Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Week 2 begins

After a rocky start, I'm almost halfway through week 2.
This week's case is about a medium-large mix breed dog with hip and lower back soreness. Been doing a lot of research not just into hip displasya, but also other musculoskeletal degenerative diseases, and a bajillion other tangentally related subjects.

One thing I've noticed in our 2 PBL cases so far, is that when it gives us the pet's history, the diet information is skewed towards Hills. When the dog presents and its obese, our case tells us that the owner is feeding Ol Roy, but then at the end of the case, they tell us that we suggested Hills r/d, and now the dog's a healthy weight. This week's case has a dog that's a healthy weight, and other than the hip issues, is in good shape. Of course they mention that the dog is eating Hills science diet. Before I enrolled here, I asked a couple people about the corporate involvement, and they insisted that it was very minimal - 2 4 hour shifts at Banfield per semester, and Hills just had their name on a building. They didn't mention the subtle pro-Hills agenda in our cases. Luckily, our curriculim encourages us to seek out reliable, varied sources for each subject - so I fully plan on getting all my nutrition information from as many sources as possible. I'm not one of the pet food nuts, I don't feed BARF, I don't think there's a commercial pet food conspiracy. But I also don't think that commercial interests have a place in higher education, and it feels like there's this subtle pressure on everybody to feel indebted to them, so after we graduate, we all carry their "prescription" diets.

This is embarassing to admit, but I think I should be honest about it, especially if other vet students are reading this blog. The end of last week, Saturday, Sunday, and yesterday were all one big meltdown on my behalf. I'd stress out, thinking I can never learn all this information in a set time, then I'd cry. Then I'd try to pep-talk myself into thinking I could do it, but since I was so stressed out, I wouldn't remember a damn thing. Then I'd cry again. Its been a terrible cycle of feeling stupid, self-doubt, and thinking that I made the biggest mistake ever by coming here. For some reason, today I woke up feeling ok about everything, which is weird, considering that yesterday, I was contemplating the consequences of breaking my lease, getting a moving truck, and returning to Colorado. It has been one giant mind-fuck moodswing. Why am I even admitting to something so embarassing? Because today, when I was going into the anatomy lab after hours, I ran into a classmate. I asked a generic "hey, how're you?", and he looked at me wide-eyed and said "Not good. I don't know if I'm studying too much, or not enough, and I don't know how to handle everything." So I told him what I've been going through, and he really seemed to appreciate that he wasn't the only one. So If you're reading this, and you're a classmate, or if you're reading this years from when it was written, and maybe experiencing something similar, YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONE. Nothing to do but plough through it, do your best, and hope it gets better as you acclimate.

I don't spend any time in the clinics this week, but next week, I do 4 hours in Banfield, and the week after, I get to spend 4 hours at Cal Poly with SHEEP!!! I don't know why I'm so excited about that. I don't know a damn thing about sheep, but I know I'm head over heels for goats, and sheep seem like slightly fluffier, less-cute, dumber goats. Its something to look forward to, at least.

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