And that's where you're wrong, nonbeliever. They exist. Oh, do they ever exist.
What, you don't believe me? Still? How is that even possible? Are you even listening?? After everything I've told you, you still don't believe me?
Juuuuuust wait. You will. And by the end of this post if you still haven't converted to my weird little religion, then you obviously haven't been paying attention this whole time, and you should probably head off to YouTube to search for some fail videos or something. Or maybe go check out fmylife.com. Either one will make you feel just that much better about your own life.
Where was I? Oh right, I was talking about myself as usual. Anyway, in addition to the fucking Call Gods (Ha ha! Just kidding, Call Gods! Please have mercy!) I also talk about appendicitis a lot, because I see it a lot. It seems to me sometimes that I'm curing the world of appendiceal disease one person at a time. But lately I've been in a bit of an appendix lull. I haven't taken out an appendix in about a month, whereas I usually do at least one or two a week, if not more.
Hear that foreboding music yet?
This morning as I showered (stop picturing me nude, you perverts) I was thinking "Wow, I haven't done an appy in a while. How long has it been?" It had been at least three weeks, and I couldn't remember ever going so long between appys. So I tried to remember the last one I did.
The call from the emergency doc predictably and inevitably came at 4 PM (at least it wasn't midnight, right): a healthy 62-year old guy with, you guessed it, acute appendicitis. I went to the hospital to do the surgery, which turned out to be uncomplicated and relatively easy. But just as I was finishing up, my mobile in my pocket rang. "There is my next appendix," I joked with the staff. I finished up and took the man to recovery.
Much to my relief, the call had been from a friend, not from the emergency doc again. WHEW. I changed clothes and got in my car, happy I would be home in time for dinner and my kids' bedtime.
I hadn't even pulled out of my parking space when my mobile rang again. I recognised the caller ID immediately - the ER/A&E. And as you've probably surmised by now, it was indeed yet another appendicitis patient. As I write this, I'm sitting in the operating theatre waiting for him to come up from emergency. I've now missed dinner, and my kids will be fast asleep by the time I get home. Mrs. Bastard too, most likely.
Fuck you for ruining yet another evening with my family, Call Gods. Fuck you.
I think my wife has become accustomed to the fact that when I say "I'm just returning from a call and I'll be coming straight home after" I will be gone for at least another hour.ReplyDelete
Sorry DocBastard. Maybe your wife will roll over and put her arm around you when you do manage to stagger home and get some much-deserved sleep.ReplyDelete
The Call Gods ARE evil. Ask any veterinarian - particularly in the springtime when the emergencies are plentiful.
@Anon 01:58, thanks for mentioning vets. I am married to a large and small animal country vet, and he has some pretty despicable call-gods. At least Doc B is indoors. My hubby has been out in a field at 2:00 am when the temp is in the teens or lower with a dying animal and a cranky owner that doesn't think he should have to pay for an emergency house call. Some of the things he deals with are almost unbelievable. Thanks for the shout out to the profession.Delete
I worked as a vet tech for a mixed-practice veterinarian (small and large - we made house and farm calls in the afternoon) and I remember some very tough nights.Delete
Then I worked as a vet tech in wholly different way and I was grateful for being indoors when on the 3rd shift recovery of an obese animal that had undergone a PET scan. More than several times. I do NOT miss having a third shift recovery and then sticking it out for my day shift.
I <3 veterinarians! Just like physicians, the worst stuff happens over the holidays, late at night, or just when you think you can escape and have dinner with the family. You know, those people you have lots of photos of but can't remember having a conversation with them in the past month or so...
I particularly love MY veterinarian as I have an account and I can make time payments. As the vet has known me since I was 16 and I NEVER dun the vet, I still have the privilege of pacing my penury. That's really important given the bills that are rolling in for treating my cancer. Even with health insurance it's not inexpensive and it's looking like the holidays will consist of a tree bought for half-price at the cut-your-own tree farm on the 24th, a lavish dinner, books, puzzles and board games. I like the satirical ones (Trailer Park Wars is lots of fun).
