Thursday, December 29, 2011

Clearly, I just don't understand people...

Following is a short excerpt from an email that I received forwarded from a friend of mine yesterday:

"Due to the time of their move, we are hoping to have Roses in a good home by this Friday.
Roses, a 2 yr old Jack Russell. She is house trained, fun, and playful. Unfortunately I am not able to keep her for a family member so she is looking to sell her for $100, obo. All shots and immunizations are up to date. Roses is a great dog and is house trained to the point of going to the door to let you know its that time. She does not jump on you unless you tell her it is ok. She knows some commands.. Now the leash thing is what is a little new for her. My cousin lives in an area where Roses did not have to be on a leash. She is familiar with it, just pulls you some.
She loves belly rubs. Not much of a barker, only when someone is a the door but once inside she does her "inspection" and then is fine."

They desperately need to find the dog a home, by Friday no less, but are asking $100 obo????? Pardon me if I'm being too critical but that makes no sense to me. Perhaps they are of the mistaken belief that making someone pay to take the dog insures that it will get a good and lasting home... Best of luck to them (sarcasm implied) but mostly I just feel sorry for the dog!

And in the latest drama from the children at work... We were closed Monday after Christmas as a novelty (have never done that before but what the boss's wife wants, the boss's wife gets) and Monday night I got a call that didn't come through because my phone is currently demon-possessed (i.e. I need a new phone because it is wearing out but just haven't bit the bullet to buy one) from one of the children wanting to swap shifts with one of the others. She found great initiative to call the boss since she didn't get through to me and finagled the swap in just a couple of minutes. Really annoyed me because I had scheduled the better worker to be there all day since the day after a holiday is always crazy. So we had to deal with her laziness all day Tuesday. Didn't matter what we said or did, she just lazed around and really didn't contribute at all to the work. Didn't even need her there for all that she did. And I still can't convince the boss to just get rid of her! I really don't know what is his problem.

Wednesday, I said something really inappropriate in front of the employees because of the frustration. See, we (I) made the boss Voodoo stress relief golf balls for Christmas (he's an avid - obsessed - golfer). I got an empty egg carton and put 12 golf balls in it. 10 of them I drew the faces of all the employees on and named; I named one of the others for him and the other "miscellaneous" so that he could make it anyone he wanted. Yesterday, I suggested that he take the one for the employee and hit it a few times for me... Guess I really shouldn't have said it but it was one time I just couldn't stop my tongue in time.

Today, I had accidentally scheduled 2 of the kids to be there because another employee was initially going to need to be off. When that changed, I guess I forgot to alter the rest of the schedule. As it turned out, the better employee unexpectedly needed to be off because her mom had to go to the doctor. The lazy employee immediately sent a text to the third employee to see if she could come in because there were "so many dogs in the kennel she couldn't do it by herself!" I had already discussed the matter with the other 2 employees the previous day and okayed the day off besides knowing that the other girl would not be available. We didn't need 2 people there anyway... If it were up to me, she'd already be gone. Clearly she is not cut out for the job.

I think I'm going to revise the schedule for next month tomorrow and cut her down to one day a week. I also think I'm going to cut the other 2 down to 2 days a week because they aren't exactly giving stellar performances at the moment either. They seem worse when they work together. Maybe cutting hours (again) more drastically will help. It's pretty much all that I have the power to do although there are days I've been tempted to tell her she's fired, get out, and just see what transpires. It'd probably only wind up eliminating what little authority I have, though.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I'm complaining a little and, for those in the medical field who practice good quality medicine, this is not directed at you. We had it pounded into our heads about the importance of not creating resistance in bacteria by overuse or injudicious use of antibiotics. There are several issues in veterinary medicine regarding whether we should be allowed to use particular antibiotics in specific instances or, sometimes, if we should have access to the medications at all. It scares me that the people who are attempting to make these decisions are often not even medically trained...

There I go on a bit of a tangent again but it is necessary for the story I'm about to relate so that y'all understand why I'm frustrated. It was thrown in our face (and continues to be) that veterinarians are the reason for bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Of course the human medical field has no hand in the problem; it is all our fault.

