I have just discovered that I would have made a worthless vet.

It is a good thing, because I have sometimes wondered if I should have chosen that course following a degree I have at times considered unhelpful (linguistics). Perhaps I should clarify that my wife is a vet, and that I sometimes feel that her job is a real ‘thing’ to do, whereas being without a named vocation is a bit abstract.

However, tonight I was asked to accompany my wife to help while she was ‘on call’  because she thought I might be helpful replacing fluids in a terrier a few hours after the practice closed.

Sure, shouldn’t be too much trouble.

The little, old terrier had managed to pull its catheter out, so the drip was hardly flowing into its vein at all, so my wife had to replace the catheter and re-attach the drip. So, I held the dog with its head away from its foreleg and raised the vein for a needle. Suddenly, the room began to shrink and grow very warm, and the dog began to get further away from me.

"You look very pale, are you OK?"

"erm…, I think you should hold the dog…"

I then stumbled away from the table and had to sit on the stone floor for a few minutes waiting for my heart to return to normal and the room to cool.

It turns out I can’t really take the feeling of a dog struggling away from a needle while watching it disappear under the skin. It doesn’t mentally bother me. I have no concerns about it, and the idea doesn’t really put me off, so it doesn’t make much sense to me that I should so nearly faint when actually there. Maybe it’s something to do with the antiseptic smell or the warm, close room.

A few minutes later  I was fine–even able to help wipe up the table and carry the old thing to her kennel. It didn’t help the embarrassment, though. Imagine a big, strong lad like me nearly fainting over a centimetre of needle in an old dog?

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