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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Three very long days – we survived a plane accident and 2nd degree burn!

As some as you know Gwenith, Gilbert and I flew to Milwaukee (Fort Atkinson), Wisconsin on Friday Aug. 1, 2008. We went there for the Curry family reunion. We had a good time visiting with family members we had not seen in years and meeting family members we had never meet before. Things went really well. I was afraid that I was going to feel out of place with Sam not being there. But everyone made us feel very welcomed!! Gwenith and Gilbert warmed up to almost all the family members. Gilbert really liked his second cousin (Sam’s cousin) Mike and his Great Aunt Sue. The flight to Milwaukee went really well. G&G were good on the flights. While we were at Ft. Atkinson we did not do much besides spending time with family. I got a picture of Gwenith and Gilbert with Grandpa Curry, like I wanted. But of course Gwen was crying in the picture. I did not really think it was a big deal because I thought we would have another try at it on Monday. But unfortunately on Sunday there was an accident.

Gwenith and Gilbert were playing in the dirt and were having a great time throwing the little rocks across the road. When the watermelon was ready to be eaten I wanted to clean their hands so I went over to the diaper bag to get the hand sanitizer to clean their hands with it. I don’t know why I had to go get it because the last two days I just wiped the hand clean to let them eat but for some reason I wanted to use the hand sanitizer. I am pretty sure Gwen was following me, I am not sure because I was not watching her as close as I should have been. I thought she was staying by the watermelon. Anyways she some how tripped and fell into the fire pit!! Luckily the fire had died down and it was just smoldering at that point and Gary (Sam’s uncle) was there and notices Gwen falling. I think he said something or something drew my attention but I looked up at that moment and saw him catch Gwen by her shirt and pulled her out of the pit. I kind of freaked out and said the other word for crap three times and told someone to get water (I might have said ice). I grabbed Gwen from Gary. Everyone rushed over. Carolyn (Sam’s Grandma) started to poor water over Gwen’s right hand. Casey (Sam’s mom) gave us more water to poor on it. Carolyn told me she did not think it looked too bad. I agreed with her but said that we have insurance and I am taking her to the hospital. Carolyn agreed it was a good idea. Gwen’s palm of her right hand was all white and I could tell the blisters were forming. I gathered our things (I did however forgot my cell phone). I asked for some help to put Gilbert in the car. They asked if I wanted to have him stay there. But I knew Gilbert knew something was going on and would get upset if we left him there so I told them I wanted him to come too. The family would not let me drive us to the hospital alone so Tim (Sam’s uncle) came and drove the car (Thank you Sue for letting us use your car). I sat in the back and held Gwen. But once we were on the main road I put her in the car seat. There was once funny moment while we were driving to the hospital. Gwen was screaming and crying the whole time but at one point midway she stopped looked at her hand and in her regular voice said “ouch” and went back to screaming and waving her hand.

We got to the hospital which by the way was about 15 to 20 minutes away. Tim dropped Gwen and me off at the ER. I could not find my sandals so I went in there bare foot; they fell off in the car while I was taking care of Gwen. I walked up to the Nurse and told her my daughter fell into a fire pit and burned her hand. At this point I started to cry. I said I was sorry and hurried and pulled it together. They hurried and brought us to a room. The Nurse took some information. They tried to have Gwen hold a cold compress on her had but she would not do it. By that time I think Tim and Gilbert joined us in the room. They took her vitals. I asked them to please give her something for the pain. They told me they would but need to figure out how to give it to her since she was so upset. One of the Nurses got an idea to put saline in a tub and let Gwen put her hand in it. Gwen of course fought it. But after a few minutes she realized that it actually helped with the pain. We sat on the gurney for awhile. Some more nurses came in to check out the burn. This about the time I notice the blisters on her fingers. Her pinky, ring finger and middle finger were covered with blisters, including the tips. The index finger had a blister on the inside (wear the middle and index rub each other). She had a huge blister on the thumb. The palm had one huge blister under the fingers and bunch more little and middle size one by the wrist. The doctor came in looked at her hand said he thought it was just 2nd degree burns but wanted to send us to another hospital 50 minutes away. I had my choice to have us go by ambulance or by car. I told him I did not care I would do whatever he thought we should do. He said that he thought it was ok to by car since it was not life treating. They finally gave Gwen a shot of morphine and looked for a vain to put in an IV (I think it was going to give her more pain med) since she is only two years old they could not find one so they looked for one in her foot, which they found. They put some cream on it to num the area up. They never did put in the IV because they decided that since we were going to drive Gwen to the other hospital they did not want to put an IV in. All this time Tim was taking care of Gilbert who was behaving as well as any two year old could. He was really was being good. He tried to hug Gwen a couple of times but Gwen did not want anyone to touch her. We sat in the room a little longer and morphine started to work. After they gave Tim direction we were on our way to the other hospital. We did however make a quick stop at the hotel to get G&G a change of clothes, PJ’s, their blankets and their “daddy bears”. I also made up some milk sippies for them to drink on the way. Gilbert drank his and fell asleep on the way to the hospital. Gwen never did sleep on the way to the other hospital she just sat in her car seat holding her sippy in her hand and had her “daddy bear” tucked into her arm, while her other hand was still in the tub of saline.