Yesterday, I had a dog come back in that I had performed an enucleation on last week due to a tumor of its globe. A portion of the lid had dehisced and I was concerned about lacrimal / secretory tissue maybe having been missed because that particular enucleation is currently in my chronicles as the bloodiest I have as yet performed (and I've done quite a few!) I'm sure it was because of the tumor but I was concerned at the time about remaining tissue simply because of the sheer volume of hemorrhage. I explored the socket and determined there was no remaining tissue that shouldn't be there but that the dog likely had an allergic reaction to the suture I had used, based on the tissue appearance. I re-sutured the eye with a different suture type and called the owner after the dog was awake to let them know what I had found. That was when the owner started complaining because "he had spoken with a human doctor friend who said that we should have put the dog on antibiotics because they always did."

Just to compare notes: when y'all go to the doctor for a mild cold, do they always run a CBC? How often do they perform a culture and sensitivity? And how often do you go home with a Z-pack regardless if it is really needed? Except in the case where the globe is abscessed or the animal has evidence of a systemic infection, why would you place an enucleation on antibiotics? For crying out loud, the eye (face) has such a wonderful blood supply it just begs to heal itself; almost as much as the mouth or the rear end or the bladder...

But, don't forget, veterinarians alone are responsible for multi-drug resistance in bacteria.

No, I did not put the dog on antibiotics. And yes, I do readily admit that some of our older colleagues who have not stayed on top of newer information do overuse antibiotics. I just find it frustrating that we get that bum rap then get advice from a human doctor on how to manage our cases. I don't even know if the human doctor he spoke with is an ophthalmologist. Maybe next time I go to the doctor I'll suggest how they should handle my case based on my experiences with multi-species...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Have you ever gotten your car stuck in the mud or snow or ice or something? You know, stuck so bad that no matter what you do, all that happens is the wheels spin mindlessly digging a deeper rut. You can't move. You can't turn. You can't do anything. This has happened to me once, so far, in my life. Usually, you see, I'm more of a thinker and planner therefore I think it all out and see the potential dangers and figure out a way to avoid it. The time it happened, I tricked myself because I was in Wonder Woman mode and convinced I could do anything... But this post isn't about getting your car stuck although I've really tried to go off on that tangent. No, this post is about getting your life stuck.

I heard the comment on the radio recently that a rut is nothing more than a grave with both ends kicked out. I don't know to whom to attribute this quote but I thought it had some merit behind it. You know the old proverbial saying between a rock and a hard place? That's where I am.

I think that the polite psychobabble term is to say that I have issues. (As if y'all haven't figured that one out yet...) You know what I find the biggest problem to be? I need just a little time of quiet solitude to face some of these issues and make some decisions. I actually feel ready to deal with some of them (may have been long ago) but I can't seem to stop long enough to work out the problems. Life interferes. The herd needs to be fed, medicated, whatever. Mother needs to be fed, medicated, whatever. The work children need to be babysat. The work boss needs to be babysat. Oh, and I actually need to do my job and earn some money and pay the bills... I know I'm complaining about things that everyone faces on a daily basis but, tell me truly, don't y'all ever struggle with the need to just stop for a moment???

I wish that the world would stand still sometimes during really hard times to give one a chance to steady the equilibrium and face the situation. But it doesn't. So how does everyone else deal with it? Or do they? I feel as if I've been burying my "issues" for eons and they just grow and grow making it an even more overwhelming task to attempt to deal with them and put them to rest. Maybe in an unmarked grave.

Perhaps taking a real vacation would help but right now it is simply impossible. Between mom, the herd, work, and finances there is just no feasible method of taking time off. I keep searching for something closer where I could run away for just a little while but have as yet to come up with any good, affordable options. It has become really difficult to find any time of solitude lately, too, now that mom is fully retired. If I keep letting these things pile up, the size will be of such enormous proportions that I'll never manage to take care of things...

