We live across the street from a public elementary school. The were doing their annual carnival today, and Monkey was SO excited about the "party" going on. She watched the tents go up, the bounce house getting blown up, and the firetruck pull up. She couldn't wait to go across the street, but we had to wait for Froggy to wake up and eat her lunch.
While Froggy was napping, I took Monkey outside to play. At one point they stopped the festivities across the street for their official kick-off with the Star Spangled Banner. I made Monkey come stand in front of me and put her hand on her heart. She thought this was fun for the first few measures of the song, but then wanted to play again. I made her continue to stand there. At one point she started getting really fussy about it, and I told her, "Mommy's not punishing you, she's teaching you. This is a special song, and we need to stand still and listen." So, in the end, I wasn't too respectful because I spent most of the time correcting my child. But she'll learn. :) She's also been potty training the last few days, so about every five minutes while we were out there, she told me she had to go potty, but she didn't want to come inside. She finally did come in and go. She's doing SO well with it. I've been very impressed with her!
Well, Froggy finally woke up and ate. So, with Monkey on her monkey leash, and Froggy in the Moby, we headed across the street. We went straight to the firetruck. Monkey climbed up in the firetruck and just stood there. She didn't know what to do, but she didn't want back down either. While standing there, I mentioned that we live just across the street and that she'd been watching their truck all morning. The youngest fireman asked which house I lived in, and then said that he'd had a call at that house about a year ago. He even remembered that I had been pregnant with Froggy at the time. Here's what happened as best as I can remember:
Around 8:00 one night, Monkey wanted to go outside to watch Daddy fix the car, so I went out with her to keep her from being too helpful. I was only outside for a few minutes before I realized I was getting bit on my feet. I looked down to find an ant crawling all over my foot...the same foot that was swollen last weekend from and bites. Well, this time, I was bit multiple times on both feet. Tired of being eaten alive, I left Farm Boy to fend for himself against the car, and against Monkey.
Around 8:15, I brought Monkey in, changed her, nursed her, and put her to bed. By the time I finished feeding her, my entire body itched and I had hives everywhere. I took some children's Benedryl and didn't feel any better. Unable to reach my doctor through the emergency line, I called my neighbor who is an RN and who also has multiple allergies herself. By that time, by breathing was becoming very restricted as well. She told us to call 911 if I was having difficulty breathing.
So, around 8:45 we called 911. The volunteer EMTs arrived first and put me on oxygen. The ambulance was coming from about twenty minutes away, so we waited a while for them to arrive. By the time they arrived, I was beginning to lose consciousness. After they hooked me up to some wires, they finally got me to the ambulance, hooked me up to an IV, and gave me an epi shot. By 9:30 we were pulling away from my house. At this point, I decided I am not a fan of GPS systems. Rather than taking the interstate, we took an extremely long route, and hit every red light on the way. We arrived to the ER just after 10:00.
During this whole time, I was also having contractions. (I guess I should mention here that I was 4 1/2 months pregnant with Froggy.) So, after switching from the ambulance equipment to the hospital equipment, we got a nurse from Labor and Delivery to check the baby's heart rate, and all was well. By 12:45 I was discharged from the hospital.
Many times since that night I've wished I could thank the people who saved my life. I remember thanking the EMT on the ambulance, but by that point I was stabilized. I had another opportunity one day when the volunteer department called asking for donations. Sadly, because of the ridiculous charges for the ambulance and ER visit, I had not money to donate to the ones who actually saved my life. It was an amazing thing to me to meet today one of the first responders from that night. I was so overwhelmed that I didn't know what to say. And then all I could say was thank you. I felt like an idiot. Standing before me was a man who had helped save my life, and all I could think to say was thank you. It seemed so inadequate. But what else could I say? It made me want to come home and bake him a whole batch of cookies! As we were walking away, I told Monkey that that man had saved Mommy's life. I never saw the faces of any of the responders that night except for the lady EMT on the ambulance. Today I was able to put a face to one of my many unseen heroes. And I want to say, "Thank you."