Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The day our little world stood still at warp speed

The four of us, Booboo(4), Yogie (5), Poppie and Nannie, by the way the girls don't call us Poppie and Nannie just the grand kids and psyduo grand kids do, were out scouting likely candidates for our load of wood. Poppie only allowed loads to at box level as to not scratch his new truck and that was a lot of wood for the two little ones to help stack anyway. The girls and I had gathers pieces of drift wood or artistic forest wood pieces, rocks, Booboo likes rock, Poppie's truck got it's first dent when she was throwing them in and was too little to get her rock over the box edge. The morning was going well we had eaten a lunch of fried cabbage and bacon before we had left so the girls were all full and ready to expend the energy they had filled up on. We had cut down a few little trees, small enough that the girls could easily manage them and decided to cut one for me to load. There was a little leaner in the tree and Poppie had tried to cut it out but it had only stuck in the tree more so he was  frustrated and decided it wouldn't be a problem. The girls and I were back by the truck about 50 feet away to watch and yell timber when it came down. The tree came down the girls yelled "timber" and Poppie was nowhere to be seen.

I screamed for him and didn't see him anywhere, so I ran over the windfall as fast I could to get to where he had been, when I got there he was laying about 10 yards away. He was in a fetal position, having been an emt-b for 6 years, that made me terrified. I knelt down by him; he was making a gruntle pig like noise and blood was streaming down his face from his nose. I instinctively wiped it away and gave him a once over, his left leg was under him in a z shape. I reached out and in a swiping motion pulled it out in one smooth movement. He came to in a screaming instant. I reached under him to check that he didn't have a puncture in his back, I thought maybe the noise he had been making had been a punctured lung or something. I couldn't find anything, I was sure his back was broken or his neck so moved him as little as possible. He had blood coming from around his eye and a big bloody bruise on his left temple. He said, "Help me up, I need to go home." I said "I can't I need to get an ambulance." He said "Just get me to my truck so I can go home." I told him I couldn't, even though he only weighted 184lbs I couldn't lift him, oh by the way, Poppie is 6"6" so very thin, He tried to use his left leg, it shot a pain into him, after he came to he said, "What happened to my leg?" I said, " A tree landed on you and I have to go get an ambulance." His mind must have been trying to figure it out because he was silent. I turned and Yogie was beside me screaming and totally melted down. Booboo stood silently beside her taking in things in a manner that only she does. I said to Yogie, "I have to go get the ambulance and can't leave daddy by himself can you set on this log and hold his hand?" She screamed "NO,NO Mamma don't leave me." Booboo said, "I will hold daddy's hand." I looked at her and couldn't imagine leaving her or him for that matter, We wear only 3 miles from town but it was going to be a long three miles and as our ambulance is a volunteer operation a long wait with a man who may not be conscious. I said."Boo are you sure you can?" She said, "I will hold daddy's hand."  I talked to Poppie and tried to get him to understand what I had to do. He seemed aware of what was going on but I am not sure he did. I sat Booboo on the log that had hit him as it was tucked up tight against him and there was nowhere else for her to sit and be by him, the little leaner was about 5 inches across. I grabbed my sobbing child that clung to me like a little monkey and made my way back across the windfall. I turned that, at the moment, tank sized truck around on a billy goat trail and drove the 1/2 mile to the main forest road. I sped down the road to town, and made my way to the sheriff's office.

 I hurried down the hall passing the Justice of the Peace, she saw that Yogie and I were distraught and ask what had happened, I tried to fill her in as I walked down the long hall to the dispatch window, She hugged us and let us continue to get help. I knocked on the darkened window and the head detention officer came to the window. The head dispatcher was processing radio traffic. He told her we needed an ambulance and she began a page, No one answered. she paged again, still no answer, and again, no answer, she turned an asked who is this for. Both the detention officer and I looked at her like she was nuts, as I had worked with both of them for 8 years, but she didn't recognize me. I don't know why. We told her and she said, my husbands name with fear in her voice, we said "yes." She made a land line call and one of our friends on the ambulance said she could come from teaching at the school, the fire chief advised he could drive even though he wasn't an ambulance attendant. They finally got one more attendant to come. They came to the fire hall and I drove out to show them where to go. I drove up the forest road and stopped at the little tiny road, the ambulance could not go up the road. The teacher/attendant came with me, the fire chief followed in his truck and the other attendant stayed with the ambulance. We drove up the little road and stopped, it had taken me one hour to return, I said to Booboo "Is daddy OK?", he raised his hand above her head and waved. She said, "Mamma, daddy tried to move his bloke leg 3 times". (She had problems saying blended sounds with r's in them.) and apparently it had registered with her because each time he did he passed out and she was alone and not once had she let his hand go. She was my little hero in that moment. The brave little might had, with the patience of Job, sat there and taken care of her daddy, alone in the silent forest in all her innocence. My son-in-law ,with anxiety disorder, later said to her, "You were so brave I could not have done what you did today." It made her so proud.  We packed Poppie out, 3 people carrying one man on a litter, one wearing dainty teaching shoes.

We got Poppie patched up, he had a skull fracture, a shattered left leg that will forever have a titanium bar in it and a bunch of pins, that match the ones in his back. Road rash where that tree skidded down his spine, but not one injury to his already fragile back, God does take care of dogs and idiots... He whinned for the 3 months he had to spend in bed, praised his little daughters and still can't remember most of the first two weeks of the ordeal; can't say the same about the nurses that he was mean to ( he is the nicest person ever) so that was due to the skull fracture.  Next time I will tell you about learning to cut down trees as Poppie couldn't for awhile and the need to find, workaholic Poppie something to keep him busy.

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