Worried, Concerned, and Conflicted

For other than life threatening medical situations with your flyer.

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TalaWolf
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Worried, Concerned, and Conflicted

Postby TalaWolf » Thu May 10, 2007 1:29 am

I've already talked with Nativeprincess about this some, but Mica is still power grooming like crazy, and I worry that maybe she's suffering from anxiety just because she's reading that mood from me. I've been dealing with a lot of issues in my life lately, but I try to make sure she gets decent out of cage time, even if I'm not necessarily playing with her, and I'm just watching her play. Although, often in the evenings, even though her cage door is open and she can go where ever she wants in the apartment, except the kitchen and the bathroom, she will only play outside of the cage for twenty minutes or so, and then she goes back in her cage to run on her wheel. I really try hard to make time for her though, and usually have a few hours each evening where she has the option of being out of her cage, but she still usually spends most of the time in her cage, and I'm not sure if that's healthy or not.

Then yesterday, I went out to run some errands and pick up a few prescription medicines while I was on my lunch break. When I was on my way back to work from Target, I was stopped in traffic, and a 17 year old girl who was talking on her cellphone, speeding, and apparently not paying any attention to the road at all, plowed straight into my car. I don't remember her even braking. She also didn't have a driver's license. She had a learner's permit, but there was no one else in the car with her. It was her boyfriend's car. The force of it pushed me into the pick up truck in front of me. Then, I guess in a series of terribly bad luck, my seatbelt failed to lock up like it was supposed to, and my airbag didn't deploy. So I flew forward, slammed my head against the top of the windshield, and then slammed backwards into my seat with enough force that the seat actually broke and threw me backwards more. I was basically half in the backseat of my car. They took me by ambulance to the hospital, where CAT scanned revealed that I am VERY lucky. I didn't break my neck, or any bones. I have a hell of a lot of bruising, a huge bump on my head, probably a concussion, bruised ribs, a really hurt neck, a swollen arm (not sure why, i guess i bumped it on something) and various other sore spots on my body.

My car is totaled. Since it wasn't worth a whole heck of a lot to begin with, as it was an older car, the amount I'll get from insurance, won't be enough for me to really afford a new car. So it looks like I'll be getting a second job.

I brought this all up because I'm really worried about the effect this could have on Mica, if I suddenly go from working 40 hours a week to 60 hours a week. She isn't going to have as much out of cage time as she had before. But she also had a lot more out of cage time then she used. Is it healthy for her to only play a bit here and there out of her cage, before wanting to go back in her cage? I worry that this is all going to effect her in a negative way and that because I'm not around as much, she's going to feel even more anxiety than she already does.

I'm just worried, and feeling guilty because I really love her, and I want what's best for her. I feel guilty that this happened even though it wasn't my fault, and I feel guilty that she's hardly had any out of cage time the last two nights because I've basically been bedridden.

And I'm sure that some of my worrying is just also a residual after effect of the accident, because I've been crying at random moments ever since for no stupid reason, and it's frustrating. But I'm also just worried that she's going to keep pulling the hair out of her tail and make it worse, or that she'll get depressed because I won't be around as much. I can't take her to work with me. I'll still be able to have her out each night for an hour at the very least, hopefully a bit longer, but I just can't say for sure, because I'm not sure when i'll be sleeping or anything. I'm not sure of anything. I'm just confused I guess, and I'm worried about her. I want to be able to give her a good life.

I just don't know what to do. :?
Christina

*~HOF to my precious Mica~*
Mom to my Australian Kelpie dog, Juno

Judy C.

Postby Judy C. » Thu May 10, 2007 1:54 am

Wow! Now that's just more troubles than anyone needs to deal with!

Since she didn't have a license, your insurance company should be able to help you out with suing her and the boyfriend that let her use the car illegally. If your insurance won't help, then get a lawyer - a lot of them will take your case and get their money when they settle it. There should be a lot of people responsible for what she did, from her and her boyfriend to her parents for not having more controll over her. Not to mention the makers of your car - old or not, it should have held up better than that!

I'm just glad you came out of it more or less OK - it could have been really bad for you!

