I’ve managed to avoid certain unsavory sorts of procedures for my entire career, but sometimes a vet’s gotta do what a vet’s gotta do. This week, I had to remove an eyeball.
I know I’m not alone in saying that, even though my job consists of expressing anal glands and cleaning out infected pustular abscesses, even the most hardened, non-gross-outable of us are sometimes squeamish about eyes. It took me 10 years to work up the nerve to get Lasik. I had to leave during “Fire in the Sky” during that one scene- ugh, if you’ve seen it you know the one. Eyes. Ick.
And by “had to remove,” I really do mean “had to.” I refer these guys out usually, for lots of reasons, but these owners were just unable to swing a specialist. The dog was in a lot of pain from his condition, and a less than perfect enucleation would still be loads better than an untreated pup. So I did it.
Much like when I neutered Brody earlier, it helps to be focused on the task at hand- “dissect out the bulbar conjunctiva, locate and transect the orbicularis muscles” as opposed to “good GOD I can’t believe I’m pulling some poor dog’s eyeball out of his head OMG OMG OMG GROSS AIEEEEEE” which is understandably the sort of visceral reaction I was expecting. It actually wasn’t that bad. I was flush with the certainty that this barbaric sort of procedure was really in the dog’s best interest.
And when I was done, I was girlishly proud of myself like I was back in school or something. I texted my friends. I called my husband on business in China (he wasn’t as thrilled to hear from me as I thought he would be, oddly enough). I had flashbacks to the Dark Crystal and made Aughra references none of the fetuses I work with got.
My parents pretended to be interested for the intro but cut me off before I got into any details. “That’s nice, dear,” they said, before asking me what to get my daughter for Christmas. I don’t know how I ended up as their daughter, truth be told.