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Helped a neighbor, but feel guilty about circumstances

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woundedwidow posted 7/29/2013 09:33 AM

Last night I was watching TV in my back bedroom. About 11 PM (I stay up late) I started hearing a cat crying outside intermittently. There are frequently stray cats that come around, so I ignored it. However, the cries kept up, and seemed to come at regular intervals. At midnight I finally got up, put on shorts, and went to my front door to see where the cat was. Even when I opened the inside door I STILL thought it was a big old tomcat crying. Then I saw that my elderly neighbor's house across the street had the back door light on, so I opened the storm door. That's when I heard her calling for help. She had fallen on wet grass at dusk and had been lying there for four hours! I couldn't get her up on her feet, so I called the rescue squad and waited with her until they came and tended to her. I just feel awful that I didn't investigate sooner when I heard the crying sound, but I had NO idea it was a person. I'm a cat person and I was initially checking to see if a stray cat needed some food! I know she has a Life Alert pendant (which she wasn't wearing, btw), but I still feel guilty for not investigating sooner.

sad12008 posted 7/29/2013 10:27 AM

Thank heavens you went out and found her!

ww, THAT'S what you have to focus were attentive and aware enough to notice there was something peculiar...and you checked it out. It is totally understandable that initially your brain interpreted the sounds as strays; you know it's said, "when you hear hoofbeats in the distance, think horses, not zebras!"

Poor elderly neighbor! It's maddening how many elders have those LifeAlert things...and don't wear them...or let the battery die! My own parents were prior offenders themselves. In a slightly similar situation, my father damn near froze to death (literally) on their driveway several years ago after falling on the ice in the dark about 200' from the house. He's got bad arthritis in his knees, his glasses went skittering off into the dark, he didn't have gloves on because their unruly dog had chewed up every pair he owned, he didn't have his LifeAlert pendant....AND the wind chill that night was -18F.

It took him 2 hours to crawl to the front door; my mother (w/advanced alzheimer's...yeah, she shouldn't have been left alone in the first place...but another story) wouldn't let him in because "YOU'RE not my husband!!"

If the guy that plows their drive hadn't come by, totally by chance, and seen their car left at the head of the drive...and most importantly, checked to see if something was amiss, I truly believe my father would have died from hypothermia. As it was, he wound up hospitalized for 2 weeks due to bad frostbite on all 10 fingers.

You checked, that makes you an angel.

I can understand the guilt part, and speak from experience about needing to focus on the fact you checked. Earlier this summer I'd heard yips and small-dog-sounding yipes most of the afternoon (in the heat but at least it was overcast). When I walked up to the street to get our mail, I noticed the young husky who belongs to one of the people who lives near us was sitting in an odd, crouched position. (Difficult to see clearly, as it is through a little curtain of trees, grasses, and undergrowth.)

It just didn't look right, and I hopped in the car and went around. Come to find out that this poor dog had her leg just terrifically caught in the stupid coated wire cable this woman tied her out with on a run. A dead branch had fallen onto the cable, the dog must've gotten scared...whatever, it wound up being a tourniquet repeatedly, severely wrapped around her leg, with the branch serving like a bit of a Spanish windlass. Her lower leg and paw were so swollen I thought she'd wind up having them amputated. The cable was so incredibly tight and cut so badly into this poor baby that my H had to bring steel cable cutters (thank God we are 'tool people'!) and make 3 cuts before we could free her. Ultimately, she recovered okay.

I felt just horrid about this poor sweet dog suffering in a torture-worthy configuration and posture all afternoon. Just sick over it. However, by focusing on the fact the positive side of the story, over time I was able to put it in perspective. No one else even took note of the dog's cries or posture.

Long-winded way of saying you done good, and let go of the guilt.

movingforward777 posted 7/29/2013 11:35 AM

Hindsight is 20/ helped your neighbour and that is the main thing....Thank you for doing so...I have seen many, many cases where elderly folks have not received help for DAYS, not did the right thing...HUGS

LosferWords posted 7/29/2013 11:38 AM

Wow... all I have to say is, if that were my mom that you rescued, I would be so very grateful to you right now. You did a good thing.

Faithful w/Love posted 7/29/2013 11:50 AM

I know how you feel.

About 5 years ago, I was at home for lunch, and was getting in my car, when hears a whimper, I got back out of the car to see if I could hear it again.. I did.. I followed the sound and it was my elderly neighbor. She went outside to check on work her son did and a huge gust of wind slammed her into her house. She was bleeding from her head and I just knew she broke her hip. I called 911 and got our other neighbors over to bring blanket and pillow for her head and some towels.
She never came home. She passed away from her hip being broken with staff infection.
I look at her house and think "wow" that is so strange.
I am SO GLAD you went out to find her! Be proud of yourself, lots of people would have ingored it and went to bed.
Many blessings.

Crushed1 posted 7/29/2013 23:11 PM

Thank goodness you did go over and check on her and were able to get her proper help. Kudos for being a great neighbor! We need more people like you.

itainteasy posted 7/30/2013 07:19 AM

You did a wonderful thing.

A wonderful thing. Thank God you were there.

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