View Full Version : Re: TK's HCM checkup at Tufts...Phil P

October 30th 06, 04:50 PM
Nomen Nescio wrote:

> Now the disturbing development (and it may keep me from going
> back to Tufts):
> Dr. Rush and another cardiologist were looking at the echo. Pointing,
> running playbacks, and talking VERY quietly among themselves.
> This was before I knew the results and it was making me VERY
> uptight. As my wife later described it, there was a "feeling of urgency
> in the room". Looking back, I would describe it as a "feeling of excitement".
> You kinda had to be there, but it was very unnerving for me.
> So Dr. Rush told us how well TK was doing......and then:
> He wanted to sedate TK to take some readings when he was in
> a less excited state (TK was very excited about the whole event.
> squirming, bitching, etc.....He was not a happy cat)
> I was reluctant to sedate him.
> Then came the offer that really disturbed me.
> "We'd like to use him in a couple of studies we're doing. We want
> to sedate him for some more tests, do some x-rays, and draw some
> blood for (someone else) who is doing a genetic study of HCM. If
> you consent to this, there will be no charge for today's visit or any
> follow-up care" Uh-Oh. .......Houston, we have a problem.
> TK has just gone from "patient" to "data point".

That's not a problem. You get more data on what is going on in your
cat and they get info which can help cure cats of this disease. Plus,
their data may be directly applicable to humans. Sedation, even on a
cat that has HCM, if done corectly, is not a big deal. I am much more
supportive of this type of research which is done on owned cats that
are loved and well-cared for than the type of research that is done on
caged animals that live their lives with no stimulation and no one to
love them. You missed a great opportunity to help yourself as well as,
minimally, other cats.

> While I would like to help in research that might do some good
> for other cats, I have several reservations.
> a) TK is NOT a good subject for a study. He may live in a
> house, but he is not a "housecat". He's still at least 75% wild
> and is very distrusting of humans (especially men, which may
> say something about his life before we found him). He trusts
> me, he trusts my wife, but nobody else.

He won't even remember the sedation.

> b) I don't want to subject him to "tests" that he does not need
> and that increase his risks (ex. X-rays)

???? How do x-rays increase his risks?

> c) "Safe" anesthetics have almost killed me twice. (Do you know
> anyone who has been on the edge of cardiac arrest from a drop
> of Novocaine in the eye?....You do now!)
<eyeball roll>

> d) TK can't give his "consent" for the tests.

he also can't give his consent for being "owned" yet you do own him.
Did you neuter him? Did you get his consent for that? You've gone
off the deep end here...

> e) He may be an important "data point" to Dr Rush, but to me
> he's my "buddy".
> (This kinda goes back to Philosophy 101. Would you kill one
> person if it would cure cancer for all mankind?... What if that person
> were someone you loved?)


> Anyway, I thought about it for a VERY short time and then declined.
> Dr Rush was visibly "displeased" with my decision.I think he thought
> I would jump at saving $300 on the day's visit since most of the time
> (as my wife describes it) I "look like I should be standing on the street
> corner with a tin cup in my hand". (A bit of advice, guys. You may want
> to think twice about marrying a fashion model if you're really fond
> of your 10 y.o. jeans)
> But anyway, the mood in the room REALLY went downhill from there.
> I stood firm. TK was NOT going to be part of their study. I did finally
> agree to let them draw a small blood sample for genetic testing.
> That turned out to be a big mistake even though it seemed like a fairly
> benign proceedure.
> An assistant prepared the needle and Dr Rush grabbed TK and held
> him in position to draw blood from his jugular. TK struggled, Dr Rush
> held him tighter, assistant poked, Tk struggled, assistant poked again.....
> Four times and no blood sample. Then TK pulled back, shook his
> head, and missed the point of the needle with his eye by what looked
> like millimeters. That was enough! So I said "I don't think this is working
> very well".

S/he should have hit the vein in at least two adjustments of the
needle. I agree woimever was doing the draw wasn't experienced.

> Dr Rush snapped at me: "If your going to say things like that when
> TRAINED PROFESSIONALS are doing their job, you'll have to
> "No, were done", I said in as non-belligerent a tone as I could muster.
> "He's just too excitable today"
> "You want to stop?"......"Yes"
> So that was it for the blood draw.
> Admittedly, I might have been a little more diplomatic about stopping
> things, especially since two students were in the room. But I wanted it
> stopped, immediately, and didn't have the time to choose my words
> as carefully as I would have liked.

You have every right to stop anyu procedure you want. The mistake they
made was doing the draw in the room with you. The cat should have been
taken to the back.

> The visit was wrapped up with a level of tension that was so thick
> you could cut it with a knife.
> Went out to the counter to pay the bill and get the basic report. Written
> on the bottom under "follow up visit" we were "advised that TK will
> need to be sedated" for the next echo.
> Dammit!

Sedation really gives the best results.

> If TK continues to do well, I've got a year to decide how to handle
> this. But my gut feeling says DON'T take him back to Tufts now that
> he is considered an important data point in a research project.
> This turned into a longer rant than I intended, but I'm really torn as
> to how I should handle this. Obviously, my concern is to get TK
> to best care possible for TK.
> I see two choices:
> Don't go back to Tufts.
> (Where do I take him?)
> or
> Go back to Tufts and make it real clear that I am here for TK's
> benefit and I don't give a flying f**k about his research.
> (That should go over real big)

Well, I hate to tell you but when you aren't part of the research study
you immediately become a second-class citizen. I experienced it when I
was seeking treatment for my vision loss. It sucks, but that's a
research Uni for you.