I Thought He Was Going to Die

I made my problems big Saturday morning when I had terrible cramps from bloat and I was telling Gabe I felt sick. He told me he was also sore from getting kicked by a cow. Man did I feel like an ass hours later holding his hand in the ER at 2:00am.

He wasn‘t even supposed to be on his way home, he called me early that morning telling me he’d have to drop off the load of cows he had just picked up. I had plans, like always I make plans and then surprise there’s no loads for a few days and he’s randomly home. It annoys me in a sense because I feel guilty not being able to spend time with him when he’s here but I made plans. And they were important to me.

Gabe knew that, it was my brothers and his girlfriends birthday celebrations, he even wanted to be able to attend. We call each other frequently especially when he’s on his way home so I talked to him a few hours later and he was thinking he’d need to go to the hospital the next morning and I said maybe tonight… he was in some pain but I think he had an adrenaline rush after this “kick”. (that’s all I thought it was still at the time a kick)

I went about my day, grabbing speakers for the festivities, making plans with my mom about hockey games and birthday plans. I was setting up speakers while Gabe was 400 kilometres away shoveling shit out of trailers and not feeling better but getting worse. He called me again saying he might not be as feeling up to going out tonight, and that I should go to the hockey game with my mom. We made plans so we’d be able to get him to the hospital tonight as he really wasn’t feeling well, the pain just kept getting worse.

I got myself excited about going to the game and going to Brittany and Wyatt’s party and ready to go to the hockey game after talking to Gabe. I knew he was around Virden at this point so he wasnt to far, he’d get to his parking spot soon and we’d be better able to manage his pain.

I got to the game late hoping I could see Gabe before he was taken to the hospital, my mom offered to take him as I still wanted to play music for Wyatt and Brittany’s birthday gathering. I was excited to watch my brother play hockey for the first time in almost over a year, it made me feel normal and excited to be out with people. I was really enjoying the night but there was some looming anxiety over Gabe not feeling well and still being on the road.

That’s when I got the unsettling message from him telling me that he‘s going straight to the hospital. I was watching snap maps, but he hadn’t been on his phone. I didn’t know where he was and knowing he was going straight there I knew he wasn’t well. He texted me to get someone for the semi and trailer. I had just started to look, when my phone started ringing and I expected to hear the physically sore but pretty stable Gabe I had just heard 45 minutes earlier.

Instead I was met with a very wheezy, baby… come get me… I can’t breath… I replied fast back with call 911. And started running across the rink grabbing the other driver and going. He was asking me questions about his condition and I honestly didn’t have an answer other than I know he’s not breathing well at all and I was thinking he might be in shock from the pain. The friend I brought with me expressed his concern that he could be passed out from the pain. Shortly after racing on the highway we caught up with him, I got on the phone watching his trailer pass, cautions lights on. My friend askEd if I can call him to pull over and he’d be able to get into my car and to the hospital.

I started to call him knowing it would be difficult to go through because he’d ignored calls minutes before but we finally were able to get him to pick up. We knew we might be in trouble. All he could say between two extremely wheezy breaths “meet… hospital”. My friend willed for him to pull over but he was going fast. I did my best to keep up with him safely, but getting there. We noticed he was trying to stop the truck on the road but it took off fast again right into the ER lane. I joked about driving skills both knowing we were about to experience something unpleasant.

I didn’t have enough time to get the car in park before we were both trying our door handles. He ran to help Gabe in and I went to get a nurse, I buzzed once and no one really came so I ran back outside to see Gabe being carried by our friend. I ran back to the door tears running down my face slamming on it trying to get some attention. A nurse was on her way down the hall but all they could see was me, I opened one door and she opened the other. Gabe was carried into a bed and chaos ensued while gasping breaths and stories tried to come out and tears were flowing. I was trying to hold his hand and begging him to look me in the eyes saying nothing but breath.

His breathing hadn’t changed, he didn’t look well at all, they started cutting clothes and through very deep laboured breaths he was telling us he couldn’t feel his feet and was having trouble moving his hands. They were taking blood, and putting in IV’s as fast as they could. His breathing wasn’t getting better, his extremities were cold, he didn’t have any colour in him, his lips looked more blue than pink, I was convinced he was dying. The doctor asked us to step out of the room.

Over the next half hour we waited for updates from the waiting room, learning that as far as they could see nothing was actually wrong. They really questioned me why he was in, I scoffed and said “he wouldn’t be here if he didn’t have to get dragged in and well he was carried in so there’s obviously something not right.”

They came back once again saying they were sure he was okay but they wanted a CT in Brandon to confirm. I saw him briefly

before they put him in the ambulance, his breaths weren’t as laboured but still heavy. However, he was still giving all the staff and myself all the sass in the world.. I knew even if his body was broken, Gabe was okay.

As the pain meds kicked in and he started to feel better the more silly he was feeling. When they came back to tell us nothing was broken or ruptured, he was more than ready to leave. That’s when I finally also had the opportunity to ask what happened. He’d been kicked before but was always bruised and fine by the next day.

He explained how he was loading the trailer, in a split second move he reached over a cow and it wasn’t impressed with the move. It took its opportunity with Gabe right behind him and dug both back hooves deep into his stomach, getting a full extension. The force from the kick was sufficient enough to send him a decent distance backwards, but also down a 5 foot ramp. (He made it from the top to the bottom through flight, not rolling.) He landed flat on his back.

He worked the rest of the day in a lot of pain but didn‘t want to seem like a suck about it as there were so many plans spinning around. He wanted to be home, he didn’t want to ruin plans.

But honestly, I’m 10x happier holding him, alone in the kitchen, dancing to songs that don’t even fit the moment. I’m so thankful for every laugh I hear out of him, every snore and every cough. Because for a little while in the ER I was convinced I was going to hear his last breath.

Take care of yourselves in these hectic days. xxoo


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