I’m Not a Vet Tech, I Just Play One: Day 5

Miles told me he’s auditioning for an ASPCA commercial. I’ve tried to hide the Sarah McLachlan cd’s from him, but every day I come home to “Your love is better than chocolate, better than anything else that I’ve tried.” I’ve also pointed out that “Ice Cream” is probably not the ideal song for those commercials.

He never listens to me.

Miles headshot for his auditions.

Miles’s headshot for his auditions.

Once again we find ourselves at the v-e-t. I think we made it a whole week without needing to go. However last night’s yellow eye goo in his left eye (mind you, not the right eye that we’ve been treating with a gel three times a day for over a week) turned into this afternoon’s horror story of pus and swelling.

Fortunately we were able to get the vet in the practice who normally sees Olivia and Miles and is the cat expert. Seriously, it’s part of her title: “Feline Specialist.” Her partner tends to lecture me like I’m some kind of an idiot and then shrug helplessly at the cat snot. He said that he knows it’s “annoying” for me to have to continue dealing with these issues. Annoying is insulting because it implies that I feel put out and potentially angry at my animals. I’m frustrated for them. I want them to be healthy, happy, and comfortable. It makes me incredibly sad to sit there waiting, while Miles purrs on my lap squinting at me through crusted over eyelids.  I’ll do whatever I have to in order to help them.

Which is how I ended up holding the light.

Cats have a nictitating membrane or third eyelid. Because of the bacterial and viral junk in his system, Miles’s inner eye lids were swollen and tender. The vet had to go into the left eye with a q-tip and wipe to clean out the pus before she could begin to see what was even going on. Then just like at the human eye doctor, she numbed his eyes with drops and put in a fluorescent dye to check for lacerations. This involved a dark room and a tiny blue light that reacted with the dye.

She was not satisfied and left the room to get an assistant and forceps. Forceps? Eyes plus forceps? My stomach turned. Medical procedures and I do not agree. Just discussing the procedure is often enough to necessitate me going horizontal.

When the vet returned with her tools and an assistant, she told me to trade places with the assistant. The vet is always very good about having me help with the cats’ exams and I do my best to follow her instructions so as not to be the bumbling mommy in the room.

Her instructions: “Hold the light.”

While the assistant held Miles, my job was to shine the blue light into his eyes as the vet used the forceps TO PULL HIS THIRD EYELIDS OUT SO SHE COULD LOOK AT THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All I could think about was high school health class when we watched a video of an eye surgery. I watched the whole thing and then was like “Hey, I don’t feel great.” So I put my head down on my desk and the next thing I knew I was on the floor with the desk and all my books on top of me. FYI: Students, I did not get to go home. I wasn’t even sent to the nurse because my health teacher like all health teachers before and after him was a coachy douche. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had to go to gym afterwards. 

Somehow I managed to hold the light steady as she pulled and prodded at the inner membrane of my cat’s eyes. He totally lost his shit when she got to his left eye. He’s just like his mommy. As my blood sugar proceeded to drop and the cold sweats started, she finally wrapped up her feline interrogation process and congratulated me on my “steady hand.”

We are a Star Patient but a hot mess.

We are a Star Patient but a hot mess.

I said thanks then told her the health class story. She was not pleased.

I’ll do what I have to do for my babies.

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