Monday, December 22, 2008

in the words of the teletubbies...BIG HUG.

as in, i need a big hug.

saturday was a nightmare from start to finish. the morning began with me oversleeping. i was rushing around, trying to put on makeup and look halfway decent when the full length mirror in the bathroom decided to fall onto my foot. it managed to hit the joint between my big toe and the rest of the tarsals. i screamed after the 10 second period of absolute numbness (that split second when you KNOW how bad it's going to hurt but it hasn't started hurting yet). i thought my foot was broken for sure. so first on the agenda at work - xray myself. thankfully, it looked ok - other than a horrible bruise and swelling. i just had to limp around all day.

it only got better from there. my 2nd case of the day was a 5lb fluffy dog that drank antifreeze. his owners' car blew its radiator. the dog was frolicking around and licked the fluid coming out from under the hood. by the time he got to us, he was already vomiting. the owners had NO money. not a single cent. they didn't even have the money to pay the $103 emergency fee. the female owner was on drugs of some sort - i'm not sure what - valium, oxycontin, some sort of downer. at any rate, we saw the dog about 4 hours after ingestion - which is still in that golden period when the antidote might work. problem? the antidote is $830 a bottle. what did i charge them in the end? $90. yup. i said $90 (the clinic pays about $300 for the bottle). i didn't even recoup expenses. i'll be interested to see how this turns out when i go back to work on thursday. maybe i won't have a job anymore. the kicker? the woman owner treated me like garbage - yelling loudly in the lobby about how unfair it was. after all, why should i expect money?

that was followed by an african grey in severe respiratory distress. she was a 21 year old bird that was well-loved by an elderly gentlemen. i worked on her like mad for 2.5 hours trying to save her, but in the end - i was no match for the disease process that had her in its grip. i had to euthanize her. it broke my heart in two pieces. mostly because i could see my own little fluffy grey bird in her.

on the heels of that came a little dog with an eye problem. i recognized the name as the dog i had done a conjunctival pedicle graft on months before (a delicate, difficult eye surgery). i was thrilled to see that when they followed up with ophthalmology - the ophthalmologists were impressed with the surgical technique. unfortunately, as i talked to the owner, it became clear that my surgery had failed, and it had been redone by another vet.

i finally made it out the door, depressed, distraught, and feeling like a failure - only to have to get up and do it all over again yesterday. sundays suck. yesterday was no exception. at the end of a 13 hour shift, i had to pack in a mad rush to drive 4 hours to our hometown so that we could celebrate christmas with my husband's family today.

the car trip was miserable. i was exhausted, had a migraine, and had to stop halfway so that i could vomit.

i have 2 more days off before i have to go back to work for 5 days - the christmas weekend. it promises to be hellish.



Shannon said...

But its for pet owners, like myself that have had to visit the local ER vet on long weekends that are so eternally grateful to you and others like you that are around to help our furkids when no one else is. . .

I'm sure my words bring little comfort, but thank you, for the hardwork you do and for being a compassionate human being who is affected by the work she does. It makes you a better person and in my eyes a better vet.

Beloved Parrot said...

I'm sorry it was so bad. I read somewhere than when stuff like this happens it's to substitute for even far worse things happening to you. A bruised foot rather than a car wreck, etc. You know, like there's order in the universe or something.

So hang in there and focus on the lives you save.