Sunday, March 20, 2011

Only 2 Rotations Left!

I have mentioned it before in recent postings, but I cannot tell you how odd it is to be happy and sad at the same time with a dash of disbelief on top. I can vividly remember second year feeling as if becoming a veterinarian was a path with an unattainable destination. Well the destination is heading toward me very quickly.

Recently on lab services, I have had time to do some activites with my 2 year old dog, Spokane. We are in the midst of grasping the sport of fly ball, starting the trail running season, and this weekend started agility lessons, with an amazing trainer in a beautiful Blacksburg setting. Of course as these activities start becoming rewarding for myself and my dog, they will need to wind down soon. While they can be continued when I return to Northern VA/Washington DC area, they will be more expensive, hectic to travel to, and impersonal. I am so grateful to everything this town has given me these 4 years, so here is a list for those Type-A's out there:

Blacksburg Greats:
  1. Blue Ridge Parkway proximity- a vista, mountain, trail, friendly face at every mile
  2. Pandapas Pond- best place on earth for biking and trail running
  3. Virginia Tech's spirit- 3.2 for 32, VT football, VT vs Duke basketball, etc
  4. Crossfit Blacksburg
  5. Akke's Yoga Place & In-balance Yoga- Akke you kept me level-headed years 2&3
  6. Blacksburg Farmer's Market-always seeing a friendly face and acquiring local goods
  7. Nellie's Cave Park and all my neighbors- the unofficial offleash dog area
  8. The lack of chain restaurants and quality of the independent restaurants-Gillie's, Souvlaki, Cellar, Cabo, Easy Chair, Bogens, Sal's, Sake House, Bangkok Bistro, Lefty's, Daily Bread
  9. Roanoke Non-Ultra Trail Series & Roanoke's charm
  10. The mountains all around at the end of hard day.
When I think of vet school, I think of the fun and my lifelong friendships that have developed and the sense of community I have never experienced before. I have tuned out the bad because at the end of this experience what remains is an appreciative, stronger (mentally and physically thx X-Fit), smarter, more confident, person, with a sense of self and better friends than I could have ever imagined. I will search the rest of my life to find those friends and community again; I wouldn't be at all surprised if in the end I return to Blacksburg.

There is a tension that develops inside all of us when facing a transitional period between what you are leaving behind and what lies ahead. I have chosen to embrace and feel that tension and it has helped face the reality that this crazy chapter of my life that has been so hard and so rewarding is coming to a close. I decided this week that I wanted to commemorate this time with a class ring, something I never thought or wanted to purchase before.

On a completely separate note, I enjoyed necropsy much better this week. I diagnosed Yew toxicity in a dog that died a sudden death and saw some other cool cases. I love histopathology (the microscopic aspect) and I may be coming around to gross pathology; however, I know for sure I do not want to be a pathologist when I grow up.

This week will involve more free time than I know what to do with. Time to pack, get organized and play wtih SPokane. Next block is primary care land of no life and horses, horses, horses.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Only 3 rotations left...Lab Services Finally Arrives

Anesthesia was an absolutely busy and amazing block. One of my favorites and 3 weeks where I learned an exponential amount of material and gained amazing clinical experience. It was also my last small animal clinical block.

So here I am 2 days into laboratory services, the "vacation rotation." It has been exhausting due to an extremely high caseload of large animal necropsies. The last 2 days I have left after 5 PM, smelly, dirty and tired with homework to do and a dog to play with. I truly hope the caseload lightens up, I feel beaten down and too tired to be a good mom to Spokane and make time for exercise.

In the morning it is crash review of previous material from bacteriology, virology, toxicology, parasitology and clinical pathology. The -ologies coming back from the dead. What I remember amazes me, what I forgot depresses me. But reviewing the material is helpful and so far the instructors have made it fun.

In the afternoon, it's time to play Dexter. Each day we have had 1 horse and 1 cow, and because we do not have an incinerator cutting up the animals for disposal along with the odor are the worst parts. You get pretty messy (#1 dirtiest job ever) and it is physically taxing. I, for one, need knife use 101. I truly hope that Spokane's energy level decreases slightly and that we don't have this level of cases for the rest of the block. In the past few months, I have heard my classmates complain about no necropsy cases today; well I want that complaint.

While I enjoyed pathology classes in years 1 & 2, this rotation made it clear to me that becoming a pathologist is not my gig. Even clinical pathology, which I do love, is not something I would want to do exclusively. Slides are fun, but patients and critical care is much more fun. I keep reflecting on how open my mind was 3 years ago. While I feel a tad guilty to not be as open-minded as I once was, I feel good that I know where my strongest interests lie. It took a long time and a lot of exploration to get to this point. For that reason I beg, please no more horses to cut into pieces please.