We have a saying in our family, "It's not a Family Vacation, until someone goes to Urgent Care."
With three boys, I'm sure lots of Moms can relate. While we haven't had any broken bones, we've had our share of scrapes and bruises. And we've been oh so lucky enough to have some of these happen while on vacation.
Being in the pool 24/7 on vacation has caused more than one ear infection. On one particular trip, we were fortunate enough to score a DOUBLE ear infection the day before we were to fly home, making the flight a joy.
But our best vacation injury happened at Walt Disney World.
We decided to call it a day after a tiring day at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Some "down time" was needed, having pushed the kids to their limits. We decided on going back to our resort, and exploring the activities on site, and just relaxing.
Our resort, Disney's Fort Wilderness, has horse-drawn carriage rides, and that seemed like heaven after a day on our feet. We hired the carriage, but was asked to wait 25 minutes until the next one was available.
No problem. The kids were running around, looking for those little lizards that you see all over Florida. The lizards were darting in and out of the bushes and the kids were counting, seeing how many they could find.
That's when my littlest ran his hands along the log fence and got the largest, longest, deepest sliver I've ever seen. I think guests within a 5-mile radius heard his screams; it shattered car windows. O.k. maybe not, but it certain drew the attention of everyone around us.
The son with the sliver has Sensory Processing Disorder, and was also very young at the time. I knew he would have trouble being poked and prodded, but we had to try and get the sliver out. I asked a Cast Member for a First Aid kit, thinking perhaps they had tweezers in them. But nope. No tweezers. I'd even try some tape, to try and McGuyver the situation, sticking the tape to the sliver and pulling it out that way. No tape either.
They did call us an ambulance, though. FOR A SLIVER.
During all of this, the horse-drawn carriage begins to circle around. We've paid for the ride, and my other two sons are anxious to go. My oldest son has anxiety-issues and starts repeating "The carriage is coming back! We're going to miss it!" over and over again. Like a whole "Five minutes to Wapner" situation.
My husband's eyes meet mine, as he's holding our screaming boy. The evening has turned into an absurd series of events. We know at some point in the future, we WILL laugh about all of this, but in the moment, no one is laughing. He nods, and takes our youngest boy with the sliver to meet up with the ambulance. I take the other two boys and hop on the carriage. As we ride away, I snap the photo above of him holding out littlest while the EMT checking him out.
And did the ambulance have a pair of tweezers? NO. But you better bet that I carry some in our Vacation First Aid kit now!
Now whenever we head out on a Family Vacation, we google the 3 nearest Urgent Care locations, just so we are prepared. You never know what will happen!
Nicole Thibault is the owner of Magical Storybook Travels, a travel agency that specializes in Family Travel and Travel for Families with Special Needs. She's also the owner of Spectrum Travel Social Story Videos, a production company that creates travel social story videos for children with Autism, anxiety, and other Special Needs.