How To Deal With A Naughty 5 Year Old Boy Haunting Sounds and Imagery

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Haunting Sounds and Imagery

It was about 5 years ago while I was jogging, almost home, when my two leashed dogs did a cross-wire dance, ripping my arms in opposite directions and sending me face first onto the asphalt. I take full responsibility as wrapping leashes around my wrists is not the recommended standard, but it was still a horrible earth-smelling surprise that was hard to erase from my ears and mind. The sounds and images are haunting.

The dogs, Telli and Jigsaw, were unhappy from the start, twitching and acting wild as we headed down the street and then onto our favorite trail. Telli, a border collie, usually stayed close, and if she wandered off, she was always back within minutes. Jigsaw, on the other hand, was a lively German Shorthair puppy. Running filled him with a crazy joy that sometimes left him without rational thought, and his return was less predictable. As my husband Lynn’s pet and favorite dog, I wasn’t going to risk losing him that morning. Lynn had just landed from deep sea fishing with my daughter and would be arriving home in the late afternoon and of course I wanted the perfect gathering, not a dog search. That was my fatal mistake: I never let the dogs out for fun.

Usually when we clear the traffic we let the dogs run free. They love freedom and it gives them double, triple or quadruple exercise. When Lynn is with me, Jigs behaves much better and pays more attention to commands. With me, however, he becomes a mischievous boy who wants to do his own thing, thinking little of rules and appropriate behavior. Like I said, the dogs will come home, but sometimes it takes a while and a frantic hunt.

We jerked along for four miles and then almost floated down our street to the critical crossing. Just two houses from the house, the dogs were surprised and I was hit in the face with a blow and a bang. The blow was on my forehead and shoulder; cracked my nose, chin and front tooth. Only in replay can I imagine this disaster and with that image comes that horrible ear-splitting double sound as darkness clouded my mind. My first thought was that I was imagining the fall, but then reality hit as the dogs stared at me in pitiful shame. I untangled my arms and pulled them to the center to raise myself to my knees, then forced myself to stand up. My legs were shaking with small wobbles but I managed to move forward as I looked back hoping no one had seen this catastrophic fall. We slowly ran home with blood dripping down my shirt. The dogs stopped pulling as if they knew I was in trouble and quietly waited for me to open the back gate, drop the leashes, and stumble up the back stairs to the deck. There I found a dirty old beach towel to staunch the blood as I turned the doorknob and walked into my kitchen.

I staggered towards the sink where I spat out a mouthful of blood and a front tooth. Blood, for some unreasonable reason, I did not want to leave on the street; the tooth was a false one that was held in place with a maryland bridge that was forced in where it broke off leaving my other teeth unharmed. Feeling groggy, I sank to the floor, thinking that if I just rested for a few minutes I could stop the bleeding and then get on with my hectic morning plans. The tiles were cool and soothing, and the nasty towel was doing its job when I suddenly thought, “What if I pass out? No one’s here to save me!” I pushed myself to my feet, wandering down the hall to the bathroom mirror which revealed my disfigured face. Scratched forehead and chin, nose tilted in a horrible, lacerated tear from bridge to tip, my lips curled and quickly swollen, and the gaping hole left in my tooth line greeted me. Blood was dripping onto my shirt from my shoulders, and my palms were holding huge stones. I decided that I definitely needed help.

My first thought was to calm down, get into our little pickup truck with a manual transmission, and drive to the emergency room. As I walked towards my keys, I thought about the sensibility of this move, including the idea of ​​changing gears and holding a towel to my nose. I decided to call my friend Joyce who worked nearby. I called, praying I hit all the right numbers, when her sweet voice answered.

“‘Yoce,” I murmured, “’tis his ‘ini. I need your he’p.”

Joyce somehow recognized my plea and by the time I grabbed my purse and hobbled to the curb, she was there, engine revving. Within minutes we zoomed to the emergency entrance of the hospital and I was under excellent care.

After preliminary documentation, we were placed in a small examination room. The nurse warned that, “This might hurt,” and pushed my nose back into a position that quickly stopped the profuse flow of blood. In fact, it was good to have that pressure because it eased the pain, not created it. Next came pain medication, x-rays, surgery to re-stitch the face, a short recovery and then home.

Meanwhile, Joyce’s husband Vince called my husband and kids to tell them the news and went to my house to check on the dogs. Telli sat panting by the back door, anxiously awaiting my arrival. Jigs, however, noticed that I failed to lock the gate and recognized his opportunity for fun. Vince piled into his truck and after a lot of calling his name and driving around the streets near my house found him lounging in some wet grass with two very attractive French poodles – chatting with the girls, as I call it. Vince separated Jigs from his courting affair, brought him home and carefully locked the gate. He also wiped up some blood on the floor and pulled my tooth out of the sink and put it in a glass of water.

As I walked out of surgery with black stitches poking out of my face, my son Stan popped out. A quick call to his boss got him on the 100 mile drive from his job to the hospital, just in time to hook me up and drive me home. I can’t express how wonderful it was to have him there for me.

For the rest of the afternoon friends came over offering food, flowers and shocked looks as my eyes lit up on my face. Lynn and daughter Allison arrived from San Diego in the early evening and my family nursing team went into full force. I have never been so grateful for attention with so much love.

While my nose carries ugly whites and a huge cartilage/calcium bump that I didn’t have before this fall, and my forehead and chin have peeling patches, I’m happy. The trauma of snapping and banging echoes through my head every time I pass that fateful place where my dogs taught me a lesson about leashes and my heart learned a lesson about family and friends and wholehearted care.

I also had the help of my friend Linda, a psychologist, who helped me deal with the terror, the creaking and the fear of repeating the performance. She walked me through every step of the horrific event, reliving it with me as she helped me face the horror while gaining strength. Her knowledge, support and counseling adjusted my perspective and resolved my predicament.

My fall was minor compared to the disasters that many others face. Children are hurt by their parents, families suffer horrific car accidents, soldiers fight terrible battles, and many are not given strategies to deal with recurring nightmares or methods to deal with supernatural fears. From my experience, I understand that love and support are so valuable and necessary for a healthy recovery.

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