Water and Electricity Do Not Mix

This should be a no-brainer, right? Water and electricity do not mix? Well, yes and no. Because we know this to be true, when it comes time to clean the pool with an electric pump, it is a two-person job – one person stands there holding the cord above the water while the other person sucks the nasty off the bottom of the pool. And a variety of people in our household have done this task multiple times over the summer and each time I have had this check inside me that said, “This is a really stupid thing to do.” And yet, there’s all that nasty on the bottom of the pool, so I let it go.

Today was the day that confirmed my, “This is a really stupid thing to do” fear. Millie, while holding the cord at the point of connection between pump cord and extension cord, had a little brain lapse and dropped her hand in the water. I was in the kitchen prepping for lunch when I heard the scream of death, and I’m not even kidding. It was the kind of scream that, when a mom hears it, she knows IMMEDIATELY, that something has gone terribly wrong and she needs to run. I ran. Chloe and Millie were both screaming. By this point Chloe had managed to yank the cord from Millie’s grasp (as for several seconds, her hand was glued to the cord and she could not release it while it was shocking her) and unplugged it. She yelled at me to unplug the other cord from the house and they both climbed out of the pool Millie’s whole arm was shaking. She was crying. Chloe was crying. I was crying. I’m usually fairly composed in emergency scenarios, but today I was not composed. I had no idea what to do and started to call 911, but ended up calling my friend Rubi instead. Rubi suggested it would be good to go ahead and take Millie to an ER. She said not to bother with an urgent care clinic, but to go straight to an ER. She must have known I wasn’t using my brain correctly because she even told me a specific ER to go to and gave me general directions. We went.

By the time we got there nothing was shaking anymore on Millie’s body. Her hand was still red and hot at the point of contact and there was part of me that knew she was going to be okay and part of me that just wanted a professional to confirm that. In the end, I’m not sorry we went.

While there we discovered that her attending ER doc was a dad from our school and he came in after the resident doc had given her some general tests like asking her her name, birth date, where she lived, and who the president was. Millie answered that one with Oklahoma at first, but quickly realized she missed something and covered with Obama. When the Academy dad came in he asked her to name her phonogram cards…in Latin. Pretty funny. Ah, Classical Christian School humor…

In short, they ran several tests including an EKG and checked to see that her kidneys weren’t processing anything they shouldn’t be and we left with instructions to keep an eye on the burn spot for a couple of days and a strong sense of relief. We know it could have been a lot worse. Two-girls-in-the-pool kind of worse.

And I’m eternally grateful that it wasn’t. Her heart is fine, her head is fine, and her hand will heal. And we will find a new way to clean the pool that does not involve holding an electrical socket above the water while someone else sucks the nasty.


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