Flyers can be really understanding when something is wrong with their Squammy - she may decide to come out and sit in bed with you while you are laid up. After all, Joe's Angel Spice has been really great with him through all of his trouble. Do a search and read back over all the posts from and about him and find out just how wonderful they can be.

Hope you feel better soon - don't be in too much of a rush and over-do! Give your body and your emotions time to heal. And don't be afraid to sue to get what you deserve. There have been times when I didn't, and should have, and now I look back and realize that THEY screwed up, and I was too nice (and/or stupid) to sue, so I ended up paying for it all - physically, emotionally and monetarily, and that's not fair. So stand up for your rights!!!!

Judy

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Worried, Concerned & Conflicted

Postby Lora » Thu May 10, 2007 5:47 am

Christina, stop beating yourself up. It is entirely possible that Mica is reading into your moods. Alot of animals are able to do that. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The fact that she wants to be near her cage only means she feels happy & secure there. That's a plus in your situation as you may not be able to get her out so often in the coming weeks. She knows you love her. That's all that really counts. Just give her the time you can for now & talk to her alot. She wants to be there for you too. Sounds like you guys really need each other. I also agree with Judy that you should sue over the car accident. That's what insurance is for. You shouldn't have to be without a car for someone else's mistake. I'm just glad you weren't seriously injured. Just take things one day at a time & keep us posted. We're all here to help you through!

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Postby Joan » Thu May 10, 2007 7:45 am

Some flyers just power groom when nothing is wrong. Borebom can be a cause. Try moving her cage to another room, rearranging the inside of the cage, hiding her food so she has to hunt for it, etc.
Follow Jusy'd advice! You're going to be really sore for some time ... it's called pain and suffering! Also, you may have a temporaty case of PTSD when driving for awhile. Your insurance company can sue theirs for your rental car, etc. Get a lawyer for yourself. And take care of yourself.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby Deb » Thu May 10, 2007 11:19 am

Please don't add misplaced guilt over Mica's weird squirrelyness to your problems. She will be OK and will be comfortable in her cage more while you do what you need to do to take care of yourself. It's a blessing at this time that she isn't one of those hanging-on-the-cage-screaming-to be-let-out type of furballs. They all have different personalities and dispositions.

Take care of yourself, Deb
Deb, lovingly owned by Tom Tom, Molly, Munchkin, and m'Deah. And a piece of my heart still owned by my sweet Tiny Tim.

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Postby ravenqueen » Thu May 10, 2007 12:39 pm

Oh no! I'm getting all choked up! I'm so sorry all of this has happened to you. When my life is crappy, I know that my critters pick up on it for sure. I've also noticed that they are a great comfort to me at those times. I was having a horrible day and I picked up my bunny to let him out to play, and instead of jumping down, he snuggled into my neck and purred for a long time (I can't remember how long it was now, but it was more than 30 minutes!) He NEVER lets anyone hold him for longer than 5 minutes. Soooo...this could be a good bonding experience for the two of you. Let her comfort you! Even if she doesn't want to cuddle, her antics and just being with her should help!

Get better soon, and don't let the insurance companies jerk you around!

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Postby Linda » Thu May 10, 2007 1:37 pm

The 17 year old was doing several really wrong things. You were doing errands. It was not your fault and you did nothing contributory.
You should be made completely whole -- a replacement car, all associated medical bills paid now and in the future, repayment for time missed from work, and reasonable punitive damages for your pain and stress. Do not settle for the little that you will initially be offered.
Get a good lawyer.
Amanda and Linda

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Postby Joan » Thu May 10, 2007 3:34 pm

Linda wrote:... You should be made completely whole -- a replacement car, all associated medical bills paid now and in the future, repayment for time missed from work, and reasonable punitive damages for your pain and stress. Do not settle for the little that you will initially be offered.
Get a good lawyer.


Amen! You don't know what the consequences might be 20 years from now.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Worried, Concerned & Conflicted

Postby Lora » Thu May 10, 2007 3:34 pm

Yeah, what Linda just said! Look for an attorney at a decent sized personal injury firm. Some of the smaller ones are too quick to settle. You want an experienced atty who will fight for you. Don't worry about the money. You have a good case. They'll take their fee out of the settlement.

