Friday, August 19, 2005

Willie

Thanks for all your nice comments regarding Montana-Banana. She is doing great on Phenobarbital, not nearly as drunk as I would have expected. And, no more seizures today.

Work today ended not with a bang, but a whimper. I'd been tending all day to a 16 yr old Bichon who had pancreatitis so bad it was causing him liver failure. He also had a seizure today. My staff came and got me out of an appt, and I quickly administered the valium into his IV. One of the nurses was training a new staff member, and he told her, "This will stop the seizure in a few moments." I had to flush the line before the convulsions stopped and the patient looked at me, dazed. "See? It worked," the nurse told the newbie, but he sounded more relieved than anything. The patient didn't have more seizures, but I couldn't control his pain even with Morphine (plus, he was on dextrose, reglan, ampicillin, enroflaxacin). His owners made the tough decision to euthanize. "Will the staff hate us?" they asked. They had helped us find a home for another Bichon brought in for convenience euthanasia that I refused to perform. "Oh, no," I assured them. It is totally different when we see an animal suffering and know their prognosis is grave. In actuality, the staff had been asking me all day what was going to happen to him, and when they heard the final decision, nodded gravely and looked a little relieved.

Its impossible to rush these kinds of decisions and goodbyes, so I was a little late coming home. Anthony had Anna and Colin, freshly bathed and in their pyjamas, waiting outside for me. They were jumping up and down when I pulled into the driveway. "Why were you late?" Anna asked me later. I told her a patient I worked on all day was really sick, despite all the medicine I gave him, and his owners came to say goodbye. "Remember when we had to say goodbye to Terlingua?" I asked her. "Did the dog die?" she asked. "Yes," I told her, and she took this with some acceptance, and then showed me all the 'work' she'd brought home from school - drawings of swans and frogs and puppies.

6 comments:

Cousin PaulaX said...

Hi Jennifer, I know you never get any feedback from us Runcorn Downwards but just to let you know we all read your posts every day and love them. I think you are sooo funny and can so relate to your 'mummyisms'!! Love PaulaX

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Montana is doing better! *whew* Hope you have a cheerier day at work today!!!=) Love-Bevie-

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing how Anna can help you ease out of a tough day by sharing her work with you! Love you, M

Dad said...

Glad Montana Dog is levelled out. What a day, wheeyoo!

Emily said...

I've had the privilege to see you with a family that has just made the tough decision to let their dog go, and you were wonderful -- so caring, supportive and understanding. I'm sure it makes it easier on the family that you are their pet's guide into the next life, one that is free from pain and suffering.

Anonymous said...

Love to read your Blog on both family and work, keept them coming, but make sure you take some time for yourself.....your one busy Lady........Thanks