Flashbacks in A and E

Ok so it’s actually the minor injuries unit at our local community hospital but it was certainly an adventure for us. We have never needed A and E before and after three and a half years it was not something I was looking forward to! I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived. I’d always been led to believe by my mum friend who is a frequent flier to the unit that it was one of Dantes 7 circles of hell but when we got there only one other patient sat waiting.

We were triaged by a friendly nurse who charmed the children and we were soon sat back in the waiting room while we waited to see a doctor. At this point things had gone reasonably well, the girls were making good use of the snacks I’d bought, Amy was a bit anxious and although Josie was far more excited about the experience than it warranted but we were all ok.

Then in walk two more patients. One a drowsy looking ruffian, handcuffed and flanked by two burly policeman and another child, older than mine, accompanied by a chatty over familiar mother who instructed her literally bleeding offspring to sit near me, away from the afflicted felon!

I could tell Amy was anxious the minute she saw the policemen. At this point I should mention that Amy is vary wary of the police, with a history of domestic violence, we know the police were frequent visitors to her birth family home and she would have associated them with the feelings of panic she would have on these occasions. I could tell that Amy was having flashbacks and experiencing some of these feelings now. So I attempted to calmly talk to Amy, let her know what was going on as simply and un-catastrophically as I could.

Chatty mum had other ideas, telling my children that he had been naughty, and they mustn’t be naughty as that’s what would happen to them! Gobsmacked I reassured both my girls that nothing they do or consider naughty was going to warrant them being arrested. I was extremely relieved when the doctor arrived to examine Amy and promptly declared her arm not broken! Without a glance back we made for the car and back to safe territory. Amy was still clearly experiencing anxiety about the policemen and through some curious questioning we talked through her concerns. Although Amy will tell you she knows the police are there to help us, she does instantly flashback to feeling terrified in their presence and we discussed why this might be the case and why seeing policeman might trigger feelings from her past.

I am incredibly proud of Amy she was able to talk through how the police made her feel and even though she has been more unsettled over the last few days she has used us for support and managed her feelings better than she ever has.

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18 thoughts on “Flashbacks in A and E

  1. Aww I’m so glad her arm was okay and that she was able to understand that the police were there to keep her safe. It must be hard for her with associating police with bad experiences in her life. She sounds like a very brave little girl! #coolmumclub

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  2. Oh bless her, poor Amy. Glad to hear she was ok. I’m an ex-radiographer and, believe me, many children make a huge fuss in x-ray. So Amy was very brave, especially considering the other distractions going on. #StayClassy

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  3. In this minefield of parenting I hadn’t even considered what it might be like for a parent raising a child with issues like this. I am glad her arm is okay and that you have helped confront her anxiety head on. #Stayclassy

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    1. Thank you for reading. These things always seem to take us by surprise and he things you expect to be hard they breeze through!!! That’s children I think. Thanks for reading and commenting

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  4. This demonstrates perfectly why I get so cross when my mum (and others) say to my kids watch out or the policeman will get you, or he’s here to arrest you… Try that with an autistic child and they are terrified, literally. Children need to trust the police to know to go to them if ever there’s anything wrong. It sounds like you handed it all brilliantly 🌸 TY for linking up to #FamilyFun 🎉

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    1. I know, it’s not helpful, I don’t think trying to scare children into behaving is ever helpful, even when said in jest. As with your son my daughter would take that literally if I wasn’t there to moderate. Thanks for reading and your comments

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  5. I once took my eldest to A&E and there was a viking with a sword wound, rather bizarre. Often we have to negotiate aspects our lives conscious that our children see through the lens of a different experience. Good blog.

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    1. Thanks, I think I’d is seen a Viking I’d have got myself checked out!! It is surprising how children view life. They can understand things from a completely different perspective! Thanks for reading the blog and commenting

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  6. Wow! It’s impressive how she was able to process verbally with you! She must be feeling very safe. I get the obsession with police officers. It’s as if our children think they have to either love them or hate them. Big feelings exist either way and big feelings (in our family) are always complicated.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Amy sounds like she is really good at expressing her feelings! I’m very happy to hear that her arm was okay. : ) Although I am shocked by what the other mother said! First of all, I wouldn’t go around teaching someone else’s child life lessons (that’s up to the parents) and second of all, is that really the best way to teach a child to behave?! Not in my book. Thank god the doctor arrived quickly. You sound like a wonderful Mom. : ) Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

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