Friday, October 8, 2010

Soft Tissue Depression Week 1

My first week on soft tissue surgery has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. I have not exercised all week, I haven't eaten a true dinner all week, and I have seen a lot of poor prognoses and death.

My first day of the block we diagnosed a dog with splenic neoplasia and the owner elected euthanasia. My next case was the cutest Pomeranian ever. He had Adrenal Cushing's disease and came for an adrenalectomy. The mass was very large and intimately associated with the vena cava and the renal vein...out came the kidney too. His recovery was a disaster. I was with him in ICU all day until 1AM. The next morning I walked in at 6:15 to find out he had just passed. The owners were so sad but grateful. He was a legend in our hospital because he had his own human wheelchair to be pushed around. He had a ton of personality, and was loved like a child. He apparently was also included in TJ MAXX employee newsletters as their mascott.

My most promising case was a 13 year yorkie who had a liver mass removed and was doing better. 30 minutes before the owners arrived he had a seizure. We did a further workup on him the next day to find he has multiorgan failure, DIC, and half his spleen needs to be removed and he is a horrible candidate. He also likely has central vestibular (brain) disease. For lack of a better outcome he is going home to be with his owners for the time he has left.

My last case of the week is a super cool cat, with never seen before biliary cystic disease that could not be removed surgically and may not resolve medically. I got to do a lot during the surgery and place a feeding tube, but the owners are distraught over his unknown prognosis and what we don't know.
Note: All 3 cases written with owner's permission.

Between stress, lack of sleep, and poor outcomes I am depressed. Seeing Spokane last night was such a breath of fresh air. To see an healthy happy lively dog made me so grateful. I hope the coming weeks have slightly more optimistic cases. I gave me a lot to consider in terms of career choices, and dealing with death and disease on an emotional level.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Keep it up. You are doing so well. :) Looking forward to many more.