Monthly Archives: August 2012

Hurting.

When does it stop hurting? When will I smile when I think of her instead of sobbing?

I’ve had a few minutes today where I’ve felt relatively okay. I went to work. I survived. But the house feels so damn empty. I’ve known for weeks that her passing would be a breaking point for me but I am still finding the sadness overwhelming. It’s a deep pain in my chest that does not go away. It sounds horrible but I’ve grieved harder for Penny that I did for my Pa that I thought hung the moon.

I realized this morning through tears that I’m not sure I’m regretting putting her to sleep but that I’m so angry at myself that I couldn’t fix it for her this time. A kind word and scratch behind the ears was not going to make my girl better.

I’ve felt a quiet peace a few times today and I’ve convinced myself it’s Penny and she wants me to be happy. And then I feel crazy.

I suppose all of this is normal. She was my constant companion for 8 years.

Miles seems to be coping. He lays around with a sad look in his eyes but still gets excited to play fetch, eat and get tummy rubs. I let him smell the blanket she was in when she passed and he let out a guttural noise I’ve never heard from him before. I think then he knew. And I think true to the pure genuineness only a dog can have – he’s accepted she is gone.

The little cat whose only been here a few weeks did not know the Penny we all knew. She has been such a sweet baby, curling up on me and purring. I truly think now that God sent her to me to help me get through this. Roxy has been hiding all day and I believe grieving in her own way for her buddy before Lila came.

Katelyn is objective in that she knows she is in Heaven, isn’t in pain. She’s said several times we can still talk to her and look at her pictures. She’s requested a funeral. And then one word from me and she’s screaming and angry. I don’t know how to make it easier for her. I told her tonight that it’s okay to be mad and it’s okay to be sad. She sobbed “I just miss her.”

I miss her too. More than I ever imagined I would.

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It isn’t always goodbye – is it?

Today has been the most painful of my life. Penny had an exeptional day yesterday. She went outside, she clicked through the house, she kissed my face.

At about 5 am the cat (the stray – the nicer of the two) woke me up by smacking my face several times. I heard coughing and found Penny on the floor a few feet away in the middle of a seizure.

I immediately laid by her side and told her I was there and that I loved her. She didn’t come out of it for about 30 minutes and I have no idea how long she seized before I got to her.

She never got back up. She turned away her favorite food and wouldn’t drink water out of my hand. She looked at me with more sadness in her eyes than I have ever seen. I had wanted a sign and I think that was it. Or at this point I have to tell myself that was it.

I took a shower sobbing and praying I would be strong enough to do the right thing.

I gave myself a pep talk in the mirror saying over and over “You can do this because you love her.”

I woke Sam up and told him it was time. We got Katelyn up and dressed and she loved on Penny who was totally unresponsive at that point. We got her to school.

And we took Penny to the vet. We had to wait forever and she stayed in my lap hardly moving. My mom met us at the vet. Sam had to leave to go to work and we waited some more.

We eventually got into a room and the vet looked at me and said “Not getting better is she.” I started sobbing asking if I was doing the right thing. I know he couldn’t tell me to do it but what he said was enough “You aren’t doing the wrong thing.”

Release forms were signed. End of life wishes were provided.

Then they came in. They made me step back. She hates the vet or anyone messing with her feet and she had a look of sheer terror in her eyes. I lunged for her, my mom held me. Once they got the medicine in they let me hold her. And within 5 seconds she was gone.

I’ve read that a dog who lets go that easily is ready and that it’s time. We stayed with her for about 10 minutes  She looked so peaceful on the table once it was over. And I felt a huge weight lift off of my chest.

I don’t know if I will ever not feel guilty about what happened today but I know I couldn’t live with myself if I held on to her for myself. My girl was gone weeks ago and glimmers of her may have been enough for me but that isn’t a good life. And I could not have ever rationalized putting her through another seizure. They have just gotten worse each time.

The house feels so empty. Miles goes from his spot, to her bed, to every room in the house. Right now he’s snuggled up on the couch with me. I know he is also grieving. He wasn’t even a year old when Penny came.

 

Penny chose me to be her momma. Today I chose to give Penny peace.

And I can only hope and pray I did the right thing, the best thing. And that she’s sunning her tummy at the Rainbow Bridge.

I’ll see you again some day Penny girl. Thank you for 8 wonderful years of unconditional love. I hope I loved you half as much as you loved me.

 

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The right thing to do.

