New Year is almost here. I feel I have come a long way in 2014. Strange to think that less than a year ago, I drew up outside Tu Dyreklinikk and decided it was too daunting to walk in and ask if I could look around. I’m glad I changed my mind. That decision allowed me to meet some wonderful new friends, and has given me the opportunity to return to a life I hadn’t realised I was missing so much.
As I said in my last post, I was pleased that I was not working over Christmas. Jan-Arne was however, and somehow he managed to get himself on the front page of our local newspaper, JaerBladet after a Japanese Akita called Frøya accidentally got hold of a whole fruit and nut bar. Happily for Frøya’s owners, Jan-Arne was able to treat her, and by the next day, she was fine.
The picture at the top of the page is another of Jan-Arne’s patients. Lukas is a young Staffordshire Bull terrier with itchy skin. Feel better soon Lukas.
This week, I have only worked one day because New Year falls on a Thursday. I spent most of yesterday in theatre with Magne and Wivek. As usual I was on anaesthetic duty and it was an interesting day for me as Wivek was trying out a new form of pain relief called Recuvyra. Recuvyra is an opioid pain-killer, which is applied to the skin of a dog under its coat. It lasts for four days, so for operations which require analgesia for a few days, it is a good alternative to remaining in hospital, or coming back in for several days for injections. As always with new treatments, it will be interesting to hear from the clients how they got on. Yesterday’s patient, a sweet little Tibetan Spaniel with a displaced hip, seemed very stable throughout her anaesthetic and contented during the recovery period so I hope that when she went home, everything continued to go well. I remember when I started out in veterinary practice, there was much less consideration given to pain-relief, and very few pain-killers readily available. It’s one area where I feel the veterinary profession has made enormous leaps in progress and it is important for our patients that we keep up.
There were a few things that made me laugh. Obviously my Norwegian is still patchy, as when I asked Wivek how big the bladder dog was, (a lovely Schnauzer which was suffering from stones in her urine) she told me it was about the size of a grape. She was referring to the stones of course. No idea how I would go about anaesthetising a dog that weighed less than a box of matches.
For some reason, I was having difficulty with intravenous catheters, probably because Wivek was watching, and she always makes it look so simple. It’s much easier to find the vein with good lighting, so before I made my second attempt of the day (on the Schnauzer), I walked over and switched on the big overhead light. Except somehow, I got the wrong switch. I confess I was surprised when the light failed to come on, but not quite as surprised as Magne, who suddenly found himself plunged into darkness as he waited for us in the operating room. His face was a picture as he emerged.
The high point of the day though, was the moment when Wivek and I were discussing the Christmas period.
‘I went to see a film yesterday,’ she said, and gazed into the air for a moment. ‘I can’t remember the name of it though.’ She shrugged and then looked down to continue her suturing.
‘Not very memorable then,’ I suggested.
She frowned. ‘Good film, not a good name,’ she said. ‘It was about Alan Turing.’
‘Oh,’ I said. ‘The one with Benedict Cumberbatch?’
I have never seen such a blank look on anyone’s face. ‘Benedict who?’ she said. ‘I don’t know his name. The one who played Sherlock Holmes.’
I confess I was astonished. I thought that everyone in the universe knew who Benedict Cumberbatch was. Even if we had woken up the patient and asked her in dog language who it was that played Sherlock Holmes, she would probably have barked his name. So there you have it. If you want to consult Wivipedia, it’s probably better to stick to animals and Norwegian cookery. Whatever you do, don’t consult her about Tom Cruise. For her that would be Mission Impossible.
Anyway, to all of you who have supported me this year, thank you very much. I can hear fireworks outside already. By midnight, the sky will be bursting with light and colour. Happy Hogmanay, and I hope you have a wonderful time in 2015.