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To ask you to help me pull myself together- toddler serious fall overseas

132 replies

Chattycat78 · 24/06/2017 19:27

Just that. In Majorca. Now sitting in a foreign hospital where I can't speak the language and have been for 2 days. Toddler ds (2.5) fell from a wall- 3 metres- 2 days ago. He has fractured his skull.

Wall was very shallow on One side and then dropped away on the other. No signs or railings or anything and it was a deep wall so wasn't obvious there was any kind of drop on the other side. DS ran over, was able to jump onto the wall as it was his height and I couldn't grab him quick enough before he fell. In all honestly it wasn't apparent to me the depth of the drop until it was too late.

He was in intensive care following a terrible and scary first night. He seems to be improving now though and scans and his behaviour show no brain damage thank god.

It's all my fault. Why didn't I get him off the wall fast enough? I can't stop replying it in my mind and it will haunt me forever. I feel like an unfit mother and that I should have protected him and failed. I'm also doing the classic "if only" - if only we hadn't gone there, if only the walk had been too high to climb- and so on. I'm sure the rest of the family and Dh blame me too.

I'm of course incredibly grateful with the care we've received and that it hasn't been worse but I just can't see how we are all going to get past this or how I'm going to be able to leave him ever again in fear of what might happen.

What do I do to pull myself together?

OP posts:
keeplooking · 25/06/2017 17:41

My 3 have had, variously, over the years, a burn from an iron, fall off changing table, scald from a hot cup of tea, fall from bunk bed ladder, all of which ended (eventually happily) in a+e, and the one with the worst potential consequences - crawling towards road after getting outside through a door I didn't realise had been left open by an older sibling! Shock Shock Shock

Don't beat yourself up. Accidents happen, but they do make you feel like the world's most negligent parent at the time. You're not! Smile

Chattycat78 · 25/06/2017 17:49

Also does anyone know if I'm likely to get social services round or anything like that when we get home? I'm really hoping not.Sad

OP posts:
stopfuckingshoutingatme · 25/06/2017 17:51

Unlikely as they are only called in when the UK hospitals alert them

Chattycat78 · 25/06/2017 17:53

Do they get involved with accidents? Surely not?Sad

OP posts:
HappenedForAReisling · 25/06/2017 17:54

You made two attempts to get him off the wall. No way are you to blame.

HelenaJustina · 25/06/2017 18:02

DC2 was badly burned in an accident when in the care of DH. We were in the UK and had no SS involvement if that reassures you? It was an accident in the kitchen with boiling water.

So I've been where your DH is, and I haven't once blamed my husband. I've done thousands more 'child hours' than him as a SAHP and it could so easily have been in my watch. I get where you are with the guilt though, we had the services of a psychologist through the hospital and I'd highly recommend talking it through with someone when you get back.

sofato5miles · 25/06/2017 18:05

I ignored my toddler DD's screams nodding as my friend's neighbour chatted inanely at me. Turned out DD was burning her hand badly when I finally turned to her. I am still annoyed with myself 10 years later as I do remember thinking 'shut up woman, I have a cranky toddler and 12 hours with my friend whom i haven't seen for 2 years".

However for about a month I saw the injury everytime I shut my eyes. It passes.

nearlyfinishednearlystarted · 25/06/2017 18:29

Don't blame yourself - be gentle on yourself, how is he doing?

LakieLady · 25/06/2017 18:43

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but at the time you had no idea that there was a big drop on the other side of a low wall. And toddlers move like greased lightning.

Don't beat yourself up, you have nothing to blame yourself for. And I'm sure he'll be fine.

My brother was so accident prone, he had his first visit to A&E at 9 months and his hospital file was inches thick before he started school. No lasting harm was ever done, and he doesn't remember most of his early accidents. These things happen.

DartmoorDoughnut · 25/06/2017 18:45

Hope he's home soon.

Honestly it could've been any of us. My eldest DS - same age as yours almost - was in the garden by himself whilst I changed baby DS I came back out and he'd climbed the wall between us and next door, about 4ft on our side but over 5ft on theirs, just sitting on top of it in a nappy. I managed to not panic as I didn't want him to fall but I could so easily be where you are now.

Buckinghambae · 25/06/2017 18:48

Do you have plenty of support? Is there anything any of us can do to help?

laurzj82 · 25/06/2017 19:00

Oh OP Flowers

My DD had a bad fall when she was 2. It wasn't your fault but understandable you feel like that. Be kind to yourself. It will take time to get over it and you will be hyper vigilant!

