Monthly Archives: April 2010

Is there a magic number?

How many is too many? How many cats does one need before they’re considered a crazy cat lady? I’m pretty sure some people would already put me in that category, with my 4 kitties (Simon and Arwen, 8, tuxedo; Samantha, 6, torbie; Moo Kitten, 3, tuxedo). Three of them started off as fosters, but obviously I’m not very good at being a foster mom. Although the last, Moo Kitten, is my husband’s fault. I even had someone interested in adopting her (only because I promised him I would when I took her on), but he wanted to keep her. And of course I didn’t argue :)

But really… is 5 too many? I feel absurd even typing that. Of course 5 cats is insane. Who in their right mind would have FIVE cats? But also, who ever said that I’m in my right mind? Anyone who knows me at all knows that I absolutely adore orange tabby kittens. And that I don’t have one. And a friend of mine just happens to be fostering the most adorable kitten I’ve ever met. And I want to adopt him… even though I know in the back of my mind that I probably shouldn’t. But how can I say no to this face?!

It’s Sabrina’s fault. She invited me over to play with her new foster kittens knowing that I’d fall in love with the little orange one. The good thing is that he won’t even be up for adoption for a while yet, he’s only 3 weeks old now and it’ll probably be at least 5 more weeks until he’s ready. So I have lots of time to decide which part of my internal battle is going to win.

I couldn’t even count on my husband to put his foot down! One look at the pictures and all he said was that he wasn’t completely opposed to the idea. And my best friend has 5 cats and 2 dogs, so of course she was no help.

I realize that I just wrote an entire post about that kitten. But guess where I am? Yup, Immunology again, bored out of my mind. This is now my daily mental break, which is needed today anyway — on hour 5 of 6 hours of straight lecture.



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That is the perfect word for sitting through this Immunology lecture. The professor is so all over the place and pretty much impossible to follow. The first exam is on Monday, and I honestly feel like I don’t know anything at this point. Hopefully I can teach myself enough from the book to do reasonably well on it. So ready for this year to be over!!

We had a renal exam yesterday morning, and I’m not sure how it went. Let’s just say it wasn’t amazing and hope for the best. I’m beat. Weekly Parasitology quizzes, weekly exams, weekly genetics quizzes, two 8am electives every week, planning the huge VSO (Veterinary Student Outreach club) Future Day event for this weekend… Can I sleep yet?

I did take the opportunity to relax a bit last night. A couple of friends of mine made a delicious dinner, and we got together to eat good food and watch a movie. There was vegetarian lasagna, salad (complete with goat cheese, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and pomegranate vinaigrette), and a french baguette — awesome. We watched Detroit Rock City, which I had never seen. Which is surprising, since it’s right up my alley. We’re now planning weekly teaching dinners. See, Emily is a great cook, and Katie and I are completely incompetent. So Katie learned how to make lasagna last night (I was in class), and next week’s tentative plan is… chocolate CAKE!! Oh. Yes.

After dinner and the movie, I went home and got to bed at a decent hour, deciding to forgo any attempt at school work/studying of any kind. Decent enough to get 7.5 hours of sleep, which is quite a lot for me lately! It was nice to take a night off, because I won’t have another one for at least a week.

I have succeeded at not paying a bit of attention during lecture, but at least my bills are paid, my e-mail is all caught up, and I have written this blog post.

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Lots of kitties!

Today was pretty awesome. This afternoon, after class, I headed over to Campus Veterinary Services to assist the lab animal vet do some annual physicals on colony cats and complete a health certificate for ~12 cats being shipped to another facility.

Before I could even enter the main building I had to take a complete shower, and dress in new clothing from head to toe. These kitties are specific pathogen free, and do not receive vaccinations for various reasons. So they are very strict about eliminating the possibility of any pathogens being introduced to the colony. With the close living quarters and lack of vaccination, a disease and/or infection could be devastating.

