Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Survivor, Real Time

I've been following the disappearance of the Boy Scout in the woods of North Carolina over the weekend. The anguish of those parents is palpable. I hold him in my prayers.

Last night, after listening to an update on the story, I called to my son and asked him to come to me. I asked him what he would do if he wandered off into unknown woods and not able to find his way back. I was relieved to hear him recite some good basic survival techniques - stay put, light a fire if you can, use a whistle if you have it, cover up in leaves for warmth, etc.

But this child missing is only 12 and a First Class scout, which means he is a rookie in the ranks of the older scouts. I hope he makes it.

For two consecutive summers, my son put me through panicky situations as his mom. The first was due to dehydration from the hot Texas sun in June which lead to a trip to the medic cabin and an IV administered for fluids.

The following summer was far worse and lead to me not particularly encouraging him to go to summer camp anymore, certainly not if his dad is not going, too. He was stung multiple times by wasps. His reaction was so severe that it was a medical emergency requiring ambulance transport to the nearby town's hospital. His blood pressure and pulse plummeted. Let's just say it's still a phone call I can't get out of my head. He stayed there and stabilized then went back to the camp medic's cabin until the next morning. The scout leaders were terrific about calling me every so often to update me and try to keep me calm. The EMT at the medic cabin called me twice that night to update me and tell me how to handle future camping trips - son has to have the ole EpiPen on him and an extra for an adult camper. With the accumulation of venom in his system, to be stung is now a life-threatening situation with him.

Turns out he stomped on a wasp he thought was dead in the ground. It wasn't and attacked his leg. Then another one did, too. The build up was what did him in. And since he didn't speak up to a leader since he knew he did an asinine thing...


The husband is planning to attend this summer's camping trip. He's a co-leader in the troop and is able to be more active since he is office bound now. He was always good about camping with the troop throughout the years whenever he was home, it was just him being home and available that was the catch.

This year they are going to West Texas, into Big Bend country and the mountainous area of Texas. He likes it out there, everyone does for the beauty of nature. He camped there with his school class in 8th grade.


srp said...

THEY FOUND HIM! I wonder how his hyperactivity played into it. Some cases are worse than others. He certainly is a lucky fellow.

Don't you think boys tend to have that problem of asking for help, asking for directions, actually asking for anything... or even more generally... communication....

My EX completely lacks communication skills... how do you teach that?

Janie said...

I'm so glad they found the little boy.

I bet your son will have a blast at the Boy Scout camp down here.
It is really neat!

Paul is a Hermit said...


Hey.... what's that supposed to mean?

Nothing beats watching the news and seeing a happy ending to a parents worst nightmare. It should always happen..

May stinging insects respect your son always and keep their distance.
Don't you all have a lot of red, or other stinging ants? That's not the same, is it?

colleen said...

My oldest son has some stories to tell, some mishaps, and many closecalls. My younger son was much less of a risk taker. I remember going WHEW when they were grown that we made it through raising them up.

c.a. Marks said...

Just wanted to drop in and say hello. And yes, thank GOD they found him.

AC said...

Terry is allergic as well. With all the mowing he has to do, I am pretty nervous about summer. Last year he ran over a nest and we had to do the ambulance thing.

I understand why you are anxious for him.

I remember a vaction to Big Bend country as a child but mostly as a long way between swimming pools and motels. Vacations with my parents, sans any brothers or sisters or friends, were not as much fun as I think you all would be or as we are as traveling companions.