Friday, January 25, 2008

Mini Me

Last Friday, Anna was off of school (teacher in-service). Colin's school was open, and Anthony had an inspection. "What are we going to do with her?" he asked me.

"I'll just take her to work with me, then you can pick her up when you're done." Anna is very self-sufficient. I knew she would be quiet and polite, and could keep herself entertained with writing, drawing, and movies.

Colin was heartbroken that I left him behind - and I wisely didn't tell him until 10 minutes before I left with his sister - but there is no way I could have left him without direct supervision for hours at a time. Not without expensive equipment being pulled off the walls or fires being started.

Anna was bored on the long drive to work, but settled in happily once we got there. It was a surgery morning for me, so I asked her if she'd like to observe. "Oh, yes!" she said. "Do I get gloves?"

I put a mask and cap on her (the gloves were way too big) and sat her on a stool in surgery. "The first rule of surgery," I told her, "is don't touch anything."

Anna obeyed, sitting on her stool watching everything. My first surgery was a cryptorchid - a cat with a hidden testicle. I explained that the cat had been neutered somewhere else, and they removed the descended testicle, opened his abdomen and couldn't find the undescended testicle, decided it didn't exist, and closed him up. (You are not supposed to remove the descended testicle until you have found and removed the hidden one, but they did anyway). The smell in the litter box soon let the owner knew the testicle was there, somewhere, making testosterone.

I told Anna is was like a treasure hunt; I just had to be patient and keep looking until I found it. She caught on pretty quickly to the fact that the other vet had not done a quality job. She also figured out how to read our monitor, and could tell me when the heart rate went up or the respiratory rate went down. "Mommy, why-- oh, I shouldn't be asking you so many questions!" she said, but I encouraged her. She was a delight. She couldn't believe the big size of the bladder, the thing I've been telling her for years holds her "tinkle." "Is mine that big?" she asked.

I did find and removed the testicle, then closed the incision. "Good job, Mommy," she said, "That looks good." I asked her if she wanted to go color or watch another surgery, and she said, "I want to watch more surgery!"

She was very enthusiastic and not at all grossed out. She did say she thought some of her classmates would have been disgusted. My coworkers were impressed with her fortitude, too, and asked if she was going to be a surgeon when she grew up. "No, I want to be a singer," she said.

She also watched me do a cat spay and a tumor removal from a dachsund's leg. She was disappointed that surgeries were over, but did watch me change a bandage on a nasty wound, and comforted the patient. I was so busy, but I didn't have to mind her much. After lunch we went to Starbuck's for a treat. She cried when her dad took her home at 3pm.


mr man said...

I always enjoyed the days I was allowed to go to work with my Dad. It was just a lot of phone calls and shuffling through piles of code and people coming to see him; nothing that interesting. It was fun just to spend time with him. Anna won't forget spending surgery time with Mom.

Emily said...

Wow! That is so cool. I'm impressed that she enjoyed it so much and chuckled that she cried when Dad came to pick her up. (I always enjoy watching your surgeries, too.)
A singer? That's a new one. Used to be "a veterinarian like Mommy" then a killer whale trainer.

Dana said...

As far as I'm concerned, Anna can come hang with us at work anytime! I was quite impressed to see her watching your surgeries. You can't let a lot of kids do that.

Alissa said...

Sounds like a fun day for you both.

peevish said...

Wow, Anna is one amazing kid. I don't think Ruby would have been so keen to see a surgeon in action, even though she still says she wants to be a Vet.

ColeBugsmommy said...

She did amazing and she looked so grown up.

jgjbfamily said...

What a terrific experience! Some of the best learning occurs when school is out! Certainly a day to remember!

mainlyclearskies said...

That is awesome that she was so interested, and not grossed out. I would be interested but still grossed out.