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I was thinking (obsessing) about my post from yesterday and realized that I should add a couple more adjectives. Hyper-responsible and guilt-driven. There, that should do it. Unless, of course, I think of something else...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merely Human

It's awfully difficult many times to deal with everyday life. I'm an admitted control freak, OCD paranoid with perfectionist tendencies who is over and abundantly self-critical. I'm really beginning to think that I need to look into a more benign job option...

Reading Nurse K's recent post just brought the issue to mind yet again although it has been dwelling near the top of what is left of my mind for many weeks now. You know, I really love medicine. I love what I do and am constantly fascinated by the intricacies of the body and the things that we can attempt to do for it. I'm a questioner and spend a lot of time researching things; really too much because I tend to get sidetracked by something else interesting that has nothing to do with my original mission. In near constant battle with this side of my nature is the fatalistic side that wonders if anything I do really, truly makes a difference. Perhaps the kidney failure dog would have survived to live another day without my fluids or maybe the anesthetic reaction death would not have survived even without anesthesia... Who really knows the answers to these questions?

The first time that you make a mistake, no matter how minor, is brain-numbing, poo in your pants frightening. You live with the daily realization that you hold lives in your hands and a miscalculation or momentary lapse could be fatal (unless you are currently subscribing to the fatalistic point of view in which case nothing you do or don't do matters anyway). The first time that you make a mistake (or believe you've made a mistake) that resulted in death is 1,000,000 times worse. And, if you're dysfunctional like me, you beat yourself over it constantly unless you can 100% factually prove to yourself that you had not even a tiny little part in causing the death.

There is a rational side to my being that knows I (and everyone else on earth) am only human and that human beings will make mistakes; it's inevitable. The stronger side of my being always wins in that I blame myself and never let myself forget what an idiot I was (am). I was told recently by a good friend that I earned a DVM not a GOD degree and I know that is right and good advice but it really hasn't stopped me from being so critical.

I figure, logically, that I'm gonna have to find a better way of dealing with this problem soon or burnout will be the next step. That or I'm gonna have to find a benign job where I can still be happy with what I'm doing. I can picture it now, though; teaching English lit and screaming at the students when they're worried about a grade that it is not a life or death situation so grow up and deal with it. Or being a librarian and having a hard time coping with demands because I can't figure out why it's so bloody important. Besides, I don't think that my personality type (dysfunctional though it is) is cut out to be satisfied and complacent - with anything.

Darn. There's just no way to win, is there?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Tale Of...

Being Late:

We had purchased concert tickets for a favorite group of mine for last Friday evening. I had told mom multiple times that we needed to leave the house no later than 4:30 due to the time difference (concert in Eastern time zone, I'm in Central). I took half of a day off work and left around 1:00.

When I got home, I discovered mom in a frantic tizzy over the car insurance payment, which was due that day. She often drops it by the local office but we had gotten a letter that the office was closing. Rather than go by there or call, she had let time slip away and it was now the due date. Again, rather than calling the other relatively near office to find out if it could be dropped after hours or wait until Monday, she decided it was necessary to go haring off on a minimum 1 hour round-trip to drop the payment at 3:00. With holiday traffic. Even though I told her we could leave a little early and drop it on the way out of town with only a slight detour. In the midst of her craziness, I went blank as to why we needed to leave that early.

We left at 5:00 and it wasn't until we were almost there that I remembered the time difference and realized we would be late. To add to that, the event was at a university and the directions they gave were really crappy although they sounded completely easy (I'm the type of person who doesn't give good directions but can find anything regardless of how bad the directions are.) If it hadn't been for the terrible directions, we would have only missed about 15 minutes of the show. As it were, we missed the entire first half (1 hour) and walked in during the intermission. The second half was wonderful but I'm still ticked about the whole thing both at my mom and at the crappy directions.

Not Fitting In:

Back to my former subject for a moment. There was another area upon which I meant to comment but got sidetracked and did not. In my profession, I don't fit in either.

