Sunday, August 30, 2009

My poor Koa...

Friday I noticed that Koa wasn't acting right & kind of crouched when he walked, so I told Eric to keep a close eye on him while I went to work that night. When Eric came to bring me dinner that night he said that Koa was definitely favoring his right front leg. This had me worried all night, and when I got home Saturday morning he was SUPER clingy and didn't want to put full pressure on his leg.

Thankfully I called the vet & they were able to squeeze me in for a 0915 appt. The vet said she was sure there was nothing broken, but he probably had a soft tissue injury & gave us some Rimadyl (which she said was a doggy NSAID, like motrin) and for him to take one a day.

So, as soon as I got home I gave him one and told Eric to watch him closely because I needed to get some sleep since I had to work that night. Thirty minutes later Eric comes into the bedroom with Koa in his arms & says he isn't acting right. He put Koa down and he couldn't walk straight and seemed completely out of it. I told him to get in the car and head to the vet & I'll call to let them know your coming.

I hurriedly got dressed and headed out shortly after and when I get in the room they said they are going to give him something to make him vomit & they'll be back with him in a few minutes. Immediately I was having flashbacks to last summer when I lost Tyler very unexpectedly, and fought to hold back the tears as we waited anxiously in that little room.

About 5 minutes later they brought a pitiful looking Koa back to us who continued to throw up two more times while we were talking with the vet. They gave him a morphine derivative via ointment in his eyelid to make him vomit, so she warned us that he would probably sleep the rest of the day. She also gave us a different pain pill to use if he needed it, and didn't charge us for the visit or the meds (which I am not going to give him unless he is visibly in pain).

The weird part is, Koa has taken Rimadyl before! We aren't sure why this happened, but I'm very glad that he is starting to feel better. We spent most of the day on the couch together & I was lucky that Pediatrics was closed and I could continue to keep a close eye on him throughout the night.

He's doing much better this morning, but this really makes me wonder about the drugs used in veterinary medicine, and how they are regulated.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Please, please, please, read the label!!!

Before I started in the health care field I wasn't the most responsible person when it came to being an active part of my care. I never questioned the medication or treatments that the physician ordered and felt that I was just stuck with whatever was given to me. I know I can't be the only one out there that rarely checked the labels of the medication I was prescribed, or read the additional information provided by the pharmacy. Today, I really want to change that.

We had a young child admitted to my unit for a drug overdose due to the pharmacy (not the doctor or the hospital) giving this child the wrong medication. The physician ordered Orapred (generic name: prednisolone) which is an anti-inflammatory, and the pharmacy gave this family Risperidone which is an antipsychotic/mood stabilizer that is used ONLY in adults because of the risk for extrapyramidal side effects, some of which may be permanent.

The label did read "risperidone," but how often do we really check to make sure the generic name is the same as the brand name the physician said, or wrote down. So, PLEASE double check your, and your children's, medications before taking them. One website that I have used in the past is which has a wealth of information to include side effects & what the drug is used to treat. Or, feel free to email me & ask!!

So, please read ALL your labels!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Approach each situation with Love!

If the kids in my Sunday School classes over the past few years learn absolutely nothing else from me, I hope they can remember this phrase that I fit into almost every lesson, "approach each situation with love." This is much easier said than done, but I have found that what you put into a situation is almost always reciprocated.

I am starting to love my new job in Pediatrics!! I was very weary the first few weeks, and even came home in tears at times because I was having a hard time fitting into the dynamic of the this very small unit (only 6 full time employees). Before orienting to Pediatrics I was able to work a shift in most of the units throughout the hospital in an effort to do a more thorough New Graduate orientation. The other units each had their own dynamic as well, but I felt like I could be myself around the other employees.

Once I started to orient to my new unit it was a totally different change for me. When dealing with children, there is really no room for error, and thus much more intensity is required. Also, it is almost unheard of to take a brand new graduate into a Pediatric unit because it is such a specialized standard of care, so I was kind of waiting for the floor to drop out & them kick me out if I made a mistake. I believe that I was having a hard time because I wasn't able to "be myself" at work in fear that I would do something wrong, so naturally I stressed myself out.

I'm feeling slightly more comfortable at work, and I think it is in the most part because I made the active decision to be myself and keep an open mind. I am enjoying night shift & the people I have an opportunity to work with, and most of all seeing the dramatic change in these kids as they begin to heal and the smiles, that over several days, begin to emerge.