"Sandi" was one of my favorite patients of all time, who I only met a few months ago when her "mom" picked our clinic out of the phone book after moving here from back east. She became one of my favorite patients because I saw her ALOT, which of course is because she was very sick. After months of bloodwork, x-rays, medication, ultrasounds, and biweekly drainage of fluid from her chest and belly, last month Sandi finally lost her battle with a bad heart. After a spending a last weekend together where they "watched movies and ate popcorn," her mom brought her in for the final visit. She was in terrible shape, could hardly breath, and we both knew it was time. Her mom couldn't face being there for the last moment, so I euthanized her at the end of the day while she lay in my tech's arms looking at me with those big Cocker Spaniel eyes. Right at the end she licked my hand as if to say thank you, sighed, and just fell off to sleep. (I have not shared these details with her owner.) It was bittersweet and sad, yet I really felt that it was the right thing to do. The following is a letter that was waiting for me when I got to work this morning:
"Dear Dr. E,
I have only just now been able to write this letter. I never told you how much I appreciated the care you all took at the end of my Sandi's life. I know she was just a dog but she was my best friend for over ten years. I never told you how I got Sandi. I found her at the pound right after my husband passed away. She was just a little baby and took to me right away. She has been my only companion ever since then and with me through thick and thin. I will never forget how nice you all were to her, and I know she was in good hands at the end. I will miss Sandi forever and I could tell that she was special to you too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. --Sandi's Mom
The past few weeks have been some of the most stress-filled of my entire life. There are only a few times that have cause me more ulcer-inducing anxiety than the fiasco that is Buying the House. In past posts I have written about how being a mom to the supremely wonderful J has been a God-send in every sense of the word when it comes to relieving stress. Today, it was my job that was the stress relief. Sometimes, when clients are acting like this, I want to jump into another profession for a few days. And other times, like today, I KNOW I'm doing what God means for me to do.
Practice makes perfect
7 years ago