The problem is I'm both over and under educated. Having done internships in preparation for a surgical residency hope, I'm way over educated for private practice. I want to pull out things about which my boss has never heard. Unfortunately, I'm under educated for specialty clinics not having matched for a residency. And while there might be some private clinics in-between, there certainly are not in the place I'm at right now.

Anonymous' comment about not fully trusting that other people find me interesting enough or non-annoying enough to continue remaining in contact really rang true for me. I find myself annoying all too often; it's difficult to believe others don't have a similar experience.


Kind of related to the previous tale, I was so extremely frustrated at work Friday. There was a young, intact male cat that presented for a fever and heavy breathing. He had pleural effusion that was hemorrhagic with tons of white blood cells. Certainly not the only possibility but, for me, a pyothorax until proven otherwise because he was a perfect clinical picture.

The problem, my boss took him in and decided it was likely FIP (certainly possible the literature, I researched pyothorax in depth not so very long ago.) He wouldn't place a chest tube and do lavage. I couldn't really do much because I was leaving in such a short time. I did manage to do thoracocentesis and remove about 170ml of fluid so he could at least breathe better and do a cytology on that. I hate situations like that because they leave you feeling so helpless.

Granted, either way the prognosis is guarded at best but....

Old Friends:

A couple of my good friends from high school were unexpectedly in town this week and we all got together for a little impromptu party. It's the first time I've seen 3 of them in about 5 years. Thursday evening, it was a free for all with 7 kids ranging in ages from 2.5 to 12 plus the 5 of us, 2 husbands, and one grandpa. The kids had a blast and so did we except that the men, rather than playing babysitter like they were supposed to, kept wandering in where we were and butting in on our conversation.

Last night, I got together with two of them again (everyone else couldn't make it) and we had a really good time. This time was a little more like old times because we had more of a chance to catch up on things and the three of us hung out together more than the others.

One of the children has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. I found it difficult not to just watch him constantly in fascination. He's a very interesting child and I found myself relating to him in many ways. For instance, when he grows nervous, frightened, or overwhelmed, he will scream. Wouldn't it be nice in some ways if we could all do that? Instead of bottling things up and packing them deep inside, just scream out loud and let out some frustration. I also loved his lack of inhibition in that he would just burst into song or dance or whatever. True, some of this is just in being a child but some is also due to his disorder. Sometimes I do similar things but only in my head. How much more interesting life could be if I did it out loud!

The one friend leaves to go back home to Pennsylvania Tuesday. I don't envy her the drive. I told her that at least I was able to legally drug my dogs when I did the New York drive; you just can't do that to human children.

The other friend will be leaving in a month or two. She and her family are missionaries and are waiting for funding to be able to leave again. The other two live around here but I've just not taken the time to really get together before this.


Time and time again, I have tried to train the kids how to properly restrain animals and they continue to refuse to listen. Every time I have to utilize one of them, I have to explain again and they still don't do it right. I'm looking so forward to the technician coming back from maternity leave because a) I'll have someone who can restrain and b) maybe she can get it through their thick heads!

Wednesday was dullsville. All afternoon was slow and I utilized the time to fill out an internship survey on VIN explaining how unhappy I was with my experiences and working on the controlled drug log doing my counts, etc. Around 4:30, everyone decided to come amongst them a lady who had started the online vet tech program volunteering through us then quit because she had not kept up (doing the program online really requires a lot of discipline and self-initiative) and didn't want to bust butt to catch up. The cat she brought in had a large, palpable cranial abdominal mass. I kept him for IV fluids, blood work, radiographs, etc.

First, I told the children what I was doing and that I needed a hand. They had been lazing around all afternoon and suddenly were frantically trying to finish their work so I wound up having to wait on them. Then, I instructed them how to hold the cat so that I could place an IV catheter and obtain blood. The cat was not extremely fractious, just a little nervous and he doesn't see well. Let's put it like this, with two people supposedly holding the cat, he managed to bite my hand and scratch my arm pretty good with his back legs.

I was always taught (back when I worked as the kennel help, vet assistant, receptionist and general jack of all trades) that if anyone got bitten or scratched, it was supposed to be the holder and that you protected your vet at all costs...

