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!!

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