Monday, July 20, 2009

Murphy's Law and Summer of Learning

After a semi-relaxing weekend and some quality time with Matt, Monday started off with Murphy's law in full effect. What was supposed to be the last day of my experiment and arising at 5:00 am turned into a disaster. After 4 of the 9 mice were completed, the power in our procedure room went off and we could not complete the surgeries with enough time for me to start the 1 hour post-op observation. So 4 mice wasted and another day of arising before the sun, and I am tired today. On top of that, we were already under the gun time-wise for my poster, and now it's even more exacerbated unless I use 4 instead of 5 data sets. Ugh.

With 4 days left until I take off for Spokane and RAVS I am excited. I have been practicing for my surgery practical and feel ready. I really hope I get to perform some spays and neuters this week, but I am sure it will be a great experience even if I do not.

This Saturday at the emergency clinic was one of my favorites. I placed a urinary catheter in a dog successfully on the first try, placed 4 IV catheters, and completed my first blood transfusion. It was very rewarding and really solidified for me that my heart lies in small animal medicine, at least in the near term. For reasons to be elaborated on later, I no longer feel a calling to laboratory animal medicine, but I am glad I got the chance to explore both simultaneously this summer.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Most Exhilerating Experience

First off, I want to address the difficulty I have had with my age since I turned 30 a month and a half ago. My best friend turned 30 this week and after talking to her I had an epiphany I would like to share.

Perhaps the 20's are about finding out who you are as a person. Things you like or dislike, your values, interests, goals, and career exploration. As I enter my 30's I feel confident in knowing these aspects about myself. While there is a lifetime of learning that remains, perhaps this decade is about enjoying life in your own skin, now that you know what that skin is made of. Just a thought to ease the transition.

The main focus of this blog entry, however, is not a reason why 30 could be better than 20 (who am I kidding), but about a day that will live in infamy. My first rock climbing experience was one of the most demanding, powerful and rewarding experiences I have ever had in my life. Not only was it much more physically demanding than I imagined, or experienced with indoor climbing, but the mental puzzle as you calculate the next move was unexpected, but amazing.

At no point did I feel unsafe. The sport challenges each individuals boundaries and you choose to go on or stop. Whether you reach the anchor or not, a sense of accomplishment is inevitable and the physical challenge unbelievable.

As an avid gym rat and hiker for 7+ years, it has been a while since I have been challenged on this level and felt so alive! While I had always plan to sky dive when I turned 30, I think rock climbing on many levels may have been the more exhilarating choice.

I look forward to getting back out on the rock as soon as my body recovers and in the process learning more about my limitations and the amazing things my mind and body is capable of.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Middle Ground Found

After true burnout of myself and the other lab vet I am working with, we both pushed back to our manager and he responded. Things are much better. The study is now manageable for the time frame we have. I was able to attend an influenza vaccine talk today during lunch. I will be spending more time with the primates on an enrichment level, reading more articles, and getting a better feel for lab medicine and not just the summer project.

After the OBX and the long 4th weekend (we camped again this time at lake Anna with some friends), I feel rejuvenated. I am avidly practicing for my RAVS surgery practical, which is going to be tough, but practicing suture techniques is only going to put me ahead, even if I don't pass the test.

While I am depressed that summer is half over, I have been able to go to the gym and have a small social life between 2 jobs now and things feel much better.

Last night I went to a great pilates class, followed with Zumba, which was more like salsa. I loved it! It strengthened my desire to learn how to salsa. I need to add that to the next 30 years list. I made the list before my 30th birthday to keep track of all I want to accomplish in my next 30 years. Matt and I also really want a boat and sooner rather than later. Perhaps in the next decade?

I also decided on Monday that I am very glad I am spending some time at the emergency clinic and time in lab medicine. It makes for good comparisons.

As for my current career plans, I think I want to practice in small animal medicine for 3-5 years and go from there. I can always switch but it makes for a solid foundation.