Since Gilbert was asleep Tim stayed in the car with him, while I took Gwen into the hospital. Once again they saw us right away. The nurse took the tub of saline Gwen was not happy about that. She wanted her tub back! The hospital had lady that worked there that helped occupied the child while they poke and pry them. She was very nice and I wish I could remember her name. She played with Gwenith while the nurse took her vitals and this time around Gwen did not mind them doing it. The nurses and doctor came from the burn unit. They agree that is 2nd degree burns. They also decided to put a burn glove on it and to pop the big blister on her palm. The regular nurse came back in and gave Gwen some Motrin since she was wimping a little bit. A few minutes later they came with the glove and medical tape. The nurses decided to pop the big blister on her palm, a medium size one on her palm, the one on her thumb and pinky. They put the burn glove on and started to put on the medical tape. Gwen did not like that. She kept saying brother. The tape was blue! I told them she said blue is for brother. She wanted pink. They thought it was cute and told her they would go find some pink tape. We were pretty much done after that. They told me to follow up with the burn clinic in a day or two. They brought in the discharge paper along with some pink medical tape to take with us. I was told that if she was in pain to give her some Motrin. We were only there for an hour! We got back to the hotel around 1 am. I think this all took place over six hours.

The next day was Monday and everyone in the family was leaving to go home. We were going to be staying another day because it was way cheaper to fly on Tuesday. Almost everyone came in to say goodbye, Gwen was doing and see if we needed anything. I told them I need to get some Motrin for Gwen. So Keith and Dawn got her some (thank you so much). After everyone left the past 12 hours hit me and I started to cry again. I just wanted to go home. Gilbert came up and gave me a hug and a pat on the back. A few minutes later I got a knock on my door, it was a guy from the hotel asking if I was ready to check out yet?!?! I went to the front desk and asked what was going on. That I reserved the room for four nights. He then informed me that I only paid for 3 nights! That set me off again. I called the airline again (I called the night before too but did get help) to see what I could do to get home Monday instead of Tuesday. I was told it was going to cost 2000.00 to fly home that day!!!!! I told them I was trying to get home to get Gwen checked out at the Children’s hospital in Utah (no lie). I got transfer to a supervisor who told me she would waive the fee but I still had to pay a 100.00 fee to change the each of the tickets. I asked them to hold on while I figure out if I could pay that. I called my mom to ask if I should do that, which she told me I should. While I did that I lost connection with them. I called them back but I could not remember who I was talking to so I could not get transferred back to them. But this lady was telling me that I could go stand-by the day before and all I need to do was pay 75.00 fees to get on the list. So I called Carolyn to tell her and ask if someone could take us to the airport. Megan (Sam’s aunt) took us to the airport! Carolyn and Megan made us a lunch to take to the airport!