Penny is still pacing at night. It finally occurred to me this morning that her “great” appetite is actually her forgetting that she just ate. That realization was pretty heart shattering. I have such a love/hate relationship with denial.

She’s keeping us up. She’s exhausting herself. Other than the random “who and where I am” moments she has, she looks like her old self. She’s put weight back on. She is up and down the stairs in one bound. Our biggest issue aside from the constant anxiety is the fact that all potty training skills have gone out the window. We can deal with that.

But my girl is gone. 

I will give the Anipryl more time. She’s not in any pain. But she’s not there either. Most of the time I think she has some recollection of who we are but probably not in a normal way. Sometimes she looks right through me. 

How do you ever know when it’s “time?” Is it fair of me to let her wander through the house until she gets exhausted and falls asleep where she stands? Anipryl can take up to 30 days to show full effects. She will start on her 15th day tomorrow.

I still cannot imagine life without my PB girl. I stopped crying and moping and started coping. I love on her and tell her how magical she is any time she will let me. But I am so scared she’s feeling trapped in her own body when I see the occasional flicker of hi, mom in her eyes. What a horrible way to be.

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Type A person, Type B Mom.

I read a blog today that really hit home.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-sher/parenting-lessons_b_1796801.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&ir=Parents

True to any decent blog, it made me compare and analyze my life. I spent most of the afternoon typing away at work and over-analyzing the life I’ve created for myself. And for her.

In my day to day life – I feel like I must always been in control. I take on way too much and in general try to be a team player – though I prefer to be in the lead of that team. I exhaust myself frequently and have not drifted far from the perfectionist blood of my youth. I love plowing through a to-do list in as little time as possible. I can be anxious and irritable. Work is work and it must be done. And not only must it be done – it needs to be done well.

My parenting style however is quite different. I’ve never had crazy expectations for K and try to let her just be. And enjoy life. I learned early on that being a full time working mom meant trying to find balance. I struggle every day but I’ve learned it’s okay if the clothes get folded but not put up or a glass sits in the sink over night.

I’ve learned that stained shirts aren’t worth the tears of changing. And that spilled drinks aren’t the end of the world.

Balance is so important but a fit of giggles and snuggling is even more so. When Katelyn grows up – I want her to realize that I worked my ass of to give her a better life. I also want her to know that she too can work her ass off if she wants to. I want her to feel empowered to be whatever she wants to be. But I also want her to remember staying up late cuddling, dancing in the kitchen, playing the same game 50 times.

And I hope she never doubts my love for her – no matter how Type A I can be sometimes.

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Just breathe.

Oh life. I feel like I’ve been knocked on my ass. Again.

Ever since my near head on collision experience I’ve been in a weird place. Between that and Penny getting sick – I’m depressed. I think. I don’t know if depression is what it really is. Angst maybe.

I feel like I should have answers to everything but find myself having a hard time catching my breath because I don’t know anything.

Overwhelmed.

Aside from occasionally wandering into a corner and barking Penny has been doing great the past few days. She’s running, going up and down the stairs on her own, loving on Miles and her people. I don’t know how long I have but I’m feeling blessed about each day.

I keep coming back to the same answer. Move.

I am so ready for a fresh start. Lubbock isn’t really a fresh start since we’ve been there before. Except this time it will be different. Long gone is the drunk college girl.

I’m ready to get out of this house. I’m ready to toss boxes of stuff that we no longer use. I’m ready to leave the stress behind. My day to day is so emotionally draining that I feel like it will take years to come out of this haze. I know moving won’t magically fix everything but I feel like it would be a good start.

Sam and I are like passing strangers here. He works so much, I work so much. We co-parent in the best way we can. Some days I look at him and my heart feels so overwhelmed that I’ve managed to get this lucky. Other days I resent him more than anyone I’ve ever met. I guess that’s non-marriage for you. Truthfully, my world would crumble without him. I really hope he knows that.

I’m just ready for a do-over. Or a start over. I’m tired of the same stresses over and over again. I’m tired of putting everyone else’s children above my own. I want to go to sleep at night not worrying about whatever work is left for the next day. I want to take a deep breath and not have a lump in my throat.

So, moving. Quitting. Resigning. I’m not quite sure what will come first at this point. I do know something has got to give though. Before I totally lose myself.

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Vestibular disease, and dogzheimers, and a brain tumor – oh my!

This blog is quickly turning into the journey of my Penny girl’s final days, weeks, months whatever the case may be.

