You want customer service? Or good medicine?

"Yeah sorry, I think she's crazy too"

Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

In her defense, she tried to warn me. Diana Connelly was recommended by unknown persons to seek me out as a general practitioner for River, her 3 year FS Rottweiler. River had recovered from IMHA, and needed a local vet, did I think I could handle her case? I gently tried to pawn the case off on my colleague, Dr. Rhodes, who had seen many more cases than I had, but Diana was stuck on me. I acquiesced.

Diana had a friendship with the older ophthalmologist practicing in the area, so River’s repeated CBC/Chems were run by her at a discount, but brought to me for interpretation. River made great progress, even flirting with being hemoconcentrated. She had one big issue. Grade 4 tartar.

River was over 6 months out from her episode of IMHA, and showing no issues. Diana and I met, and discussed the pros and cons of a dental cleaning. I waded through the myriad of barriers to contact the internists at UCD where she had been treated. In a surprisingly sunny outlook for probably having forgotten what the sun is, her internist heartily recommended a dental. I brought this to Diana, and despite both of our trepidations, we agreed to do the dental. Diana created a detailed schedule to incorporate giving River’s preventatives weeks around the dental, to prevent any one thing from overlapping with another. I described the procedure, and everyone’s involvement in painstaking detail. We were set.

Or so I thought.

After a day off, I arrive to a desk stacked with labwork and notes. One being “Diana won’t bring River to her dental unless you call her”. The dental in three days. The dental I have been gently coaxing us towards over months. The dental that made me contact UCD. The dental I have already spent 45 minutes in one appointment discussing the minute details.

So much for reducing my stress, as unhelpfully recommended by every adult human I talk to. The day rushed at me with every other needy human with a pet. After spending an hour and a half after closing, finishing notes as to how I dealt with all these needs, I have one final hurdle. Call Diana. I contemplated just finally going home, using the precious eight hours to prepare for tomorrow’s fight. “Oh thank you Dr. Karen! I’m just so worried about River undergoing this dental.” I’m surprised she didn’t hear my teeth grating through the phone, as I went through everything again. I can’t believe I didn’t just set the ultimatum. Trust me or don’t. Instead, I seethed and insincerely went through all the justifications all over again.

So today’s unhealthy coping mechanism, repression. Because otherwise I’m pulling all of Diana’s teeth without anesthesia.