.  We both drove the 30 miles every night to meet up at the Lawrence turnpike rest stop where Dad (fondly referred to by his children as Dr. Quack) took Phinias away and returned him fifteen minutes later all set to go.

I’m not too good with the sight of blood either.  The first time I watched the lab technician fill a vial, I fell out of my chair in a dead faint.  Regrettably, the nurse was one of the few grown people shorter than me and I managed to land right on top of her.

Last year, while working in my garden, I sliced my finger with my pruning shears.  Thanks to a lifetime of emergency medical treatment by Dr. Quack, I knew that I’d need to wash the dirt out of the cut.  Unfortunately, every time I stood at the sink to run water over it, the room began to spin. I’d stumble to the nearest chair and lower my head between my knees.  When the room settled into place I’d try the sink again, which only landed me back on the chair trying to stay conscious. It reminds me of this episode from Frasier when Niles has a similar experience.

Like I said, I want to be the person you can count on in an emergency. I even took a CPR class.  So now, in case of an emergency, I’m your woman – unless you’re bleeding because then, I might faint. Or if you gag – which might make me throw up. But I’m kinda sure, that in case of an emergency, I might be able to help you.

On second thought, maybe you ought to call someone else.