Yesterday I had my first experience with a potential broken bone. I just always assumed it would be the boys that would be first, but I was wrong. My sweet Rebekah decided to take on the heavy gym doors and lost! 🙁
Thankfully I was still at school when it happened. As I was letting kids into the school, I heard her blood curdling cry that only she can produce. As I turn, I see her walking down the hall with the before school monitor. As I tried to assess the situation I was comforted to know that she was walking and seemed overall okay. In between the tears and cries, I figured out that she had hurt her finger. Without looking I took her into the lunch room and gently reminded her to try to breathe and to try to calm down. Thankfully I stayed calm so I radiated calmness to her which helped her follow suit. Then as I sat her down I asked her to open her hand and show me her finger. As she slowly opened her hand, I had to keep my jaw from dropping. It looked terrible! It was immediately swollen and bruised, with a scary looking dent where the door had smashed it. I had a decision to make and I only had a few seconds to make it.
Was I going to flip out and run my mouth on all the horrible possibilities that could be? Or was I going to stay calm for the sake of my daughter and assess what the next step would be? Thankfully I choose the latter. As I felt around her finger and tried to decide what we should do, I was blessed by several moms who went and got ice for her finger and watched my boys. I and another mom also prayed for her and declared healing for her finger. Never forget to bring these requests before God – He is in the healing business! After discussing our options with my husband, we decided to take her in to get x-rays.
I love how the Lord quietly leads you in these moments if you are able to have self-control and remain calm. As we were driving to the hospital, I decided to turn on the music. I encouraged Rebekah to sing along with the songs to help keep her mind at ease. She is my little singer, and after a few songs I saw her start to sing along and her overall demeanor changed and was less fearful.
Random side note: Dads, never underestimate the comforting power you have in your daughter’s life. Nate met us in the waiting room and as soon as Rebekah saw him, she called to her daddy and melted in his arms. His comforting hug was exactly what she needed to be brave to take the next steps. It literally brought tears to my eyes!
As we sat in the room waiting for the nurse to come in, we started to explain to her what would happen. It eased her little mind knowing what would happen instead of leaving it to her imagination. Tonight I was asking her what helped her get through this day and one thing she said was when I explained how the x-ray worked. She was worried that they were going to put something heavy on her finger and press down hard to take the x-ray. It eased her fear knowing it was more like a camera than a copy machine.
It also helped to explain to her what would hurt and what wouldn’t. We let her know the x-ray would not hurt but it might hurt when they put the splint on. But after the splint was on, it would actually feel better and help keep her finger safe.
Praise God, much to the doctor’s surprise her finger was not broken!!! God healed her finger and kept it safe. We now just have a swollen and sore finger that I know will feel much better in the morning!
After it was all said and done we went out to Chik-fil-a and had a yummy lunch. Then we came home and rested. After her nap, she was a whole new girl, one who had conquered the day and had not been traumatized by the situation. God played a huge role in that positive outcome, but I can’t help but wonder if being able to stay calm and positive during it all helped too?
Here are the lessons I took home today on how to handle an injury crisis:
- Stay Calm-take a deep breath. Not only does this help you make wise decisions it also helps your child stay calm.
- Don’t list all the possibilities in front of your child. Remember, their imagination is vivid and you will only induce fear, not comfort by listing all the undesirable possibilities.
- Pray- pray before any decision is made and pray often throughout. Pray out loud so they can hear. Ask others to pray for you.
- Explain each step. Don’t give them the whole run down at once, but just explain one step at a time. Remember they might not know what an x-ray is or what a splint is or what an ER room will look like. Explain the different steps you will take, help calm the nerves.
- Listen to music-Christian music, uplifting music. This is a great way to keep their minds on God and not on the what ifs.
- Encourage them throughout: “I am so proud of you! You are being very brave. You are doing a good job. I know you are scared but I am with you and God is too!”
- Ask them questions: “What questions do you have? How are you feeling? Is there anything you want to talk about?”
- Promise to end the situation on a positive note: Take them out to lunch or for ice cream. This gives them something to look forward to, and gives them a happy memory to think about after it is done.
- Make sure they get enough rest afterwards: Trauma can wear a person out. A good nap makes a world of difference.
- Help them pull the positives out of the situation. Rebekah now has an awesome show and tell picture, and she finally has a bracelet that has her name spelled right, RebeKAH not Rebecca! 🙂
What are ways that you have found to help you and your child stay calm in an emergency situation?