Wednesday, November 27, 2013


PHEW, holy moley people. I can not BELIEVE I haven't posted since March of last year. so much has happened. so much has been learned, achieved and advanced. I am 5 months away from graduating. Rotations have been both amazing and terrible, life affirming and confidence-draining. But ultimately-I am near the finish of this long adventure and when I walk into a room and talk to an owner about their pet-I feel like I am home. Everything else disappears and I know I am where I belong. Those are good things, yes?

SO on Dec. 4th-next week, I am taking the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam...and I am scared. but-I figure I have made it this far without falling on my face-so, I have hope I will pass. wish me luck! I will try to make a post after.....In the meanwhile.......I study!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Not dead yet

Helloooo. I am not dead, and I have not failed out. I just am a terrible blogger and probably should never even have teased you all with this wonderful blog name. I am almost done with my 3rd year of veterinary school and am about to begin clinics. I'm excited and scared at the same time, but I also have some final exams to take-so I promise I will try to post again soon about how great/awful/challenging vet school has been for this old lady.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I am finally posting after many many months off from this blog-things just became a bit overwhelming after christmas break-the rest of 2nd year almost killed me! I don't know how much you all know about the 'most dreaded year' of medical school-but it involved virology, bacteriology, mycology, immunology, pathology, clinical pathology, epidemiology, parasitology, organ systems pathology, antimicrobials and epidemiology. Tons and tons of information and learning taxonomy, nomenclature and what seemed like a billion different new names of diseases I still don't know that I will ever be able to memorize.  I spent entirely too much time studying and let my exercise regimen and quality 'me' time fall away and toward the end of the semester/last quarter I had my first anxiety freak out in a long time. I'm proud of myself that I was able to get out of it and pass the year decently, but it was annoying and scary for a few weeks there.

There were some fun moments I will try to remember of second year....Like streaking bacteria plates and growing our own colonies. Yes, I actually found that fun. We had a wet lab doing necropsies on cats for the Feline and Pathology clubs. We got to do a lot of sleuthing to detect diseases and causes in organ pathology on dead specimens. Clinical pathology was fantastic too-we interpreted blood chemistries and other lab work that is entirely relevant to my future as a clinician.

And of course all the horrifying moments ....not knowing if I ever knew enough about all the bacteria on earth...going into exams wishing I had *just* another day to study...trying to memorize epidemiological terms and formulas I barely understood....complete and utter burn out and sleepless anxiety laden nights wondering if I was going to stay sane enough to make it through....

and I DID.

I also lucked out and was able to get a student job internship for the summer at a local clinic-I was quite worried for a while there that I wasn't going to be able to get work, but I heard about it at the last minute. That job has helped me gain confidence in my hands-on skills as well as my client communication skills. VERY important things that vet students forget about while we're in classes all day. I also contacted a local feline shelter where I have been volunteering once a week, and they have let me do spays and neuters totally on my own on some feral kitties that were dropped off there. The head veterinarian there was willing to train me and work with me on a lot of my skills, and I'm so super appreciative! I'm very interested in shelter medicine now, and have already looked into a shelter med externship for 4th year.

And now-I am about 3 weeks away from beginning my 3rd year. This is the real introduction into clinical diagnosis and surgery. We'll be doing surgeries within the first few weeks of school! I'm excited and feeling so ready to move on.

This is my last week at my clinic job and my next job after this will a licensed veterinarian in 21 months. squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Finals and clinics

So finals are over-i had to take a breather for a week before I could finally post about them! We had our 2 days of intensive exams, day 1 of all pathology, then day 2 of the other subjects we covered in the 3 1/2 weeks prior: Immunology, toxicology, pharmacology. That makes it sound actually manageable, but like with everything else-it was way too much information to actually feel like I could know it all well. I just really hope over these next few years it all begins to aggregate and I actually know stuff.
The wildlife clinic scene has quieted down significantly, we haven't had a patient in a while, and even pager has calmed down a lot. I have it this evening-we'll see if it changes.