Megan helped us into the airport. I went to the ticket counter told them I need to get on the stand-by list. The lady at the counter told me that I could only go stand-by the day of my flight. I then told her what the lady on the phone told me. I was told I was missed informed! I then told her that Gwen was burned the night before and I am trying to get her home to be check out at the hospital in Utah. She then she could waive the 2000.00 ticket increase charge but I still needed to pay the 100.00 ticket change fee. So I did that. I could not get on the 4:20 flight but I could get on the 5:50 flight. They both connected in Minnesota then go to SLC. So I had little over 3 hours until our flight. Luckily the Milwaukee airport has a couple of children areas. We hung out in one for over an hour. We eat our lunch and played. Then we went to our gate. There was another children area by the gate so we hung out there for a bit. But that area was not that fun. It was finally our time to board. We were sitting in the last row of the airplane.

Something just felt funny about that flight while we were sitting at the gate getting ready to leave. It smelt funny to me. As we were going down the taxi way the engines did not sound right. There was really bad vibration and a thumbing noise like when you are driving on a flat tire. Right before takeoff there was a pop! The guy sitting across from me and I turn to look at the stewardess and we both thought the tire blew. We both agreed we smelt burnt rubber! She called the captain. Within five minutes the Capitan came on and said that we had a blown a tire and that we were turning around. The Capitan kept saying we were going to land in 5 to 10 minutes. Well we ended up flying around for an hour (our flight was supposed to 55 minutes). The engine sounded funny. We landed pretty mush no problems. It was a little shaky and there was tons of noise, but honestly it was not that bad, nothing like the movies. Gilbert had fallen asleep during the hour of flying around but woke up when we landed. When we landed the passengers started to clap! Emergency vehicles met on the landing strip as we landed. We sat on the tar mat for a very long time. Finally after about a half hour they started to evacuated the plane at first we were going to leave thought the back of the plane but it was really load so the Captain wanted us to go through the front of the plane. They were going to bring up a ladder to have us leave the plane but I guess they could not bring us a ladder so we ended up leaving thought the back. Because I had two “babies” with me I was one of the last ones to leave the plane. It took us three hours to get off the plane! That was because they had to bus us back to the terminal and they only had two small shuttles, which only held maybe 10 to 20 people. Some people were complaining that we could have flown to Minnesota, but I understand why we did not, the captain probably wanted to stay by the airport! Some people asked me how come I was in good sprit with everything that was going one and I told them, I have nothing to complain about. Gwen’s burn could have been worst; she could have fallen all the way in the fire!!! We could have crashed taking off or landing but we did not! So I thought things were going well! But the time we got off the plain it was dark around 9 pm! We got to ride back with the crew! The Captain was really nice he talked to us while we were on the plane and Gilbert liked him. So when we were in the shuttle the Captain let Gilbert wear his hat. The captain asked us what we thought. I told him I thought he did a very good job landing the plane. He said he did a good job because of training. Another passenger, a guy, said how he like how he kept the line of communication open with us. He told us everything he knew and he told us when he did not know what was going on and said he would let us know when he did. He handled it very well! I can’t remember when but I heard the Captain say that a piece of the tire flew into the engine and that is why we were having engine problems. Once we got back to the terminal I had to get in line to get new ticket booking. Luckily a guy let me be the next in line so I got that taken care of very fast. I got us on a flight the next morning. I got the 300.00 I paid to be on that flight refunded back!! They gave us 3 100.00 vouchers for a ticket and 30.00 in food voucher to get some food. But within 20 minutes of me (and G&G) getting to the terminal a new plane had arrived to take us to Minnesota and that is how long it took to get things done at the ticket counter, so did not get to use the vouchers. (here is a link to a website that talks about what happened)

