I know I’m about 5 months overdue for a post, and I’m sorry about that. To be honest I’ve been really busy since moving to Richmond, and I also wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about since there was so much going on. But today I decided I would talk about the one thing in my life that I don’t know what I’d do without: my job.
In general, I will always need a job; if not for money then just for my own sanity. I’m one of those people that just needs something to do at all times. It’s extremely difficult for me to just “sit there” and do nothing. Retirement scares the heck out of me because I honestly don’t know what I would do with all that extra time.
In regards to the job I have now – I love it. Becoming a vet tech was the single most important and best decision I could have made for myself. Especially at a time when I was so incredibly lost I didn’t know which way was up. If I was meant to do anything, it’s this. I’m still new, so there’s a lot I don’t know about this career yet. To some I may seem super naive. But if I am, then so be it. I’m young and I’m going to use that to my advantage the best I can.
There aren’t many things about what I do that are “easy”; It’s actually unbelievably stressful at times. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
There are 2 patients I’m going to talk about. The first is 15 month old canine that was brought in as a head trauma case. She simply was in the wrong place at the wrong time that morning when a giant branch, weighed down by ice, dropped on her head.
She came in being carried by her dad and was bleeding from both her ear and her nose. As one of our doctors who studied in England would put it, she was a bloody mess.
That was a really bad pun, I apologize.
She was examined by one of our doctors and was given an anti-inflammatory to help with the swelling. The major concern was her neurologic status and whether she had broken her blood-brain barrier. Another technician and I tried to clean her up the best we could, gave her some pain medication, and placed an IV catheter. After that we put her in ICU so we could closely monitor her throughout the day. This was all before 9am, mind you.
She was with us for the next 3 days. She would go home at night with her owners, and then would be dropped off at the hospital early the next morning. The point of this story was her recovery. Every day I saw her, she looked so much better than the day before. She had hypertonic saline IV fluids, pain medication, and other non-invasive treatments to help her get better. That morning she first came in, she was miserable. It was hard to assess her mentality. I wasn’t sure she was fully aware of what was happening, but I know that she was in a lot of pain before we gave her an injection of a pain-reliever. And even then, I was sure she wasn’t feeling too great. I mean, if a branch fell on you would you feel awesome? I didn’t think so.
We see puppies that come in for vaccines, patients that have an upset stomach, have an underlying disease that causes them to not act like themselves, as well as patients that come in for euthanasia. It’s not all puppies and kittens and sunshine. Some days really weigh on your heart but you still have to keep moving forward for the next patient that needs your help.
But seeing this little girl carried in all bloody and bruised, and then getting to see her walk out of the clinic while wagging her tail – that makes all those bad days feel a little bit brighter.
The second patient is a 6 year old pitbull that came in today for a dental cleaning and to have a couple teeth pulled. She was hands down as sweet as could be. Everything about her anesthesia went well. It was a really long surgery but she was stable the entire time she was under. Her blood pressure never dropped, her oxygen level varied between 96 and 99%, and although she tried to wake up a couple times her breathing was steady. The problem came when it was time to wake her up. (I promise this isn’t going where you think it is – she’s okay.)
Some patients take awhile to wake up. Especially for short surgeries when the pre-medication is still in effect. With them we can try to move the recovery along with a reversal drug so that they wake up a little sooner.
And there are patients like this sweet little pit. She woke up very abruptly. I was expecting this since the surgery was so long, however her recovery was not fun in the slightest. She was immediately dysphoric and trying to thrash around. So much so that she started bleeding from a couple of her mass removal incisions. Eventually when I got her to calm down, Kathleen was at her rear holding pressure to her incisions. They weren’t open – they were just bleeding. These incisions were equivalent to getting a paper cut that won’t stop bleeding. Honestly it was a little annoying.
I didn’t get a lunch today. Once we got her back to her run and she started bleeding again, I sat with her for another 10-15 minutes holding pressure. Not having lunch is perfectly fine with me if it means I get to help her calm down and stop bleeding. Dr. Escobar apologized for the fact that I didn’t get a break. But I told him not to worry about it – the patient was more important. Besides, it’s kind of hard to relax and eat when you know your surgical patient is thrashing around in her run.
The takeaway? What I do is just as beneficial to me as it is to them. I am exhausted. I am physically and mentally drained. But when I think about all the animals I helped that day, I wouldn’t want to be anything less.
Stay tuned for my next post on August 23rd… just kidding 🙂