Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I probably shouldn't admit to this...

Have you ever heard of the term "food porn?" Don't worry, it's not actually porn. It's basically professionally shot photos of gourmet food, that the foodies refer to as "food porn."

Well, I have my own version of "vet porn". Even a few years ago when I was finishing up my bachelor's degree, I would spend hours on DVM360's hospital design gallery, and its no different now. Sure, all the hospitals showcased are million dollar multi-doctor practices. After paying off my loans, I'll be lucky if I can buy some small one-doctor space with old 70's and 80's technology, if I can own my own clinic at all. One can always dream, right? Even more embarassing than spending time daydreaming about theoretical practices I could one day own, is I also already have multiple blueprints and a logo already designed. I also have plans on how to incorporate said logo into the paint job on a theoretical 1967 ambulance that I also do not own, but plan to restore, and park outside said imaginary clinic instead of normal signage. So, yeah. I'm a dork. But hopefully over the years I'll turn out to be enough of a business savy dork to make it work.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I seem to have stepped on some toes

It has been brought to my attention that I have inadvertently stepped on some toes with the blog.

I'm cynical. I'm bitchy. I'm negative. And that makes me happy. Apparently, I have worded some stuff poorly, so those that don't know me have taken offense. And you know what? I greatly apologize. I've changed some of the posts, so they're a little less extreme, because while it is my intention to present my view of vet school and sometimes ruffle some feathers, it isn't my intention to hurt feelings or raise red flags in the process. If you're one of the people who I've crossed, email me, and I'll see what I can do to make it up to you.

And on that note... apparently my readership is way bigger than I previously thought. I checked my stats, and I've been getting between 50-100 hits per day. *waves* You see at the bottom of each post? There's a "comments" link. You can use it, really. I don't bite.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mish-mash of updates

Oops, I haven't updated in a couple weeks.

My new PBL group is nice. Its scary when I'm the one of the most extroverted people in the group, since I'm sure you know, I'm not. Its a very quiet group, but I like quiet.

Last week we had a case with a congenital problem of a puppy leaking urine, and it looks like this week is another congenital case with a shar-pei and some kidney issues. Last block we had a big clump of leg cases, then a big clump of stomach/rumen/GI cases, so I'm guessing that we'll be stuck in the urinary system for awhile.

I've been reading a thread on the student doctor network forums, where the class of 2014 from all over the country updates how they're doing, and how they're handing it. And I hate to sound like too much of a cheerleader for WesternU, but damn, I'm lucky I'm not at one of the other schools. A common complaint I've been reading is that people feel like they're forced to just memorize tons of random information without understanding the underlying processes, and that they're just learning stuff for a test each week, then purging it while they study for the next week's test in another area. Here, there's no way to cram for tests and come out on the other side, and the way everything's set up, you're behind the curve if you don't actually understand the processes behind each system.

With our urinary system the past two weeks, we've had to learn the basics like the anatomy, physiology and histology of the kidneys, bladder and ureters, but also what's going on at the cellular level, what clinical aspects you can expect to see in similar cases, which genes affect the function, any behavioral issues that tie in, what you can expect to see on radiographs and ultrasound, and how each issue affects other organ systems, or is affected by other organ systems. I can't imagine swallowing all of that information without putting it in context.

I got a nice surprise today when I got home from class. I checked the mail, and I had one of those "your pet is due for their vaccines" postcards from my old work in Colorado, and all of my co-workers had written little messages all over the back of it. It totally brought a smile to my face. I really loved working there, and miss everybody, so it was really nice to hear from them.

And in other news, Tyler (finally) got a job! I've been stressing out like crazy trying to figure out the whole bill situation - my student loans aren't enough to pay for everything, and I was pretty much tapped. Just in the nick of time, he got a call back, and starts working next week. I can stop hyperventilating now and this huge cloud of stress that's been hanging over me is gone.

My kittens are doing really well. The older litter is over their upper respiratory stuff, and they're hyper little balls of trouble. They'll probably be big enough to get adopted out in a week or two. And I need to get them out of the house soon, 'cause Tyler's falling for the 7-toed freak, and we really don't need to gain a kitten permenently. Plus, if we end up keeping a cat, I want to keep Stegosaurous - the mamma kitty. Her litter's a month old now, and its amazing how quickly they went from just barely being able to walk to exploring, climbing, and playing.

Enough procrastinating - I need to get back to learning everything I can shove into my brain about the kidneys.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I was freaking out pretty badly about midterms earlier today. I passed the class I was worried about, and while I didn't ace it, I don't have to freak out anymore. I also know what things I need to change with my studying, so next time around I can totally kick butt on the tests, instead of settling for less. And since I've officially passed midterms, and block 2 is starting, that means I'm 1/16th of the way through vet school!

