Tag Archives: Christmas party

It’s a gas

The past two Tuesdays have been busy with operations. So much so that I rarely set foot outside theatre on either day. Last week I assisted with the anaesthetics for an exploratory laparotomy, two cruciate ops and a  fracture repair. This week  there was an entropion op (to correct in-turned eyelids), an eye removal, a mammary tumour operation and yet another cruciate. Both weeks I ended up staying an hour late. We passed part of the time talking about the Julebord (Christmas party). It won’t be happening for two months, and yet it is already the subject of much discussion. It sounds quite a wild event. Apparently last year, Jan Arne had a candle on his head. The dress-code is listed as “Pyntet” which is the same word that is used for a Christmas tree when it has been decorated, but sometimes things can be taken a bit too far.

Thursdays are a bit more varied for me. As has been happening lately, I arrived to find Magne having coffee with a couple of the vets from the large animal practice next door. He invited me to join them and seemed disappointed when I said no, but when I explained that if I didn’t get on, his room wouldn’t be ready when he needed it, a wave of approval washed over me from all of them. Dedication is my middle name!

I found myself back in theatre later in the morning when Jan-Arne had a cat to spay. We were just examining the cat to check that it was healthy for its operation, when Jan-Arne spotted the fact that the cat’s mammary glands were distended. Having inspected them, and decided that he could still go ahead, he said something and suddenly started to giggle.

‘What is it?’ I asked him.

‘I just realised I said “pussy milk”‘ he said, and started laughing more.

He was quite insistent that I must add it to my blog, though I did express some concerns over the possible Google Searches it might send my way. I quite forgot to mention that my parents would be reading. Hello Mum. Hello dad!

As ever, a flank cat-spay seems to cause enormous interest in the practice. At one point I looked up to see Wivek, Magne and Irene all looking through the glass windows in the doors of the theatre. Seeing me looking at them, they all pulled crazy faces. I so regret not having my camera. I had never noticed the resemblance Wivek has for Jack Nicholson before, but it was very striking. Luckily she didn’t have an axe.

The operation itself was more difficult than usual. Most young cats have very little abdominal fat, but this one had more than average. It wasn’t hard to find the first ovary, but the second one was difficult and so Jan-Arne asked me to take over. It took a while to track down the offending ovary, but having finally located it behind the kidney, we were all able to relax a little. It seemed that the cat was not quite finished with us however. As I returned all the intestines to their correct place and prepared to close up, there arose in the room a vile miasma. The stench of cat-fart wafted around the room to a wretched chorus of groans and fluttering hands. The cat’s bowel had been quite distended before I pushed it back into the abdomen. Undoubtedly I had caused the stink. Without looking up I made a general apology to Jan-Arne, Kirsty and Marita, all of whom were standing in the room to watch.

‘Sorry about that.’

The silence in the room was palpable. So much so that I looked up, puzzled, only to see a wall of astonished and horrified faces (well, there may have been admiration on Jan-Arne’s. He is a man after all). It dawned on me that every single one of them thought that I was personally responsible for the awful odour.

‘Hey, no!’ I said, looking round at them all. ‘I only meant that I had caused it by handling the cat’s guts.’ The look of relief that came over the faces was hilarious. So much so that I began to giggle, and then Kirsty joined in, and then suddenly the whole room was filled with laughter. It was hard to stand up. About five minutes later, I was able to control myself enough to wipe away my tears and begin to stitch. So much for professionalism.

 

The picture at the top shows Ingo, a French bulldog who was in for an intravenous drip following a bout of illness. He was very patiently waiting for me to remove his drip so he could go home. Feel better Ingo!

Fest!

There’s only a week left until Christmas, but there is still lots going on in Tu. Tuesday started with a bitch spay. The patient was a lovely little dog, and naturally her owner was worried. Happily, with Dagny and Magne’s nimble fingers, the operation was very swift and her owner was hugely relieved to see her friend back safely. Even with surgery that seems routine to us,  for every owner it’s a unique and frightening experience.

For some reason, every time I walked into the laboratory, Marita was there using the hairdryer. We have quite a lot of technical equipment in Tu, but there are also some much more down-to-earth items that we use, and the hairdryer is one of them. It’s used on microscope slides to dry the material before staining and to me this is usually a very prosaic action, but as Marita stood there with her left foot at a rakish angle, right hand merrily oscillating, she looked very glamorous. Maybe in a previous life she was a stylist to a famous film star.

Although the day was busy, somehow in the afternoon, Magne and I managed to sit down for a cup of coffee. I think it must be a first for us to have time to do that. As well as coffee, Magne took a chocolate from his advent calendar and immediately afterwards he began to cough. I wondered whether he was so over-excited that he was choking, but when I asked he assured me it was only kennel cough and he acquired it because he hadn’t been vaccinated with sufficient aquavit.

Thursday was the day of our Christmas lunch in the klinikk, but before that, I had to help Magne clean out a dog’s ears. Pio, who weighed in at about seventy kilos was probably the biggest dog I have ever seen. Happily, he was also very good-natured. He and I had a lovely cuddle.

Pio
Pio

As for the fest (party) of the title, everyone in the clinic was invited, including the large animal vets whose office is in the same building. In the UK, an office Christmas party might consist of crisps and mince pies, or on a good day, sausage rolls and turkey sandwiches. Here they serve risgrøt, or rice porridge,  which is liberally sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and garnished with butter. I still always find it slightly disconcerting to be presented with a plate of rice-pudding for lunch, but it’s definitely not objectionable. Somewhere in the risgrøt, there is usually an almond or two, and whoever finds one wins a prize. In this case, the winnings were three large bars of chocolate, and they were won by Gerd, Jaqueline and Jan-Arne.

Of course, no Christmas party would be complete without the Christmas Banter. This year it was provided by Scary Boss Lady and her Whipping Boy. It began with Dagny laughing at Jan-Arne for the fact that he had been caught for a second time leaving his trousers on the  floor of the changing room. Then she asked,

‘Is it true as well that you came to work in your pyjamas?’ Jan-Arne flushed slightly, but valiantly defended himself.

‘Well at least I don’t scuff my feet along the ground when I come in in the morning.’

Dagny frowned and shook her head. ‘I don’t scuff my feet.’

‘You do. Everyone can hear when you arrive.’

Dagny opened her eyes wide. ‘It isn’t true,’ she said and looked challengingly around the room. ‘A show of hands please, who can tell when I come in?’

I fear that the vote would have been unanimous, if only I had been keeping up properly with the conversation, but as usual, I was five steps behind.

I suspect that Dagny is one of those people who believe that attack is the best form of defence, and so she returned to a subject that had been going on since before the meal had started.

‘Well at least I didn’t open the chocolates that were meant to be eaten with this lunch. I think you should give your bar of chocolate back so we can all share it. Without another word, Jan-Arne carefully lifted up his prize and slid it into his pocket.

But all in all, it just goes to show, that however much effort you make, and however far you travel at Christmas, there will still always be someone who has to argue over who it was that ate all the chocolates.