I took on the vet clinic and I don’t think I won.

This morning started like every Saturday morning should..what a perfect PERFECT day.

The sun could not be clearer in  the Colorado blue sky and the leaves are still out and it was just a glorious morning. Cold as hell, don’t get me wrong, but pretty glorious. At 25* Miss Hollie and I opted to put off our run until early afternoon.

I figured I’d enjoy writing up a quick post, reading for a little while, enjoying the ten minutes of meditation that’s been getting me through my week and then taking myself for a quick run. That’s how pretty of a morning it was.

Sean and I decided to hijack Alex and Megan’s plans and go to Colorado Springs. I’ve always wanted to visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo but there is always something else going on that keeps me from going. So this time I was on board. To top off the magic of the perfect Saturday, the Lantern Fest was happening this evening.  I was pretty excited about this possibility…I love even the idea of the lantern fest. Yes, even in the cold.

I mean…seriously…

lanterns

lanterns2

lanterns1.

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Unfortunately…our morning happened like this instead:

Skosh Ate Malachi’s pain med this morning. Yes, that’s right. After googling and calling, we were off to the vet because he had taken a dangerous level of Rimadyl and it can kill cats by destroying their kidneys. And he had taken a tragic little amount considering his size.

We have loved our vet for this one doctor who clearly makes it known how much he cares for our pets. But we don’t always have great luck with everybody. It’s the luck of the draw, right?

They gave him medicine to make him throw up and he didn’t throw up.  The medicine only works about 50% of the time so it was worth a shot. They then reverse it to see if they can get it to work backwards. Still nothing. The bill for this was $166. Okay…I’ll pay that. Totally worth it. Then they presented me with the estimate …

$1700

um…what?

Now, in their defense, they gave two estimates. If all goes well it’ll only be $1400. But if it doesn’t (it never goes to the lower estimate. Does it ever go to the lower estimate?) then it’s the higher one.

Um…holy cow. Does anyone else think that’s crazy high?

I didn’t even hesitate. I looked at it and handed it back to her and said, “yeah, that’s not going to happen”.

I was polite about it but matter of fact. That’s nearly two house payments! (sorry to all of you who have really high house payments)

She looked a little surprised but then said no problem. They have Care credit available!

I said no. I’m not doing Care credit. Hello, I’m a banker. That’s so not smart. I’m not having someone run my credit and open a credit account to the tune of 20% interest –  no. And I get it. We can make payments and pay it off early and there will be no interest. No. Sean and I do not want  a credit account. I can put it on my credit card. I can take it out of my savings…so painful. But it’s the principal of the thing. $1700???

So I asked if there were other options. She gave me a piece of paper with a list of six or seven other vet clinics that could provide daytime IV fluids for Skosh but he wouldn’t be able to get evening care. She insinuated heavily and at one point basically told me I’m getting what I pay for. I will be getting a lesser quality of care if I take Skosh to one of these places. I asked if they were bad places and she said, “oh no, we refer people all the time!”. Okay, so…that sounds okay to me. I mean, people can’t afford vet care! We can but I would be lying if I said we won’t notice the absence of those funds. I mean…seriously.  So I looked a little at a loss and then said, “okay, well, I guess…I’ll take Skosh? And my husband and I will figure out which clinic to take him to?” sort of in that…is that how this works voice. Because I don’t know but I’m pretty stressed at this moment. I say that mildly but I’m pretty stressed. Like…burst into tears stressed. She said okay and she’d go tell the doctor. I called Sean…I burst into tears and had to hang up on Sean so I could compose myself.

She came back and said she needed me to sign the “against medical advice” paper…kind of in a routine like voice but I didn’t get that vibe.

um…so What now?

I asked how this was against medical advice. “Should I be leaving him? Can I leave him and figure out where to take him and then come back and get him?”

Well, yes, she said ideally they want to transfer straight from one clinic to the other and they’ll fax his records to them.

That’s what I was trying to figure out…Chick. You’re killin’ me. Are we just not tracking here?

Okay, I’ll do that.

I leave.  Note:  I never once actually saw or spoke to a doctor.

I get home and tell Sean, figure out the clinic I’m taking him to and head back to get him.

Back to pick up Skosh and she says they’ve given Skosh some Charcoal but not charged me. It’s a courtesy. I don’t really know what to say to that because at this point nothing feels courteous. I just say thank you and leave. Skosh and I drive the 20+ miles across Denver to the clinic they recommended.  The clinic there isn’t answering their phone and there is a line around the block for this clinic. And after sitting in front of the place for nearly an hour they finally answer and are ticked off that my clinic sent me to them. They can’t handle that kind of care and they don’t have the staff (My clinic is VERY surprised to hear this).

excuse me?

Back to square one.

Sean finds a clinic and  they’ll take Skosh overnight. It’s only about 16 miles from where I am (only!) so off I go to THAT clinic.  That doctor gets a brief overview from the tech and the records and then says he can get Skosh a quick IV and then they can help me find a vet that can take Skosh overnight.

um…what? ??