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Postby Nativeprincess » Thu May 10, 2007 6:53 pm

Becasue I worked at mercury insurance as a claims adjuster here's what your entitled to
Value of your car
all you medical bills
Missed work
Rental car
any thing in the veh that was damaged...(if you say there was a car seat, they will cover it def by law)
and pain and sufering.
Now becasue she wasn;t licensed or te owner of the car it will take loneher than normal becasue theres gonna be alot of tape on thier end....they will cover it, but well there stupid and it takes 5 of them to make a disition.
if for any reason they dont thats where you realy need a lawyer.

Fact: the settlements are larger if you have a lawyer.
1/3 for lawyer, 1/3 for medical and 1/3 to you is how it usualy goes.

As far as mica goes......you are an amazing mother to her, she adores you like i have never seen.
she is so bonded to you and she would be more happy being with you, even if your gone a few hrs mroe a day when shes probably sleeping anyways. Now, I know you know this, and im just assuming with all your stress and such you just kinda lost sight of that, so yeah, dont doubt it, you 2 are golden

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Postby TalaWolf » Fri May 11, 2007 12:23 am

Thank you all so much for the support.

I think I have probably been worrying too much and trying to do too much too fast. This became apparent to me this morning when I got in my rental car and tried to drive to work, and immediately had what I guess was a panic attack. I don't know what happened. I was fine this morning. Then I got in the car, and went to back out, and realized that I had parked next to a wall, and I also couldn't turn my head very far, so I would have to back out blindly, and I just freaked out. My vision got blurry, I got really dizzy, I coudln't breathe, and I just started crying. Instead of being twenty minutes early to work, I ended up being forty minutes late. I worked for five hours, and then the pain in my back got to be too much. Sitting at the desk typing was killing my neck and shoulders and back, and I also basically had to wear my sunglasses indoors because for some reason I'm really extra sensitive to light. It makes my headache ten times worse, so I have to wear sunglasses indoors even cause of the fluorescent lights. My dad says it's an effect of the concussion, but that as well as my back and neck were getting really bad, so I asked to go home. My boss wasn't very happy. :( She said if this was going to keep happening then she would have to find a replacement for me. So I feel a bit of anxiety about work now. I have to leave early tomorrow to go to the doctor's so I guess I'm going to go into work early so that she has less of a reason to be upset about it.

You all are right about Mica I think. I slept when I got home from work, but when I woke up I took her out and even though she's normally such a pistol in the evening, she climbed up on my and nestled herself under my chin and just laid there for a while, looking up at me. She did that for about ten minutes, then she ran away into the closet, came back with a nut she'd hidden somewhere in there I guess, and got little nut crumbs all over my bed lol, and since then she's just been hopping around the room, keeping me entertained. I realized I've kind of been shutting her out since the accident, when she and i both could benefit so much from the interaction. I still don't want her running free at night, because I'm taking Vicodin at nights, and I don't want it to make so unaware that I roll on her, but it was just nice to have her running around. She kept hopping back up on me like she used to do when she was a baby and she'd explore things, but always come back and jump on me. She's been doing that, and it's so cute.

I took the recommendations you all offered and I spoke to a lawyer over the phone. At the company I work at, we have a lawyer working for us, who used to be a judge. Her ex husband is also a lawyer and they recommended a friend of theirs who handles personal injury cases on a contingency basis. So I briefly spoke with him. I'm at a disadvantage right now because I don't even have any information on the other people involved in the accident. Not their names, their insurance information or anything. I've been trying to call the deputy who took the accident report, but he hasn't returned my calls, and the police report won't be available for another week probably. Once I have at least the insurance information I can pass that on to my insurance company and the lawyer and he and I will meet and discuss everything.

So it looks like things are in general moving in a positive direction for me. I'm mostly at this point stressed about the effect this is having on my job, because it's hard for me to spend long amounts of time in front of the computer. Ten minutes typing this post, and already my back is aching so much. I was feeling so lost last night when I made the initial post, and all of your replies really helped me see that I'm blaming myself for something that I shouldn't, and that Mica will be okay. She is such a blessing to have in my life, and I was so worried I was going to end up being put in the situation of having to give her up, but I think that things will sort themselves out. It's funny that I was also so worried that she seems to like being in her cage, and now it's probably a good thing, because she'll be less bothered by not having as much out of cage time. I feel like it wasn't a coincidence that I ended up with this squirrel, because she's so wonderful.

