Wow! Pass the brain bleach please!

Filed under: @ 6:37 pm

Not really ranting about work per se, more about people in general, but people in general with whom I would not have interacted UNLESS I’d been at work, so I guess this is a work related rant. Sorry about that.

And I’m sorry about the shotgun commas. I never was very good at punctuation.

What on earth would possess someone to tell an almost complete stranger on the other end of the phone that she was naked?


I was on the phone with a client the other day talking to her about a prescription that I was going to have filled for her through our online pharmacy. She KNEW I was talking about our online pharmacy because we’d just finished talking about the previous prescription I’d filled for her dog through our online pharmacy.
And I quote: “Well I’m naked right now so I’m just going to get dressed and then I’ll call you right back.”

So a: Why did her being naked have ANYthing to do with whether or not she could talk to me on the phone?
b: WHY DIDN’T SHE JUST SAY “Gosh! I’m busy right now, can you give me a few minutes and I’ll call you back?” ?!
c: If she were naked and she knew that she couldn’t talk on the phone while she was naked (why not? but that’s another question.) WHY’D SHE PICK UP IN THE FIRST PLACE?! I know she’s got an answering machine, I’ve talked to it often. I prefer talking to her machine than talking to her.

That was an image that just I did not need.

And the second doozy of the week…..

Guy presents me with his very itchy, very badly affected with bacterial dermatitis, dog. I did my exam, took some samples from the dog’s ears then excused myself to look at the goo samples under the microscope.
I came back to the exam room with my microscopic findings (bacterial ottis externa too, what a surprise!) to find him vigorously scratching the dog’s back for her. She was enjoying the scratching and curved herself into a big C shape so he could more effectively scratch at the base of her tail.
I said to the dog “Ooo! The butt scratches are pretty good, huh Sheba?” (name changed to protect the innocent)
and the client replied:
“Yeah, she’s always liked her butt scratched. ‘Course, I enjoy getting my butt scratched too!”

-> ! <- I guess I'm lucky. I've never had anyone drop trou at me (and I do know many veterinarians who have had clients bare their all at them for one reason or another), but really.... Did I NEED to know that? REALLY?! I've had people pee on the floor, we had someone poop on the floor at 5 Corners, I had one frighteningly crazy woman scratching her GIGANTIC ringworm lesions against the walls and the table in my exam room. But in terms of flat out gross, learning that this -oh mid 60s-ish - guy likes to have his butt scratched...... I did not need to know that. If there were a barfing smiley I'd be putting that in here about now. I really do wonder about people sometimes.



Filed under: @ 6:20 pm

I swear I’ll find something else to talk about besides work (at least one of these days), but this one was so blatant that I couldn’t *not* share it.

I was going to make a connection between the miracle of the loaves and fishes, but considering the nature of the miracle I think it’s far more of a “the lamp burned for eight days with oil only for one” type miracle so I’m giving credit for this one to the Jews rather than Jesus.

I’ve never really had a good head for numbers so I might, just might, be wrong on this one. Y’all check my math for me.

There are 365 days in a year.
There are two years between 12/8/08 and 12/8/10. That would be 730 days right?

Add…hmm… lessee…. 23 days left in December, 31 days in January, 27 in February, 31 in March, and 12 so far in April……
Add another 124 days.

So 730 plus 124 is…. 854 days. I think I did the math correctly there.

So can someone explain to me how, when I prescribed two months worth of thyroid medication (that’s 120 pills) for a dog in December of 2008, the owner can look at me with a straight face and tell me that they’ve been giving the medication as directed and they’re only just running out now?

It’s gotta be a miracle, right?



Filed under: @ 1:17 pm

Like most public radio listeners I look upon the twice-yearly pledge drives as a nuisance. A functional, necessary nuisance, but a nuisance nonetheless. I hate having my daily NPR fix interrupted by the pledge drive and spend much of my time during pledge week shouting at the radio in an attempt to get more people to pledge more money so you can get back to regular programming.

During the last pledge drive, however, I’ve discovered a new love for the constant talk and interruptions.

I work in a veterinary hospital. Usually we have the radio on in our surgical recovery area, both for our sake and because often music is calming to patients recovering from anesthesia. On the Tuesday of the spring pledge drive we had a dog that was howling during her anesthetic recovery. This is normal in some patients, but the consistent and regular howling…..well it starts to get to you after a while.
We discovered that this particular dog would stop howling if we spoke to her. A short conversation would result in a few minutes of very welcome relief. But we couldn’t spare someone from their regular duties to stand in front of the kennel and talk to the dog until she was completely conscious.
So we thought of the pledge drive.
We put the radio in front of the dog’s kennel, turned the volume up a wee bit, and viola!

Auditory anesthesia for the dog, peace and quiet for us. You have our sincerest thanks (and a small addition to my regular spring pledge).




You get what you pay for.

Filed under: @ 6:09 pm

All over the country you can find stuff like this. I only know about veterinary medicine, but I’m sure the same thing exists in human medicine and dentistry.

A cat spay at my hospital runs $280-350. A cat spay chez Dr. Val-Pac runs $35. A cat neuter at my hospital runs $118. I have a colleague in the southeast who is currently being run mad by a Dr. Val-Pac of his own who is neutering cats for a nickel.
The end result is the same, your cat won’t be able to reproduce.
Which would you choose? Why? Are they not the same service?

Of course the answer is no. The answer is way no. Big, bad, ugly no.
But people tend to see it that way. Which, of course, gives some people the impression that Dr. Val-Pac is a savior and I’m a money grubbing hag.

And the truth is that the reason that Dr. Val-Pac can afford to do what he does for what he charges is that HE LEAVES STUFF OUT!
Sometimes it’s little stuff like proper perioperative analgesia. I say “little” because analgesia wasn’t recognized as an important part of veterinary medicine until about 20 years ago — there are still doctors out there who don’t use analgesia for their surgical patients to “keep them quiet so they’ll heal better” — and many people consider analgesia a needless, and expensive, frippery.

Sometimes what gets left out is big stuff. Modern anesthesia instead of the injectable anesthetics that were popular 30 years ago. Sterile surgical instruments for each patient –no, I’m not joking. I’ve interviewed at, even done some work at, places where one instrument pack gets used per DAY. Sometimes the instruments aren’t even run through an autoclave. A disinfectant scrub and air drying on a paper towel is “state of the art” and very cheap.
Patient monitoring, IV fluids…… Sure, you can do without these things and probably most of your patients will do just fine.

Call me fussy, but I prefer far more certainty than “probably” and “most” for my surgical cases.

So when someone asks me why I’m so much more expensive than Dr. Val-Pac it’s really hard for me to not fall into a litany of the details. I would, but I’m trying to maintain a professional facade and it’s not very professional to tell someone that you think one of your colleagues is a quack (although why it’s okay for Dr. Val-Pac to insinuate that I’m a ripoff artist is another question entirely).

I guess I’ll just have to stick with “If you could afford a Mercedes, why would you purchase a Yugo?”
Which, I suppose, is a nicer way of saying “If you were looking for a doctor for yourself, would you chose someone who sent you a coupon in the Val-Pac?”

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