THE mother of four talks family life in her weekly column.
Today Peta, who is married to cyclist Mark Cavendish, relives a recent trip to accident and emergency . . . and urges parents not to panic.
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SINCE the beginning of lockdown a regular phrase in our house has been, “Don’t jump off that/climb on that/eat that because we cannot go to A&E!”
We managed 12 weeks and five days, but on Saturday my eldest Finnbar, 14, broke his collarbone.
He had been on his bike and he crashed, landing on his shoulder and hearing that sickening crack that signals something is very wrong.
That coupled with savage pain, obviously.
I knew straight away it was bad. He was grey in the face and too quiet. I’d like to blow my own trumpet here and say I’m pretty good in a medical emergency.
You’d hope so, seeing as I have four children and a professional cyclist as a husband. I have seen my fair share of accidents.
On the whole, I am calm. I knew I needed to get his T-shirt off, and quickly, while the adrenaline was pumping – so I could have a look.
So I got his top off and the problem was plain to see. His poker-straight clavicle was evidently not in one piece.
Delilah was wailing, Casper was sobbing and Finnbar, in true teen style, was making sarcastic comments. Apparently this helped ease the pain . . . like swearing but something he could do in front of Mum.
I was apprehensive about having to attend A&E amid this pandemic but we had no choice. Nearly 13 weeks into lockdown and we were hospital bound.
We need not have worried, the staff were amazing. We were wearing our own masks and had to wash our hands with hot water outside the A&E entrance.
Nurses see you there and then you can enter. It was like a ghost town. The staff were more reassuring than ever and we were in, seen, X-rayed and home within 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging you all to go check it out, NHS staff have plenty on their hands with Covid-19 at the moment.
In fact, since it happened, I’ve been constantly cursing myself. How could I let an accident happen at such a crazy time?
But it was just that – an accident. And accidents do happen. Finnbar is fine, all things considered.
In fact he is relishing not being able to do chores – especially cleaning out our new ducks. Convenient timing, I say.
So while we should avoid it, if you do have to go to hospital during all this madness, especially with little ones, please don’t stress.
Our NHS is doing an amazing job all round – not just with coronavirus patients, but with giant 14-year-olds who seem to be going to great lengths to avoid emptying the dishwasher.
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