After my tearful post last weekend we had a rough couple of days Monday and Tuesday. At one point I even called the vet to ask what exactly was required to set up an appointment to put her to sleep. Since we had no definite answers to what was causing her to go downhill so quickly I also spent most of my time when she was sleeping on Google. Because you know, Google is a fantastic diagnostic tool.

What I found was a vet on a message board (Texas Bow Hunters group none the less) who was sweet enough (or stupid enough) to give out his e-mail address to another distressed member of that group. I took a chance and messaged him. The basis of my e-mail was “how do you know when it’s time.”

It was a sniffly e-mail full of details from the past couple of weeks. He was very sweet and replied within minutes and eventually ended up calling me.

In between my e-mail and his response I got down in the floor with her and said “If you want to fight, I will fight.”

And just like that – she got up. I really think she was laying around waiting to die because I was walking around sobbing, waiting for her to die.

We went for a walk in the yard that day. She started eating again. She was still not barking or tail wagging but my girl was up.

Day by day, she became more herself. She started responding to her name. She growled at me when I bent down to pick her up to carry her up the stairs. She made it up by herself after a few attempts. I think the growl was a “back off mom, I can do it” growl as she’s never growled at me before. We’ve taken numerous walks down the block and though they prove exhausting for her, she lights up when she sees her leash. Her night pacing is still going on but she is managing to sleep at times. She even started tolerating Miles more which made me feel way better. He’s been so depressed.

Just as I was feeling more confident – she had another seizure. In true parent denial I was not convinced what happened last Friday was one. But yesterday morning definitely was. I had gone outside with Miles (the other dog child) and heard her tag clicking. I thought she had gotten stuck in a corner so I came inside to bail her out. I found her on the living room floor on her side. She was shaking violently and foam was coming out of her mouth. Thanks to Google I knew not to get anywhere near her mouth but did but my hand on her side and talked to her to let her know I was there. It only went on for about a minute but was earth shaking for me. I told Sam a few days prior if she was having seizures and had another one, then it would be time.

Except it isn’t Penny’s time. Immediately after the seizure she bounced up and went to get her new food dish. Katelyn donated a bowl she got at Sea World (looks like a whale, has a tail) because Penny can carry it in her mouth. She ate breakfast and walked normally.

Another call to the vet was made. He was quiet for a few minutes and he said “I’m pretty sure it’s a brain tumor.” Silence on my end. Dog dementia was horrible enough and I was coming to terms with it. Dementia is not a death sentence. A brain tumor probably is. We discussed options. MRI followed by radiation. We discussed her age and quality of life. The MRI alone at this point is dangerous because it requires anesthesia, as would every single radiation treatment. She clicked her little doxie toes over to where I was sitting and sat next to me. In my head I knew my answer already. Quality of life is much better than quantity. I advised we would just love on her and treat symptoms as needed. The vet said he felt that was the most loving decision.

Last night I took K over to visit her Papa, Granny and Great Aunt Sharon and tried to get Penny in the car. She tried to jump in once but gave up. She wouldn’t let me lift her in the car. We brought her back inside and I left feeling like I had abandoned her.

A week ago I would have felt awful refusing a  treatment option that might buy us a month or two. But when I woke up this morning and my heart did not feel like it was sinking – I know I made the best choice. I want Penny to enjoy the last days of her life. I don’t want her any sicker than she needs to be. I don’t want her to suffer the anxiety of repeat trips to the vet or me trying to cheer her on into the car to go. I want her to eat like crazy (her appetite has been insatiable the past few days – also a sign of brain tumor) and the girl cannot get enough of soft canned food. The Anipryl seems to be working miracles in her cognitive understanding of where and who she is. Of course we don’t know how long we’ll have. The vet said 3 – 6 months. Closer to 6 months with successful treatment. But we don’t know how long she’s had it. So. We’ll enjoy every day that she is enjoying.

She isn’t in any pain. She’s clicking through the house. She howled at a fire engine on Thursday and it was literally the first sound she’s made in two weeks. And it was beautiful.

My heart was broken at the though of losing her. But now that I know the reality of it – I’m enjoying every second of this beautiful baby.

We chose Miles. Penny chose us. And both of their coming home stories are beautiful in their own way. She’s always trusted me with her life and life is what I’ve chosen to give her. We will take it day by day and when she stops enjoying walks, ear scratches and attempting to sneak a bite of cat food – it will be time. And I will be strong enough. I have to be.