And, that's all folks!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just call me an ass

Perhaps I'm being too harsh but y'all can call me an ass if you want, I don't think it will change my mind on either of the two situations I'm about to relate.

Number one, brother dearest lost his driver's license and for some unexplainable reason needed one of us to call about getting a duplicate. My darling aunt called to ask me to do it since "it was my day off." Um, no. I am not getting sucked into it. I'm not getting involved in his crap, I'm not dancing as his slave just because he's the special male, and just because it's my day off does not mean I don't have things of my own to take care of, thank you.

Number two, see how hard this is to figure out. I had to go to the clinic Saturday to take care of a couple of things with Sam (my boss was on duty.) I got there around 2:15 and was there until about 5:15. During that time, the good kennel worker (who was not on duty) came by to check on the little stray that I've managed to finagle the finders into surrendering so that he can be properly taken care of rather than receiving poor attention. She mentioned that she came by again because she had been there in the morning and the kennel worker on duty aroused suspicions so she wanted to check back. What bothers you about this? The kennel worker was at the clinic between 10-11:30 and upon leaving had clocked herself in and out for 4:20-5:30 that evening. She did not show up while I was there. If she came, she had to have come between 11:30 and 2:15 (awfully short time between coming to walk the dogs, etc.) or after 5:30 when it is already dark. If it were up to me, she would have been fired long ago but if, for some unexplainable reason she was not, she would be gone now. My boss, on the other hand, asked her in some doofy way if she had come and she gave him a cock and bull story that made no sense and he seemed okay with it. Either he's a lot dumber than I thought or he hates conflict to the point of negligence. I would have asked her what time she came and gave her the chance to lie to me.

So there it is. Maybe I'm being mean but I just don't care in either case. If I ran the world, there would be a lot more people who were forced to step up and take responsibility...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Californy is the place you oughta be...


So, Maybe has been pestering me to post something for, well, forever. I just don't have near as much good blog fodder as I used to have!

So, as many of you know, I left private practice a few years ago to work for the dark side. At the time I didn't realize that by doing this I would be opening myself up to one of my biggest fears- airplanes. However, with all the various trainings I've had to go to since then it's literally been a very easy choice- get on the darn plane or quit my job. I need my job right now- another one in this economy wouldn't be easy to come by where I want to live.

I have been relatively lucky with my four other trips (Holy crap- they actually got me on an airplane four other times?!?!?!) in that they were short flights- an hour and 20 minutes tops. However, last Monday I had to conquer my fears in a big way and hop on a FOUR HOUR PLANE TRIP to attend a training session held in California. Yuck, puke to quote a favorite aunt of mine... But that's not what makes this trip funny...

This training is for literally EVERY offline inspector in the country, and we are the 12th class of 200 USDA types to be cycled through this particular hotel. It's a nice hotel- I kinda like it. It has free breakfast (not something to be taken for granted among pricey hotels), free basic shuttle service, and some other nice things. However, 12 classes of rowdy USDA types have apparently taken it's toll on the poor hotel- I think it's literally falling apart.

The first day I was here one of my classmates told me his shower wall fell on him. Not a piece- the whole darn wall! He got a nice free room upgrade. The biggest windstorm to hit Southern California in 30 years descended the second day I was here and another classmate told me he had to use his iron to knock his window back into the frame. Granted, 60 mph winds are kinda extreme, but still...

However, something happened to me the third day that would have sent Maybe into a frothing fit of phobia induced insanity- I got stuck in the elevator on the way down.

I got on the packed elevator on my floor and it started descending towards the lobby. It's always a bad sign when the elevator starts to go down before the doors close... About 3 seconds into it I noticed we seemed to be going down awful fast... I literally opened my mouth to say that and we heard this awful noise and literally crashed to a halt! I swear, I think the elevator used it's emergency stop system. It took ten minutes for hotel maintiance to get us out. I was fine until I got out- then I took the stairs the rest of the way down and tried to stop my legs from shaking.

