is making me dumber. oh, i'm learning lots and lots, but i haven't read a book or watched the news or done anything remotely intellectual in the past month, at least. granted, it's all i can do not to jump off the bridge located oh so enticingly adjacent to the vet school, due to the fact that i'm an emotional wreck still from this summer's too recent turmoil, juggling 7 classes, all of which are difficult, and still trying to function in something like a remotely human fashion. BUT, in spite of all that, shouldn't i at least try to maintain some sort of functioning intellect? i haven't even watched an independent film. all i manage to do in my off time is sleep (i'm still sick, but at least now i'm hacking up bright yellow phlegm) or watch scrubs, season 3- loaned to me by my sister-in-law. i hate watching TV in my spare time. it's such a waste of mental capacity, such a drain on thinking capability and yet, i find myself sucked into these DVDs. i don't even have cable, for god's sake -for just this reason. i hate TV. but i can see the allure. so easy, so mindless. it looks so good when all you can do is study study study study go to class study study study study.
radiology was friday - and it was brutal brutal nasty brutal. i don't expect to have performed particulary well. i think i passed the exam, that's what counts (so they say). instead of being able to relax this weekend, i have a test on monday - oh so predictably. reproductive medicine, a none too easy course in which i have fallen significantly behind, will be next in line to bend me over and give it to me. thankfully, i skipped 1/3rd of the lectures, too - so i really have no idea what's going on. and really, who cares about the estrus cycle of the cow? not moi, i'm not going into food animal medicine. at least, not this month. at any rate, i spent today a) studying b) napping for 4 hours to sleep off the headache/ickiness of strep throat and c) studying (oh and d) watching scrubs as a mental break).
i'd say i hate vet school. but it sounds so trite and whiny at this point. i mean, for god's sake, i'm in the third year. you'd think by now i'd be used to the endless and pointless mental beatdown that constitutes my daily life. i'm sure ya'll don't want to hear about it anymore. you're probably as sick of hearing about it as i am of talking about it.
and- predictably - i have nothing to say that doesn't involve whining about a test or whining about my long days or whining about being sick. so, adieu - to my probably bored or non-existent readers:)
i have strep throat or a cold or whatever everyone else has. coughing, sneezing, mildly sore throat, head cloudiness. unfortunately, it has not incapacitated me - so i still have to go to class (on occasion, when i get up in the morning) and stick my arm inside large animals. plus, i have that lovely low backache that comes along with PMS. so, repro lab was DOUBLY fun today. actually, it was. i got to palpate both cattle and horses - all of the cows were pregnant, and we were allowed to use the ultrasound (rectally) to visualize the structures we'd been previously only feeling. in both the horses and the cattle. i really enjoyed the palpation labs. there's nothing like sticking your hand into an 800 lb animal's rectum. really nothing like it. also nothing like having a cow prolapse her vagina and cervix onto your scrubs while you're digging around inside her upper colon. you ever seen those little sqeezy rubber toys that have a little bubble at the butt where a little red thing squirts out? that's exactly like what a vaginal prolapse looks like. only a lot bigger and moister. and grosser.
i have a test tomorrow. just like always. radiology. it gives me nervous sweats. i'm terrified of the class. it's HARD. every time i'm looking at an xray with a teacher near me, my mind goes utterly blank, and i blurt out the first thing that pops into my head. it's a kind of stress-induced radiograph related tourette's syndrome. for instance, i was looking at an xray of the neck today, with the resident standing over my shoulder, and i blurted out something that could only occur at the back end of an animal. out of sheer panic. it was REALLY embarrassing. i felt sooooooooooooo stoopid. but then again, that's just vet school. i always feel kinda stoopid.
i need to go to bed before i die. i'm sure i have other stuff to say, but i have no idea what it might be.
there is a vast difference between the person i am and the person i want to be. how can i want something and not attain it? i wanted to go to vet school, and here i am - in my third year. i wanted to marry jim, and here i am - married for 7 years. i wanted to run a 5k, and i did it.
yet, i want to change myself - to be a certain type of person with characters and morals - and i'm not. some people might enjoy the challenge of self-betterment. i do not.
for being such a weenie head. i made a 10/10 on my radiology quiz friday, as well as making an A (94.2%) on the first radiology anatomy exam. i do not expect this to continue - because anatomy just isn't my thing. but i'll try to enjoy it however long it lasts.
