I have wanted to sit down and write a blog post so many times this week, but have been met with exhaustion and a lack of words. This week has been busy and hard and my Madison Team met it head on and saved lives.
Early in the week a huge sweetie named Winchester came in. He had been losing weight lately and now seemed to be having a hard time breathing. Before he got sick he had been 160 pounds of Mastiff handsome, he was now 123 pounds but still handsome and gentle and good. This dog immediately stole our hearts.
I ordered radiographs (x-rays) of his chest asap. His lung sounds were too quiet and I could not hear his heart. I suspected either a large tumor or free fluid in his chest. While positioning this still huge dog for the radiographs he passed out from lack of oxygen. My techs set up oxygen, yelled for me, then got the needed view so I could make a diagnosis. There was so much fluid in his chest that it had mostly collapsed his lungs and was pushing on his heart. The fluid needed to be drained immediately. We were just starting appointments, but no one stuttered or objected. The thoracocentesis (chest draining) tools were gathered and we started the long process of pulling 1.6 liters of thick fluid out of this sweet boy’s chest. After about half of a liter he picked his head up, his gums turned a beautiful shade of healthy pink, and he started smiling. It took three of us about 45 minutes to drain his chest and for all of it, Brad, one of our ward managers, was holding Winchester up or otherwise supporting most of his weight. I’m sure he was sore the next day when we had to do it again, but that time Winchester laid still like he knew that we were there to help.
Our hope is that this fluid does not come back, or at least slows down. We sent samples to a pathologist to be examined.
We also saw our share of adorable puppies, hilarious kittens, a diabetic dog who we are all pulling for, a couple goofy limping Golden Retrievers, and new older dog with half a blue eye and a lot of dignity.
Life is good and our Madison staff is great.
Thanks guys. I hope you get some sleep cause tomorrow is another day 🙂