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I think driving your sick or hurt child to the hospital is one of the most dangerous things to do. Talk about being distracted!
On Monday night, Sophia suddenly started crying uncontrollably and wouldn’t sleep. I took her to the clinic and the doctor told me to take her to the hospital immediately — that she might have a bowel obstruction. (You can read the whole story over here…)
Basically, I didn’t really think the doctor was right… but he did start me worrying.
So as I drove Sophia into Vancouver’s Children’s Hospital, my mind raced. I thought of all the amazing mom bloggers who have shared their terrifying and heartbreaking journeys of sickness and loss. I thought of their faith and how they leaned on God and the community. And it gave me such strength.
I remembered driving this same road 4 years earlier with a screaming 4 week old Julia. That night I was sick with panic as Julia’s stomach was hard and distended. That night I was terrified that Julia had a bowel obstruction or some other terrible complication.
But with Julia, I hadn’t been driving the car. I was an obvious basket-case and so my mom came with me and drove the car.
This time with Sophia, I wasn’t panicked — I was quite sure that this was just another scare like I’d had with Julia.
But, I was still distracted. With my sick, screaming baby in the backseat and my mind racing through possible scenarios, how could I not be distracted?
I’d made it through the freeway, and I was in the city and stopped at a red light. There were two pedestrians crossing the road in front of my car, and I noticed how the man looked just like the pediatrician who had examined Julia when she was born.
I was lost in thought and as the pedestrians stepped up on the curve, I took my foot off the brake and slowly started moving forward.
Something felt a little wrong, the other cars weren’t moving. And then I heard honking. I looked up and saw a red light and it took a second to register what was happening. I was driving through the red light. But it was too late to stop, I had to get out of the intersection before I was hit.
Cars blasted their horns and I was so embarrassed and terrified and relieved. And I felt so guilty. My baby could have been killed because I was distracted.
I am so very fortunate that there had not been any traffic coming through the intersection. My mind was sick with “What if’s”. I tried to pull myself together and concentrate as hard as I could for the rest of the drive.
But I’m still shaken up by my mistake. It all could have ended so tragically differently.
I think the next time I have to drive my child to the hospital, I’m going to ask my husband or someone else to do the driving.
What about you? Have you ever made a driving mistake because of being distracted?
Written by Susan, co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom.
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