I'm a little phobic about going down now- it doesn't help that all the elevators are glass on the outside and you can see going up and down. I don't think I'd mind it so much if it was enclosed and you couldn't see how high up you were or how fast you were going.

I am now an amateur expert on elevator safety mechanisms.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'll take testicles with that

Here's a novelty; I'm going to write a vet related post, something I've not done in a while. Soon, I'll post the case of the draino burn puppy but not until we've reached full resolution and I can include all the cool photos.

My boss has a horrible habit of handing me cases to do the surgery and saying, "Oh, this one should be really easy!" I love surgery so being handed the cases is usually not a source of irritation. The being easy comment is because inevitably when he says that it turns out to be way more complicated than he expects. Then he gets antsy because it takes longer than he thinks it should. Then he gets guilty for dumping it on me and tries to help, thus only getting in the way. It's all so predictable I could choreograph a movie beforehand.

The most recent of these was a bilateral perineal hernia on a 12 year old Chihuahua with horrible dental disease, mild azotemia, and a single descended testicle. The azotemia resolved with 24 hours of fluid therapy and I then took him to surgery. My boss said that the hernias were small and only contained a little fat so they should be no problem to repair. As an aside, with my aggressive dental techniques (at least that's how my boss and staff view them), the dog had one lonely tooth left at the end of the day. Tell me what I should have done differently? The teeth were abscessed with horrible periodontal disease and most of them fell out in my hands not even qualifying as true extractions in my book...

When I opened the herniated areas, the dog's guts were hanging out his rear through the incisions I created. There was also another, initially unidentified object encased in fascia and not directly connected to the intestines on the right side. The intestines appeared healthy with no evidence of damage therefore I reduced the left side and closed the hernia then moved to the right. I reduced the intestinal loops then began to carefully explore the unknown mass in an effort to identify it. If it wasn't a testicle, I really don't know what it was. The anatomy was perfect for a retained testicle although the "testicle" itself was inflamed and engorged as if it had been strangulated. I ligated the blood supply and removed the presumed testicle then finished repairing the hernia. I then proceeded to castrate the dog only to discover that he had a descended testicle and a subcutaneous testicle.

OK. I can still do routine math. One plus one plus one equals three. Wait a second!!! Three??? Three testicles? There are only supposed to be two. I'm thoroughly confused now. I dissected the "mass" and still came to the conclusion that it was a testicle. I did a touch prep that was totally useless with its ambiguity.

Yes, I have submitted it for histopath. I'll let you know what I find out..... Three?????

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Misfits, Unemployables, & Misconceptions...

I'm 99.9% positive I've referred to this quote before but I'm going to reiterate it here. Great movie if you appreciate sarcastic / ironic type of humor, Cat Ballou, in which occurs the quote "I'm not running a dude ranch for misfits and unemployables!" Most of the time I feel as if that's exactly what I'm running with myself included in the category...

Lately it has struck me with great force how little I fit in - anywhere. See if some of you nerdy types out there feel a chord struck on this one. Or maybe some of you not so nerdy types with different issues. I cannot think of a single time or place that I have really fit in. I have a couple of really good friends that are the closest to me and with whom I feel most comfortable but there's even a disconnect with them. When I recently examined my friends I was also struck with intense irony. I think that most people surround themselves with people that are similar to them. My friends are extremely varied and many are not at all like me. We usually have some area in common that served as our meeting ground but then we diverge in the extreme. (Or maybe I truly do have multiple personalities and each friend represents a facet of me. Now there's a scary thought...)

