I had quite a day this week...
The day before I had hoped that the surgery I had scheduled for the next day would cancel. I just got the sense that the owner was going to be high maintenance.
I started the day thinking that patient and client were going to be a problem. The dog was older and the owners were seen outside "praying" before surgery. No pressure. The dog did fine. It was actually the routine procedure that had a complication.
I got my first surgery done and it was a little difficult with anesthesia, as the dog was not as we say, "a cheap date". She required lots of drugs to keep her asleep, and careful monitoring. Then, the next surgery, the routine one happened. I had finished the procedure no problem and then the complication occurred. There's more to it than that but we will leave it with it was a bad moment. The patient is doing fine. I however, have a few more grey hairs and I think my technician does as well.
I still had that last patient to do surgery on, the one I had been fearing the most. I had almost gotten out of it because I had been told the owners had refused bloodwork. Uh, yeah, I said, "not happening." A older dog who the owner already expressed fears over anesthesia, there is no way I'm going to do an elective procedure without bloodwork. That's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Somehow, in the day that was going stinky, this patient, the one I most "feared" was no problem. Go figure.
I did have a refreshing next appointment, a puppy visit. As I got ready to go into the exam room, I heard the technician say, "her littermate had parvo and now she has diarrhea." Those words are feared words. I changed out of my lab coat to look for an extra one because parvovirus is HIGHLY contagious. It is so contagious that once you see a dog in an exam room, the room should be bleached and closed down for 48 hours. It's a virus that can travel on clothes, backpacks, shoes, etc.. When my dog was a puppy and hadn't had all of his vaccines, I used to come home from work and strip down and change before I touched him. The only lab coat I could find without someone elses's name on it must have belonged to Goliath. It was so large it went down to my ankles and I think my body could have fit through the sleeves. Great, I thought, even the puppy visit has to be difficult... Turned out the puppy hadn't been with her littermates in 6 weeks, making parvovirus a lot less likely... Could nothing be easy?
I recognized the client at the front desk as I walked by reception. She was a client I had seen with her older dog with a cough about 6 months ago. Her dog was about 16 and had a horrible smoker/emphysema-like cough. He was able to breathe on steroids but they kind of made him crazy. I had talked to the owner 6 months ago about trying an inhaler. My colleague had again talked to her about an inhaler. I talked to her again last week, and offered to bring in my cat's inhaler to demonstrate (that was fun, a 16 year old blind dog with a cat-size inhaler). Not only had she listened to my instructions about the inhaler; she went out and got it for her dog; she told me excitedly that her dog had slept through the night (6 hours) for the first time she could remember without waking up and coughing! I needed that pick me up because the day was just not going our way. (Even little things were breaking/not working etc.)
As the day was ending, the toilet backed up. Yes. I actually had to mop up the bathroom. As one of the techs said, icing on the cake.
Then, both of my clients arrived late and I got a late start home. I was ready for a nice relaxing evening with my family.
I then came home to inconsolable toddler who had been crying for 15 minutes since the dog had knocked him down, and a husband who also had a rough day.
I tried to focus on the 16 year old dog who yes, was better with my care and the fact that yes, my son became consolable with mommy's hugs and a little bit of pizza. I fell asleep on the couch at 9pm. What a day! I'm not trying to whine, but just share how an ordinary day can become extraordinarily trying and those things that you think would be difficult could be quite easy and vice versa.