Drunk Up To Their Guts

, , , , , , | Healthy | August 25, 2019

I work the overnight shift at an emergency vet. We get some interesting calls.

One night, I answer the phone and it is a very drunk man, slurring his words. He explains that it’s his anniversary, he and his wife have had a few bottles of wine, his cat was “faxed” yesterday, and now her guts are hanging out.

I tell him to bring her in and I give him the number of an animal-friendly cab company we recommend. Then, I go to let the doctor know what is on the way. He laughs and says it’s probably just a minor dehiscence and the subcutaneous fat is showing — quick sedation and we sew it back up and the cat will be fine. So, the tech starts prepping the surgical room while we wait.

The phone rings again. It’s a drunk woman, who explains that it’s her anniversary, she and her husband have had a few bottles of wine, their cat was “spaded” yesterday, and now her guts are hanging out.

I give the exact same instructions I gave the man and go tell the doctor that the same cat is coming in twice. We all laugh at how Mister either didn’t tell Missus he had called or they were so drunk they forgot he had called.

About half an hour later. a cab pulls up and the driver brings in a cat carrier, warns me that the passengers are totally wasted, and then helps them stagger inside. The tech takes the cat out of the box and the doctor was right; it was just a minor dehiscence with exposed fat.

While the doctor is explaining what we want to do and how much it will cost and getting approval, a second cab pulls up.

These owners are significantly less drunk; I’m still glad they didn’t drive, but they can carry the cat in on their own. The tech is busy prepping the first cat, so I take them to an exam room, take the cat out of the box and… Oh, my God, that’s a liver! This cat ripped out all her sutures and there are intestines just hanging out of her body.

The second cat gets into surgery first, both sets of owners have a fun conversation in the lobby while they wait, both cats make a full recovery, and we all learn that not all drunks are exaggerating. We also have a lot of fun wording the notes to send to the cats’ usual veterinarian, trying to diplomatically tell them to adjust the way they tie their knots without outright blaming them for what happened — both cats had been allowed, against doctor’s orders, to climb up to the top of a bookcase and jump down.

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This Clinic Provides A Terrible Cervix

, , , , , | Healthy | August 23, 2019

While I was a student, it was fairly common to have student doctors learning at the campus clinic. I was getting my routine pap and was asked if I minded having a student do it, with the actual doctor supervising. When it comes to medical stuff I have no shame and have had positive experiences with student doctors in the past — they actually take a history, for one thing! I imagine a lot of people aren’t okay with students doing their pap. though, so all the more reason for me to let them practice.

So, I said I didn’t mind at all, the student introduced herself, and I got in position. She did fine with doing the physical exam and had no problem inserting the speculum. But then came time to swab my cervix. She was looking more and more stressed, and I reassured her she was doing fine and to take her time. A few more moments passed and she was still looking. I remember an offhand comment one of my previous doctors said — that my cervix is a bit off to the side — so I passed that hint along.

“I can’t find it! I can’t find the cervix!” she finally cried.

“I promise you it’s there! Keep looking!” I tried to reassure. Meanwhile, the actual doctor was clearly having issues keeping a straight face. I was still laying there spread eagle, still trying to comfort the professional poking around my lady bits.

The actual doctor took over, and my cervix is indeed off to the side. The student sat back down and the doctor gave her directions to my cervix. She finally found it and got the swab. Good thing, too, because I was also having a hard time keeping my laughter in.

After telling my friends the story of my “lost” cervix, one replied, “But… it’s not like it could get very far!”

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Language Is Fluid

, , , , , | Healthy | August 20, 2019

Some years ago I had gastric bypass surgery. During the aftercare, I had appointments with a dietician at the hospital where I had the surgery. As a preparation for these visits, I had to fill out an inquiry. One of the questions regarded alcohol.

Did I drink less alcohol than before the surgery, the same or more?

Well, that looks like a straightforward question, but I couldn’t answer it truthfully. Because I do not drink, and is no alcohol the same or less? It can’t be more, but is it the same or less? The same implies some alcohol consumption, as does less. 

I added an extra line to the inquiry and simply stated that I do not drink alcohol. Ever.

The dietician went nuts. She berated me for 50 minutes for “my excessive alcohol consumption” as I hadn’t picked the only acceptable answer — less. “None” wasn’t a viable answer as it wasn’t included in the inquiry. I asked her to add to my chart that I do not drink. I asked if we could please continue with discussing my diet as I do not drink. She had worked herself into a frenzy and just kept screaming. Wonderful to travel six hours for a useless meeting with someone not listening at all.

Anyway, the next meeting was six months later, with another dietician. And the same inquiry to prepare. Once again, I answered that I never drink.

This dietician was even more aggressive. She rushed out during the meeting to get a colleague so they could scream at me together. While she was out I grabbed a paper and wrote on it in big letters, “I NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL.”

It didn’t help. They still couldn’t grasp that it is possible to not consume alcohol. I asked them to test my blood alcohol level and do whatever testing they wanted as my liver should be in prime condition. Because I did not f****** drink alcohol. And I still don’t. 

Maybe I just should have picked the option of “drinking less” on the inquiry, but… I’m a language teacher. Nuances are important. “Less” is not the same as “none” or “nothing.”


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Kids Can Be An Earful

, , , , , | Healthy | August 18, 2019

(A mother and her eight-year-old come into the clinic. She says the kid was using the end of a pencil to scratch his ear the previous day and the eraser came off and he accidentally pushed it in while trying to get it out. She can’t get it with tweezers. I flush the ear to remove the eraser and notice a few things.)

Me: “There are clear signs of a swimmer’s ear infection. Fluid has been trapped behind that eraser for a lot longer than a few hours. The eraser would also not nearly be this… encrusted… after such a short time.”

Mother: “[Son] only told me about it yesterday. He said it had just happened. [Son], when did the eraser get stuck in your ear?”

(We both eye the child. He fidgets for a few moments before…)

Son: “Christmas break.”

(This is in MARCH!)

Mother: “What?! Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

Son: *defiantly* “Well, it only hurt if I touched it and I don’t sleep on that side!”

(Kid logic is my job security.)

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I’m Planning On Spraining My Ankle Next Tuesday

, , , | Healthy | August 14, 2019

(While building my own home, I have a little mishap and cut my left thumb deeply. I quickly disinfect the wound, apply a pressure bandage, and drive over to my family doctor’s practice to get some stitches.)

Me: *sliding over my social security card* “Hi, I cut myself badly.”

Desk Clerk: “Do you have an appointment?”

Me: “Sorry, no, I didn’t plan it in advance!”

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