Last week, I published a post about three things that terrify me about a PCS move. And they were all about "me." On Friday, I was forced to add something else to that dreaded list, and this time, it's not about me.
The most recent addition to our family developed a lump on his side. On Friday, off we went to a new veterinarian, in a new town. Mind you, we had just been in the vet's office two weeks earlier, but that was simply for yearly shots and a routine exam.
Long story short, we have a decision to make. Subject a very young cat to a surgery which he may or may not need. I won't get into the specifics, but Max is not in any danger of losing his life. However, I'm grappling with entrusting my cat to someone I do not know and someone who, through no fault of his own, has yet to earn my complete confidence.
I have no doubt that this veterinarian is fully qualified to perform surgery, should we decide to go that route. But at the same time, I have not developed a relationship with him. Relationships are about making investments. Investments in expertise. Investments in time. Investments in trust. Investments in experience.
Granted, I realize that I'm stressing over this decision a bit more than I normally would because we had developed such an incredible relationship with the vet at our previous post. We had six years to get to know and trust her. And nothing builds trust more than when you have a dog with canine lymphoma and must undergo chemotherapy treatment. You pin your hopes entirely on the caretaker and trust that they will give him the best quality of care and make the right decisions. When your dog is facing a death sentence, there is no room for error.
If I were back at the old duty station, I would defer to my vet's opinion, without question. I have seen her perform miracles on members of my furry family on several occasions. We invested our trust in her because she earned it. In spades. She would call us at home on her day off just to check on the dog, or the cat. That's what I've become accustomed to, and while I realize a relationship has to start somewhere, and it is a building process, I haven't even begun the building process with my new vet. And I'm uncomfortable talking about surgery with someone I've just met. To be clear - this is not his fault, it's mine. And I'm fully aware of the fact that I'm being overly-neurotic about this situation.
Getting a second opinion would do no good whatsoever. I would still be at square one - listening to a vet that I don't know from Adam. A vet that doesn't know me, or my husband or our pet.
Pets are part of the family. An important part. And I want to know I'm making the right decisions about Max's care. And right now, I don't have the slightest idea what the right decision is. I will call my old veterinarian tomorrow and discuss it with her, but this episode has been one more reminder of the little (or big) annoyances that come with a PCS move. Starting over again. Letting go of the past. Building new relationships. Sometimes, it's just plain hard.
And now...Now, I rue the day I decided NOT to become a veterinarian...