“Open confession is good for the soul.” ---- Old Scottish proverb
Have you ever made a mistake?
“I thought I had made a mistake once, but I was wrong.”
A comedian said that once. So have a few sociopaths. I must confess to having made mistakes. There, my soul feels better now.
Actually, during the middle of the night, that time when I cannot hide from elements that wander about my brain, I sometimes discover the list of mistakes I’ve made in a lifetime. Something reminds me of a error I’d thought I’d put away, and then the others line up obediently for my leisurely perusal. Nights are long, so there is plenty of time.
A colleague has a friend, a physician, a pediatric surgeon. Once a year, every year, on the same day, this doctor receives a letter reminding him of a child who died while under his care. This has been a regular thing, for 25 years. Best as we can tell, this doctor did nothing wrong, but a patient died while under his care. And somebody has not forgotten. From the look of things, somebody is not likely ever to forget. And they wish to assure that the doctor never forgets.
I can assure you that the doctor will never forget, and the letters have nothing to do with this. But the sender gets a wish granted, for the letters cause pain.
Years ago we used a brand name drug as part of our anesthetic combination for cats. The drug was manufactured in two strengths, one for horses and the other for ten pound cats. Since we don’t see horses, we always used the cat version. One day the drug sales rep mentioned that a generic version of the drug had become available, so we ordered it from that supplier. Used it for a short while, and frankly didn’t much like the new version. This occasionally happens with generics. Then a cat nearly died.
The horse version of the drug had ten times the concentration as the small animal version. Guess what kind the supply company shipped to us? I didn’t catch it. I ordered one drug, received another, and used it. And a cat nearly died.
I suppose I might argue the point, but it was clearly my responsibility to catch this error. I was the one who had to tell the cat’s owner. I was the one who paid for the emergency care the cat received. I was the one who had to respond to the board complaint she filed. I am the one who relives this periodically, late in the night.
The owner tried to get my license revoked, and she swore that she would never come back, and I didn’t blame her. Two years later, when she called to schedule an appointment to euthanize another of her cats, because our fee for this was less than the practice she now utilized, I refused to see her. We like to think we keep the fees for euthanasia low as a kindness for our clients. We are not attempting to attract……
Several months later, we ordered that same drug from that same company. We specifically mandated the small animal concentration. And we told them why.
They sent the wrong one, again. We caught the error this time.
I’d be ripe fodder for the hate obsessed lady with her hate veterinarians website. I confess…I’ve made mistakes.
Twenty years ago my own dog died while under my care. The details are not relevant. Suffice it to say that Jake was another casualty of my career, another sacrifice I made in the life long obsession to try to help the animals and their people. So yeah, I know what it feels like to hate the doctor that you think killed your pet. And no, I likely will never forgive, ah….me.
People tell me I should “let it go”, but ya know how that goes. So yeah, I do sympathize with the woman who started the internet website who so hates veterinarians. Her cat died while under the care of a veterinarian, so she blames that doctor for that death.
Sure, the cat was twenty years old and it died like most every other twenty year old cat that dies, of kidney failure. Back when this happened we didn’t have dialysis for cats. Truth is we had so few things that could be done to delay the death. No doctor on earth could have kept that kitty going indefinitely. Fifteen years later this woman still hates veterinarians virulently and with enthusiasm and persistence, and she uses the internet to prosecute her vengeance.
When Dr Koshi died, a cat that she had tried to save from a lifetime of neglect in a park was instead given to the self-styled “cat rescuer” who reportedly has said she will release it back into the colony of feral cats living in that park. Despite all the evidence that feeding feral cat colonies is not only bad for the cats, but also bad for wild birds and animals, and a risk to public health…a gaggle of “cat rescuers” joined in celebration of the return of the cat to this woman. And the woman with the hate-website chimed in with her own version of hate. She of course, directed her hate at the doctor.
Don’t know if you caught any of this. But if you did…did you notice this part? Did you notice that other than the vicious veterinarian hater on the web, everyone else, those people in the street aligned against Dr. Koshi pretty much said the same thing? How wonderful that the cat was given to this person. Not a thing about any benefit or harm to the cat if it was to return to the park. Not a word of how well it had fared under Dr Koshi’s care. Nope. How wonderful for the “cat rescuer” was the theme.
This was never about the cat at all.
Ask any veterinarians what they do, and they will tell you, “I practice veterinary medicine”. Ask any veterinarian WHO are you? And they will tell you, “a veterinarian”.
After a while in this profession, that IS who we are. And pardon the self-promotion here, but we take intense pride in caring about and for the animals and their people. That is who we are.
If the haters manage to take that away from us, and yeah…..that’s where they go because any bully knows you go for the sensitive place first, the soft spot. They attack who we are. They went after the part of Dr Koshi that was the caring, helping, sacrificing essence of who she was. Those people who attacked Dr Koshi took HER away, from her.
What was she left with?