Menstral Marci

8 Dec

As a tech at an animal hospital, I am exposed to a lot of people.  Over 17 years (OMG!) of spending time as observer, volunteer, and legit employee (12 years–Jesus, I’m getting old), and I have a lot of stories.  I’m not certain why I am just now getting to writing any of them down.  Here’s a relatively recent one–names have been slightly altered to protect the innocent.  It was a scene working at the vet–that I will never forget.

As part of my job, I go into the exam room alone with the owner and pet to collect a history and vital signs.  This new client had a cat with an obvious abscess.  Well, obvious to me, I should say.  But every good tech knows that you never diagnose an animal and you certainly don’t tell the owner your health suspicions.  You are just in charge of asking the right questions and noticing the right things.  So needless to say, I did not tell the owner that (I suspected/knew) her cat had an abscess.

I did ask if he went outside (yes) and if he ever got into fights with other cats (maybe) and how long this had been going on.  At this, the owner was not sure.  She said she hadn’t really noticed any wounds, but she began to notice an odor 3 or more days ago.  And here I quote:  “I didn’t know if it was me, because I just started my period, or what.  It was REALLY bad though, and I usually don’t smell that bad, so I figured it must be him–he sleeps in bed with me–then I looked closer and saw this *indicates huge, pustulant abscess on cat’s neck*”

Normally, unperturbed, the thought of pustulant pussy of every kind disturbed me.  I was caught off guard and absolutely mortified at this owner’s lack of boundaries, and had no idea how to respond.  I desperately wanted this chatty owner to stop telling me so much.  I think I just nodded or something and stuck the ear pieces of the stethoscope in my ears and feigned that I was listening to the cats heart while I composed myself.  I am completely sure I was blushing, and I know I took the longest “listen” ever.

Sometimes I tell funny things like that to the vets while I am briefing them, but I saved that for the owner herself.  I just knew she would repeat the story and embarrass my doctor too.  I kinda wanted to see how the doctor would react!  The owner re-told the story, but to my great dismay, omitted the menstrual portion.  So then, I started wondering what about me made her open up to me.  Why did she tell just ME out of everyone that highly personal bit of information???

Anyway, a drain was put into the abscess and it healed nicely.  Menstrual-Marci comes in all the time for re-checks to to pay off her bill, and every time I see her I think of that moment.  I wonder if she does too. . .

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