Friday, January 11, 2013

Storm Stayed

The weather has been the main topic of discussion since the end of the Christmas break.  Bram flew back from Yellowknife on New Year's day (actually in the evening) and started back to school the next day, Wednesday.  However he caught whatever bug I had earlier and by Thursday was too sick to go to school.  Nicole (my boarder) didn't start school until the next Monday and was pretty bored, so Thursday I took her and one of her friends to the public library and got them library cards.  They discovered the manga collection at the library and really liked that.

We had planned to drive Bram to school on Friday and do a number of things in Moose Jaw.  Bram's always done at noon on Fridays, so he could do some of the activities with us in the afternoon and we'd give him a ride home again.  However, Bram was still sick on the Friday, so we didn't have to leave quite as early in the morning.  I had traded vehicles with Ruth because Walter had my van and I was driving his Toyota, which didn't have winter tires.

We had a really nice time in Moose Jaw.  To start with, we went to the Western Development Museum.  We were there until nearly noon, by the time we looked at all the exhibits.  Then we stopped at the library, because one of the Manga series that Nicole was reading was available in Moose Jaw and wasn't in Regina. Then we ate at one of the Chinese restaurants in Moose Jaw.  Nicole especially liked the wanton soup - she said it reminded her of home.  After lunch, we did the Passage to Fortune tunnel tour and then went to the spa.  It was nearly 3:30 before we drove back home again.  I was very sleepy for the drive home and both girls fell asleep in the back seat.  I think it was because of the bathing in the hot pool.

Bram was still sick enough to miss school Monday but really felt that he couldn't miss any more school Tuesday, so decided to go even though he wasn't anywhere near well yet.  I decided to drive him there because I was concerned that he was still sick enough that he wouldn't make a full day.  However, Walt was still not back with my van, and I didn't think to switch vehicles with Ruth again.

It was a fairly tedious day at SIAST.  I spent it in the library, working on some work that I had agreed to do for Ruth and reading a book.  Bram did make the whole day but asked if we could stop at the grocery store on the way out of town and pick up some groceries.  On our way out of town, Ruth phoned to say that the word was that the highways were pretty bad.  I turned on the radio, which said that the road had drifting and blowing snow, but it wasn't travel not recommended so decided to keep on going.  (It was perfectly clear in Moose Jaw).

Just past Belle Plaine, we came up to an accident, very suddenly and I skidded into the ditch.  Within a very few minutes, our car in the ditch was surrounded by other vehicles which had also skidded into the ditch - we could see nine vehicles just on our side of the road, and six on the other side - and we couldn't even see the original accident.  We hit the ditch around 4:30 pm, and were there until we were towed out at about 8:30 pm.  By that time, the highway was closed to Regina, so we backtracked to Belle Plaine and spent the night at the Maw's.  We're very thankful for their hospitality.
 Here's what it looked like out our windshield when we stopped.  Note that there's at least three cars in the ditch in front of us, and a long line of cars stopped on the road.  There were another six cars behind us in the ditch, and the lineup of cars on the road stretched for several kilometres.
 As we're being towed out - notice how close we were to the car on the left.  Another car cartwheeled over it (tumbled end over end and ended up back on its tires) to stop in front of us, shortly after we ended up in the ditch.  Also notice how deep the snow was.

The next morning, I dropped Bram off at SIAST and drove home.  Walter was finally home and I was very thankful to get my van back.  Thursday I drove Bram to meet his car pool at the regular spot.  The forecast was for heavy snowfall and high winds by the afternoon though, so I warned him that he might be storm stayed for the evening.  So when his instructor who managed the car pool phoned me at 1:30 pm, saying that they were leaving Moose Jaw, I wasn't surprised that they had decided to leave early due to the weather.  Apparently Bram's classes were cancelled for the afternoon because of the impending weather.  However the main reason his instructor had phoned was because Bram wasn't with him - he had gone to emergency at the hospital because he had a severe nose bleed that the nurse at school hadn't been able to stop.  Bram had been having several nosebleeds each day since he'd been sick, so I wasn't too surprised and told him to go ahead without Bram because I had arranged for him to have a place to stay if he was storm stayed.  However, I was wondering how Bram was doing (mothers do like to know these things perhaps), so I phoned the Buchanan's and left a message.  Darrel phoned me back; he had tried to check up on him in the afternoon but he had already been discharged from the hospital. However, Bram hadn't brought his cell phone with him (or his wallet with his health card, bank card, cash, etc.), so I had to just trust in the Lord that I would have heard if things were any worse.

Bram eventually phoned me from the Buchanan's, where he was spending the night.    He was fine and he didn't have anything else to tell me.  This morning the highway was still closed, so I was wondering how Bram would get home - his classes end at noon on Fridays and I knew his car pool wouldn't have made it to Moose Jaw because the highway was closed.  However around 11:30, just when I was shovelling the driveway out, he arrived back home.  Classes had been cancelled in the morning because only about 9 out of 25 students made it to school, and only one instructor.  He caught a ride home with one of his classmates who had a 4 wheel drive. (Apparently the classmate had driven to Moose Jaw from Regina, even though the highway was closed; and gave five of them a ride back to Regina once they found out classes were cancelled.) I was glad to see him.

Bit by bit throughout the morning, I was able to get a bit more of the story out of Bram.  The school nurse sent him to the hospital because she was having a great deal of difficulty stopping his nose bleed.  She gave him a taxi voucher to get there and one to get back.  While waiting in Emergency, he saw one of the other school nurses and was visiting with her when he fainted.  She got him more immediate attention; they gave him some medication (tranexamic acid), put him on an IV drip, and fed him lunch (all three very constructive things).  When he got back to school, he found that his car pool had already left, so eventually contacted the Buchanan's, who picked him up, fed him supper and gave him a bed for the night.

All in all, it's been an interesting week.  Although I haven't been as sick as Bram, I've still been fighting a bad cold and have spent most of my days in bed with a box of tissues by my side.  I think I'm nearly over it now, although Bram is several days behind me.  I think from now on, I'm going to double check that Bram has his wallet and cell phone before he leaves in the morning.  I know he was perfectly fine, and he felt he had no difficulty because he can always borrow a classmate's if he needs to phone - but when mothers hear that their son has been sent to emergency - they'd like to know right then that things are ok, not six or seven hours later.  The same way, mothers want to know how he's coming home when she knows he's not using the usual car pool.

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