Saturday, July 27, 2013

The little things.

One thing I am very grateful for inheriting from my mother is her positivity. My mom is just a naturally happy person. There are people in this world who I just don't understand how they function being as angry and miserable as they constantly seem to be. People who say, "Ugh, I hate ____" every other sentence just confuse me and make me sad. That isn't a statement against clinically depressed people. I've been there twice in my life, and I know it's different than just being a moody jerk. Plus most of the clinically depressed people I know, you would never guess it talking to them. I'm talking about people who are just negative all the time and unpleasant to be around.

The great thing about being a positive person is you can be having the crappiest day ever, and it only takes something small to bring your spirits right back up again. A nice day, a good cup of tea, and suddenly all of the stress and negativity is gone. And I truly do love that I'm one of those people, because it makes life easier.

Today I had a really hard time getting out of bed. I've spent the last six days in and out of our small animal isolation ward caring for a very sick dog with Parvo. I was exhausted and sore and did not want to get up to go do 7am treatments. I went, and left school around 9am and decided to stop at the Market at the Square, Urbana's farmer's market, on my way home. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool, the sky was blue with big fluffy white clouds, and the air smelled like summer in the Midwest. After a few minutes of walking through isle after isle of fresh produce and baked goods, I was in my happy place. I bought apple butter, cheese, sweet corn, and shortbread cookies. Now I'm in bed, cuddling with Castiel, sipping a cup of mint tea, and completely and utterly content.

Here's some pics from the market. It's truly one of the biggest and best farmer's markets I've ever been to.

I love it when there's a vendor that does this! They basically take every fresh lettuce and herb in their garden and combine it to make a salad mix. It's seasonal, so it's always changing, and delicious. I love to have it  with goat cheese fritters, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.
A shuck your own corn truck! My favorite of all the vendors there.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Money woes.

Sorry for the big gaps between posts. The wildlife and exotic rotation was crazy busy. I got to do a lot of really cool stuff, though, including two zoo visits where I anesthetized and did physical exams on zoo animals. There was also a big wildlife component, so I got to restrain owls, snip off some necrotic bone and sew up a goose's leg, and put a nasogastric tube in a box turtle.

Right now I'm on small animal critical care. There are three students on the rotation right now (three Rossies of different generations - HOLLA!) and so it's actually pretty laid back and we have a lot of time to round on cases, or common clinical presentations, topics like fluids or specific diseases... It's nice.

One thing I will say about the first clinical semester is that you blow through money fast. Between a deposit on your apartment, furnishing a new apartment from nothing (sofa, bed, dishes, silverware, cleaning supplies, etc.), my parking pass for Illinois was $660, the NAVLE was $570 for the national exam fee plus another $225 for state licensure, $230 for VetPrep NAVLE study materials, etc. almost every Rossie I know that just started clinics this semester is almost broke. Some of them have to live on less than $1,000 for the next month and a half, including rent. It's insane that in clinics we actually get about $2,000 less on our refund check than we did in semesters 1-7.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The good with the bad.

I had a hard day on Tuesday. I took over a patient staying in the ICU from another student when I started on the wildlife and exotic rotation. She was an intestinal resection and anastomosis post-op that wasn't doing well. She wasn't passing feces and had hard masses of impacted fecal material in her bowels that weren't moving. On Tuesday her owners came to visit and she passed away in the room with them. It wasn't a very pleasant situation, her owners were very upset, and I took the brunt of it.

Later that day I was drained and moody and just wanted to go home. My last appointment was a snake with a persistent respiratory infection that we'd been trying to treat for over two months. Even with a culture and sensitivity, the antibiotics weren't clearing it up. We resorted to an antibiotic that can have some serious side effects, but would get some of the nastier bugs that won't show up on culture and the antibiotics we'd tried previously did not cover. The owner was understandably upset and reluctant, and for some reason was having a personality conflict with the clinician. Things got heated and he refused the treatment. I asked the clinician if I could go try and talk to him, because I felt like we'd developed a rapport earlier and maybe I could get him to come around. We felt this was kind of our last shot at getting this snake better, so she told me I could try. I went up front and sat with him and told him I was sorry that things got so heated. I explained again why we wanted to proceed with this treatment, despite its risks. I told him it was ultimately up to him, and I'd understand if he still didn't want to, but that I didn't want him to walk out angry and to not at least try the treatment because of a personality conflict and tempers getting out of control.

Well, he agreed to the treatment. He also told me that he's working on a Master's in counseling, and that I am very good at conflict resolution and empathizing with people. It kind of made my whole day.