1 hour into vacation. 1 hour.
The teen calls and said we have an emergency. Me: what kind of emergency? Teen: so much blood, come now.
200 feet seemed like 200 miles in the moment. This trail of blood seemed like nothing compared to the flow of blood leading to the injured party. Was it a shark bite? So many things ran through my mind.
First aid began with attempting to stop the blood until we could get out of the sand and germy water. That in itself was a challenge lugging someone with a bloody foot. I didn’t really pay attention at the time but no bystander offered help which now that I think about it seems absurd.
The infamous bloody foot. Eight stitches later. A lot pain and suffering while the cleaning and stitching was done at the local emergency room. So much pride left on that beach for the young invisible teen. Along with the loss of pride was much regret. I could see it in his eyes. Disappointment for the vacation that was yet to be had.
This experience made me think I was happy to have my first aid kit on hand not thinking I would ever need it. After the wound was handled, I definitely went ahead and replenished and added a few more triage items to be sure I’m ready for any future injuries. I would never want to be unprepared for a shark attack at a beach.
Since this accident took place one hour into vacation that meant I had to work hard to keep the wound clean and on its path to healing while beachside. That is no easy task with an active teen.
Was a lesson learned? Yes. Was I thankful for the outcome? Yes. Did I need to make a dreaded phone call to the parent of the teen I was responsible for? Yes. This is the call nobody would ever want to make. However, the calm voice on the other end of the phone was kind and genuine. No anger. No judgment. Just gratitude for being there to support the injured. What a relief.
What a relief for me. Another day will pass. Count every blessing and every experience you have, but never lose sight of danger that can be feet away. Always have your antennas up and ready to lunge into emergency action whether you need help or another nearby.
If you don’t know basic first aid, take a course. I have had to sling broken bones, now handle a gash and worst of all had to administer CPR. All on kids. Not fun, but humbling.
Be safe and enjoy my bloody story. The ocean can be safe but also dangerous. Always watch your feet for objects like broken glass, fishing hooks, and of course sea life.