Are you ever worried that you'll just drop dead? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-12-2005, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Being the only adult taking care of 4 (almost5) children age 8 and under... and given that DH is often gone for days at a time, I frequently have the fear about what would happen with my kids if I just dropped dead, or lost consciousness, or what have you, during the times I am the only adult in the house, which is frequently.

Does being the only adult caretaker for young children, for much of the day, ever freak you out?

I worry a lot about what would happen to my baby (23 months) and my almost 3 yr old if something happened to me. How long would it be until DH realized something was wrong? Theoretically up to 24 hours could pass before he or another adult showed up at the house. Would my older kids try to feed them? Would my baby fall down the stairs? We have really dangerous stairs in our house.

I'm not close to my neighbors (urban neighborhood, and not a very nice one) and I don't talk to many people every day on the phone. Dh is so busy at work that he has sometimes gone the whole day w/o calling.

My older 2 kids are not very "take charge" types. I'm not even sure they would know to call 911 (I have tried explaining it). Our internet phone goes in and out sometimes, and you have to fiddle with the modem and the router to get it to work, which they don't know how to do, at least not well.

Anyone else stress about the enormity of the responsibility, of being the only adult taking care of little kids so much of the time?
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Old 08-14-2005, 09:44 PM
 
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i hear ya...sometimes i wonder the same, dd is 2 1/2 months. i think its a normal thing to freak about or we're both just weird...
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Old 08-14-2005, 09:47 PM
 
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Nope, I'm too busy worrying that my boy will get some horrible illness or break his neck diving on the couch to give my own wellbeing much thought.
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Old 08-14-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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Not really in the house. Sometimes I worry about what if I got hit by a car or something when I am outside.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 08-15-2005, 02:38 AM
 
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not usually am i thinking about dropping dead. but late at night (during my alone time, lol, which we all know is for only about 2.5 seconds a day!) i get to thinking about all the what ifs? like what if i slipped in the shower...what if i fell down the stairs...but during the day im too busy to think about anything except laundry and diapers and making sure my 4 year old has eaten enough, lol.
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:52 AM
 
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I worry about that. My dd is almost 4 and I'm glad she's able to use a stool to reach her snacks as well as get water from the fridge or bathroom sink just in case something does happen to me. I had a talk with her a few weeks ago and told her that if she couldn't wake me up or find me in the house, to go tell neighbor A or neighbor B.

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Old 08-15-2005, 08:51 AM
 
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I've never really worried specifically about dropping dead, but I do worry about different things, all the time. Most of the things I worry about also involve not being abe to take care of my kids, and wondering how someonewould know if I needed help.

Then I realized - things do happen and the more prepared I am, the better.

When my daughter was 8 months I fell down the stairs while holding her and I didn't drop her but broke my leg and foot in 4 places and couldn't get to the phone. I eventually got it (took over an hour) and called for help.

Then years later, when she was 3 and my son was 1, we had a house fire and lost everything we owned.

Now, I pay more attention to the things I worry about (I used to just dismiss them as random negative thoughts) and try to teach my kids to be able to - if not take care of themselves - at least know something is wrong.

Without scaring them or really telling them what I'm worried about, I've taught my daughter her address, phone number, full name, and how to call 911. We go over it every so often. And I tell her that if she ever needs help and I can't help her (I never said why I may not be able to, and she never asked) she should call 911.

With my son, who's only two, I just practice silly games like telling him to go tell his dad something, if his dad is upstairs. Or I'll ask him to go get me the phone, and praise him when he does it. Just so I'll know how capable he is of telling someone something, or listening to me.

I also tend to have one of our portable phones with me (on my belt or in my pocket) all the time, ever since I broke my leg. I make sure there's a phone upstairs and downstairs, and I bought a phone with 1 touch dialing so I can call my sister or mom by pressing 1 button (which means they get a lot of calls from my son when he gets hold of the phone).