Thank you all for the support. I'm gonna wrap this up because I need to sleep, but I just wanted to say thanks. I'm hanging in there, and i'm a lot less worried about Mica now.

~Christina
Christina

*~HOF to my precious Mica~*
Mom to my Australian Kelpie dog, Juno

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Postby gloryaf88 » Fri May 11, 2007 3:06 am

Christina, I'm so glad you have spoken with an attorney and that this attorney will fight for you. I do not know what state you are in and what the liability limits are there, however in most it is either 25,000 or 50,000 on some and 10,000 on others. However having a lawyer means you can also sue not only their insurances but also the owner of the car. I do suggest you see a therapist and let them assess you for PTS, just in case.

Mica will be fine. Just take care of yourself and relax.
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Postby libby » Fri May 11, 2007 11:39 am

Christina,
I'm sorry to hear you are under so much pressure, in addition to the pain. It is so stressful when you are hit from every angle: medical, financial, job stress, etc. If you feel your job is in jeopardy, I would encourage you to talk to your HR Dept or your attorney. There are many laws that protect employee's when they are off due to medical reasons. I have had many employee's who had on-going medical conditions and they needed to take time off work. These employee's are protected by Family Medical Leave, or Intermittent Family Medical Leave, depending on the situation. (Intermittent means they can call off periodically, whenever the problem flares up). They have to fill out the paperwork in HR, submit info from thier doctor, and it is *always* approved. Even if we wanted to get rid of them, we couldn't, because the laws protect them. I would recommend doing this quickly.....you need to show you are under a doctor's care in order for your job to be protected under FML. Since you are now working with an attorney, ask him/her about it. They probably deal with this problem in a lot of their cases. And some friendly advice- the best way to deal with stress is to get lots of rest and if you are able, go for some walks. Exercise is great for stress, but you may not be able to do that right now. I hope things improve for you quickly.
libby

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Postby Kay » Sat May 12, 2007 9:53 am

It sounds like you prayed for patience and now you're getting a learning opportunity! :twisted:
Here's a pic of Frosty's power grooming and he was a healthy, happy kid when he did it. Then, one day he stopped and it all grew back. I think it was growing back in this pic.
Enjoy the crumbs,
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Postby Joan » Sat May 12, 2007 10:05 am

Powder power grooms. :D
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby ravenqueen » Sat May 12, 2007 1:57 pm

Yes to what everyone said about the medical leave! Your lawyer and your HR person should know what your boss said so that it goes into her file. It was completely inappropriate for her to say and she should be reprimanded for it. If I had been in your situation, I would have gotten right out of the car and back into bed. You obviously have a stellar work ethic and should not be belittled for something that you have no control over.

I'm glad you have a lawyer. Get some rest and let yourself heal!
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Postby Judy C. » Sat May 12, 2007 9:56 pm

TalaWolf wrote:....that as well as my back and neck were getting really bad, so I asked to go home. My boss wasn't very happy. :( She said if this was going to keep happening then she would have to find a replacement for me. So I feel a bit of anxiety about work now. I have to leave early tomorrow to go to the doctor's so I guess I'm going to go into work early so that she has less of a reason to be upset about it.


What a rotten person to work for!! Give us names and addresses and we'll get the "Frighteningly Ferocious Fighter Flyer Squadron" after her!!

I also do not think she can fire you for this - but if she tries, you can collect unemployment insurance and get paid for staying home and recovering! You just quit worrying about things - (worry causes wrinkles) - and concentrate on getting better and being entertained by your flyer. The more you worry, the longer it will take to recover. Remember, you have people all over everywhere on your side!

Judy

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Postby Joan » Sun May 13, 2007 11:06 am

The most important thing you can do is find a personal injury lawyer who also litigates - that means he or she will go to court if necessary to protect your interests.

