A Double-Dog Dare & Lainey & A Birthday

CA Heidi has raised some excellent points recently that reflects her experience in the area of human medicine -- for example, the importance of being open to questions, and the M & M concept. And I appreciate so much all your emails and comments -- the fact that this is helping in any way is why I keep writing about it.

It is unfortunately true that fear of litigation shuts down communication, and that is sad because communication helps to prevent litigation when there are concerning medical outcomes. I offer myself as Example A -- the treating veterinarian's response to my expressed concerns about Cadi's care was immediate, heartfelt and appropriate, and instantly defused the situation. Our plan was to meet in person and talk more -- unfortunately she is now under orders not to speak to me.

In my personal life, I feel surrounded by attorneys -- and they are some of the best and most ethical people I know. Nobody is pushing litigation -- including me. I just want to talk about what happened, go over the evidence together, and consider what could have been different -- that is what Heidi described as an M & M (btw -- I like mine with peanut butter).

And if we - as a team -- decide that fluids were not indicated and may well be implicated in Cadi's suffering/death, then I do not want the clinic to profit from that and so I will want a refund. Nothing more -- a refund. And if the clinic doesn't want to refund it to us, then they can donate the exact amount to Berner-Garde -- a non-profit berner charity.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves -- the first step is to talk about what happened, and not with third-hand colleagues weighing in as "experts" based on one version of the "facts" but with a critical (as in thoughtful -- not negative) eye on the exact situation by those involved -- and the peer-reviewed published literature that should help guide "best practices".

But I am sitting at that table alone and nobody is talking -- I feel as if I am being dared to litigate. As if this is a test -- will I throw grace and forgiveness under the bus, and sue the treating veterinarian? I will not -- even though she will no longer talk to me. She did the right thing -- about potentially having done the wrong thing -- and I cannot and will not throw her under the bus because I am unhappy with her boss.

So a quandary -- but one that I will work through. Doing nothing is not an option -- so how to do something about my concerns without abandoning grace and forgiveness? In such cases as this, we need to slow down and be thoughtful -- not rushing to act. And we need to consider the helpful feedback of others, and also continue to examine our own hearts to ensure that motivation stays on a correct course and never ventures to revenge.

I have lots of experience with death -- it happens to all of us and everyone we love. This situation is not a reaction to grief -- it is a reaction to a process that I have concerns about -- and I have every right to have those concerns and expect that they will be addressed. But I cannot make other people do or feel anything, and I respect the rights of others to handle things in ways that are different than mine. That doesn't mean I give up -- just that I proceed respectfully.

And so I am exploring ways to handle this that preserves grace, forgiveness and good intentions -- while also honoring my own need for an explanation and -- if appropriate -- shared accountability.

In life, we get a lot of "sit down and shut up" messages like I am getting now -- I never really listen to those if I have something to say, and neither should you. One way those messages are amplified is through the use of a hierarchy -- "Mary-Ann [note first name] -- this is Dr. So and So [therefore an expert and higher on the food chain] and I say this."

Oh brother. Get over yourself.

Well, Dr. So and So -- this is Dr. Sontag Bowman and I say this -- now what?

The "now what" on the Blog is a Lainey update later -- and good thoughts for Rev and Jill right now...

Later -- and Lainey!

Cindy sends this update about cute Lainey Pippi:

"I must start by saying that I am so thankful for every minute I have with this precious puppy!  There are just too many berner goodbyes lately! Lainey continues to grow in length and height, she weighs 60# and as you can tell from the first picture - has no idea about her size. She is in her favorite place, my lap...

She is never far out of sight and usually right at my feet - the second picture is her favorite place to be every morning while I put on makeup. etc.

She is just such a well-rounded puppy - taking everything in stride - never loses her cool - and so confident and smart. She loves her foundation agility class and wasn't even fazed by the bulls that were visiting in the pasture next door!  I couldn't ask for a better puppy!"

ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Cindy :) We have bulls on our walk -- Syd stands at the fence, wags her tail and whines at them, as if to say, "You are my most favorite BFF bulls ever" -- always makes me smile...

And another reason to smile -- today is Dear Husband's birthday!!! As soon as he and his electrician friend finish repairing the lines I managed to cut with a fence post (REALLY?! Huge yard, skinny metal fence post and I hit the exact right/wrong spot?!) I am taking him out for a Happy Birthday dinner. The dogs, however, want their Happy Birthday dinner RIGHT NOW...


by cindy Heintzberger on Tue, 04/24/2012 - 17:08

Happy Happy Birthday to Kim!!!!!
Lots of hugs - Cindy and Vic

by Cousin Julie on Tue, 04/24/2012 - 19:41

Happy to see Miss Lainey as always! Seems like these plumpies grew up all of a sudden...too fast...sigh...
...and Happy Happy Birthday to Dear Hubby :) !!!!!!! I hope dinner is fabulous for you both! Enjoy

by CA Heidi on Tue, 04/24/2012 - 20:21


Your blog really spoke to me today (and not just by name!). Having spaciousness (as my friend Ann calls it), in situations like this is a skill I am really working on learning. I admire your process, and I am learning from it as you go along.

I really hope that you find resolution. I know I will learn from your outcome, no matter what it may be.


PS: I prefer my M&Ms with peanuts, too!

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