In my quest for honesty, I'm gonna bluntly say some things that I usually wouldn't say. My IQ is a great deal higher than my family's. I've always had a difficult time communicating with the family because we view things so differently. They are generally prejudiced against new ideas; I like new ideas. I like to explore things and view new ideas as a challenge to be questioned and explored while they look on new ideas (or things) with fear and reject them out of hand. I also have always had a hard time finding common ground to spend time with the family. They like senseless, non-stimulating entertainment. Mindless television shows and such. I like intellectual, quiet pursuits such as reading or challenging board games (Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit for example) and have no problem with spending time together with people I like in utter silence, just enjoying the company. My family gets nervous in silence. They then use their super-sensitive feelings and ability to hold grudges and begin to formulate theories as to who is mad and why, all because one is not speaking. It can't be normal; the silent person must be angry. I like to try new things; they condemn new things without trial. It's like a lynch mob performing a hanging without the benefit of a just trial by jury.

As a child, I grew up quickly and started taking on adult responsibilities at a very young age. One result of this is that I've never really gotten along well with people of the same age / peer group. It was difficult to relate to people worrying over whether Joe wrote "I love you" on a note passed around class when you were thinking about the financial situation of your family and whether the bills would be paid this month or not. It was also extremely difficult for me to understand the lack of interest in learning. Kids trying to get out of class and not doing assignments puzzled the stew out of me. I loved to learn and was reading books well beyond my age group even as early as first grade. I know I was a challenge for teachers with my endless questions and boredom with the age appropriate material.

This didn't improve with age. While I have a couple of close friends that I made in high school, there was still always such a disconnect. I had a hard time understanding their struggles with classwork that bored me. It was also difficult because they were intimidated by my grades. Being shy, introverted, and smart made friends hard to come by and considering I had an entirely different area of interests than having boyfriends and going to parties, etc. only complicated the matter further. Undergrad years were spent mostly in my own little world. I made a few "acquaintances" with whom I worked on some group projects but no real close friends although I met Can't Spell during that time. I lived at home and commuted to class (a 10-15 minute drive.) I scheduled my classes at unfashionable hours like 7:30 a.m. and worked 30-35 hours a week in addition to taking care of the herd and the house and cooking, etc. I'm not real sure how I stretched the time so now; must have had more energy being younger. As you can see, the schedule was not conducive to relationship building.

Vet school was much the same. I'm just not a joiner or a partier; not my cup of tea. I find myself still in the same boat. There are just so few people with whom I really want to connect. Oh, I have friends, it's just that they are friends at a distance. Not really people to whom I'm inclined to open up and invite into the deep dark recesses of my mind. And even if I were, not people who would understand or be comfortable there. Sometimes I'm not so sure that my closest friends are comfortable with delving into that region. Sometimes, I find it a little scary myself!

It also struck me while listening to a comedian play up the stereotypical differences in male and female thinking that I don't even fit in there. He said that men compartmentalize everything in boxes that aren't allowed to touch or interact while women have an information superhighway made of a wire that connects everything. I'm neither but both. I tend to compartmentalize but connect. And when he was making fun of the way women continue talking even when it would be impossible to be heard yet expect their mate to hear (i.e. head inside dryer or in another room), I related to the male rather than the female. I think I have a general tendency to think more in a stereotypical male fashion but understand female-ese fairly well. This is probably the reason I generally learn better from male teachers. I've never understood the hothouse of female emotionalism and stabbing in the back. Honestly, if I have a problem with you, I'd rather take it out back and just fight it out then be done with it.

While I'm discussing my dysfunctional self, I'm also going to share another aspect. I have always thought that I was so extremely fat until recently. It was perpetrated by the fact that most of the women in my family are tall and very thin. You know the type, not too many curves and rarely have to worry about gaining. My mother looked like Linda Carter of Wonder Woman fame with a bit less curve in her younger days. I'm an oddball. I'm shorter than most of my family and came with curves. Because I wasn't built like them, I thought I was fat and they added to my poor self-image by talking about how "heavy" I was. I was looking at some old photos and it suddenly struck me; I wasn't fat at all back then, I was just built different. Yes, I've always struggled to keep my weight in check but I wasn't fat. Wish someone had told me that back when... Now I am in part because I thought I already was.

So there. I've told many deep dark secrets about myself all started because of delving into old photos, listening to a comedian, thinking about some old friends, and talking to a family member who I've not talked to in a while. Scary what little, unrelated events can set into motion isn't it?