Sunday, August 24, 2008

The stiletto cuts quick

Since Heidi is away on her mini-break with her good friend Shelly in Iowa City, I guess it falls to me to do the Walter updates. The short version of the story is that, as of yesterday morning, he was STILL not eating or drinking appreciably. I measured out a cup of water into his dish and 8 hours laster, I measured what was left. Pretty much everything I had put in there was still there, so no oral intake of fluids. I had talked to the vet about this on Friday, so she had set aside a bag of IV fluids for us to pick up on Saturday morning in case he was still not taking fluids. On Saturday, we hopped on the bike and picked them up. All the while, I was trying to figure out what in the world I was going to hang that bag of fluids from.

I was feeling very MacGyver when I realized that I didn't exactly have an IV pole from which to hang the bag. What I ended up using was the drying rack we use for clothes that can't be dried. For a minute, I thought I might have to use a shoestring as well (if a piece of belly button lint had been needed, then I was DEFINITELY changing my name to MacGyver) but I managed to hook it over the top and it worked just fine.

I got the tubing hooked up and primed, and then put the needle on. Anna was helping me at this point, and no sooner did I take the shield off the needle than I stuck my left thumb with the 18 gauge needle. In the 13 years that I have been a pharmacist, I have never gotten a single needlestick. Until now. Of all the needles to do that with, it had to be the one that is pretty much like a knitting needle. Bleeding ensued. Anna was concerned. Fortunately, I healed quickly and we were able to get about 200 mL of fluid into Walter during the day yesterday.

Anna was a supremely helpful veterinary assistant, as the following photo demonstrates.

I seriously could not have done it without her help.

Last night before I went to bed, I noticed that a little bit of the salmon that I had put in the cage for him to eat had disappeared, so things are looking up again. I am kind of weighing the pros and cons of doing another 100-200mL of subcutaneous fluids today, but I also don't want to fluid overload him. So we'll see. He's a little perkier today and his nose is wet, which it had not been for the last several days.

Also, courtesy of Hans (Heidi's brother), a statue of Bast arrived in the mail yesterday. What a good guy!

(Bonus points and my instant friendship to anyone who can identify the source of this post's title. And no fair Googling!)

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