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Irretrievable Mishaps


It was one of those moments that you say you’ll never let happen again. But the person who first coined the phrase ‘hind-sight is 20/20 vision’ had a clever head on their shoulders. It is a moment I hope to never have repeated—like when Johnny crawled through our front gate into the road, when Kiera went missing on the high street, or when Aria contracted e-coli in India. But those are other stories. This story is about Nia and a hot iron.

Cuddling my dear Nia

I am not a huge fan of ironing so I only do those items that I deem absolutely necessary (no sheets or underwear if you know what I mean!). So on Thursday, finding myself caught up (kind of!) on the constant stream of laundry, I decided to tackle my pile before it got too big. The kids were watching a DVD so I sat in the living room with them—I like to spend time with them while simultaneously ticking some chores off the list. Well, it was full steam ahead and I was whizzing through my pile… there were just a few things left to do. That’s when I needed to go to the other couch to sort out Johnny. I set the very hot iron on the iron rest at the end of the board and went to help him. The older girls were on the couch with us and Nia was playing on the floor—let me just say, this won’t be as bad as it sounds like it will be! Anyway, Aria picked Nia up just because tshe likes to do that sometimes. I saw danger looming and said, ‘Watch out… there’s a hot iron right there!’ As Aria turned to look at me, Nia’s thumb connected with the piping hot metal and she started to cry—big time. I rushed her to the bathroom and put her hand under the cold water faucet. She fought me so I didn’t leave it there very long. To tell you the truth, I didn’t think it was very bad. I smeared some aloe vera gel on it and came back to my ironing. She fussed a bit, but was tired as well, so I put her for her nap and she seemed fine after that. I didn’t really think about it; like I said, I didn’t think it was all that bad and the cares of the day crowded out any other thoughts.

It wasn’t ’til nearly 24 hours later that I actually saw it again… it was on the under-side of her thumb, so not in an obvious spot. But when I saw it, my heart sank—it looked bad. But it was also old by now, so I figured nothing really could be done for her. I just kept an eye on it. It wasn’t ’til the next day I actually called the medical profession, wondering if I should be putting antiseptic cream on it to ward off infection. That’s when they told me I needed to take her to A&E (ER). ‘Do you know where the nearest A&E is to you?’ the woman on the other side of the line asked. ‘Yes’, I said in a very unexcited voice. Yes, I knew where it was—in Chelmsford, a half hour drive by car. But I had no car as John was at work in a city an hour away. It was the middle of Saturday afternoon when everyone is occupied and even if someone COULD take me, I had four kids and no carseats. A taxi would cost a good £30-£35 and that would only get me there. I had to take the bus. Since moving to Maldon, I’ve not actually taken the bus anywhere. So John found out all the details for me and I set out with four kids in tow. Thankfully, they found the whole thing to be a great adventure—Johnny was especially pleased to be travelling by bus. We had to transfer once we were in Chelmsford and finally arrived in A&E an hour and a half after we’d left Maldon. I said a quick prayer that the receptionist would not be mean—they are sometimes. She was lovely and we were seen quite quickly.

Consensus: Nia has a bad second-degree burn on the side of her thumb and they gave her antibiotics to ward off infection and I have to go in again on Tuesday to have it looked at and dressed again. Poor baby, but she’s taking it completely in stride. Her movement doesn’t seem impeded and though she’ll have a scar, that could eventually go away (like by the time she’s 18, the doctor thinks!). The biggest danger at this point is infection.

It’s easy to feel guilty as a parent when things go wrong that you could have prevented. But I thank God that I don’t have to carry that guilt: the guilt of leaving the iron where the kids could get burned, the guilt of not holding that little hand under the water for very long when I should have known better, the guilt of not realising that this burn needed medical attention quickly. God takes that and brings grace, and also a thankfulness to my heart knowing that things could have been so much worse. Now I stand in faith believing that the burn will heal quickly and well.:)

2 Responses to “Irretrievable Mishaps”

  1. Jessica
    August 22nd, 2011 16:50

    btw… LOVE the pic of you and nia! xo

  2. Diablita
    November 11th, 2015 17:20

    I appreciate your input on this quiet giant of loss to meantl health. I do not suffer from this but I have known some who did and a few who presently deal with this silent killer. For me, the statement of conditions of Alzheimer’s has limited direct family impact for me but this disease floats like a haze that can settle on anyone. I quietly consider this for me, if for any other reason, the direct and indirect impact of this disease would have on me and those I care for. Thanks for your effort, Tom Harrison

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