Thursday, April 24, 2014

On-Call Translator

I haven't blogged for awhile because I've been kind of busy helping with my friend's cat.  The cat was attacked by dogs recently, so we took him to an animal hospital.  After he returned home, he wasn't doing well, so we took him to a closer hospital to be checked out.  Previously we had to drive an hour to get to the hospital.  Now we can ride the bus two stops and will be there.  Come to find out, the other hospital basically put a bandaid on a serious wound, and he needs much more care.

When we took him in, the vet saw that some of the stitches were coming out, and the wound was infected.  So he removed all of the stitches and cleaned out the wound.  The next day he cleaned it again and found there was an additional wound that they hadn't noticed before.  They took an x-ray and found that his sternum is broken.  The doctor said he could do surgery, but would need to get another doctor to help.  The next day the cat started having labored breathing, so he did a procedure to suction out his chest cavity and found a lot of fluid.  They are going to do the surgery today, and I am waiting by the phone for the results.  I'm basically the translator for the cat's owner.

The sad part is that the cat may not survive the surgery, and they may not even be able to fix all of his problems.  But my friend feels she should spare no expense to save this cat.  Personally, I would probably have had them euthanize the cat days ago.  This will end up costing her over a thousand dollars.  The recovery will be at least 2 months, and if and when she decides to return to her home and not teach in China anymore, she will be giving the cat away.  This is a cat that was a wild kitten outside her apartment, that she took in and tamed and fed.  She has had him three years.  I know that people get attached to their pets, but I just think that at some point it is more humane to just end the suffering.

I am having a little bit of difficulty translating.  For one, I never before learned medical terms, and am not that up on the Chinese words for parts of the anatomy.  Sometimes I'm just getting the overall message without the details.  Yesterday my friend called and wanted me to call the vet and ask again about the details.  I told her, "I've talked to him about half a dozen times, and I still don't understand everything he is saying.  I could talk to him 100 times more, and it still won't make me understand the vocabulary any more.  I suggest you find a Chinese person to translate for you."  She hasn't been able to find someone, so I'm still the on-call translator.

7 comments:

Grannymar said...

I don't think I would have your patience, but then, I am not a cat person to begin with.

Maxi said...

You really are in a dilemma, D. Still, I agree with you that it's best for the cat to "just end the suffering."

blessings ~ maxi

Maria Perry Mohan said...

I too would be for euthanizing.

Inklings said...

I'm for the euthanizing, also. The reason you are still "on call" though is that you are a good and caring person, so bless your heart. I am sorry for your friend - if the cat dies, I know where she could get 2 adult cats. :) JK

Rummuser said...

For people with pets, euthanasia is never an option and so if she wants to go through with all these hassles, let her. Just being there for her is all that is needed.

beetlebabee said...

Stewardship is an interesting responsibility. We have stewardship over our pets and animals. Sometimes what is best for them is not what is best for us. I see this a lot in the horse world. People keep horses alive, even in constant, chronic pain, just because they can't let go, and they are under the mistaken impression that it's for the best. These animals have to be medicated, with expensive procedures costing thousands of dollars, and the best they can expect is to extend life. This is where animals and people are different. Human life is for us to learn and grow, even through pain and suffering. Animals are not here to be tested. They are here, in part, because they agreed to help us with our tests. We agree to love and care for them, but sometimes, loving and caring requires doing what is best for the animal who is suffering and in pain. Putting an animal down when it the time comes that it is suffering more than living, is a healthy part of good stewardship. That is part of the responsibility we have to our animals.

Lois Draper said...

I think I just had dejavu. Wow Robert and I could not help but laugh as we read through this post. I actually laughed after I read the first line and knew what was going to be said.