Wednesday, November 30, 2005

of shoes and ships and HUGE EPIDURAL NEEDLES

so, after blogging last night and trying for a coupla hours to study (unsuccessfully) - i succumbed to the gathering migraine's power, took some tylenol pm, laid in front of the colts/steelers game with my toxo notes, and 'studied.' in all seriousness, it was one of the worst headaches i've had in recent memory. it was coupled with cramps and extreme moments of rage - so i know that it heralds the onslaught of 'that time of the month.' i've been happily not having a 'that time of the month' for the past 2 months. and no, i'm not pregnant. i wish. then i'd have a legitimate excuse to drop out of vet school.


well mostly.

i am looking forward to having kids one day. very much. i think my husband will make an excellent father. i can tell that he's looking forward to it too. he's great with kids. i have some doubts as to my own parenting capabilities -- but i (as i'm sure every pre-parent is) am PREPARED with THE Rules. how it's gonna be. no video games for more than 1 hour a day, mandatory homework hours, chores everyday. maybe my kids will get to do fun stuff too.

it's just the actual birthing of them that i'm worried about. i watched several dog spinal epidurals while i was in the neuro ward. i always thought i'd do the wimpy thing (not like my mother OR mother-in-law - both endured the birth of FIVE children naturally) and get an epidural. but guaging by the size of the needle used on a 20 lb dog - i'd better be unconscious when they come at my spinal canal. i want them to knock me out about 2 weeks before the delivery and wake me up when my child is walking and talking and potty-trained. i'm kidding --people really. how much harder than vet school can life get? seriously?

ohhh...staying up all hours of the night to feed the baby? yeah. big deal. getting no sleep? uh, par for the course. never showering? you should smell me now. always looking like a bus hit you? enough under-eye baggage to travel to paris and LIVE? depression? moments of random crying? arguing with your spouse? (that last one isn't true, actually).

wait, what am i talking about - vet school or having children?

i never intended to blog about my future child aspirations. but while i'm here - in all seriousness -
when i see jim with babies (like crosby) - i get all gooey. he's going to be a great dad. i don't think i'll live up to him as a mother. i'm already afraid i'm going to be the nazi dictator.

ok. so yeah.
why am i up at 2:30? oh yes, studying for my toxicology final on thursday. which i - OF COURSE - am not prepared for. but what else is new. and why did i just waste 10 minutes of sleep blogging? cuz i'm a numbskull. i'm going to bed.

Monday, November 28, 2005

some thoughts

i should write when my mind is fresh with what i want to say. yesterday was a think-y sort of day and had i blogged then, i would have been eloquent, interesting, and witty. instead, i waited until today. last night as i laid in bed, trying (unsuccessfully) to sleep, i should have written this all down. now my thoughts are as stale as last week's bread. but oh well. i'll give it a shot. i'm feeling puny too - not sure why. headachy, tired, little bit queasy. at any rate, 2 of my classes are finished - infxs dz (A) and anesthesiology (B+). on thursday, i have a final in toxicology. i currently have a 96 in the class. i need to make an 80 on the final to keep that A. considering how little preparation i have done thus far - that might be harder than it sounds. then a week of nothing (except that i do my surgery on monday) - and then finals. i will be trite, briefly. this semester has soared past on leaden wings (is that possible?). maybe that wasn't so trite.

so - the thoughts i wanted to share.

first, a word on pet ownership and responsibility. pet ownership in this country is becomingly increasingly -- serious (?) - if that's the right word. people will pay for chemotherapy, kidney transplants, and extraordinarily expensive surgeries to save the lives of family animals. these people obviously take their roles as guardians seriously. that said - there are still MANY people who bring home an animal, tire of it for one reason or another - and simply dump the animal at the pound or - worse - on the side of the road. recently, my grandfather asked me if i'd come to my senses about all the animals - if i was ready to get rid of some of them. i was shocked. what kind of responsibility would that demonstrate?