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Last Sunday was the last day for the public pools to be open. They had a “doggie splash” and dogs could go. I had looked forward to it for weeks. Penny is my water dog. When she was younger I would take them to a park with a lake and let her off her leash. She would enter the water without being prompted. I prayed all last weekend she would feel good enough to go.

When it was time, she wouldn’t stand up despite seeing her leash. I finally realized it was because Miles was outside and she didn’t want to go alone. Katelyn and Sam had already gotten Miles in the car. I showed her he was going and she perked up and trotted outside. She got in the water, but she didn’t swim. Miles swam which was huge for him. He is my non-water dog. He mostly got in to keep an eye on his little person. Big dogs would approach Penny and she would growl. Not my normal girl.

By Monday morning it was clear something was really wrong. I called the vet back. We went in and sat in the waiting room for 2 hours. Lab work was done. I had a meeting at 1 that I couldn’t miss so he told me to take her home and they would call me if there were any issues. I was cautioned that it looked like she was going blind.

I waited anxiously to call back for the labs. I finally made the call with my heart in my throat. Labs were normal. All of her organs were functioning well and he said he was surprised due to her age. Her CBCs were slightly elevated so he said we should try an antibiotic just to cover bases and I asked to start her on an NSAID for the pain. When Katelyn and I got home that night with her medicine, I found her laying on her bed, on her side. Totally rigid. I fell to the ground crying telling her I was not ready. I managed to get her drink some water and as quickly as she must have fell – she got up and acted fine.

I watched her intently the rest of the week. Thursday I decided she must be going blind. She would wander around the house, get stuck in corners, and approach me slowly. She was having a hard time getting up and once she made it to her feet – her back legs just didn’t seem to want to cooperate.

Friday morning she was the first dog out of the laundry room. But while I was getting ready for work she started throwing up. One of the horrible downsides of my job is that I have to testify in court, frequently. I had court on Friday 60 miles away from home. Before we left she asked go outside. We have a deck and stairs that has gotten increasingly harder to navigate. I said a prayer and let her out.

I cried most of the way to court and prayed that God wouldn’t take her if I wasn’t there. Sam called at lunch to tell me she was under the deck and seemed to be okay. I relaxed a little on the way home.

I got to the house and immediately went in the yard. She hasn’t been coming when I call. Two weeks ago she would come bounding up the stairs just because she heard me shut the car door out front. Miles met me at the door. I called for her and went to check under the deck. No Penny. I went to her shade spot under the tree. No Penny. Heart racing and panic set in. I was so scared she had somehow gotten out and was disoriented.

I ran to the opposite side of the house. Still no Penny. And then I saw her tail. She had gotten stuck between bricks and Sam’s fire pit. I thought she was dead. I put my hand on her back and her tail thumped once. I picked her up and got her in the house.

I laid her on the kitchen floor and started calling other vets for another opinion. Through my tears I finally got someone to agree to see her on a Friday evening. The vet was in surgery but sees a lot of senior dogs. It would be an hour but bring her in.

I went and picked K up from pre-school. I wasn’t sure if Penny would be alive when I got home. I left her laying on the floor, head tilted sharply to the side, panting frantically.

When we got back I found her laying in a pool of urine and vomit. I grabbed a blanket and we got her in the car. By the time we got her to the vet’s office she was able to walk on her own and was fairly content to lay in my lap in the waiting room. Two hours later we finally got in.

I immediately told him I wasn’t sure our vet’s diagnosis was right and something was horribly wrong. He agreed. He said while she did have some signs of aging in her eyes, she was not blind. The event that had happened earlier was likely a seizure. I started discussing other symptoms and he put his hand on my shoulder. “I think your dog has Canine Cognitive Disorder.” The tears started to come. He went on to explain that it’s a severe form of aging in pets. Dementia. It used to be called Old Dogs Disease and was just thought to be aging. But it really isn’t. He advised there was a medication available but that it was expensive and might not work. He further cautioned that he didn’t even carry the medication and we would probably have to order it online. Her symptoms would continue to get worse as it is progressive. Since it came on fast, it was progressing quickly. He advised there was no way to know if she had suffered any brain damage from the seizure without an MRI but that we were at a point where anesthesia for that was just not a good option.

In shock, I asked him how I would know. I made a promise to Miles and Penny years ago that I would always love them. That they would never been thrown away. They would always be with me. And I promised I would let them go when the time was right.

Through tears when I asked, she turned around and licked my face. He softly said “That’s how you know it’s not today.” The vet tech helped me out the door with tears in her eyes.

