Puss everywhere and screaming doctors

I’m almost teaching full yoga classes. David, my trainer, keeps complimenting me on how happy he is that I am not grossed out by sweaty people and that I dare to touch everyone without hesitation. I wish he could see me the rest of the week…Sweaty people are the least of my concern.

Monday evening at 10 pm one of the doctors on call rang me up. We had an emergency, a dog had a badly infected uterus (Piometra) and we needed to remove it asap. Did I want to come in for the anaesthesiology? Oh my fucking yes I do!! It’s hard to imagine for anyone who’s not in this field…but for some reason..the uglier and dirtier the case, the more excited we get. Also this was my first time solo, my nerves were flying through the roof!

I was out at dinner with my sister at this point. She’s a people nurse and she said she’d drive me if she could come and watch. Yeah..great plan. The doctor was just happy that we came in, and my sister ended up to be of great help. Sisters in surgery

It was a long night,..the infected uterus was harder to remove than we had thought at first. The dog lost a lot of blood and we were standing in a pool of it, together with well used gauzes and the smell off meat past the date. The stress got too much and there was a point where everyone was just screaming at each other to get things done. I remember trying to calm the doctor down by telling her how well the dog was doing. She was, her breathing remained incredibly stable during the whole operation.”Would you just shut the fuck up!!” I got as a reply. It took a few deep breaths and another doctor who came in at 1 am and before we knew it the dog was up and awake, minus one big fat gross uterus.

There we were, 2.15 am, smelling of blood and dog pee we drove home. In 4 hours my alarm was set to go again. Luckily no surgeries planned,…or so we thought.

Knocking back a cup of iced cappuccino a distressed lady came in with her cat. The cat had given birth to 3 kittens on Sunday and she was still bleeding. This was a lovely white cat but now covered in red gore, it looked like the cat version of Carrie. For all you ladies who have once woken up to the worst period of their life..That smell..multiplied by 100 mixed with cat an kitten poo. Yes, my thoughts exactly.

Another uterus removal in 24 hrs. Yay..this stench was overwhelming, there was pus and blood coming out of her all the time and within no time half the practice had bits everywhere. During the surgery we had to keep a close eye on her temperature. I got out the thermometer and carefully made my way under the operation cloth to find, oh yes, her anus. Now this cat had just given birth, her hoo-ha still swollen to 60 times the size, her butt hole teeny compared to this. Also, as there was cloth over my hands I couldn’t see a thing. Here I am, using my bare hands to find a way through the puss, blood and stench to find a cats butt hole, and it took me minutes too. Why not an office job Ainslie, why did you want to do this soo badly?

At the end of the day, life isn’t pretty, we all pretend to be pretty and clean. But face it, we are all big bad bags of blood and guts.

There is a point where the care of an animal is bigger than anything and you just don’t think about what you are actually doing. Things that gross you out normally, vanish. Because if it was you in that position, you’d be so happy somebody was fumbling around in your blood to find your anus……….

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The perks of disgustingness

So I am almost 29 and half way through my study to be a veterinary nurse. It sounds very cute and fluffy but really, most my days look like this:                                                                                               Instead of this:  

If anything, people who work in this area have the stronger stomach ever. And I’ve seen some pretty disgusting stuff but last week turned disgusting into a whole new meaning.

I recently started an internship at a local petting zoo/ children’s farm. I needed some experience with animals other than cats and dogs. I had already been turned down by another farm by my appearance. I am 5”2 and look like a 18 year old, which has its advantages, but this farmer just scanned me from top to bottom and said  they were full. (Having just said they were looking for interns a few moments before) So I was really happy that this farm wanted to take me on board.

The most important thing I had to experience was a birth, of any kind, just a birth. Luckily all sheep and goats were with young and due within the next few weeks so I was present with a few.

A very interesting experience obviously. Hard too, because there is no way a goat understands you when you say it’s going to be ok. Talking to goats has become my speciality during this time. And they have been so kind to forgive me of everything I have said to them during  labour, as soon as I presented them their babies.