I'm sure I sound like a panic-y, stressed out freak - but I'm really laid back and relaxed about most things. I just never really paid attention to the fact that my kids are dependent on me and things can happen - I always told myself when I worried, that nothing would happen. That's not true.

Also, having lost everything we owned in a fire, I leave a bag of essentials in my car. Just in case! I'm still tramautized by that.

I think it's important to teach your kids the basics of getting help, without scaring them into thinking something is going to happen. Have some sort of emergency plan, or just have them know who to call, how to call, where they should go, etc.,.

Take care!

"Home is where the heart is, no matter how the heart lives." - PP&M
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:36 AM
 
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I have thought about this, especially a few years ago. I taught my sons (now 9 and 11) when they were very young about calling 911. I used a Sharpie to color hte buttons (9 and 1) red on the phone, even.
I also made a list of phone numbers with a cut out picture of each person next to the number. So the picture of Nana said "NANA 1 5 0 8....etc". I did not use dahses for fear of confusing them. I drew a picture of a fire, a red cross and a police badge and wrote 9 1 1 in bold letters next to that. We talked alot about what makes an emergency and what they need to tell the dispatcher if they had to call. And of course, when NOT to call.

We talked about it often, not jsut once or twice.

Knowing they grasped this information made my feel far less anxious about it.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:20 PM
 
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This thought has crossed my mind, sort of visions of what happened to Julia Robert's character in Steel Magnolias. As soon as she was old enough, I taught her how to dial 911.

My more morbid fear is if someone broke into the house. I know she wouldn't hide, but would come to me for protection. That terrifies me. Thankfully, that's rather unlikely where I live.

So, yes, morbid thoughts do cross my mind; and so I've taught my daughter her phone number, address, full name, parent's names.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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The suggestion to keep extra "stuff" in the car, or coloring the numbers on the phone are good ideas.
I don't think being prepared is paranoid thinking. In fact, I think it's always a good idea to have some kind of plan to deal with whatever you think you might face. After all, it seems like those people on TV who survive kidnapping, fires, etc., are the ones who saw something similar on TV, or who had thought it through ahead of time.

Do I worry about dropping dead at home? Not as much as I worry getting in some kind of danger outside of the home--car accident, out walking, etc.
But do I worry? Yes, and I don't feel guilty about it, as I said, I think it's wise to be a little prepared for stuff.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:02 PM
 
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yes -- esp. when my DH was traveling a lot and we didn't have family near by. I'm glad my kids are old enough to use the phone. They know how to call daddy at work or on his cell, they know how to call grandma and they know her real name, they know which neighbors are safe. They know how to call 911, too.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-16-2005, 11:22 AM
 
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The weird thing I do is always turn off the car before closing the garage door because I think what if i passed out first and left the car running with the garage door closed.

weird huh?
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Old 08-16-2005, 01:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat
Not really in the house. Sometimes I worry about what if I got hit by a car or something when I am outside.
this is my fear, especially because dd and i walk everywhere and we have to cross a street that while not particularly busy has some odd traffic rules and drivers don't always look for pedestrians.

although now that my nosy neighbor will be moving at the end of the month, i might think about it more.
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Old 08-17-2005, 11:22 PM
 
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I do worry about something happening to me since I am on Coumadin (blood-thinner) and will be on it for the rest of my life. I do wear a medical ID bracelet, but I wonder what would happen if I was at home alone with the kids when something happened when I am at home alone with them. They are too young to understand dialing 911.

I am totally parinoid about being in a car accident so I will not leave the house without it on. I have even turned around and gone back to the house to get it after pulling out of our neighborhood.
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Old 08-21-2005, 05:43 PM
 
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Yes, I think about stuff like this alot. I am morbid but I think it prepares me for the "what ifs" When ds was a newborn I was having bad palpitations, and I was afraid to be alone with him. I carried the phone everywhere.
I worry about freak accidents and what would happen if ds was left alone all day.
I am trying to teach him to do 911 but he is still to young. I do the same thing another poster mentioned, go over his name and address with him so he knows it.