scare at the stadium on saturday - final score 31-30. good game but a little too tense - especially when i wasn't expecting a tense game at all.
off to study radiology. and respiratory. and cardiology. and reproductive med. and that's ALL for tonight.
in all my time in vet school - i have never been unprepared for a test or a quiz - in that i've ALWAYS covered all of the material before the actual exam or test.
tomorrow will be a first, perhaps. i have a radiology quiz (and i just had a radiology test on wednesday) covering 75 pages of new material. and i haven't read it all once yet. and i study 4-5 hours every night (with the rare exception of fridays off). how is this possible?
sorry, that was rather indelicately phrased. let's say instead that i attended my reproduction medicine lab this afternoon. which involved - as i said - ramming my hand into the rectum of cattle and attempting to palpate the reproductive tract.
what that amounts to is getting cow poop ALL over you, including on your face. as well as massive amounts of KY jelly on oneself. i felt like an extra in the aliens trilogy (or quadrilogy or whatever).
so. yes, that's what i did with my day. that and 4 hours of class. a day well spent, i say.
did i mention that palpating cattle is the most disgusting feeling i've ever experienced? i could describe it, but i'll refrain.
and it was a doozy. i'm already behind. it still amazes me how much information they can pile onto us in 7 days time.
we went and saw 'the wicker man' last night. i had low expectations. first, i'm not a big fan of mainstream movies, because mostly - they suck. the best movies i've seen this year were both critically acclaimed and largely ignored by the mass population (brick and the proposition). second, i'm not a fan of nicholas cage. third, i know that most remakes are bad ideas - ESPECIALLY when they're horror film remakes. despite all that, i went. it was with some friends from school and jim.
let me just say that i have NEVER seen a movie this bad. it was absolutely AWFUL. from about midway through the film till the end, the theater would break into light bursts of laughter. the last 20 minutes, people were actually guffawing out loud. including myself. it was fun in that respect - everyone was laughing. especially during the scene where (and i am not joking here) nick cage runs through the woods in a bear suit. a bear suit, for god's sake. it was hysterical. jim and i got home and went to bed later. as i was lying there, waiting for sleep to come, i started giggling hysterically because the image of cage in a bear suit running through the woods wouldn't leave my head. jim asked me why i was laughing, i preceded to tell him, then he started laughing - and neither one of us could stop. if this hasn't persuaded you to avoid EVER watching this movie, then be warned i'm about to spoil it. the only redeeming factor of the movie (besides the fun i had cracking up about it) was the fact that cage burns to death in the end. it was very fitting.
so anyway. today is the first football game of the year!!!!!! i can't wait. kickoff is at 5:30. we're going in a big group - jim's dad, dan, sam, myself, jim, and bonnie. it's going to be a good time. i love football!! i think we're going to get trounced, considering who we're playing. but i have hope.
totally unrelated, but how does david lynch take perfectly normal 50's and 60's songs (that i love) and totally ruin them by making them unutterably creepy?? i mean - come on - roy orbison's 'in dreams' is not a creepy song. until you see dean stockwell in full drag makeup lip sync it into a 50's era microphone to dennis hopper as he inhales some sort of anesthetic drug. why and how does lynch do it?
Any similarity between my stories and any person or animal, living or dead, is strictly a coincidence. Names, breeds, sexes, and details of the stories have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent alike.
I am an emergency veterinarian in North Carolina. Despite the crazy people I deal with, the awful cases of injured and sick animals, and the overall stress of emergency work, I absolutely love what I do. Happily married since I was 20, I have a wonderful husband who has a PhD in Mathematics, and a daughter around whom our world currently revolves. We also have a zoo living in our house that can be alternately wonderful and maddening. There are cats, parrots, and a dog who is very low on the totem pole. Our days are never dull and we are learning to balance the demands of work and family.
If you'd like to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Azotemia - elevation in kidney enzymes (BUN and creatinine) indicating dehydration, kidney failure, or urinary obstruction
Lactate - a salt/ester of lactic acid that is produced as energy for a cell when oxygen levels are low. In critically ill animals, elevated lactate can be an indicator of inadequate blood flow to organs (perfusion), decreased delivery of oxygen, and/or decreased oxygen uptake. Values > 6-7 are usually considered to be poor prognostic indicators for survival.
