Friday, August 8, 2008
Last night around 6:30 or so, I noticed that my cat, Frodo, was acting strangely. He was crouching in random spots of our apartment as if he was trying to go to the bathroom. I tried to put him in the litter box, but he wouldn't stay, so I just put him in our bathtub so I could keep a better eye on him. I knew pretty much instantly that something was wrong, and I was pretty sure I knew what was wrong because my old roommate Rachel had a cat who went though a similar situation.
I called around town for a vet clinic, but everything was closed. I ended up taking him to the emergency vet in Golden Valley. They were really nice to both me and Frodo, and were really good about explaining things so that I could understand. They told me that Frodo had a urinary blockage (which is what I had assumed based on what Rachel's cat Button went through) So they gave me a price estimate of what it would be to check him out, that was around $200 already.
They took him to a back room, and with in just a few minutes the Vet came back out and told me that Frodo had quite a lot of crystals formed in his bladder which were causing the blockage and inflamation of the urinary track. (it's essentially like a kitty kidney stone) I was informed that they wanted to keep him over night so they could flush out his system and give him anti-boitics. They also said they might have to put a catheter in if he still seems unable to pee. They came back with a price of over $500... which I had to pay right then.
I left thinking about the ridiculous amount of money I just spent, and told myself that it was worth it. I know I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I had just let Frodo suffer and die. So I came back this morning at 7 am, which mind you, is the earliest I've had to be somewhere in a really long time.
The vet came out and said that they had indeed needed to give Frodo a catheter, which was like an additional $100 or so, and that I would need to take him to my regular vet for the afternoon so that they could administer more fluids (he gave me a iv bag to take to the next vet) and take out the catheter later in the day. (they close at 8 am) So I paid more money.. almost $200 . At this point I decided it would be best if I just stopped calculating it all in my head, because honestly, I don't really want to know what it all added up to be.
I came home and let Frodo rest for just a little while until my regular clinic opened. I gave them a call and unfortunately they were booked all day, and I needed to get Frodo to a vet straight away. So I called the AMC on 26th and Hennepin, and they said I could bring him in right then.
But oh, little did I know what I was getting myself into. In retrospect, I should've just fucking waited and taken him anywhere else..
So here's the story of dealing with the dumbest people ever.
Ok, maybe not ever, but seriously, how thick can you get?
Let me explain:
On the phone, the receptionist told me that I could bring Frodo in right away. She told me the cost for keeping him there for the day would be about $17, and the technician fee would be around $18. I'm thinking, sweet, because I've spend god knows how much already.
I drive right over there, park next to the Tea Garden, and walk to the vet next door. This place is possibly the most ghetto veterinary facility I have ever seen. The reception counter was covered in animal hair as wells as bits of a chewed up dog treat. Behind the counter, the desk area was covered in random papers, files, coffee cups, and a cat who wandered freely among and on top of all of the crap. Including the computers. I look up and see a few of the vomit- colored ceiling tiles were coming off. All of this I could've by-passed if the people I had talked to were intelligent human beings. This, however, was not the case.
Talking to the 2 female technicians felt like being stuck in an episode of the "Simple Life". They had no fucking clue what they were talking about and had to call 2 other Vets about information that I had already given them. It's like they saw one of those cheesy mid-day commercials about some community college where "You can become integrated in this fascinating world of the medical industry! Just pick one of the following careers and you'll be on your way in just a few months!..." And thought, "Wow! I do want to be integrated into the medical industry... hey, I like puppies... I can become a Veterinary Technician..."
Okay, let me back up a little. I had explained on the phone already about Frodo and what the emergency Vet had told me, which was to have him be on an iv of fluids and the catheter for the afternoon. Simple right? Oh one would think.
I walk into the vet, and there are 2 young women sitting behind the disgusting counter. I told them I was the one who just called about Frodo. At first everything seemed usual what with the usual questions of have you ever been here before, etc.. After they had taken down my information one of the girls, whose name turned out to be Beth (Beth, I'm sorry if you're reading this, but seriously, maybe you should re-think going back to school for a little while longer, because lets face it, you're a fucking moron) asked what I was there for. I told them again about frodo, the emergency vet, the catheter, the fluids.. I handed over the bag that the emergency vet had given me. Beth took out the iv bag and started to absent-mindly play with it. She asked if they were supposed to put him on the iv.. (really, Beth? Why the fuck else would I have an iv bag for my cat?) She then tried to tell me that I could do it myself! I was like, Uh.. what? She said to "just put it under his skin" I looked at her dumb-founded for a minute. Mind you I was exhusted by this point what with all of the stressing out about the bills and the early wake up call and the driving all over town.. and repeat, "what?" She said to "just put it under his skin whenever he needs it.." Again, really Beth? You're telling me, some one with no trained medical knowledge what-so-ever, to put an iv in my cat "whenever he needs it" There are so many things wrong with this statement that I don't even know where to begin
I said, again in my half-awake state, "uh.. I don't know how to administer an iv.. and I don't know "when he needs it"... At this point I was still kind of confused as to whether or not these people were for real. Mind you, this all took place in less than 10 mins of me being there.