I believe that people like us, who worry "in advance" so to speak, are more prepared when something actually does happen. Or maybe I'm justifying my paranoia? :LOL
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Old 08-27-2005, 06:24 PM
 
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I worry to. We had just moved to a new town and I had taken ds (then 3) to a near by playground when I had my first migrain. At first I had no idea what was going on and my biggest fear was what would happen to my son is I was to loose counciousness or drop dead. The park was deserted and we didn't know any of the neighbors. It was very scary. Now I have a cell phone and keep it with me at all times. ds has been taught how to speed dial dady and call 911.

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Old 08-28-2005, 12:37 AM
 
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I think this is a fear everyone has in the back of their head sometime.

I do know that when I was prgnt w dd I had to go on bedrest for 7 weeks. So because of that when she was born and was a busy girl as soon as she could move, I was very gun shy about getting prgnt again because we were worried about me having to do bedrest again. I was worried- who would take care of her?? So this is one reason we waited. I think it goes back to the original question.

I do not worry so much of dropping dead as much as what if I ws laid up like a bedrest or something? The best way to combat this is to make your household a well oiled machine that can run it self to some point.

Get your affairs in order- do both you and dp have life insurance, disability insurance etc? Do you have wills in place and DNR orders etc? Does someone you trust in place as legal guardian or executor of your estate? Does someone in your family or a friend know where all you important papers are? Can they get to them if need be?? Does this person also know how you would want things carried out if something happened to either or both of you? Would you trust this person with your family? Can someone actually go into your house and figure out how to pick up and keep things going if your in the hospital for a few days or somewhere else??

Does your dp know how to do things in your family. If not make sure he does asap. I mean can either of you shut off gas, h2o valve, save a choking person, and not panic in a situation. Do both of you know how to call your mortgage company, car payment co etc if you cannot pay your bills because of a financial problem?

We have actually formally sat down with some chosen family members individually and told them where things were at different times in our marriage. When I was breastfeeding and pumping I showed both sets of parents where the expressed milk was stored and how. I also showed my bil, and a few sils as well. I also kept a list of caring for the milk on the fridge. I was very to the point if something happened to me, to use this for dd first.

We have showed some family members paperwork and where its stored in our house and elsewhere (deposit box etc) If you live in a new area, keep copies with a trusted friend or family member somewhere else or put them on a safe deposit box to get to it if need be.

After we completed these things and another slew of things, I felt much better. If something happened god forbid to one of us, this household can function for a while to get things in order. I hope that helps or sheds some light on this

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:46 AM
 
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THat sounds like good sound advice Amys1st. I think that having the responsibility of children makes us have that fear more than before children. Before I had kids I worried what If I die and it hurts, now I worry what if I die and how will it affect dd and her life.

My back of my mind worry is anueryism. Drop dead with no indication beforehand. Ugh. You just can't dwell on something that might never happen. You just have to live your life and think about what is good. Be prepared in the event that something does happen to you like Amys1st said.
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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It's crossed my mind a lot while I was bathing the baby. Someone I used to work with told me a horror story about her grandchild (infant) taking a bath with his daddy while mama was out. The daddy had a seizure in the tub and they both drowned. I've thought about it every since. I have talked to my 5 year old about what to do if mama "falls asleep" and he can't wake me, though.
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraMama
I do worry about something happening to me since I am on Coumadin (blood-thinner) and will be on it for the rest of my life. I do wear a medical ID bracelet, but I wonder what would happen if I was at home alone with the kids when something happened when I am at home alone with them. They are too young to understand dialing 911.

I am totally parinoid about being in a car accident so I will not leave the house without it on. I have even turned around and gone back to the house to get it after pulling out of our neighborhood.

I'm not yet on coumadin for life, but I should be. I have a genetic disorder for clotting, and I have a history of clots, and my vein walls in my left leg are damaged. So while I am NOT on blood thinners, I worry about having a pulmonary embolsim. When I do get on blood thinners eventually, I will worry about bleeding to death from a minor accident.