GI sloughing: when the cells lining the GI tract die (can be secondary to MANY things, including heatstroke) with resulting bloody diarrhea, bacterial translocation into the bloodstream and sepsis
TTJ: transfer to jesus: code for when an animal needs to be euthanized or die
DIC: disseminated intravascular coagulation: a very, very bad thing - when the hemostatic system gets out of whack, and clots start forming in the blood vessels until all clotting factors are wasted. once those are gone, internal hemorrhage ensues, followed by death, usually. also known as "death is coming"
Pleural effusion - fluid contained in the pleural space (chest) - this is not the same as fluid in the lungs (see pulm edema) - in cats can be caused by infection in the chest, heart failure, cancer, FIP, feline leukemia, FIV, and in some cases, the cause is never found (idiopathic)
Anisocoria - unequal pupil size (related to any number of causes including brain damage/head trauma)
Laterally recumbent - lying on side, unable to rise
Hyperglycemia - elevated blood glucose
Hyperkalemia: elevated blood potassium - a life-threatening condition related to several disorders (kidney failure, antifreeze toxicity, urethral obstruction...etc)
Sepsis - refers to a bacterial infection in the bloodstream or body tissues. This is a very broad term covering the presence of many types of microscopic disease-causing organisms.
Nephrectomy - kidney removal
Splenectomy - removal of spleen
Pulmonary edema - condition in which fluid accumulates in the lungs, usually because the heart's left ventricle does not pump adequately ( can be caused by heart failure, electrocution, drowning, too many IV fluids, to name a few)
Tick borne diseases - any of a myriad of diseases transmitted by ticks - including but not limited to Rocky Mtn Spotted fever, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia
Fine needle aspirate - A method of sampling in which a needle is used to suck in cells or tissue bits for diagnoses (good for diagnosing masses/lumps)
Blood glucose - The principal sugar produced by the body from food–especially carbohydrates, but also from proteins and fats; glucose is the body's major source of energy, is transported to cells via the circulation and used by cells in the presence of insulin (normal range in a dog/cat is 75-100)
PCV - packed cell volume - the volume of packed red cells in milliliters per 100 ml of blood (normal range 35-45)
Diseases I see/treat frequently
Dystocia - difficulty birthing. May be responsive to oxytocin administration (Pitocin, as in people) but may require c-section.
DKA - diabetic ketoacidosis: the extreme end of the diabetic scale. A patient that is diabetic can develop DKA when other diseases make the blood glucose hard to regulate. Other diseases that are commonly associated include urinary tract infection, pancreatitis, pyometra, skin infection, and cancer. In DKA, the body starts metabolizing fat and producing acids that cause a drop in blood pH, nausea, weakness, severe dehydration, electrolyte derangments, and death.
DCM - dilated cardiomyopathy: an idiopathic (cause unknown) cardiac disease in which the heart chambers become very thin/dilated, and cardiac output drops radically. Causes arrhythmias, tachycardia, and sudden death. Seen in large breed dogs like Dobermans, Great Danes, etc.
Lymphoma - cancer of the white blood cells, the most common and treatable form of cancer in dogs
Blocked cat - slang term for a male cat with a plug of mucus and crystals obstructing the urethra (fairly common in male cats) definitely a life-threatening because urine can't get out of the body! If present long enough, causes shock, acute renal failure, hyperkalemia (elevated potassium), coma, and death. Symptoms include straining in the litterbox, yowling while trying to urinate, producing small, bloody drops of urine (also symptoms of feline cystitis, a non-lethal condition)
GDV - stands for gastric-dilatation and volvulus - a condition of large breed, deep-chested dogs (usually) in which the stomach rotates 180 degrees on its axis and thus - nothing can enter or leave, considered the "mother of all emergencies" - it warrants immediate surgery and carries a guarded prognosis
IMHA - immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. A disease in which the immune system attacks the red blood cells and destroys them. It causes profound anemia and is life-threatening. Causes are primary (no known cause) and secondary ( tick borne disease, cancer, and heavy metal intoxication). Treatment is immunosuppression with drugs primarily. Prognosis is guarded at best.