A friend of mine works in a hospital about three hours away from here in the ER of a fairly rural hospital as a transport team member (big hospital, but wayyyyyyy out in the country). She called me just now to relate this story of a woman whose twelve year old son called the ER to ask for help. The clerk put the triage nurse on the phone, and this is what he told her:
His mom was pregnant with twins and was due any day. She'd had an uneventful pregnancy. Earlier that evening, she'd apparantly decided to indulge in a little crack smoking, figuring the babies were big enough to not be harmed. She smoked crack and was already completely drunk, and apparantly slipped on the kitchen linoleum and fell down. Next thing you know, SROM all over the kitchen floor, intense labor, and no one is home but her three and four year olds, who are in another room. She crawled to the phone and had to call her twelve year old, who was at a friend's house down the street. He came running back to the house and found her laboring and crowning on the kitchen floor! He didn't know what to do, and she started screaming at him, "Catch them, CATCH the babies!" and he knelt down just in time to catch his brand new (and thankfully, completely healthy) baby brother and sister. Mom was still completely high, so he laid the babies out in her lap and ran to the phone to get help. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? That poor boy!!! They sent two medic units out to the house, which was WAY in the boonies, to pick up mom and the babies and move them to the hospital.
My friend said that she was just freaking out, and when her shift was over, she went upstairs to see how everyone was doing. Babies were both fine, big, healthy, no probs. Mom was in PP recovery and seemed to be doing fine. She met the son who delivered the babies, and said he was just overwhelmed, and he was telling her the story of what happened very calm and adult-like. She said that halfway through, she realized that nobody had told him what a good job he'd done, and she hugged him really tight (she's got a nine year old at home, I think this story particularly touched her...you know how that works- sometimes they just sqeeze your heart, you know?) and kept telling him how brave he was and what a wonderful, important thing he'd done.
She called me and told me all of this, and was kind of crying about it a little, and I was just like, good LORD, what a traumatic thing for a twelve year old to have to go through! I mean, nevermind that mom is a crack fiend and an alchoholic, but I'm sure he never thought he'd be seeing his mother...umm...in that light. And I mean, what are the chances of this kid getting counseling? I told my husband, wow, maybe he'll end up wanting to be a doctor. He said I was naive and that the kid would probably hate women for the rest of his life and be scarred sexually when he reached adulthood. So, so, so sad. I'm glad their all alright, but I just want to throttle the man in charge for allowing this to happen, you know? So frustrating. Okay, venting over. ;>) Thanks for hearing me out.