Posted on April 13, 2014
I’m recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in my thumb, sustained while building horse pasture fencing. One-handed word processing is not my forte, so this will be a much shorter blog post than the usual.
I am a veteran of surgical procedures (a wee bit accident-prone I am), and as a veterinarian, I know all too well the kinds of things that can go wrong with general anesthesia. Therefore, I’m always somewhat on edge during the three minute or so encounter I’m allowed with the anesthesiologist moments before he or she takes my life into their hands.
Imagine my reaction when the anesthesiologist assigned to my thumb surgery came waltzing into the room and cheerfully announced, “Hello. I’m Dr. Smith and I am the one who will be putting you to sleep today.” My husband, also a veterinarian, and I exchanged amused glances, and then began giggling. We tactfully explained to Dr. Smith why his choice of words affected us as they did. Truthfully, I think his statement would be off-putting to any animal lover, not just veterinarians. Wouldn’t you agree? Dr. Smith blushed profusely and apologized, stating that he wished he’d known my profession before coming into the room. He did do a bang up job with my anesthesia- I woke up comfy and nausea-free. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
This story reminds me of another one of my pre-op chats with an anesthesiologist a few years back. He asked what I did for a living. After hearing my response, he said, “That’s so cool! That’s what I always wanted to do, but I couldn’t get into vet school.” Not the reassurance I was looking for!
Have you ever had this kind of “interesting” conversation with an anesthesiologist?
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.