The dog has saved my life

Published 1:20 pm Monday, May 4, 2009

By Staff
Trusting a physician to make the right choices for your healthcare is the biggest part of a patient’s recovery.
I’ve uttered that phrase  countless times over the years and I do believe it’s true. Even though I trust my personal physician completely, I can’t help but have a sense of fear as I face the sharp edge of a scalpel.
Who knew that feeding the dog one Sunday morning would put me in the spot I’m in today.
I prepared to feed our lone dog breakfast before getting ready for church one Sunday morning about five weeks ago now. Wanting to give him a treat I decided to feed him canned food instead of the dry, crispy chunks from the big bag of food that sits in the corner of my carport. When I tried to open the can the lid wouldn’t come off completely.
If you’ve ever opened a can of dog food, you probably know what I did when I couldn’t cut the top off. Yes, I bent it back and tried to empty the can into the dog dish. Since it was loaf-type dog food, it wasn’t releasing from the can very well. Rather than go inside the house to retrieve a spoon to scoop out the food, I began shaking and tapping on the can with my hand.
I realized, a split second too late, that hitting the side of the can with my hand was a mistake. My hand slipped and the result of a slipped hand on the side of a can with a bent back lid was 13 stitches for me. Yep, hitting the side of a dog food can isn’t a smart move.
I drove to the emergency room and a fine doctor stitched me up and carried on a pleasant conversation in the process. Thanks to the skillful hands of Dr. Southworth, I have a scar that is diminishing every day.
After having those stitches in for a week, I was told to see my regular doctor to have them removed. I did as I was told and went to see Dr. Dan. Of course I took the usual lecture of how silly it was to do what I did to get the stitches, but I couldn’t ask for a more understanding physician.
As he finished removing the stitches, he looked up at me, frowned a little and asked me to hold my head up. It was then that he noticed something about me that had certainly escaped my attention.
The lump he felt in my neck concerned him enough to order some tests and a couple of biopsies. After some discussion I was sent to an appointment with a surgeon.
The plans have been made and the day is quickly approaching that will leave me with a scar from ear to ear, so to speak.
I’ve told you all of this for a reason. Although I am concerned about what the outcome will be and what the surgeon will find after he takes out my thyroid, I’m not concerned about how my situation will be handled.
Ten years ago this week, I gave birth to my son at D.W. McMillan Hospital. I don’t believe I could have been treated with more kindness, compassion, consideration and care during the three days I was a patient there.
I have loved ones who have spent time at D.W. McMillan Hospital and can honestly say the nurses, doctors and other staff members at the hospital couldn’t have been more concerned with healthcare duties.
I have no fear that Dr. Raulerson has made the right decision to refer me to a surgeon. I have no fear that Dr. Boshell will do a fabulous job cutting me open and sewing me up. I have no fear that the nurses who will be in charge of my care while at the hospital will do a fantastic job.  I have no fear that God will be with me, the doctors and nurses during my upcoming surgery.
Even with all of the things I am certain of concerning this little scare I’m facing, I only have a fear of the unknown and what might have been if the bump in my neck hadn’t been discovered.
I hope our dog, Mike, knows he might have saved my life.
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard.
She can be reached by email at lisa.tindell@

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