Glad DS is on the mend and no permanent damage has been done Flowers

laurzj82 · 25/06/2017 19:02

As for SS I don't know. After my daughter's fall we had the health visitor call us a few weeks later to make sure she was ok. She had black eyes for months so we did get a few looks BlushGrin

BouleBaker · 25/06/2017 21:19

After DS1 was scalded badly we had a phone call from our health visitor to say it had come through as a report and did WE need any help. Even if it's flagged up the response will probably be to just check you're ok.

pottered · 25/06/2017 21:36

Anyone that has a toddler knows that it could easily happen to any of us. With hindsight you can always think you'd identify a better course of action but you had no way of knowing about the drop.

Take care and best wishes for your ds's recoveries.

SuperDandy · 25/06/2017 21:46

For translation, if there is wifi or you've got good phone internet, might google translate be useful? I've had chats with people before where neither of us spoke a word or the other's language, but we took turns to type and google translated for the other person to read. It's slower than a live translator, but it works pretty well in time of need.

SuperDandy · 25/06/2017 21:48

Also, the guilt and what ifs are totally normal and it would Ben weird if you didn't have them. The brain tries to rewrite history so that the awful thing didn't happen. Of course you can't wind it back, but the brain seems not to give a stuff about that and just keeps on trying to figure out how to make it not have happened. Annoying, but normal.

goose1964 · 25/06/2017 21:51

It was an accident, on the plus side, if you can call it that, is that he's a toddler and they recover so quickly this will soon be a bad memory. Don't blame yourself

adifferentnameforthis · 25/06/2017 22:00

SS won't be involved. You did nothing wrong, honestly. Children have accidents. It is not your fault Flowers

SafeToCross · 25/06/2017 22:08

Don't worry about social services, they are there to keep children safe, they will see you are doing that, if notified (as I recall health visitors once rang me following an a and e visit?)

Your brain is doing its trauma thing - replaying, planning prevention strategies - it should pass. Make yourself a mantra 'I didn't see the drop, my poor boy, it was not his fault and it was not my fault', and try to let the images roll forward in your mind to you holding him, hugging him, him being in hospital, eventually to you coming home (don't let them just stick on the traumatic memory). Imagine someone kind (a friend or relation?) hugging you and saying something soothing like 'what a shock, you poor thing, you didn't know the drop was there'. Wishing your boy a good recovery, take it step by step.

mummyofmoomoos · 27/06/2017 08:55

How is the little fella doing? Flowers

Chattycat78 · 27/06/2017 19:28

Was discharged yesterday. Flying home tomorrow. So great obviously. Thanks for asking.

My next challenge is how I'm going to stop him bumping his head for the next 3 moths (that's what they've said). He's the most phyisal toddler I've ever met. Sad i have no clue how to achieve this- I also have to look after our 1 year old (often alone) so god knows how it will work.

If anyone has any tips on this, or on how the hell I can restore my confidence in my ability to look after him properly, I'd be happy to hear it.

OP posts:
childmaintenanceserviceinquiry · 27/06/2017 19:40

Hope you have a good journey home. You are absolutely not to blame. Please believe us. We all have stories of our children burning themselves, falling off beds and worse, mine electrocuted himself.

PanannyPanoo · 27/06/2017 19:51

So glad he is on the mend. If it is paramount to avoid a bump to the head I would speak with your gp. some children with epilepsy have light foam helmets that they wear to avoid head injuries when the drop due to a seizure. This would protect him and lessen anxiety if he is unlikely to sit still for 3 months. As for your confidence. Time will help. it is still very new and raw. I doubt there are many parents who have children that have never had an accident. You will feel better.

PacificDogwod · 27/06/2017 21:11

Have a good trip home.

Trust the healing abilities of a young healthy body.
He will be fine. It is so important for children to be active, develop their physical abilities and explore - hopefully this experience will not have made him anxious about balancing on walls (such a good way to develop coordinating skills) while maybe having taught him to listen to mummy when told to come down. More likely, he won't remember a thing about having fallen, mind you.

You will simply become more confident as time passes. I don't think that there is a quick fix for how you feel about the accident, but as somebody posted upthread whenever you find yourself thinking about the 'what ifs', divert your thoughts to how it all ended well, how he is fine, how you have (maybe) all learnt from the experience.

My precious premature DS2 (born at 31 weeks) met all his milestones late but once he was mobile he became a climber and fell off all sorts of things, well before I knew that he could get there. It is only by sheer luck that he never had anything worse than bumps and bruises.
We are all simply lucky if we manage to drag our kids up without major mishap, and you have been unlucky to have experienced something more serious, however lucky that the outcome is as good as it is. So focus on that: He is fine Smile

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