So we drove around for awhile because she seemed to enjoy the car ride. And then we went to Sonic.

I brought her home feeling numb. Sam took Katelyn to the park and I collapsed in the floor sobbing. It was a gut wrenching deep chest aching cry and I’ve only experienced that a couple of times in my life. I felt as though my heart was ripped from my body.

I started researching our options. While the medicine is expensive, it is FDA approved and I could not find a single negative review about it online. I prepared myself that while it might not extend her life, it might bring her back to me for whatever time she has left. I prayed that they would be open on a Saturday. I called at 8 am. The receptionist who had been so wonderful the day before advised that she knew I would be calling. They already had a bottle ready to go for Penny. She called around and found another vet who had it in stock and picked it up for us.

We started the Anipryl yesterday. I feel like my heart is shattering. She is not the same girl. She paces the house with a blank stare. She hasn’t wagged her tail with purpose in days. At times she seems to come back for a minute and responds to her name. Yesterday morning she would yelp out like she was in pain. Poor Miles would run to check on her and she would start growling at him. I’ve had to keep them separated for the most part and his heart is hurting too.

I cannot fathom life without her. I’ve tried to be strong. I’ve prayed and prayed that she will pass away in her sleep. I’ve told Sam I will be with her until the end but he will have to go. I cannot be the one to give the go ahead to put her to sleep.

This morning she took her second dose of Anipryl and is cuddled up on her bed resting. I don’t know how much time we have but I’m trying to memorize her fur, her scent, her eyes. I am going to miss her forever.

The end of the road.

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My first babies.

I got Miles in December of 2003 after a particularly hard few months. I had dealt with an unplanned pregnancy, a horrible miscarriage, and moving away to college. I had been pregnant long enough to get into a weird mode of needing to grow up so the first few months of college I struggled to find a balance. Everyone I knew there was partying like crazy and I just wasn’t that in to it. I was in a serious relationship. I longed for the baby I wasn’t ready for.

So then there was Miles. Miles was a savior. He was the first dog I had had in a long time. He went everywhere with me. I was able to get those momma feelings out.

I moved home for the summer and got a text from the boyfriend not to be mad. For the life of me, after the year we had together, could not anticipate what would come next. A text of a water logged strange looking dog in our bathtub. So then there was Penny.

I packed up Miles and we rushed back the next day to meet her. He was still little and very impressionable. Penny growled at him for about 3 days straight. We brought her back to my parents house. They were still an interesting pair. By the time I had returned home for the fall semester, I came home from class and found them snuggling together on a chair. They have been inseparable since.

Penny had clearly been mistreated. When we got her spayed the vet said her uterus was so large that he anticipated she had multiple litters and was either used for breeding or had been left outside. He estimated that she was between 5 and 7 years old.

That relationship eventually ended but the dogs stayed with me. And he became one of my best friends.

8 years later we are still a team. And they are getting older.

We had a really bad health scare with Miles earlier this year in which I was cautioned that whatever was going on was likely fatal. Antibiotics and TLC and he is back to normal. Penny has always been the more energetic of the two despite being years older than Miles.

Until now. Something is just not right with my poor girl. She is disoriented, her balance is terrible and she’s wanting to lay. It started earlier this week when I went out to bring her inside and couldn’t find her. I found her in Miles’ favorite spot under the deck. She lifted her head and wagged her tail so I assumed she just didn’t want to give up brother’s prime real estate. That night she fell down the stairs of the deck but within minutes was fine. I observed her steps for a few days and concluded it was likely arthritis.

And then yesterday happened. I ran in from work to grab my cell phone that I had forgotten. Penny could barely move. I had already called their vet’s office to pick up shot records so I called back and said Penny was coming too. When we got there I was met at the door. Two puppies were inside that had been diagnosed with distemper and despite Penny having been vaccinated because of her age they did not want her inside. The vet came out, we went over symptoms and a quick check up – we had a diagnosis.

Vestibular disease. Not to worry, not uncommon in seniors, give her Benadryl and in a few days she will be fine.

Benadryl seemed to work like a champ last night. Her ears were perky and she was willing to go outside. She hasn’t lost the desire to eat or drink and is able to stand without assistance so I’m thankful. I’ve read a lot of posts about dogs not able to even get on their feet. Our vet described it as a “sick, drunk” feeling. I’ve been there. My poor girl. This morning when I went to get them to let them outside, she was laying in the corner – head facing the wall. Miles jumped up and ran outside. Penny never moved. I approached her slowly with a sinking feeling that the vet was wrong and she had died. She turned her head, eyes darting and thumped her tail once. I helped her to her feet and carried her to the couch. A little boiled chicken and Benadryl for breakfast it is.