But as any creature, births are loud and bloody. And a little slimy. To think that humans go through the exact same thing in the same way as sheep and goats is something I’d rather not think too much about at this time. The worst is the ‘afterbirth’. This thick, slimy, bulgy thing mixed with blood and string that sort of hangs out of them for ages. After the whole birthing experience is over we clean up and dump everything on the dung heap.

The next morning all of us working there forget about everything the day before because today we have baby goats and lambs! And every morning as usual, we let out our pigs Haka and Hina. Two very stubborn little Maori-pigs from New Zealand. While we are busy cleaning out stables and before we open to the public they get to run around, eat grass, bug us for food. They usually start with a sprint to the dung heap to sniff out any interesting food. Remember they are pigs, they eat absolutely anything.

After returning with a full wheelbarrow of crap I found Haka and Hina fighting over a bloody piece of afterbirth they had dug up in the hill. Fighting over it like a tug-of-war. Feeling rather sick at the sight I called one of my workmates over. It wouldn’t kill them, but it’s a little unhygienic at the least! Another intern came over and the three of us tried everything to move them out of the dung heap. But pigs are heavy and they just found their gold, they weren’t going anywhere.

So picture three little girls shoving and yelling at two indifferent pigs. Mission impossible. When the other girl finally contained Hina I was giving it everything I had to work Haka out of the heap. Unfortunately as I was pushing him he suddenly moved leaving me face downward in the dung and blood.  Slimy, bloody bits of whatever mixed with shit of at least 15 different animals covered my entire body. I wear huge wellington boots and jeans but I am not prepared for this kind of mess.  The rest of the day I go to smell like sheep ass and look like a chicken during moult.

This week I started my other internship at a vets practice. I was almost relieved that the worst thing that happened on my first day was a dog that pissed on my arm.

It’s a vet nurse’s life for me.

Lady-bits-antics

There is nothing more awkward for any female on this planet than having a full check up at the gynaecologist. Trust me, I can’t think of anything worse, but it’s my annual obligation to check if I don’t have tentacles growing out of my uterus, or a mutated hobbit growing inside me. You know, the usual stuff.

For my last check-up I asked my sister along. She is a med student and watching something like this is, to her, the best thing that could happen this year. Then again, I might as well have someone familiar and honestly interested in my hoo-ha with me for support.

The session usually starts with a bunch of questions about your sex life and vagina. Working through them, the gynaecologist  suddenly asked if it would be ok to have an intern to help with the exam. Errr,..  “Yeah I guess”. Students need to learn somehow right?  The more the merrier?

A young guy walks in, not saying a thing and the most serious face you have ever seen. So after the whole ‘drop your pants and sit in this amazing you-can’t-hide-anything chair the gyno-lady starts explaining all the steps in medical terms to the intern, who continues to nod in silent seriousness. To me, this is all quite humorous and awkward at the same time. Somehow his serious face, doesn’t match me half naked with my lady parts on a weird angle. Then she pulls on a glove, letting it slap against her wrist and applies half a tube with lube to her fingers. Let the games begin.

No matter how often you tell yourself ‘ah it’s alright they see this a million times a day’ having three people stare at your vagina, including a spotlight so they can ‘see’ clearer, this is a far from comfortable experience. She starts the manual internal exam and then asks the intern to follow her instructions as h will continue the exam. He gets this speculum so they can have an even closer look and really tries jabbing it in all sorts of angles that hurt so much I want to cry. Finally the gyno- lady takes over and does it properly. This is when my sister jumps up excitedly, shoves the doctors out of the way, gasps and then yells “Omg I can like see your womb!” Note to self: Next time keep it a solo event.

Still leg strapped in the chair, I am down to the last exam, an internal ultrasound. Basically this is just a super expensive dildo with a built in camera. The intern takes a minute to adjust his composure, takes a few deep breaths, squirts the other half of the tube of lube on the device and goes for it. Or so he thinks. Three long minutes pass as he tries to find the right opening and angle. Again I can feel tears start to appear, but not from pain. My sister gives me one look and we both burst out laughing at this guy. I mean how hard can it be,…for a guy!? “How long have you been working here?” I ask. “Oh, this is my first week” he replies smiling.

I eventually leave the room feeling like a complete useless guinea pig. Leaving behind a mortified doctor to be, a fascinated sister and a brand new appointment for next year.