and yet, as i look around me at other vets - i realize that we are part of the problem. there are vets within my school (doctors that i respect for their capability and knowledge) who give up animals for various and frivolous reasons. adopt a pet, keep it for a while, tire of it, send it away. i received an email not too long ago (a mass email) from a professor asking if anyone was interested in taking a gecko home for free with his whole set-up. apparently, their son had lost interest in the animal. i was surprised and disappointed. what kind of message does that send to their son? it's ok to do something for a little while - but there's no obligation. if you get bored, move onto the next thing. i guess i'm trying to draw a parallel here between responsibility for the decisions one makes and the problems with our civilization. divorce is on the rise. and why not? when you're tired of being married - just move on. responsibility and living with the decisions one has made - while learning to make better and more informed decisions is part of growing up and maturing. unfortunately, i don't think that many people ever reach a mature frame of mind. owning pets, owning a house, being married, paying bills on time, not spending money you don't have - those are all responsibilities. they aren't always fun - but ... that doesn't change the fact of their existence.

my 2nd rumination is along the lines of extremism. i went to petsmart the other day - and saw a pitiful, feather-plucked, beautiful african grey for sale. he was shorn of tail feathers and wing feathers from self-mutilating. it tore my heart. for a moment, i saw clearly why some people hate humans and see them as a detriment to nature. it started me down a mental path on extremism. i guess i was thinking along the lines of PETA. what makes people extremists? willing to blow up children? nurseries? civilians? who chooses a life cut off from normalcy - full of death and destruction? or on a lesser scale - who chooses a life of constant struggle to achieve a specific goal? and why? the great majority of people are complacent with their lives. content to go along - live - without ever stirring up the pond. and some seek a life of discord. these people that choose to be violent or to protest - why don't they make an honest contribution to the world? become medical doctors or researchers or teachers - actually try and change the plight of those under their chosen cause? i don't know. i'm not saying much here that's coherent and i'm certainly not shedding any new light on the situation. i do wonder though - if i'm one of the complacent sheep - plodding along in my paddock - not too overly interested in the world around me -- only in my life. i do want to make a difference, as a vet though. whatever i wind up doing. i would like to have some impact on the health and safety of humankind. . .

ok. well - that wasn't very interesting. sorry. hope you didn't read that expecting some kind of epiphany.

i finished reading wicked. it was disappointing. the end felt rushed and strange - out of character with the rest of the book. i think it's because (maybe) maguire had to write a story for an ending (since the fate of the wicked witch of the west was already well-known). i don't know. i really enjoyed it up until part three - then it just didn't seem as good. i'm reading anna karenina now. yeah, i know. tolstoy? during vet school? but i've been wanting to sink my teeth into it for a while, so why not now? school is out in 3 weeks anyway. i'll still be reading it then, i'm sure.

thanksgiving was nice. we went to the ashes and spent a lot of time with my family. i got to spend a good bit of time with both of my families. i ate some turkey -but not as much as i usually do. i do love turkey, though. i guess that's all. i need to study.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

3 am

this is my hour. i love this time of night. the birds are asleep, my husband is asleep. the cats are warm and pressed up against me. i'm finished with studying for this test, so i can push it from my mind. there's something about right now - 3am - that i can't describe. a feeling that this time belongs only to me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

why all the lemons?

you know those people that take lemons and make lemonade? yeah. i'm not one of them. i just take all the lemons and yell 'wtf?! why do i have all the lemons?' it's an attitude adjustment that i'm sorely in need of.

in case you can't tell, this is another exciting post about the neuro ward today. thankfully - if nothing else - we got out of there at 4pm. good - plenty of time for me to come home and conk out for a 2.5 hour nap.

last night, my intent was to come home and study for urinary - as we have an exam covering a great deal of material next wednesday. yeah. well. at 8:30, i fell asleep in the living room chair. at 11pm, i moved to my bed. very productive evening. the result of that was being groggy and tired all day. the more sleep i get, the worse off i am - apparently.