I then discover that the vet isn't even in yet. Why the fuck would a clinic open at 8 am if the vet doesn't get there until 9 am? Especially when those in charge during his absence are probably suffering from some kind of brain damage.
I decided that Beth and the other dummy needed some more information because perhaps I just wasn't being clear enough..? Really that was just me trying to make them seem a lot less dumb than they really are. I handed over all of the documents from the emergency clinic. Beth read through them, and then decided to call the vet (a slight brain wave, maybe?) He didn't answer.. so she left a message which consisted of some mis-pronounced medical terms that even the most slightly educated person could pronounce. The other girl, whose name I never discovered, told her to try another vet. Thankfully, this one answered and told them what to do.
A little relieved by the understanding look that crossed Beth's face, I handed over Frodo. I told them to call me when the vet came in. I proceeded to go home and get ready for work. I decided to check out some of the reviews of this place online, which I probably should have done BEFORE I took Frodo there. The reviews are not at all reassuring. What little hope I had just fluttered out the window, and was proceeded with fear and anxiety. I called them several times wondering weather or not the vet had seen him yet. The first time I was told that he STILL wasn't in yet, even though it was just after 9. I called again around 9.30 and was told that the vet had another appointment scheduled already for 9 am and was with that patient currently, but oh, there is a technician with Frodo giving him the iv... I was not at all reassured by this fact, considering I had just met 2 of them, one of whom told me I could have done that myself...
I decided to trust at this point, because the only other option was to go in there ranting and raving and demand that I have my cat back only to not be able to take him anywhere else. So I calmed myself down and a short while later the vet ( Dr. Kai) did call me and I was totally reassured.
Cut to a few hours later when I go back to reclaim my poor dodo boy. And the stupidity continues..
I return to the dingy little place to discover that a few more people work there. Another young woman and a young man. Sir Dr. Kai came out and my little shed of hope for this place crashed and burned on the yellowing tile floor. "You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover" but lets face it, we all judge everything by their covers. This man was about as nice looking as the building. About 50 lbs over weight, huge bags under his eyes, and long-ish greasy hair.
Dr. Kai is a pompous prick. (Sorry Dr. Kai, but you're kind of an ass.) He told me that I really, REALLY should leave the catheter in over night, maybe 2 nights because he's seen this kind of blockage many times before and most of the time the blockage returns.. now are you SURE you want to take the catheter out? Yeah, that's what I fucking said..
I trust the emergency vets and they told me, he only needed to have it in for the afternoon, hence my decision making process.
He went back down the hall where he had emerged from, and yelled to some unseen person to take it out. Followed by, do you know how to do that? ! what!? Why the fuck wouldn't they know how to do that!? Why would you hire someone who possibly didn't know how to do that.. For fucks sake.
Now I'm waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Everyone had gone back downstairs. It was just me and that mangey old cat. The phone rang, and no one answered it. It rang again. It rang again. What the fuck were they all doing down there? The young man who I had seen earlier came up about 20 minutes later. I told him that the phone had rung. He said, ".. yeah..." and just petted the cat and sat down behind the computer.
A few more minutes later and the 3rd girl came out with Frodo and just handed him over. I was like.. uh, I had a cat carrier...
She was like, oh,.. right. When she gave it to me, it still had fucking tubing in it. By this point I can no longer act surprised by all of the ridiculous shit these people did. Then as I'm trying to get Frodo back into his carrier, Beth comes out holding the half used iv bag and asked me if I wanted it. I just looked at her... what? Do I need that ? What am I supposed to do with that..? She said I could donate it to them if I wanted. I was like, sure yeah. Take it.
Then to top off my unbelievable day, this vet bill came out to be $178 and some change. 178. I was quoted at like 40. Really people? At this point, I can't even care anymore, I just wanted to get the fuck out of that place. Never again. NEVER NEVER NEVER take your animals to this place.