Emergency!! Someone call 911!!
By Jayne Nagy (nagymom)
I have a dear long time friend who is a nurse. There was a time that she
wanted me to go to nursing school too, thinking that I would make a good
nurse. Poor dear, she was the victim of misguided thinking of the worst
kind. Had she known these little family secrets, she would never have
Few outside my family know this, but in emergencies you can count on me to
react one of two ways; I'll either panic on a major scale or I'll laugh at
you. Neither is very helpful when you're in the middle of a crisis.
I'll never forget the day I was standing at my kitchen sink when I heard my
neighbor start yelling. I looked out and saw Ernie running across the street
so I took off too. When we got across the street, we found Tom pinned by his
massive motor home! He had been working on it when something slipped and his
leg was being pinched but good. This thing was so long it filled their
driveway. Ernie started trying to figure out a way to get him out while I
ran back home to place a hysterical call to 911.
As I recall, it went something like: "911, what's your emergency?"
HELLLLLLLLP!!! Myneighboriscaughtunder hismotorhome!!!!!!!!"
"Calm down please and repeat what you said."
I managed to convey the urgency of the situation, threw the
phone down and ran back across the street to "assist". There I was, trying to
PUSH this block long motor home forward..all by myself.
A woman driving by stopped and asked if I needed help. I don't recall what I said but she
drove off with a slightly frightened look on her face. Fortunately we lived
just a few blocks from the fire department so they were there in minutes.
They extracted our neighbor with little fanfare and were still there when
his wife drove up. She got out of the car and calmly asked what was
happening. (She's my hero). It seems this wasn't the first or even second
time she had come home to find the street filled with flashing red and blue
lights. I am in awe of her composure and even humor in this emergency. As
for myself, I hadn't run in years so the next day I could barely stand much
less walk. Tom spent a few days on crutches while I felt like I needed some
I suppose the motor home incident was some sort of payback for my sending
him running to our house a couple of years before this. It was the Monday
after Thanksgiving and I had dropped a pop tart into the toaster while I sat
at the computer to work on a letter. I lost track of time and some time
later heard a crackling noise. When I turned around I saw flames shooting
from the toaster. I started screaming and running around in circles yelling
"FIRE!" I called 911 and shrieked something about a fire. Mistie grabbed
Alexis who was 4 months old at the time, and hit the front door running. I
ran out too, saw Tom and screamed something incoherant (I was hysterical and
don't remember for sure what I said) and he came running. I continued to run
in circles while he tried to put it out. Finally he yanked the cord from the
wall and threw a bowl of water on the toaster. By the time the fire truck
got there it was all over except for the smoke and my embarrassment. We did
have some fairly heavy damage to the cabinets and counter tops. Our toaster,
electric can opener and coffee maker were total losses as well. Losing that
coffee maker hurt the worst.
I still cringe in embarrassment when I think about the day that I locked the
kids and myself in our apartment in Germany. We had just arrived and were
living in temporary quarters on the 4th floor of one of the stairwells on a
housing kasern. I got into the habit of leaving the key to the laundry room
which was located in the basement, hanging on the hinge of the only door in
and out of the apartment. I shut the door a little too hard one day and the
key swung over wedging itself between the door and the jam. When I tried to
open the door it was jammed tight. I know, I tried pulling and tugging it
open with all my strength. Ernie wasn't due home for hours and we didn't
have a phone since we were only there for a month while we waited on our
economy apartment to be completed. I panicked big time. I was suddenly
convinced the building was going to burst into flames and that we would
perish. The windows were tiny, not to mention 4 floors up. I started beating
on the metal door and screaming for help. It wasn't long before I heard a
neighbor's timid voice asking "Is everything ok in there?" I responded that
NO the door was jammed and we were stuck inside. While I pulled she shoved
and we got it to open. Much to my horror and seemingly never ending
embarrassment there stood ALL of my neighbors and most of the kids in the
stairwell! Have you ever wished a floor would just open up and swallow you?
When Irene was 7 weeks old she got very sick and almost died of Whooping
Cough. Brooke had to stay around the clock with her in the hospital. I would
go relieve her during the day so she could go home and take a shower. I knew
the procedure if the alarms went off but lived in terror of the alarms
anyway. It was so frightening to know that tiny child's life depended on
quick and CALM reaction. One time the alarms started squealing and I wasn't
able to get her to breathe so I tore out into the hallway frantically
looking for a nurse. There were none in sight so I just opened up and
started yelling at the top of my lungs. I had lots of nurses then! They
quickly got her breathing and reviewed the procedures with me again while I
apologized. Was I embarrassed? Not this time. This was a baby who was going
to die if I didn't get help fast. Today this child is a healthy and
incredibly bright and funny 6-year-old.
When Stacie had her accident on the scooter and broke (mangled) her wrist, I
took off with her in the Jimmy. It's a miracle we arrived at the emergency
room as intact as we were. I took off with flashers going, horn honking and
eyes bugging. There is a driver out there who to this day is in peril of his
life. He refused to get out of my way in spite of all this and who even
slowed down on purpose. His face (I saw it in his side mirror) and his
vehicle are burned into my brain forever. I took the final turn into the ER
parking lot on 2 wheels. This is one time the Army hospital ER staff didn't
take their time though the radiology tech almost got taken down for making a
personal phone call before he did her x-rays. Everyone else kept a healthy
respect for this wild-eyed mother bear with the injured baby cub.
Then there are the times that all I can do is laugh. Alexis was 4 and Irene
would have been about 2 1/2 years old. They were both at our house and I had
left them with their Bapa while I ran some errands. When I came in I heard
both little girls crying and obviously in pain. I found all three of them in
the laundry room. The little girls were white faced and Bapa had a very
contrite look on his face. Apparently he had lost track of them long enough
for them to get into and play in my bucket of powdered laundry detergent.
They somehow got it all over their faces and in their eyes. Bapa was trying
to clean them with a wet cloth and all I could do was stand and laugh
helplessly. It's a memory that still makes me laugh. What a sight!
We went to visit my family the summer after we returned from Germany. We
were stationed in Maryland and my folks live in Arkansas so spent one entire
day traveling before stopping in Tennessee for the night. We unloaded the
van then swam for about an hour before going to dinner at Bonanza. I tried
to warn the kids not to eat too much. Mistie and Brooke had a very real
problem with carsickness when kids. They didn't listen and ate dessert after
stuffing themselves full of dinner. We stopped for gas on the way back to
the hotel when Mistie announced that she was going to be sick. I ordered her
out to the grassy area "just in case". After a few minutes I asked Brooke,
who still harbors bitter memories of this night, to go check on her while I
remained with Stacie. By the time she got over there Mistie was on her knees
throwing up. Brooke took one look and started throwing up too! I could do
nothing but sit and laugh so hard I couldn't speak and could barely breathe.
Ernie was pumping the gas when he heard all the commotion and walked around
the side of the van to ask what the heck was going on. I could only point
and laugh so hard I thought I was going to join the girls!! I still howl
with laughter when I think about it. The girls have never forgiven me and
would nominate me for the Worst Mother of all Times Hall of Fame if one
existed. This just makes me laugh harder.
There are those who know of my problems handling an emergency and no doubt
think I'm a nut case. I prefer to think I'm easily excitable. Still to be
safe, if you ever find yourself in an emergency and your choices are to call
me or call a taxicab for a ride to the hospital, call the taxi. Trust me on