Paula - may the clients pull themselves together, may the animals cooperate and may the support staff be both very competent and not take too much upon themselves when it wouldn't be appropriate. In addition, may your husband be home ALL DAY on Thanksgiving! (I'm presuming you're in the US, which may be completely wrong.)
if you don't already have it, look up "Killer Bunnies and the quest for the magic carrot" it may be a good match for your family.
we will be out of town for thanksgiving, so we will get to eat uninterrupted; but I think we have a record of 1 in 5 christmas get togethers going uninterrupted. this ranges from the most comical: a guy throwing such a temper tantrum because his smoke detector was going crazy that the police were dispatched. (I'm assuming they TAZERed the errant detector into compliance) to an icy Christmas morning when the department got dispatched to one person off the road, and had two additional "walk in customers" while they were there.
of course we all know that bad weather is a key part of animals giving birth.
@Ken Brown - I don't have that one but I do have "Kittens in a Blender" (card game) that is uproariously funny and please understand that I LOVE my cats. So when I make the disgusting sound effects and laugh like a lunatic it's because it's just so appalling. If you can find it and two or more sick-minded friends, it's a blast.Delete
I'll keep my fingers crossed for no last-minute shift changes for Thanksgiving. Plus 2/6 Christmas get-togethers without interruption.
Yes, with the exception of ONE maiden mare, it seems to be some sort of rule to go over your due date and wait for a storm. Something about low air pressure and rain, preferably lots of rain to wash out a driveway when you summon the vet. Ask Paula and her husband!
crossing running water also seems to be a key part of the birthing process.Delete
Sadly, we all have our Call Gods.ReplyDelete
Our Call Gods are people who for some reason get locked out of their houses at 3AM and have to get into it. Or places like Chipotle and 7/11 whose glass doors decide to misbehave right before bedtime. Sometimes you have luck and other times it's just those little green gods laughing at you.ReplyDelete
For sure! But what's even more frustrating is when clients call on evenings or weekends to require "emergency" service for something that happened MUCH earlier in the day, and we could have easily handled the task during regular working hours...IF they'd only taken the time to call when the incident first happened!ReplyDelete
I guess they're the construction manager's equivalent of the people who decide to go to the hospital ER on a busy weekend night, because of something that's been "bothering them for a while" - ankle sprain that's been hurting since yesterday, child who's had a cough for 3 days, somebody who needs maintenance medication because their supply ran out "a couple days ago" and now their pharmacy can't reach their doctor to OK the refill, or whatever. So then they get pissed at the triage nurse because they have to wait while medical staff is busy tending to people who got shot, stabbed, injured in nasty car accidents, and such.
our very best example: I am sucking down lunch, while getting into my Class B uniform, because I am borderline late for a special welcome home event for an officer who was shot in the line of duty, and is returning after close to a year in the hospital. and the tones go off for a knee injury.Delete
the patient had gotten up to go to the bathroom, without bothering to put on the knee brace necessary for a chronic knee problem, and the patient's knee had given out.
12 hours before.
I guess it was commendable of the patient to not want to wake me up in the middle of the night - but it made me borderline late to reserve a parking spot for the air ambulance crew.
Yes, but in my book, people in need come first.Delete
but if they wait 12 hours to call, they don't get taken care of for 12 hours.Delete
and responders have to resist the urge to ask, "why didn't you call us 12 hours ago?"
@Ken Brown - I can only imagine how much of a struggle it must be not to ask the question sometimes.Delete
I have occasionally heard the medic ask "so what has changed that led you to call, now?"Delete
Just wondering....what kind of *answers* do you get?Delete
It's usually something to the effect of "I finally figured out it wasn't going to get better on its own"Delete
Doc B - Gotta admit that when I saw the post title of "Ha freaking ha," I first thought it might be related to one of those "HaHa!" items of "important information"... ;)ReplyDelete
Ah yes. We really do all have our Call Gods. Mine like to bring me people who are enraged that I cannot make them a pizza at 8:55 at night when we have it clearly posted that we as a whole close at 9, last orders at 8:30. And the ones who ask for their pizzas lightly sauce, then the very next day complain it was dry. They are merciless. We have all learned never to say out loud that it's a slow day. It's just too tempting for the Gods.ReplyDelete
I don't think we've ever done this in the past, but I'll take particular pains not to do this in the future. You're right, everyone has their Call Gods!Delete
Same thing happens in cosmetology services. The salon has a clearly-posted closing time, so at the appointed hour, the door is locked, and the lighted "open" sign is turned off. But of course the staff stays to *finish up* anything that might still be in process. Clients are not sent out into the street with hair that isn't quite dry, only half a comb-out done, or nail polish on just one hand or foot. So, there are always those who arrive five or ten minutes past closing, bang on the locked door, and when they are politely told, "we're closed," they argue with the staff, saying, "No you're not, there are still people in here!"Delete