Make sure your lawyer has a good reputation by checking with either your local consumer affairs office or the local bar association for complaints. Then let the lawyer deal with the insurance companies, that's what they do. Listen to your lawyer's advice. Let the lawyer do all the worrying for you.

As a fulltime employee, you "should" have sick time which isn't the same as Family Medical Leave. Also, when you work with your lawyer, make sure you're compensated for all physical injuries now as well as possible lifelong injury since it's a back injury & has been documented by your trip to the hospital. Get compensation for pain and suffering. Any loss of wages is covered, and if your employer dares to fire you, this can also be brought to court. It's also part of your direct losses from the car wreck. And there's a legal phrase that's used to describe when a person's abiliity to work is affected. There's compensation for this based on the expected length of time you'd be working within your lifetime.

Now one more item: if your safety devices in your car failed to operate and this contributed to your physical injury, then you may want to see another lawyer about a claim against the auto manufacturer.

It sounds like you have good legal causes of action, especially if the other driver was ticketed and you were not.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby TalaWolf » Mon May 14, 2007 12:36 pm

Hey all,

Well, I finally got in to see my doctor. I had tried to make an appointment to see him but the receptionist told me that due to liability reasons or something like that, that he doesn't treat people for car accidents. This led to another panic attack, because well, he has been my doctor since I was 12 years old, and he knows me, and I didn't want to see another doctor. So I called back the next day when the receptionist was a lady I go to church with, and she went back to his office and asked him and he said of course he would see me.

So, it turns out I probably strained my back a lot more by giving in to pressure from my boss to work those two days last week. Because it has been killing me ever since and my doctor told me he'd really prefer if I didn't work for a few days. So I'm medically cleared from work at least until Wednesday and if my back and neck are still really hurting then he may decide to extend that. He also wants me to go to physical therapy, so I'm trying to work that out with the insurance company. I told my boss as soon as I found out on Friday that I shouldn't be working, and she took it alright. She woke me up at 8 am though this morning :bad-words: to tell me that when I come in on Wednesday morning I need to bring a note from my doctor.

In terms of the work issues, my boss pretty much is the HR person, so that wouldn't work. Also, the business is sort of a family business, the owner of the company is my step-dad's uncle, so while I'm not actually related to my boss, I'm quasi-related to some other people there, so legal action would be rough in that sense.

I'm still waiting on the insurance information from the other driver. I'm very frustrated about it actually, because I called the sheriff's office on Friday and was told by a very nice lady who has been trying to help me that she still can't pull up any information on my report # at all, and that it was very strange that she couldn't. So she dug around a bit and found out that basically the deputy who took all that information at the scene still hasn't submitted it to his boss, who then submits it to them, and that this deputy won't be working again until Tuesday, so if I haven't heard from him by Tuesday then I should call her back. She sent him an e-mail as well, asking him to call me. I'm just so frustrated because my dad is pressuring me about the rental car (which he's paying for atm) and about my car still being in an impound lot. He wanted us to just drive it out of the impound lot this weekend, but 1)i'm terrified of driving it and 2)i'm not sure how driveable it is. The engine turns over, but the radiator was pretty much shoved into the engine, so I'm not sure how well the engine functions, also there's damage to the back of the car, the muffler's practically hanging on the ground, and driver's seat is broken entirely. My dad is just worried that the insurance company won't want to pay for excessive storage fees, because we haven't towed the car out, but it's $150 to tow it back to where I live, and we don't have anywhere to store it. By law you have to store a wrecked car in an enclosed space like a garage, and I don't have a garage to store it in. So I'm not really sure what to do about that.

Also, my dad thinks we should try to avoid using the lawyer if we can. He wants to try to talk to the other insurance company first and see if we can settle with them directly. I guess as long as we don't sign any papers until we're sure, then that's okay, right? That's the other thing, everyone, including my doctor keeps telling me "don't sign anything for a year, because your back and neck may get worse and you have a year to file a lawsuit" but does that mean I won't collect any money for a year if I don't sign papers? because I need a car now, and my paycheck right now is barely enough to pay my rent, and my car insurance, and all my utility bills, and my credit cards. My husband isn't working right now, so my paycheck is the only support we have, and it's hardly enough to pay all my bills and still have money for food left over. I can't afford a car payment. Also, I checked what getting a new car will do to my car insurance also, and it more than doubles it. :( So if I won't see any money from the insurance company then I definitely will have to get a second job, and I'm concerned about how I'll manage to fit that in with the physical therapy I'm supposed to start three times a week, lol.

