Monday, October 20, 2008

Get up a get get get down. Make 911 phone calls at 2:30, er 6ish in the morning.

Yesterday started out a bit on the dramatic side. The children and I were sleeping soundly in my bed together when the smoke alarm started to sound. I got up and immediately smelled smoke. What a scary scary feeling. I quickly put on my pj pants and went into each room looking for smoke. I saw nothing but I smelled it pretty strongly almost everywhere. So, I scooped up the kids, no jacket or shoes, and called 911. The kids and I went outside, He-Man cried, and our feet froze. I decided to go next door and bang on the neighbors' door so that the kids didn't get even more sick than they already are. It took a while to get them to the door but finally the kids were able to go potty and settle in with Mr. Ray on the sofa, under a blanket. Soon a couple of police cars pulled up at our house and I went outside to tell them that I was on the phone with my husband and that he'd reminded me that we had just turned on the heat for the first time this year. Only it had been about 12 hours later. For, by this point the sun had started to rise and I felt very very confused. The clock in my bedroom had said 2:30 and so I believed it to be much earlier. Apparently the power had gone out and so the clock was wrong. Glad to know that I didn't wake the neighbors up at 2:30 though! Bottom line was that the auxilliary heating unit must have kicked in late in the morning because it got extra cold and so the burning and smoke were coming from that. But everything was fine. No fire. They did say that they get these calls a lot this time of year and that the smell in my house was unusually strong. It's also unusual for the smoke alarm to go off. I felt a bit foolish that there were cops and fire trucks lining the street because of me but it's easy to "over react" when you are at home with children all by yourself at night. What a scary experience.

About 8 years ago, I called 911 for the first, and only other time. A coworker/friend had just been taken off of one psychotropic medication and put onto a strong dose of lithium (I would later learn that he wasn't exactly that crazy... just gay and trying really hard not to be). I knew he felt bad and so I called to check on him. I could tell that he was in rough shape so I went to the store and picked up Sprite and chicken noodle soup. I stayed with him for a while and at some point he started to become unresponsive. I realized that he was having a seizure and it was the scariest thing I'd ever seen before in my life. I called 911 and I was not nearly as calm as I had been two days ago. He was conscious before the ambulence arrived but they still took him to the hospital and kept him for a while. It was horrifying. They kept asking me a thousand questions, like I was his mother or wife.

Have you ever had to call 911?


  1. Scary.

    I'm glad you guys are okay.

    When Tim was out of town this year, our house alarm went off. It was 6 in the morning but still dark. I hadn't looked at the clock and thought it was the middle of the night.

    I was terrified. Jack and I stayed in the bedroom with the door locked. The alarm people call like they usually do (when I accidently set the alarm off). They asked the usual questions and when I didn't give the usual everything is fine. Thanks, blah, blah blah....they acted almost annoyed with me.

    They asked if I wanted them to send the police. I'm like uh, why the hell do we have an alarm??????

    The police came and he was VERY nice. He checked the whole house. He told us everything seemed fine, but not to hesitate to call in the future just because this turned out to be a false alarm.

    When Tim came home and found out the police had come, he acted like the woman on the phone. Why did you have the police come?

    I'm like why the hell do we have an alarm???????

  2. yeah... never had to call 911. that's crazy!!

  3. My son called 911 when he was one. He got the phone and started pushing numbers. Turns out it was a series of 9s and 1s with the right sequence at the beginning.

    I had the front door open and saw the police through the storm door as I went to answer the door. I couldn't figure out what they wanted. I figured it out and they were OK with it.

    I've never had to call from home, but I used to work in a group home of MR/DD adults. That's Mentally Retarded/Developmentally Disabled. I was told that the new term can't really stand on its own because MR/DD adults can't say Developmentally Disabled very well. I digress.

    Anyway, I had to call 3 times. With one, I saw a good bit of blood in the toilet. The nurse told me to call. The resident, Pat, wouldn't budge. She fought the paramedic. It turned out to be nothing.

    We were at McDonalds with the second guy. His head was on the table and he wouldn't move. Turned out to be behavioral.

    The third resident was in septic shock. She had been sick over the weekend. I went to check on her after all of the other residents got their meds and she was ridged, unresponsive, and breathing really fast.

    I didn't know the address of the house. I had to go look on the front of the house. I also had to send two other residents to wave down the ambulance, fire trucks, and police cars. They send everything in St. Louis.

    They missed the street completely and the residents ran in to tell me. I had to send them back out to wave them down.

    When the paramedics got there they looked really concerned. They wouldn't take her to the hospital the house nurse wanted because they needed the closest high rated facility.

    Mary almost died. She was in ICU for a while. She's great now.

    We've been blessed that we haven't had to deal with it as a family.

  4. I have called 911 2x that I can remember right now.

    Once was when I locked the kids in the car. I had been loading with the doors open and someone playing with my keys had pushed the lock button, so when I closed the doors-they were all locked. Avery was only 2 so too young to get out of her seat and unlock. I tried calling lockout guys first, but 2 said they couldn't get there for an hour-from gas stations down the street- even when I explained! So I didn't know what to do but call 911. They were great and quick, then gave the girls firefighter hats and stickers.

    Antoher time was when RJ was choking- he spit up a sticker just after they answered.

  5. Dina, I totally agree. You did the right thing! People are nuts.

    Deborah Lee, The Donut recently called 911 by accident. They police officers that came were nice about it. I'm sure it happens a lot. And is very annoying.

    Manda, I probably would have done the same thing. Especially if it was hot. How did they get the car open?

  6. I have an evil ex-step-dad and I called the cops on him one time when he and my mom were arguing and he was threatening to shoot her in the head. He was actually arrested, and that was the last time I ever saw him!

    I also called 911 after Joel had an encounter with someone whom we assume was in a gang (or being initiated in a gang). The guy walked in front of our car and stopped, and Joel lost his temper and got out of the car and yelled at him. The guy pointed a gun right at Joel's head and threatened to shoot him. I pulled Joel back in the car and Joel drove off quickly. It was very scary. More than anything I was angry. Both at Joel for the way he reacted and at that guy, obviously. The police officer told us that the next time something like that happened, we should just run the guy over. Yeah, there are safer neighborhoods to live in ...


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