We flew to Minnesota with pretty much no problem. Gwenith had fallen asleep during the flight. Some of the guys from the flight were helping off the plane, which was very helpful and nice! But Gwen woke up and was very upset. I put G&G in their stroller. I thought I could hurry and get out of the walk way and then take care her and calm her down. I was wrong! She threw up right when we got to the ticket counter!!!!! I started to cry again. This flight was not going right! Suddenly I had everyone around us, helping me clean her up. I pushed the stroller to the seats got her out of the stroller and started to clean her up some more and took off her clothes and put her blanket around her. I just knelt there and rocked her until she fell asleep. Gilbert just sat in the stroller and talked to the people helping us out. The people that were at the ticket counter at the gate took care of getting me all the things I need to do. She gave me my packet with my new tickets for the flight for the next day, my hotel voucher, 3 5. 00 breakfast food vouchers 3 more 100.00 vouchers for a ticket and 3 booklets that have a 25.00 off a fare certificate and a 10.00 food certificate. We also got three hygiene packs that has a shirt, tooth brush, tooth paste, saver, shaving cream, a brush, cotton swaps, and detergent. I got to use a cart (the ones that someone drives) to get the exit and to the baggage claim. I was of the few people that got their bags. Luckily our bags were already out waiting for us because of people at the ticket counter at the gate called to get them for us because I needed to get a change of clothes for Gwen. I notice that one of the front pockets’ zipper had split! But I don’t think any fell out. Then the driver helped me get to the shuttle to get to the hotel. While we were waiting for the shuttle I looked at the time and it was 11:30 pm! Some of the guys that helped me off the plane were also waiting for the shuttle so they helped me on and off the shuttle. Gilbert stayed awake for all of this, while Gwen slept! One of the guy’s daughter was holding the new Twilight series book in her hand!!! I told her I was also reading the book! We talked about it while we were checking in at the hotel. The kids (there were probably in their late teens) of the guy helped me to my room. The room was very nice. Gilbert got excited to see the beds! I got him out of the stroller and stripped him down to his diaper (I changed him too) like Gwen. I put him in bed and he went to sleep. I got Gwen out of the stroller changed her diaper, luckily she stayed asleep so I put her in bed next to Gilbert. I then went and took a shower. This was so nice because I had just spent 3 hours sweating in a plane! After my shower I played with the zipper trying to fix it but I could not, no big deal. I then fell fast asleep; I think it was around 1 am.

6 am rolled around to fast! We got us all ready to go the airport by 7am. Gwen slept the whole time I dressed her and put her in the stroller. Gilbert woke up and was very upset he did not want me to dress him or get in the stroller. He was still crying when we left the room. One guy from the plane heard him in the hall and came over to talk to him. Luckily he was able to calm him down. We arrived to the airport with plenty of time to spear. That is how I wanted it. I did not want to rush anymore. We were able to use the breakfast food vouchers and get Grandma her Minnesota spoon. The flight to SLC was very uneventful!!!!! Gwen and Gilbert watch “My friend Tigger and Pooh” on our DVD player. Gwen fell asleep while they were watching it. So Gilbert had the player all to himself! Gilbert did however start to fall asleep while we were taxiing to the gate, so I had to wake him.

I still had those 30.00 food vouchers and since it was almost noon I went to the food court at the SLC airport and got us lunch. We then went to get our bags. And to top of our trip the handle on my bag was broken!!! I went to the baggage counter to tell them my bag was broken and she said they are not responsible for handles and gave me another booklet with 25.00 off a fare certificate and a 10.00 food certificate. So I now have 800.00 in trip vouchers and 40.00 in food vouchers that need to used in the next year! Oh what a trip, but guess what it did not end there. I got a phone call at 5:30 last night saying I forgot one of my bags at the airport! I had forgotten I had checked in one of my carry ons at the Minnesota airport because I was tired of carrying it around because of the day before. I went this afternoon and picked it up. It was the bag full of toys for G&G.

We went to the doctors (Gwen’s pediatrician) yesterday. He said that it is 2nd degree burns but it is only superficial, that it is not deep! He did not think we need to go to the burn clinic. We wants us to keep it cover with the burn glove during the day but when she goes to sleep at night to uncover it. We are going back in on Friday to get it checked out again.

She is doing very well. She won’t take any more Motrin and I am not pushing down her. I figure if the pain is too bad she would let me know and hopefully take the medication. She is using her hand while she plays. She was drawing this afternoon and was using her hand a little but she was also using her left hand too. She did not want me to take off the glove this evening but finially she let me. The blister on her pinky has gotten a lot bigger and I can tell that a blister on her ring finger bust.

She does not tell me it hurts. So I am hoping she is not in pain.


Aubrey said...

Wow Michelle! I don't even know what to say! I am so glad that you are all OK and pray that little Gwen will recover soon, she is such a trooper! It's amazing what kids can go through and be OK.

I guess the silver lining are all airline vouchers huh!

Rambling Girl said...

OMG!!! You did survive through it all! Poor glad you all were ok. You babies are so cute! New to blogging so just buzzing around and checking things out.