Thursday, November 18, 2010

The dangers of short term memory loss!

Ever since my puppies jumped through a burglar proofed window into the bedroom, dragged medication from the side table and scattered tablets all over the garden, I have been vigilant.

I always keep medication locked away in a cupboard and keep the door closed. The windows are kept slightly ajar, never fully open.

The other day, I renewed the prescription. I returned home and placed everything on the bedroom side table reminding myself to put it away as soon as possible. I closed the bedroom door.

It had been a tiring day and I ended up dozing off on my couch only to be woken at about 5.30pm by the ringing telephone. I staggered up in a dazed state to find medication pills scattered all over the carpet.

Heart rate spike!

Jamie and Jemma had chewed three different containers of medicine!

Trying to keep my dogs at bay, I desperately counted every single pill. I had to find out how many were missing.

I established that 3.5 sleeping pills had disappeared. But had they been swallowed by Jamie or Jemma? Neither of them were showing any side effects yet so I decided to feed them at 6.10pm.
Then Jamie began acting strangely almost as if he was hallucinating. Tail between his legs, he began barking at a piece of plastic on the carpet and then at the pink glitter on my sandals and non-existent things in the garden.

By 6.15pm I was on the phone to the vet. They wanted to know details about the make, dosage and ingredients of the pills. Well Jamie or Jemma had destroyed the box. So I had to scrabble through my cupboard to find an old box. Then scrabble through my handbag to find glasses because the print was too small to read.

In the middle of all of this, I was trying to corner Jamie so that I could observe him and describe his symptoms the the veterinary nurse. Thank goodness because I observed him vomiting up his supper and hopefully some of the drug. The nurse said she would consult a vet and get back to me.

When the vet called back, I went through the whole story again. I remember her saying that it takes 40 minutes for a drug to be absorbed and that it was a good sign that Jamie had vomited. She would research the drug and the dosage I assumed he had swallowed. If she felt the situation was dangerous, she would phone me back to bring him in. But if she did not get back to me that meant I was not to worry. In the meantime I was to keep an eye on him.

So what was I supposed to look out for? Well the drug would affect his central nervous system so if he continued vomiting, had diarrhea, became drowsy and disorientated - that meant trouble.

Well, I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for the vet to phone but she did not call back.

Jamie appeared OK for the rest of the evening, but I did check him several times during the night to make sure he was still breathing!

I also discovered that not only had I forgotten to put the drugs away in my cupboard but I had forgotten to close my bedroom door. When I eventually returned the phone call that had woke me up, I had to do quite a bit of explaining.

The moral of the story - If you suffer from short term memory loss, do everything important immediately and make lists all the time. And you can never stop dog proofing your house no matter how old your dogs!

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