view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: A Kick to the Face

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Kick to the Face

TR riding the mechanical bull during the Silver State Stampede

This past Sunday, one of my biggest, scariest nightmares came true.  I think it is many a ranch wife/mom's biggest fear as well, having one of your babies, husband, or family member getting hurt, and you not being able to do anything to make things better.

The Cow Boss and I have gotten kind of lax on our rules here on the ranch.  We don't have any horses here we are worried about, and felt like as long as the boys weren't playing in the main road here at the house, they could have the run of the place.  We have a huge back yard here on the the ranch complete with perfect climbing trees, dogs to play with, and a couple water troughs to play in.  Now that the boys are bigger, we don't watch them every second.  I've felt like I can always hear where they are, and when they are quiet you know you need to check on them.  We have our own little "WoooWhoop!" that we call to each other when we are out of sight, and always answer each other back.

Sunday afternoon, a friend of mine came over with her little boys to pick some apples from one of our many apple trees.  She was in no big hurry and I was finishing up a batch of Monkey Butter to can.  The Cow Boss was waiting for a friend of ours to show up and get some hay so he was outside with 3 of the boys.  I didn't know that he had come back in the house when I heard QT screaming.  I met QT at the door and he had been stung by a wasp.  I took him into the living room to sit until he felt better and found the Cow Boss there.  I sat QT on the couch with him and I thought I better go check on the other 2 boys.  Before I even got out the door Jess met me saying TR was hurt.

I found TR sitting in a lawn chair with blood gushing out of his mouth.  His lip was split open, and when I asked him what happened, he told me he fell out of a tree.  It didn't surprise me that he fell out of a tree, he climbs like a little monkey, and we fall out of a tree at least once a week.  I have chalked it up to a being a boy thing.  So I gathered up TR and the Cow Boss and I headed to the ER for stitches in his lip.  On the drive to the ER, TR kept trying to fall asleep on us.  We kept asking him questions, and his answers kept changing.  He told us instead of falling out of a tree, he fell off a wagon.  He also told us his horse, dog, and brother were all named Marty, and when I told him that was wrong, he started to get mad and refused to answer any questions.  About the time we got to the ER my friend called to say QT and Jess were telling her that TR was hurt by the horse.

TR after waking up Monday morning.

Our stomachs dropped, hearts sank, and we were gripped with fear.  TR had been kicked in the face by a horse. Everyone has heard horror stories about little kids being kicked in the head by a horse, and few of them have happy endings.  Knowing he had been kicked, and his wrong answers, not to mention falling asleep in the 15 minutes it took to get to the ER, we were a wreck.

We spent 5 hours at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, where they did several ct scans and x-rays, and we did a lot of waiting.  We didn't have the care we would have liked, but that is another story.  TR's accident happened around 3 in the afternoon, and finally about 5:30 (we still didn't know the results of any of his scans) they told us we would have to take him to Primary Children's in Salt Lake City.  The doctor finally told us that TR's jaw was broken and that he would need surgery, but no word on his head.  The Cow Boss and I began to make plans to drive to SLC, and the nurse came and informed us we would have to fly.  With TR's jaw swelling they were concerned about his airway.

It is a 50 minute flight from Elko to SLC, and then about 25 minutes from the airport to Primary Children's.  We arrived there at 9 local time.  The ambulance drivers and Paramedics from Elko were wonderful.  At the airport they wheeled Trent and I over to check out the air tanker stationed there before loading us on the plane.  Once on board one of the paramedics told me "Don't worry mom, kids are usually asleep within 5 minutes.  It will be an easy flight."  Not my cowboy.  He has wanted to fly on a plane for years and wasn't about to miss a second of it.  His little nose was glued to the window from take off to landing.  I tried to point out our house as we flew over, but it was getting dark and hard to see.

I can't tell you how wonderful the doctors at Primary Children's Hospital are.  From the moment we walked in the door someone was with Trent or popping in to check on us.  Several different doctors examined him, his scans, and bent over backwards to make him comfortable.  Due to swelling and his age they hoped that his jaw would heal well enough on his own and we could avoid surgery.  We were finally able to get his lip cleaned and stitched up.  They put us in a room about 3 that morning.  A full 12 hours since his accident.

I have so much awe and pride in my little man.  I know he was hurting, but he never cried or complained once.  Everytime I as about to break down, he would squeaze my hand and smile at me the best he could.  He is so amazing, here I am I'm supposed to be consoling him and making him feel better and instead he is taking care of me.

TR sleeping in Wednesday morning.

The next morning they brought him a room service menu and spent the morning making him comfortable.  By the time to doctor came in he had drank 2 glasses of chocolate milk, a smoothie, ate some yogurt and pudding.  He told the doctor "I sure like this place, it's really nice!"  But, he had every ones undivided attention, got to watch anything he wanted on TV, and cute nurses to fawn over him.  The doctor discharged us that afternoon.  In his wranglers and cowboy boots, my little cowboy walked himself out of the hospital.

Back at the ranch, the first thing TR did was go and let his dogs out of the kennel, and then go to check on "Dot," the horse that kicked him.  He went to her corral and she met him at the fence.  I asked if he wanted to pet her, and he nodded yes.  I lifted him up so he could reach, and my heart melted when I watched him put his little hand on her face.  He knows that it wasn't her fault he got hurt, and he wasn't afraid of her either.

We had a long talk that night about what had happened, and while I don't think we will ever know for sure what took place, we kind of have an idea about what happened.  TR was in the corral with Dot, and he knew he wasn't supposed to be there.  He was petting her when something spooked her.  Whether it was QT getting stung and screaming or what, we will never know.  As she ran past TR she cow kicked him, catching him on the jaw.

All I know for sure is that TR took a kick to the face and was able to walk away from it.  Every time I look at him and his bruised, swollen jaw I smile and thank the powers that be that he is here with us today.  We are so fortunate that he wasn't hurt more.  I am so thankful to my friends and family, and complete strangers who have taken the time of offer up prayers on our behave and those who left us messages via facebook, texts, emails, and phone calls.  You will never know how much we appreciate your thoughts and messages.  You've all helped us get through a dark time in our lives and we appreciate each of you!

TR today, 7 days after getting kicked.


  1. What a blessing that he is up and about and with us today! I can't even imagine how frightening it must have been when you realized he was forgetting things, sounds like a hellish ordeal (I have a bone to pick with Elko's ER too) but I'm so glad you're all home safe and sound! I love how you all have a call for each other, we do too! Hugs to you all! <3

    1. Thanks Liz, we are pretty happy to have our cute, cuddly, wild Whiteley back home with us too!

  2. I am so glad to hear that things worked out for your son. I had a very difficult time reading your they same thing happened to my son and we did not fare as well. Thank you for reminding others that it is best not to trust any animal, even the more gentle ones.

    1. So sorry about your little boy. I just hope we can all learn something from this! =)