Tomorrow I get to do a bovine rectal palpation lab, and its in our anatomy lab, so I'm assuming cadaver rectal palpation. That's right, it sounds like I'll be arm deep in dead cow butt,* and I still feel like the profession I'm entering is one of the most glamourous in the world.

Also, tomorrow we start a new case, this time with a completely new PBL group. Everybody in my new group seems super nice, but I think I'll automatically always feel my first PBL group was the best PBL group. I better get over it, 'cause I'm with the new group for the next 8 weeks.

*I feel like it beats a live one having to tolerate students learning on it, and Western's WAVE program assures all cadavers used are ethically sourced.


I get to find out in an hour how I did on my veterinary basic sciences test. That's the huge class that consists of 16 credit hours. Thats the one that if I didn't do well, I'm screwed. I've been up since 7, with my stomach in knots worrying about it. I think I'll be fine, but I never try to underestimate my ability to screw up.

However, I did get my grade back for my molecular and cellular biology class, and I did fine on that, so maybe I'm freaking out for no reason.

This next hour is going to seem so slow.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My car got hit by a drunk crossdresser

Now that I've gotten your attention with that awesome headline, here's what happened.

Tyler and I were sitting on the front porch. Our car was parked in front of the house, and there was another car parked in front of the neighbor's yard. Somebody got in the other car, and pulled forward, and parked behind my car, but the way they were driving looked "off," so I whipped out my camera phone. They backed up to their old spot, then started to pull forward again, and it was really jerky. They then decided to pull forward another couple feet into the back of my parked car.

After witnessing this moment of absolute stupidity, I kind of lost my lid, and ran over, and started screaming at the kid that was driving. They got out of their car, which is when I realized that I wasn't yelling at a teenage girl, I was yelling at a teenage guy, who I assumed was an emo kid.

Tyler ran inside to grab the car keys so we could pull our car forward to look at the damage, and I asked guy to stay put. He kept apologizing, and saying he was drunk. He decided to get back in the car and back up, ran over the curb in the process, and stayed in his car. I wasn't sure if he was going to take off, so I called the cops. Before the cops showed up, he gave me his phone number, then wandered back to the party he was at. It was then that I realized that he wasn't an emo kid - he was wearing a mini skirt and cowboy boots. Once I realized he was a crossdresser and not an emo kid, I felt pretty bad about the screaming and calling the cops.

The police showed up, asked what was going on, and drove around the block to break up the party. While they were driving around, he and his friend got back into the car and tried to hide by crouching in the front seat. I told the officer what was going on, and that they were in the car. After asking for more information, which revealed I had a Colorado driver's liscense, she basically was like "As I'm SURE you know, this is a dangerous place to live." I told her that I wasn't out to get a poor little teenager, that I had called them to make sure he wouldn't drive off, since he was pretty sloshed. She asked me something along the lines of "so you basically just want liscense and insurance information then?" and I told her yes. She then asked us to go inside so "people wouldn't know we were the ones that called". Tyler and I really got the vibe that they were annoyed with US for calling them for a the accident, and that they felt like we were risking retribution for calling on something so "minor".

We went inside as requested, and kept peeking at the action through the blinds. They pulled the two kids out of the car, gave them a roadside sobriety test, and put his friend, the one who wasn't driving, into the back of the squad car. A tow truck showed up and towed the car off. I then watched them let the guy who hit my car go, and get picked up by some of his friends. I figured they would get more information from us, or something, or let us know what was going on, but nothing. They just drove off.

So I guess tomorrow I have to call my insurance company. I don't have the guy's name, insurance or anything (since the cops asked us to go inside, then didn't talk to us afterwards,) but I have the video of him hitting the car, and photos that include the liscense plate to what he said was his friend's car.

I'm just kind of weirded out by the way they handled it - I just got this whole "you don't belong here, outsider" vibe. I never got a terrible vibe off of my neighborhood before - its seemed like a poor neighborhood thats been undergoing recent gentrification, but I've never felt at risk here. However, that officer's line about "I'm sure you've noticed this is a dangerous place" is bothering me. Was she trying to scare us? Was she trying to warn us that as naive white outsiders that we were being dumb by calling the cops? Is it actually a bad neighborhood, and we suck at judging these things?

Now I'm torn between feeling bad about making some poor teenage crossdresser's night hell, and hoping that the sobriety test, and 3 cop cars was enough to scare him from ever getting behind the wheel drunk again. Tyler's being all paranoid that we just painted targets on our backs by calling the cops, and I'm kind of weirded out by the whole conversation with the police.

