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Old 05-18-2010, 08:02 PM   #7
Lesley
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Davenport, FL
Posts: 3,187

Interesting stories! I've got a few, both with having attention very quickly and with not being able to find help.

My middle child (older dd) used to have a lot of difficulty with inflexibility/explosiveness. She has lots of sensory issues and especially when she was younger could go from fine to "completely freakin' lost it" in a matter of seconds, and it wasn't often predictable what would set her off. One evening at the MK when she was 4 or 5, for whatever reason (I can't even remember what it was), she just started screaming that she wanted to go back to the hotel. We were trying to leave the park, but she was so distraught we could not move from where we were- outside the restrooms next to The Plaza. So we did the only thing we could do- sat there with our screaming child waiting for it to pass. We'd been through this at home many times. It was definitely not long before a non-uniformed CM approached us offering help. We explained that sometimes she just does this, and that we couldn't really move her without her becoming even more distraught (flailing, kicking- dangerous for all involved and not an option in a crowd). We were offered a back way out of the park, as we were waiting for her to calm down so we could leave. We had to pass simply because we couldn't move her. So the CM just stayed with us until she calmed down and then left- at that point we were able to head back to our hotel.

Another time the same dd got a button/pin stuck in her knee- I think she was about 6yo then. We had just entered Turtle Talk at Epcot and she had been on my dh's shoulders. He was wearing this DVC button on his sweatshirt and somehow when he lowered our dd, the pin got stuck in her leg. The CM's were extremely fast to respond, got us right out of there and escorted us to First Aid. The CM told me repeatedly not to try to remove it from her leg, but when I got her into our stroller (my dd is tall and solid- hard to carry for any distance even at 3-4yo), I noticed that it wasn't the long part of the pin stuck in her leg, it was just about 2-3mm of the hook end caught on her skin, and it popped right out- luckily it wasn't deep at all, not the scary deep puncture wound we were concerned about. Even then we were escorted to first aid, where we signed the book and got a bandaid and antibiotic ointment. And the whole time my dd was incredibly calm and quiet- and the CM gave her one of the light up necklaces a vendor was selling as we crossed the park.

My last story still bothers me- even more now that I spent last semester doing nursing clinicals in a long term care facility with geriatric residents. This is the one where I wasn't able to find help. We were about to get dinner at the Yakitori House in Japan in Epcot. My dh was getting our food, I was waiting out in the garden sitting area and my girls had gone into the restroom there. An older woman who was sort of shuffling and looked a bit confused walked out of the restaurant, came right up to me and began speaking very desperately to me in a fairly quiet voice- telling me that she wanted to get away from her companion, that she was scared, that she left her wheelchair while he wasn't looking, and she wasn't sure where she was. I wanted to help her and was looking around for anyone I could flag down, hopefully a CM, so that they could help her. The woman obviously didn't want to go back into the restaurant. Had my girls not been in the restroom, I would have likely walked with her out to the promenade, where there are usually uniformed security- but they were still small enough that I was keeping an ear out for them (if you've never been back there, it's a really small 2 stall restroom) and couldn't just walk off. As it happened a man came out of the restaurant looking for the woman with her wheelchair, telling me that this was his mother and that she was confused and disoriented. She went with him willingly and they disappeared. I've never felt good about it, and after last semester and learning how common elder abuse is and how hard it is for those with dementia I wish I would have found someone, even after the fact, to report this to, as unlikely as it might be that they would be found and questioned. After reading this thread, I think now I'd be more likely to create a confrontation or be loud simply to get the attention of security so they could investigate the situation. Of course, the son may have been the best caregiver ever, but even a dementia patient's allegations need to be investigated. She truly looked scared when she approached me and I wish I could have done more for her.
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