Anytime a client gives me a card, or writes me a letter, I
put it in a box to keep. I call this my “You Don’t Suck” box. I take it out
whenever someone makes me feel like I don’t care, or I am a money grubbing evil
person etc. Reading the thank you notes helps to keep things in perspective.
While rearranging my office my box toppled over and all of my cards fell out. In the pile I found my very first note.
When I was a vet student one of the veterinary technicians at a place I was an extern at
came to me quite upset. This was my day “off” of rotation so I was surprised to hear from her. She kept saying, “I need you. She needs you!”
Finally I got the story out of her after she calmed down enough to speak. Someone brought in a young cat that got caught in the car fan belt. They just wanted to euthanize the cat. The technician talked them into surrendering the cat to her instead. She had many injuries requiring surgery. One of the surgeons said if I was willing to perform all of the surgeries, as a
learning opportunity, she would not have to pay for them.
“Okay, what are the injuries?” I asked.
“Well, she has a fractured humerus, a fractured tail, dislocated tarsus…” “Oh and her patella is broken in half.” She is purring and licking my hand still.
(Basically her large bone in her arm was broken in half, tail was broken in half, ankle was dislocated, and her kneecap was snapped in half. That is a complex set of injuries)
I must mention that I had only done minimal orthopedic surgery at the time. So I asked “Is Dr. Surgeon going to be there? If he is, get her prepped, and I will be there.”
I was in surgery with that cat for 3 hours doing the repairs. It was surreal. There was a surgeon with me in case I had questions or needed help, and my veterinary technician was holding up a surgery book for me to read as I completed these surgeries for the first time.
Once the cat woke up she was purring in my arms, I felt a
huge sense of accomplishment with a bit of sadness that I would be leaving soon, so I would not get to see her heal.
I couple of months later I received a thank you card from the veterinary technician with a picture of her cat. “She runs and jumps all day long.”
My first major “putting humpty together again” was a success. I received the very first card for my box, and will cherish it, along with the many other letters and cards received over the years.