Between this and the constant influx of stray cats, this neighborhood sure has provided me with a lot to write about.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I survived!

4 days of really hard exams are now done with, and all I have tomorrow is my clinical skills exam, which I think should be cake. I'm pretty sure its stuff like "What are the AAHA vaccine guidelines?" and "Demonstrate how to put a halter on this stuffed horse." A nice break after this week. I think I find out on Tuesday how I did on all my exams. I'm not shooting for A's here. I just hope I passed.

The other exam I haven't really mentioned this week is a take-home written exam for my vet issues class. Its basically an essay about the issues facing the profession. Its due tomorrow, and I put off writing it to study for everything else, so I finally got around to writing it earlier this afternoon. It did spawn the best conversation ever between me and Tyler. I'd probably go crazy with school if he wasn't around to make me laugh.

Me: What should I write about for my Vet Issues midterm?

Tyler: What do you have to write about?

Me: Challenges facing veterinary medicine today.

Tyler: What's today?

Me: October 7th.

Tyler: Why don't you write about how all the veterinary practices waited too long to place a new glove order, and now they're worried about if they should go to walgreens and buy a few boxes, or wait for their order to ship.

Me: Why's that a challenge?

Tyler: Because they don't want to have too many gloves, and have to find a place to put all the extras if they drive to walgreens and buy some, but then their order comes in tomorrow, but they don't want to run out if the damn FedEx guy screws them again. 'Cause then they'll have to start getting creative, and start wrapping their hands in saran wrap, or something.

Me: And how would today's students be able to help with that challenge?

Tyler: You could stop pestering me, and go buy some people some gloves or something. Do something actually useful.

Me: Oh, I see. And what challenges are going to face the profession in the future?

Tyler: Well, tomorrow they're going to have to learn how to do surgery with their hands wrapped in saran wrap. (He then smooshes his hands together and starts to do the robot.) That'll be the issue with the vet profession on October 8th!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Big evil test of doom today

I've been taking midterms all week. They're all really rough - Monday's test was almost 1/2 inch thick! Anyway, today's our practical exam for anatomy, histology, parasitology, microbiology, pathology and behavior. I kind of feel like today's exam is where everybody is like "haha, we didn't actually think you were smart enough to be a vet! Joke's on you!" I leave for class in an hour, and I'm reviewing some last minute stuff until then, but there's this sense of impending doom that I can't shake.


(Saturday) This is added after the fact. I'm just editing this post for chronologic continuity.

When I got home from the test mentioned above, a neighbor came over and knocked on the door. I heard something about "your wife's a vet student right?" and "the babies." I threw shoes on, and went outside. She explained that her next door neighbors had found 3 little kittens in the alley behind their house, and didn't know what to do with them. They look like they're about 6 weeks old, so I explained that they could most likely eat solid food, not the cow's milk they were trying to feed them. They told me they couldn't take care of them, so I got suckered into taking them and locking them in my computer room, thinking I'd drop them off at the humane society after my midterms.

Friday after my last test I drove them to the humane society, where I was informed that they'd be immediately euthanized, because they were under 2 pounds. So I asked the lady in receiving if I could foster them until they were two pounds, so they'd at least have a chance. She told me that'd be for the best, while trying to make ME feel bad for bringing them in, and for not trying to stick the neigbor kids who found them with the responsibility of the kittens. I believe her words were "they were probably their kittens, and they have you pegged for a sucker. You should make them deal with them." I was pretty pissed at this point. I not only feel like I was manipulated into fostering them, but also made to feel bad because I was looking out for the kittens' best interest, instead of making other people "take responsibility" for cats that probably weren't even theirs. Our humane society really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

So we got home with the box o' kittens in tow, and were sitting out front, when another neighbor kid walked in front of our house holding a little grey kitten that matched the 3 we had. We asked him about it, and he told us that they'd found it and couldn't keep it, but didn't want to leave it out on the street. I offered to re-unite the little guy with the rest of his litter.

Anyway, that puts us at Mamma cat + 5 kittens (one died - I don't remember if I mentioned that on the blog or just on facebook), 4 stray 6-ish week old kittens, and our three cats. I am completely overwhelmed with the sheer number of animals in my house, and having 2 seperate quarentine rooms, and I have no idea how I'm going to find homes for all of them. I'm a bit leary at this point of bringing them to the humane society.

This neighborhood has too many strays, and I'm too much of a softie to ignore all of them, but I'm too much of a broke student to be able to keep this up. I don't really know what to do at this point.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

First exam tomorrow

And I'm kind of excited about it. I should probably be freaking out like everybody else, but I'm pretty confident that I've got this. Either that or I'm hopelessly ignorant, and don't even realize it enough to be freaked out. :)