Thanks to the Homeless Parrot for inspiration to post. I haven't had much time to read the other blogs that I usually try to keep up with at least somewhat lately but then discovered that my mobile phone will support the current content but won't let me read archives so I've been working on catching up. I found myself nodding and saying you preach it girl while reading some of the recent posts about why ER care costs more, why not to give advice over the phone, and why neither of those equates to a veterinarian who doesn't care. I was also very much in tune with the compassion fatigue post and the idea of becoming a small town librarian...right now, however, I'd prefer to become a hermit far, far away from my beloved family if I could only figure out a way to support myself and my herd without having to see anyone. EVER!!
Lately the sob stories about lack of money and how we don't care if we refuse to give away all of our services is really grating on my nerves. It doesn't help that I and my boss receive approximately 3 letters per week from an irate client who had a small dog that died last year. It's a crazy story and I still feel bad about it although even I can admit that it was not my fault that the dog died. The last time I saw the dog, it was having difficulty defecating because of a gi-normous sublumbar lymph node. I advised the owners that cancer was likely but they declined any and all diagnostics that were offered due to cost. I wound up starting the dog on antibiotics with the hope that it was infectious rather than neoplastic, advised laxatives to soften the stool, and sent some pain medication. On a side note, the dog had an anteriorly luxated lens in one eye with secondary glaucoma (lens was cataractous, cause of lux). Refused referral as well as enucleation so was forced to manage with anti-inflammatory. Working well and had given a bottle of atropine from our Good Sam supply (in date, returned because dog had passed away) with hope of dilating pupil, lens falling posteriorly where would be less painful, then constricting pupil to trap it.
The owners called after I had seen the dog stating she was no better to which I had to bite my tongue on answering, "Yeah, really! It's not like you let me do anything to help her and even if it is infection (ha, ha!) the antibiotics would hardly have had time to work!" They wanted to know if they should continue the medicine, I told them yes.
Apparently, they failed to tell me that she was "choking on the medicine..." She died the next day and they would not answer my calls but later accused me of not calling because I didn't care. Additionally, I am not a doctor, everyone knows I don't care for anything but money and didn't take care of their dog because they were not rich, I killed their dog and didn't care that the medicine was choking her, I gave them poison medicine, and hell is too good for me. This is repeated in each letter with slight variations on the theme. If it were not for the fact that the letters are being written by a little old lady in a wheelchair with cancer I would probably report them to the authorities but...sigh...I get it. I know how she must feel.
On a personal note, I'm finding that absence indeed makes the heart grow fonder especially when applied to family. I love my family, but they do make me crazy. I'm currently contemplating where and when I could run away at least for a while. The biggest problem is the herd.
The long lost prodigal son has returned home. He is telling the wildest story about dirty cops chasing him and filtering money through his bank account. I'm still viewed as the child therefore no one cares to hear my opinion which is that he has gotten hold of a drug causing hallucinations, etc. I'm even fairly certain of what he got but no one will support my efforts to get him to a doctor for a drug test. Yes, I love family. Especially the prejudice towards the male offspring that mine shows constantly. And people wonder why I have a personal prejudice towards marriage for myself. Just look at my role models then ask that question again!
Haven't talked to my friends much lately because I've been too down. Usually the more stressed and depressed I get, the more I withdraw. I'm just not good company; if I don't want to be around me, why would anyone else? Between work, family, patient loss or failure to progress, boss disagreements on how to practice medicine, and the loss of one of the herd, it's not been a good few months. Fortunately, the major storms jumped over us or that would have added yet one more thing to an already full plate. The tornadoes hit several small communities just a few miles from us but did no major damage at my home.
Speaking of the storms, it's really sad how some people have responded. So many stories of looters stealing what few possessions these folks have left or of trying to bilk them for services such as cleaning up the debris. I'm sure there are many stories of the good deeds too but it seems one doesn't hear those as often.
I didn't intend that this post become so gloomy but it seems to have a mind of its own. With that depressing note, I'll shut up for now and hopefully be able to write something more upbeat and maybe even funny next time.
4 days ago