Better after – the best of your before and afters gas pain in chest

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I thought it was really important to share something horrible that happened yesterday. It was the one of the most terrifying experiences of my life and feel very, very blessed and thankful that we made it out ok, because it could have been so much worse.

My momma heart is on it’s last ragged nerve lately, so please be kind and keep any harsh judgements to yourself. I’m hoping to make sure no one else ever has to go through this for themselves, because it’s so easily preventable! Stick around to the end to see why I’m extra upset!!

I didn’t see it happen (and apparently no one else did because no one bothered to tell me) but in that tiny bit of time he had escaped from his carseat, climbed over the top, and was sitting in the very back seat alone, trying to buckle himself up. Not ten seconds later my daughter looked back and started screaming “He’s choking! He’s choking! He’s choking!” She kept screaming this over and over and over as I frantically tried to pull the car over as fast as possible.

I veered into a random neighborhood and jumped out of the car, ran around to the back and tried to open the rear door. Locked. After few panicked seconds (that felt like minutes) of banging on the windows to get someone inside to unlock the doors, I was able to pop it open and jump in the trunk space. I squeezed over the seat and saw to my horror that the seatbelt had wrapped around his neck and locked up.

I quickly tried to slip it off, but it would not move. I twisted and pulled it around and over, any which way I could, but it only locked tighter and tighter. He was breathing, but he was sobbing and turning red. My 16-year-old son Blake jumped in the middle seat and started yanking on the seatbelt too, but it only got tighter. Everyone in the car was either panicking, screaming, crying, praying, or swearing, I was doing all five at once. “He’s choking! He’s choking!” my terrified daughter could not stop screaming over and over.

I yelled for the kids to run to the closest house and ask for scissors or anything as I slipped my fingers in between his neck and the seatbelt to try and make more space. We couldn’t budge the seatbelt a millimeter. His head was being pulled down against the seat and he was hysterical. Nothing was happening and no one was coming. I was still crouched in the trunk space, squeezing over the backseat. I finally looked up through the windows and saw two men a few houses away working on a car. I hurried and traded places with Blake and sprinted to the house, screaming for a knife with tears streaming down my face.

The man jumped in the trunk and started slashing at the seatbelt, saying “It’s ok baby, it’s ok baby” to Tyce, and just like that, he was free. I pulled myself together long enough to thank them profusely. They just nodded and went back to what they were doing without another word, but I imagined them telling that story around their dinner tables that night.

Here’s the worst part. I had heard of this happening before. I remember reading a story years ago about a mom whose little boy was playing in the back of the minivan while she was pulled over in a parking lot talking to another mom. Sure enough, the seatbelt wrapped around his neck and locked up, and they had to run into a nearby school to find scissors to free him. She warned people to always keep a pair of scissors in the car, and here’s the kicker: I ALWAYS HAVE. This story stuck with me, and for YEARS I have kept a pair of scissors in my car for this very reason. So much so, that before I even knew what was happening, when my daughter started screaming “He’s choking!” I didn’t picture him choking on a piece of candy or something, I pictured the seatbelt.

Well guess what? On Sunday, one of the kids (they’re not confessing) couldn’t find a pair of scissors in the house and took them out of the car. ON SUNDAY. Two days before. When I realized the scissors weren’t where I always kept them … when I was screaming for Blake to get them out, only for him to come up empty handed … oh, the fury and frustration.

That’s the same little red pair of scissors that’s been in my car for years. Until the day it wasn’t. But you’d better believe they are back in the car now. So moms, dads, grandparents, keep a pair of scissors in your car and spread the word. Let your kids know to never take them out. Remember that you don’t have to have a carseat escape artist for this to happen, it could happen if your kids are just playing in the car, or getting in or out. A friend told me the same thing happened to her daughter, only she was playing and got her leg twisted up and caught.

So that’s my story, and I hope it helps someone else avoid the same awful situation. Because believe me, it’s the most horrible, helpless feeling to realize that not having something as simple as a two-dollar pair of scissors could truly be the difference between life or death.

Friends, the weekend is upon us. Time to Get Stuff Done. Do you need a motivational kick-in-the-pants to get started? Well, what’s the status of your garage? Let’s start there. If it’s anything like Jane’s (and most Americans, I would safely wager), it might be a bit of a disaster zone. Bikes, luggage, tools, boxes, stuff, things, items, matter, who even knows anymore.

Quick, let’s play a fun game! Leave me a comment and tell me the very weirdest thing you have in your garage. I’ll start. A 50 pound bag of pinto beans that I’ve lugged around as we’ve moved from home to home for easily … the last 10 years. They are definitely petrified and most likely inedible, but if the world as we know it ends tomorrow, I will rest easy knowing I have a horrible way to feed my family, and we will outlast all of you by like, two days. #preparedness

Oh yeah she did. Hello, yellow! Isn’t that so great? A bright color in the garage, why not! Especially when so many builders leave the walls unfinished like in the before pic. Not sure why they do that, but it makes for a huge blank canvas, just begging for something fun.