Typically I have a very, very strong filter in place to guard the things that come out of my mouth. Very rarely, in fact, does much of what goes on in the head actually come out of the mouth. I am well aware that I have a biting, sarcastic tongue if left unfiltered and usually keep a pretty tight cap on things. There are, however, a couple of circumstances that predictably cause filter slippage. Prescribe medication to me, even many of the blah drugs and watch out. A little antihistamine and whatever occurs in the insane head exits from the insane mouth. Make me exhausted and I become quite delirious and the results are the same. Ironically, alcohol fails to remove the filter but that may be simply because I have such a low tolerance that a very small amount sends me straight to the land of nod...
This past week has been insanely busy and, as I like to say, the lunatic was left in charge of the asylum meaning my boss has been away leaving me in charge. I think I must have committed some vile atrocity and been paid back by a week that has left me feeling as if I had been run over by a train that then repeatedly backed over me in order to run me over again. And it's not over since I don't get a work break until Monday when I'll spend my day off catching up on everything I've yet to finish plus worrying about the patients that I have left for them. At least it's only one day to allow more to go wrong!
That said, there have been multiple instances of exhausted delirium and a few times when I had meclizine on board as well - double whammy! Result? More instances than I can relate of filter slippage.
Crazy client that drives us nuts and always sees my boss brings in her itching dog. She asks if "I'm ok" to see instead of my boss. I hear and tell her she should run while she can. She stays and we are discussing her dog; she is concerned because the shaved coat is growing back patchy. I assure her it will be okay and will fill in, citing my own cat whose coat does the same after shaving. She says I shouldn't shave my cat because they look ugly shaved, I say "And you think your dog is pretty?"
Rescue group comes in at the end of a long day Friday with a puppy mill rescue that needs emergency surgery. They ask for a rough estimate and I reply about $5600, with $5000 being for me.
And my favorite is the one that I actually stopped myself just in time. The sister of one of the employees who breeds Beagles has a litter due. She has my phone number but I clearly told her that my boss had call Tuesday night. She calls me after 9 p.m. at which time my phone is routinely cut off and plugged to charge if I'm not on call, and leaves a message. At 2:30 a.m. I'm up for a bathroom run and get my phone to take a picture of the kids who stole my spot in bed. I listen to the message and desire greatly to return her call right then...
Likely the only thing that saved her was that I had not reached the point of sheer exhaustion yet.
It's just not safe for me not to have my filter in place.
The other, worse, side effect of being so tired and overwhelmed is that mistakes happen. There have been two that could have been catastrophic but, thankfully, were caught. My previously posted diabetic cat is back with us because she is still struggling with her hepatic lipidosis and her owners are going on a vacation for 6 weeks. They forgot to bring her insulin the first day and dropped it off on their way out of town the second day. Someone, and I'm pretty sure it's someone who should have known better but not positive, gave her 2 units of a U-100 insulin from a U-40 syringe. The second incident also involves insulin. A previous employee is boarding her crew here while she is out of town a few days. She has a diabetic cat who is gray/brown and white. I am intimitely acquainted with him and have met 3 of her other 4 cats, 2 of which are black and the third being a tortiseshell. Another employee who is really good friends with her agreed to be responsible for the insulin. I was asked Friday night around 9 when I was finally nearing time to go if the cat that needed insulin was gray and white. At least that's what my exhausted brain heard, so I said yes. Yesterday evening, I looked in on the cats and realized that the diabetic cat is sharing a cage with the fifth cat that I have not met who is gray/black and white with more white. The cat was sprawled out in the litter pan, responsive but very dull. That's when it hit me that the employee had asked if it was gray with "more" white!! She got Friday night and Saturday morning's insulin that should have gone to the other cat.
Glucose levels were low so she is currently on a dextrose infusion and being force fed and showing improvement. I verified that I was correct with the employee.
Man, I hate weeks like this!
One last episode of sarcasm as a post-script because it just happened. One of our kennel workers always brings either her dad or mom to help (they are divorced so usually one comes Saturday, the other Sunday). Her dad is perfectly capable of working and is qualified in a field in which there is no job shortage but has not been employeed for quite some time and his daughter is keeping him up. He was yacking at me and complained that his brother would drop $2000 on his dog without blinking an eye but wouldn't loan him $10. Before I could stop myself, I said, "But the dog can't work for a living..."
6 days ago