I have tried to mentally prepare myself that one day Miles and Penny will die. And I’ve prayed that I will be strong enough to do the right thing and let them go peacefully without any suffering. Just the thought of it breaks my heart.

They have been with me through the good, the bad, and the terrible. They were here for my first human baby and accepted her as one of their own. They’ve accepted step-dad Sam and love him. I used to promise them when we lived in an apartment that they would some day have a house and their own yard. They’ve now had a few.

She’s still cuddled up next to me on the couch. Resting peacefully. I suspect she didn’t sleep much last night and must have focused on the wall to stop the spinning. The Benadryl must have worn off quicker than I expected.

I’ve done my research. I’m hopeful this is just a passing thing. But I’m scared it’s the beginning of the downhill slope for my girl.

And the one thing I know for sure is that I’m not ready to lose her.

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Near death.

I am not good at emotions most of the time. I used to write when I was feeling more of them than I could handle and that is why I’m writing today.

When I was little, I got really sick. I wound up having to be airlifted to a large hospital a long way from home. I flat-lined 3 times on the flight and was in a coma for several days. I woke up. I was lucky. A few days after I was taken off life support and awake, I had a nurse tell me that I was lucky because another boy had died from what I had a few weeks before. That still sticks with me. For a long time I dealt with survivor’s guilt. I couldn’t understand why God let me live but took another life in the same way. People would tell me “Oh God isn’t through with you” or other sentiments and it never took that sting away. I was at an age when I was probably just starting to understand the finality of death when it happened. And after that I was never afraid to die. When I was in a coma, I saw things. I was in a beautiful place with animals that talked and fields and fields of flowers. A counselor once told me that I had a “near death experience.” While I was wherever I was, a Pegasus would come and I would ride it. It would fly to a bright light and I would pull back on it’s mane telling it to stop, I wasn’t ready. Then I was convinced I had been somewhere not of this Earth and that I fought hard because I wasn’t ready to die. I thought that the bright light was “the gate” and I wasn’t ready to go.

As I got older and learned about our cruel world my faith in God has been shaken. As I tried to find my path as an adult, I often feel like I’m not doing enough.

And today in a blink of an eye my faith has been restored to the point it was when I woke up from that coma and knew God existed and was looking out for me.

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. I was running late and sat at red light after red light frustrated. Our area is overcrowded and there are fatal wrecks almost daily, so I do my best to drive cautiously and pay attention at all times.

About half way to my doctor’s office, I got into the passing lane to accommodate cars getting on to the highway. There was a car ahead of me that just didn’t look right. A few seconds later I realized it didn’t look right because it was coming at me.  I was able to get over in the right lane. A few seconds later, the car coming the wrong way flew past me in the middle of both lanes. I had to swerve off of the road to avoid being hit. Cars in front of me had also done the same. I was able to get a decent look at the driver. I thought it was an elderly man. Short grey hair and glasses barely looking over the steering wheel. There was a handicap sign hanging from the rear view mirror. I immediately called 911. The dispatcher asked where exactly the car was and explained they had received a few calls and that law enforcement was on the way. I pulled myself together and went on my way. I felt so helpless in that moment. I was lucky. I had seen the car. I was able to avoid it.

About 3 miles later I began to hear the sirens. Ambulances, first responders, police cars flying down the road. I knew in that moment that another driver had not been so lucky. A co-worker had called while I was on the phone with 911. I called her back from my doctor’s office parking lot. She started trying to find information online because I was sure someone had been killed.

News reports began to trickle online. Double fatality.

When I came back by the accident I had to pull over and throw up. The car that was hit was destroyed. The front end was completely obliterated. I knew then had I been the car hit, I would have died.

The elderly driver ended up rolling and was also killed. I made it home and I’m sitting here in a haze.

I had I not got stuck at those red lights, I may have met this car sooner. Had I been 5 minutes later, same thing. Something or someone was really looking out for me today. In the moment that I jerked my car out of the way I immediately saw my daughter’s face. No talking animals and flowers this time. Just my sweet baby girl. I don’t know how well she would fare without her momma.

I am so blessed today. Blessed to be alive. I am blessed every day. My faith in God is always there but today I feel like I need to re-group and re-focus. My work here is not done yet. And I hope it’s not done for a long, long time.

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