But the more fun news is that I've been on clinics since last week. Dentistry rotation which involved extracting teeth from cadaver heads and doing radiographs on skulls. Then learning all about dental anatomy and pathologies. This week is ER, and it has been super exciting but at the end of the day there was a very frustrating case. I will be vague about it, NO names, breeds or species are mentioned as to spare the this could be anyone/any type of pet. So-pet comes in and has a....a problem, let's say, we bring it to the back to do a thorough exam and look over the information from the regular veterinarian. Many, MANY clinicians come in and out and take a looks at him/her, doctors talk to the owner to see what they want to do about this...It would involve extensive surgery to explore and repair the problem. Regular vet wasn't able to successfully repair the problem. Surgeons came back and assessed the radiographs that were up from the regular veterinarian, internal medicine doctors came in and looked. Everyone had great ideas of what we could do to help, and the pet spent about 2 hours with us back there on pain meds and oxygen...I was so excited to go and watch them operate and do their magic and see this lil dude(ette) leave happy, but after many hours of back and forth, the owners decided they couldn't afford surgery and opted for euthanasia. This was a youngish animal that had great odds of successful recovery. All I can say is, this will be extremely frustrating for me moving on into this career. A completely fixable situation that is entirely determined by cost, and the pet loses. This would never happen in human medicine. I can't even express how upset I am over this, but what can I do. What can I possibly do? You can't always save a life.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

quick mid-mid term update...

Hellooo! so I just wanted to throw in a quick, QUICK update because I said I'd update more often this year....AND, my mom's reading this! so, yea.

The last few weeks leading up to midterms have been insane. not only are we hit with a TON of material to learn in just a few weeks, but my wildlife team has been extremely busy this year. I was on call a few weeks ago and was paged NINE TIMES. So many head trauma squirrels, orphaned bunnies, cat deglovings of bunnies, hit by car turtles...and then this past week...a turkey vulture with a broken wing, 2 great horned owls with longstanding injuries, more turtles and neuro squirrels...and the most painful I think-was the fawn.

She appeared to be around 2 days old (not much bigger than an adult cat), cachexic (anorexic to the point of wasing), was completely lethargic, floppy when picked up, had grey gums and was barely responsive. We tried everything we could, put her on IV fluids with dextrose, gave her dextrose directly on her gums, put her on heat and 02 and watched her for around 2 hours. She seemed to go agonal every now and again. It was extremely sad and excrutiating to watch, not to mention that the person who brought her in told us he knew the mother had died days ago-so this poor baby had been without nutrition for at least 2 days. She was definitely not long for the world. Alas, we ended up deciding the most humane course of action would be to help her get to heaven, there wasn't much more we could do for her. It was one of those sad cases that you wish you hadn't seen or been involved with.

It was a good dose of reality though, no, being a veterinarian is definitely not just vaccinating cute puppies and kittens. It's about life and death, and the helplessness you feel against nature. Some days I feel like a junior doctor and some days I feel like the grim reaper. *sigh*.

Monday, August 29, 2011

So much to little time.....

I'm so very tired. It's okay though, I had one of those great moments today where I thought "I am SO appreciative that I get to do this. go to vet school. become a veterinarian. ahhhh". So, it's all good-I just have a ton to do.

The Wildlife Clinic has kept me insanely busy-we now have 2 cases, a juvenile opossum who had an open wound on her side (still does, we're trying some interesting honey bandaging techniques), and an adult squirrel who's having neuro signs. I have yet to meet that one, I'll see how he is doing tomorrow morning at my treatment shift.

And classes....ahh the massive buildup of information. It's amazing what they can cram in to a mere week. And since we're on quarters (which I may have already mentioned) we have a midterm exam already in 2 weeks or so. insanity. BUT-on the plus side-just about everything we are learning right now is super interesting to me! I am loving pathology and immunology. I realized also I'm in that notorious year that any type of medical student starts learning about disease and immediately become hypochondriacs. I can totally see how that happens. It appears so because during lectures it seems almost impossible that our bodies function as well as they do. There are so many places where things can go wrong. SO many ultrastructural, eensy, and nano- weensy places where just one molecule can wreak havoc on a system. The body is truly a remarkable thing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Second year starts off with a bang

So I spent my first day of second year at the vet med campus for THIRTEEN HOURS. I had classes from 8-12, then lunch, then lab from 1-3, then studied for a bit, then had to do a treatment on some wildlife clinic patients at 4, then had my Fish Med elective at 5, then had Team Leader training for the Wildlife Clinic from 6-8. somewhere in there, I realized I needed to give my little orphaned opossum patient at the WMC some pepto bismol to help her with her diarrhea problem, so I went down there and ended up finally leaving campus by 9. eeesh. needless to say, I was exhausted.

More later....