neuro was very unthrilling today. i got to assist with a few appointments. no surgeries. at least, none that i got to see. we had to be there at 7:15, too - which meant i got up at the unholy hour of 6:15. ah well - good practice for 4th year. the highlight of my day was definitely NOT monitoring a ventilator patient for 3 hours. there is a dog in the ward with coonhound paralysis. this is caused by a raccoon bite. apparently, there is some unknown toxin in raccoon saliva that - once inoculated into an animal - will cause an extremely toxic reaction. it's an ascending paralysis that starts with the back legs and moves up the rest of the body. the eventual outcome is a totally paralyzed dog that cannot even breathe on its own. the dog, if given ventilation and support, will recover within about a week. BUT this requires keeping the dog on a ventilator - anesthetized - in the ICU for at least a week. the cost is about $500-$700/day. the dog has already been with us since sunday. furthermore, two attempts to wean the dog off the respirator have been unsuccessful. so, i got to sit and watch the fancy machines beep for 3 hours. i volunteered, because the poor 4th year student on duty has been doing it since monday for 12-20 hour stretches. not a job i'd want!

no exciting neuroses to talk about today. i'm trying to suppress my feelings of loneliness and alientation from my classmates. mainly because i realize that it's a waste of time to feel bad about those things. i don't need anything from school except an education, good grades, and some references. i have everything else i need in my life. but there is the nagging, falsely important drive to fit in with everyone. and i'm not going to - i never have. i will never be like everyone else. i should have learned that when i was young. but apparently i didn't. i also should have learned when i was young that sticks and stones may break bones - but names can never hurt you. or was that just a lie the 'ole parents told you to make you feel better?

i wish i had more exciting things to post from school. a friend of mine is in exotics this week - and she's going to the zoo tomorrow to work with the large felids (lions, tigers, bears oh my! - except no bears!) - so she's having a fun week. i'm in exotics on the next rotation (spring semester) - so i'm looking forward to that!


Monday, November 14, 2005

two down

i am now finished with infectious diseases. so that's 2 of my 8 classes that are finished. it leaves me 6 more finals to go. finals week promises to be ... amusing.

i hardly studied for this test. it was very naughty of me. especially considering it was covering exotic animal diseases - and you would think i would have been interested in that. i was. but i was lazy and burnt out. also, it was only a 50 point test (the other 2 were 100 - and i needed an 80 or so to keep an A - which considering how little i knew - i might not have made!). anyway, i came home after the final because i had to change into 'clinic appropriate' clothing. whatever that is.

so, the rest of the week, i'm going to spend in the clinics working as a 'doctor.' i'm excited but a little apprehensive. i don't really know what i'm doing or what's expected of me. i'm just THRILLED to be out of class for the next week. not that i won't have to study. i will. i need to catch up in urinary and hematology. i say that now, but watch - it'll be just like ables week. i won't do ANYTHING but sleep, eat, read books, and watch movies. i shouldn't do that, but i'm open to the possibility that it might happen regardless.

not much else to say. i'll try to post this week about the interesting things i see. maybe i'll get some cool pictures. who knows?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

hello again

in the interest of keeping myself sane, i have deleted my old blog and relocated to a new address. this will be a super-secret double undercover blog containing no personal information or pictures of moi (though it will contain pics of others). i couldn't stand the thought of not blogging, because it's too therapeutic not to do it. my old blog, sad to say, is no more. but yes, i saved all my old posts. i couldn't stand the thought of not having a record of my life in vet school. i decided to delete my old one because - while i understand the publicness of putting this out there - i didn't feel like being vulnerable and exposed to all my classmates. it's okay if people i don't know randomly find this blog, or my family and close friends read it. but the thought of people that don't particularly like me reading about me -- it was a bit disconcerting.

so, tomorrow is my final in infxs diseases. yay. then i have 1 class, a lunch meeting, and then i'm a doctor! no, just kidding. tomorrow afternoon is the start of clinical experience. i spend the week working in the clinic. my assignment is neurology. i heard it's a pretty intense place to be. you get there at 8am and leave sometime around 8pm. i also don't remember anything about the cranial nerves except their names and numbers (sometimes). but i'm really excited that i get to wear a white coat and carry a stethoscope and look like a real DVM.

alright, i've procrastinated enough. i'm going to study.