Thursday, September 21, 2006


Definition- Any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or anxious. What is stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another.

Yesterday morning I took the dogs for a walk and then fed them when we got home. About an hour later Kate came up to me whinnying and trembling. I could see pain in her eyes. When I reached out to touch her she pulled away and went across the room to lie down and then instantly got up again. I followed her into the bedroom where she got into her bed and, again, instantly got up and hurried out of the room. I caught up with her in the living room and started to examined her. That's when I noticed she had her backend all hunched up. When I ran my hands over her belly the muscles there felt very tight. Since she is old (12 years) and she has had stomach troubles because of her medications I immediately called her vet. I was also worried that she might be having intestinal troubles or that Duke had porpoised her (ramming his muzzle into her) causing some sort of injury.

After a 45 minute drive we made it to the vet clinic where Kate was poked, prodded and thoroughly examined. She also had a rectal exam in order to obtain a fecal sample to check for blood in her stool. Every thing looked good but the vet did think her belly was a little swollen. Since her bowel sounds were good the vet sent her home with instructions that I bring her back if she vomited or showed signs of greater distress. Kate was so stressed out by whatever was wrong with her and by being in the vet office that she was given a tranquilizer to help calm her down before we left.

When we got home she was a little better but still would not stay in one spot for long and kept following me around for the next couple of hours. Then she finally lay down and went to sleep. This is when I noticed I had two phone messages on my answering machine.

They were both from my sister in Denver. She had been in a car accident on the way to work that morning. It happened about the time I was pulling into the parking area of the vet clinic. An eighty-year-old man had made a left turn directly in front of her. She remembered seeing him pull into the turn lane but did not think anything of it. The next thing she knew he was in front of her and she was slamming on her brakes. Later she realized she had stepped on the brake petal right at the moment of impact. The cars hit head on and both airbags inflated. The impact was forceful enough to cause the front bummer on my sister's car to fall off, the hood to crumple and the engine to drop. She also told me that when the two cars hit his car bounced backward. Both my sister and the old man were taken to the hospital. My sister had aches and bruises caused by the impact of the air bag and the seat belt she was wearing. The eighty-year-old man was banged-up a little more because of the thinness of his skin.

In this cell phone age of ours my sister ended up being the first person to call 911 to report the accident. One of the paramedics told my sister that either they or the old man, I don't remember which, had called his daughter and she had said her father had just sent her something, an article maybe, about another 80-year-old man who no longer made left hand turns, only right ones, when he was driving because it was dangerous at his age.

The AMA points this out in this online article:

Declines in these functions (Vision,Cognition, Motor) make older drivers vulnerable to crashes in complex situations that require good visual perception, attention, and rapid response. As a result, older drivers are more likely to experience crashes at intersections, especially when a left-hand turn is involved.

I haven't talked to my sister this morning but she was warned that she would be feeling the full effect of this accident tomorrow- lots of muscle aches and pain. She was planning to going to work this morning and then take the afternoon off.

I don't know how the old man is doing, I hope he is OK.

My dog Kate, after a restless night, seems to be doing better this morning. She had eaten and is drinking water, both good signs.

Me, I am just tired.

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