In terms of Mica, she's doing great. Actually, I think that she may have stopped power grooming herself. It looked to me last night like her hair is growing back, and her skin on her tail doesn't look so red anymore. She's so cute though. She ran around the living room for a bit, and then went back into her cage and ran on her wheel. The funny thing is, when I let her out, I leave her cage door open, so she can always go back in it, and when she goes back in it, she closes the cage door behind her lol. It's always so funny to see that cage door closed and her back in it. She seems to be doing well though, so that's one worry off of my chest.

I really appreciate all the support and advice I'm getting from everyone. It really helps to know that I have people from all over hoping for the best for me and my little furball. Thank you all so much.
Christina

*~HOF to my precious Mica~*
Mom to my Australian Kelpie dog, Juno

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Postby krups1110 » Mon May 14, 2007 1:28 pm

I am so sorry that this happened. Try not to stress. You are doing all that you can. I hope that you start to feel better and everything gets settled quickly. Good luck.
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Postby TalaWolf » Tue May 15, 2007 2:59 am

Well, you know what they say... when it rains, it pours. Or, in my case, it might be a flood.

I'm so emotionally exhausted. I just got back from a super emotional evening at my mom's house.

A bit before 5 pm today my mother, my fourteen year old sister, and my five year old brother were in a car accident. Unfortunately, my mom was at fault for the accident. :( She ran a red light in their truck, coming back from the grocery store, and broadsided an SUV. Luckily, the woman in the other vehicle wasn't injured. But, the guilt my mom feels is tearing her apart emotionally right now. My mom wasn't really injured. She'll probably have bruises from the airbag and she'll be sore a few days, but we think she'll be fine. Sarah, my little sister, hurt her knee against the dashboard, but they think it's just bruised and not broken, and Julian was in a car seat, and has a scrape from the seatbelt near his neck, but he was otherwise alright. The first thing he wanted to do was show me the sticker the police man gave him.

To say my family is shook up is an understatement. To have two major accidents in six days is just crazy. Two totaled cars. And four people who are feeling hurt, sore, and are experiencing the emotional effects of everything that goes along with a traumatic experience. Then, on top of my mom being angry at herself, my stepdad is also mad at her over it, so there's so much tension at the house, and my mom feels alienated from him. It's just painful to watch my mom torture herself over this...and having my little sister call me up crying, asking me if i can come over, just about broke my heart. After the last few days, I didn't think I had any more tears in me to cry, but today proved me wrong. My whole family is in turmoil...

I know this isn't in any way related to squirrels, but I needed to get all of this off my chest. I've had trouble falling asleep. I came home and almost threw up and now I feel like maybe I would feel better if I actually had. I was struggling as it is, and now I have to find some way to help my family pull through another major misfortune before we've even hardly begun to resolve the first one.

I'm at a loss. I kind of feel like I should start preparing for the next disaster.
Christina

*~HOF to my precious Mica~*
Mom to my Australian Kelpie dog, Juno

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Wanda
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Postby Wanda » Tue May 15, 2007 11:34 am

Christina,
I am so sorry to hear about all the turmoil you and your family are going thru.
I don't know if this will help or not but I'll try. I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis) with good times and bad times. Every so often I will have a relapse when my health can get pretty bad. I was diagnosed in 1988. What I am getting at is ever since 1988, my motto is "THINGS COULD BE WORSE" and "THINGS WILL GET BETTER!" That is true in any situation. I look at others who are paralyzed or in a wheelchair and realize how lucky I am to still have the good health that I do have. And in your case, things could be worse and will get better. I know it is really hard to realize that now while you are going thru hard times but it is true. Thank God that no one was seriously injured or killed. Think of all things that are still good. Just pray about it. God will get you thru it.
Hope this helps some.
Wanda
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