At some point in vet school, aprofessor mentioned that as a whole, vets are people who could have been MD’s, but suffer from low self esteem. Thus we choose to dedicate our lives to the care of a “lesser” species (I don’t think animals are “lesser” at all, but that’s a different blog…).
There’s probably a shred of truth to it, however. I’m pretty sure I’d end up in the loony bin if I had to have many of the experiences I’ve had, with people instead of pets. I think as a profession, no matter how hard we try not to: we end up getting emotionally involved with our patients.
I knew Charm for what, 14 hours. She was alive this morning, and now I just had to put her to sleep. For crying out loud, she was only 5 years old, but her kidneys were just shot, and she was getting worse instead of better. The sparkle left her eyes while we were talking, trying to figure out what to do. She was fading before our eyes.
We, as vets, really, really want to be heroes. We want to sweep in and diagnose the patient, formulate a plan, implement it and whisk the patient away from the jaws of death to the thunderous applause and adulation of our clients. It’s our version of a home run.
Our job is so hard, our patients are silent. We live for those moments when we actually get a diagnosis and can fix the problem.
Sometimes, the patient is just too far gone despite all of our concerted efforts to save them.
So we pour our hearts and souls into these cases. When they don’t go like we wanted, we have to buck up, learn what we can and move on to the next one.