My oldest isn't old enough to have "the talk." I will try to teach her to dial 911 when she turns three, but I'm not sure she'll understand. We'll see.
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Old 09-02-2005, 03:12 AM
 
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One of the reasons we chose this apartment we moved up here was because it had a pull down fire alarm. My dh traveled a lot, for many days at a time and we didn't know anyone up here. Ds was about 2 1/2 when we moved here so we talked a lot about what to do if mommy was "asleep" and he couldn't wake me up, along with teaching him how to answer the phone.

Just yesterday ds asked me what we do if the baby is coming and daddy isn't home. I told him that we would call 911 to get an ambulance here to help me. He asked me to "write it down" for him, which was pretty funny, since he can't read. So we spent some time practicing how to call 911.
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Old 09-05-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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I haven't really worried much about this, but I saw a "Rescue 911" show, which is reinactments of 911 calls a few months back. This one call was a little girl whose mom got trapped in the bathroom - the doorknob broke. I think the little girl was like 7 or so and she had a little brother, the mom told her to get the phone and call 911 which she did, then while all the firemen were there trying to get the doorknob off, she called again because she was hungry and she didn't know how to cook.

I remember I cried all the way through the segment just thinking about how scary it was for that mom to be trapped in the bathroom away from her kids, even though at no point was anyone in serious danger. Of course I was pregnant at the time - naturally I shut the show off after that since if I couldn't handle watching that without breaking down, I certainly wasn't going to handle watching anything worse.

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Old 09-08-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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I do think about things like this only because I have seizures. We've taught DD not to call 911, for fear she'd do it all the time(!) but she calls daddy's cell which is always with him. If she calls him(from my cell), he calls home if I don't answer then he calls 911. It's a long drawn out process, but we want to be sure that she's not just calling daddy for the heck of it, and I'm not in the shower or something.
She'd probably be old enough now to teach 911 to, but daddy's number on my cell is so burned into her memory after 2.5 years!
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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No I dont actually worry about it.
BUt I sometimes think it is the only way I will EVER get any rest!
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Old 09-10-2005, 06:59 AM
 
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yes. i think about it all the time too. i am a single mama with no support, so it is just me and ds (23 months) all the time. i just pray everyday that nothing happens to me.
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Old 09-13-2005, 11:32 PM
 
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Yes. Which has spurred us to research life insurance for me (DH has it, I do not). Although, when I think about it, I mean reaaaaaallly think about it, I do believe that DH would do just fine if he had to. He's a great dad, and does almost everything I do with the kids, except, of course, stay home with them FT and nurse.
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkerbell
I have thought about this, especially a few years ago. I taught my sons (now 9 and 11) when they were very young about calling 911. I used a Sharpie to color hte buttons (9 and 1) red on the phone, even.
I also made a list of phone numbers with a cut out picture of each person next to the number. So the picture of Nana said "NANA 1 5 0 8....etc". I did not use dahses for fear of confusing them. I drew a picture of a fire, a red cross and a police badge and wrote 9 1 1 in bold letters next to that. We talked alot about what makes an emergency and what they need to tell the dispatcher if they had to call. And of course, when NOT to call.

We talked about it often, not jsut once or twice.

Knowing they grasped this information made my feel far less anxious about it.

So great! Thanks for that .
I think every parent has this fear in the back of the mind. I got really panicky about it when I first became single. I think it comes from just feeling sort of vulnerable in general, or insecure. Otherwise, I don't know why it wouldn't have freaked me out just as much when I was still with their dad and still hanging out with them alone sometimes KWIM?
Anyway, I mentioned my fears to my mom who has been working as a nurse all her adult life. She told me that in all her years working in the ER and paedeatrics, not ONCE did she witness children injured when their moms had a collapse or injury. Although it probably defies statistics and logic, she just never, ever saw it happen. Just her experience, but I thought I'd share it 'cause it made me feel a lot better.
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