Apparently they DON’T provide the level of care Skosh needs, they don’t have overnight care or staff provided and what the hell? Sean had very detailed information so you have to wonder if the front desk lady was actually listening when he was talking. Though she was very nice. Not helpful. Sean was not happy and very confused.

While Sean searched for a clinic closer to our house… I sat in the car and read his little chart the tech had filled out on him at the original clinic.

She did not like me.

This was so clear in everything she wrote.  I spent the whole day being angry at the way someone who is on a budget might be treated and after reading this little paragraph of hers I’m even more angry and hurt that this vet clinic we’ve trusted all these years would treat us like this because we have the nerve to maybe not want to put our family finances in jeopardy if at all possible. Maybe it’s the way I handled it. If I’d looked sad and pathetic and poor maybe she would have been nicer. But because I was firm about what would be done and what wouldn’t be done…she took an immediate defense mode.

I just listened to Ellen on Oprah’s Master Class. She said in that smart ass but nice Ellen way,
“There are people that don’t like me, obviously. Very few, I’m sure. But I don’t pay attention to it as much and I don’t alter and I would never alter the way I am to change that. If they don’t like me I can’t do anything about it because I think I’m a good person.  I’m a kind person. I try very hard to treat everybody with respect.  And I want to just be honest and so this is just who I am. So if you like me great if you don’t, you know, I don’t know why. I mean look at me.” ~source

I thought…yep.  I have no problems with what I said and how I said it. I was polite and I was firm and respectful the whole time. I had no intention of waffling because Sean and I just don’t walk around with $1700 we can toss around. Hello, we just fixed a $3000 transmission a few weeks ago. I’m still in therapy from that.

I was far more upset that she put her feelings in writing in such a pointedly slanted and clearly mean way. If she didn’t like me, I can’t help that. But she didn’t have to taint the report so every person that reads it will then form an impression of me. And yes…a lot of people read it. 

Skosh and I crossed town one more time the other way but thankfully ended up closer to home. The clinic is very nice and I was certain the cost would be $1700. It isn’t. Their high end is $1300. Their low end is $1000. So right out of the gate I saved several hundred dollars. Was it super cheap? No. Was I thrilled? Nope. My stomach hurt all day. I threw up twice. I cried ridiculously every single time I talked to Sean.  I know, pretty awesome, right? I’m not usually that ridiculous but I was mad and frustrated all day and I felt so completely powerless. And that is one of my core issues. Powerless. Breaks me right down.

People that hold that power over you and act that way have a mean little spirit.

The doctor at the new place seemed nice enough. He read the chart. I attempted to graciously explain. He attempted to blow me off and tell me that due to liability they have to do that. No. They don’t. They have to write facts, they don’t have to slant the facts based on their own feelings.

At one point she wrote “owner unhappy that he didn’t vomit”. Um..I’m sorry?

I believe what I said was, “he didn’t vomit? That’s a bummer”. What did she WANT me to say?

At the end of the forms it says they gave him charcoal ~”did this no charge due to liability issues”. Interesting that in the formal chart it’s liability issues but to me it’s a courtesy…like she cares about my finances and all that.

When we left the military we got our medical records. It’s really eye opening when you get to see exactly what they write about you in the charts thinking you’re never going to see it. We had an issue with one of our kids we were repeatedly concerned about.  The doctor wrote: “overreactive parents”. This kid ended up in the emergency room for this issue.

Remember my  mother’s rule? Never put anything in writing you don’t want the whole world to read.

Sean and I try not to waffle in our decision making. We want to do what’s best for everyone involved. We try to take in all the information we can and make the decision with that. We’re pretty bright people. I did that today and have no regrets. Only confusion and frustration and sad. I have sad.

After all this we don’t even know if Skosh will be okay. They’ll test his kidney function and see how it goes. We left the clinic and the sun was setting, it was nearly dark. I cried more.

My whole day gone. This beautiful day. (I’ll keep you guys posted on Skosh)

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May my heart be kind, my mind fierce, and my spirit brave:

Run on…

8 Replies to “I took on the vet clinic and I don’t think I won.”

    1. I’m SO sorry!! Mean people suck.

      Thanks for the prayers. I told Sean he probably didn’t eat the damn pill, Malachi is feeling no pain and Skosh is wondering what all the fuss is about. Sigh…

    1. Thank you Diane. There are a few wonderful people there that we appreciate SO much. It makes me sad to think these people are ruining the reputation of what used to be a really good place.

  1. I believe I might just yelp them. With the crappy attitude AND incompetent behavior. (Sending you to vets who don’t even offer certain services) plus I would contact the vet Renard board and make it clear that their standard of care follows far behind their making a buck. People who act like that deserve what they get.

    1. We haven’t decided exactly what we’re going to do but I think it’s lack of sleep and emotional yuck that’s guiding us right now. Sounds like a lot for just a vet visit but it was SUCH a day. I’m going to start with a conversation with our doctor over there. We have to tell him we’re leaving and he’s going to want to know why…

  2. Oh no 🙁 What an awful, awful day on so many levels. Sending good thoughts for Skosh and for you! (I’ve also read a doctor’s notes on me for one visit and it was not the nicest thing anyone’s said about me =/ ) Hugs!

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