Once actually in the facility, the doctors were amazing at letting me completely jump in and help and get some hands-on experience. I was able to help with the physicals by checking eyes, ears, mouth, and lymph nodes. I was also able to take a lot of temperatures (with aural thermometers, thank god) and heart rates. And I gave one IM injection and one IV injection. I was there for three hours, and had a really amazing experience. The doctors were just so open and awesome, answering all of my questions and allowing me to be there and help out. I really look forward to doing more with them; as I was leaving, the main doctor told me I’m always welcome to come back. :)

Aside from the medical hands-on experience, it was great to just pet and play with so many kitties! The colony is known for being friendly, and that was immediately obvious. I had so many sweet cats purring, pawing at me, rubbing on me… and so many of them were orange (anyone who knows me knows that I kinda love orange cats)!! It was hard to conduct exams in some of the cat rooms, because other kitties were just in the way begging for pets. Not that I’m complaining ;)

Now I’m sitting here alone on a Friday night, and I’m totally okay with that. I’m sore from Turbo Kick with friends last night (totally kicked my ass… but so great to move my muscles and get my blood flowing!), and am enjoying laying around, watching TV, and just taking it easy. I haven’t done a single thing since getting home, even though I have a ton to do get done this weekend. I can start tomorrow morning…

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1 Down…

… 10 to go! We had our first exam of Spring quarter yesterday, in Endocrinology. I wasn’t sure that I felt prepared enough, since I didn’t really study over the weekend with Scott here, but I left feeling pretty good about it :) And it’s so crazy, we only have 6 midterms and 4 finals left! I truly can’t believe that I’m almost done with my first year of vet school, and I definitely don’t feel like I’m almost a 2nd year. Crazy. It really does go by quickly.

So I let a friend drag me to the gym tonight for a group exercise class – Turbo Kick. Does that sound scary? How about if you’re incredibly out of shape? Well it was! It totally kicked my ass. I was even lightheaded at one point, and had a stitch in my side, but pushed through. I felt half dead afterward, but now I feel great :) Sure I’m tired, but I hadn’t really moved my muscles in a very long time, and feel much better for it. I plan on continue going to classes. It’s much easier when you have friend to make you go, haha!

Tomorrow is going to be amazing. There’s a STAR lunch tomorrow, for all of the award recipients and our mentors. I’m so excited about this summer, and my research. I can’t wait to get started! But the best part about tomorrow is that after class I get to spend some time with the lab animal veterinarian at the Center for Lab Animal Science, and help her with physical exams on the new colony cats! So awesome. I love being in this environment. :)

P.S. – My friend from my last post is doing better, and was discharged from the hospital. He’s now staying with his parents, and on some crazy pain meds. I don’t know if it’s the meds or just him, but his spirits are really high and I’m super proud of him for that.

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Tonight I found out that a very close friend of mine was involved in a motorcycle accident. He was in the carpool lane, going about 75mph, when a car crossed the double yellow line and smashed right into him. He was sent sprawling, tumbling, and flying until he landed in the middle of the carpool lane on the freeway in a fetal position. The person that hit him continued driving. He is extremely lucky that his injuries were not life threatening. One of his knees is completely destroyed, required emergency surgery, and he will not be able to walk for some time. The other knee has a fractured patella. And his collar bone and shoulder are severely bruised and swollen. As he laid in the middle of the freeway, at least four vehicles past by or drove around him. He was on his way to work. He is an EMT, having devoted his life to helping others – yet multiple people, including the person that hit him, had the opportunity to help him but chose not to. This completely infuriates me. He could’ve been dead or dying! How could you hit someone on a motorcycle going 75mph and KEEP GOING?? How could you come up on a man who is obviously severely injured laying on the freeway and KEEP GOING? Tonight I am completely disgusted with humanity. I am so glad that my friend did not sustain worse injuries, and I hope for a fast recovery as he lay in the trauma unit tonight.

I found out this news with the tears from dropping my husband off at the airport still wet on my cheeks. We had the most wonderful weekend together, including a celebration of the 6 year anniversary of our first date. I think this was the hardest goodbye yet.

And so, a night that was supposed to be productive for the upcoming so-far-ignored-by-me endocrinology exam, has gone by without much studying. And I’m okay with that.

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About time…

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, oops.

Let’s see… the Monterey Bay Aquarium was amazing!! We had several hours to tour the place on our own, which was tons of fun. It’s a pretty large place, and I think the sea horses and the jellyfish were my favorite exhibits. They had so many species of each, all different and all beautiful. Then we got a behind the scenes tour of the hospital with the doctor, which was totally interesting. We also got to say hi to a super cute sea otter in quarantine :) After that we got a behind the scenes tour with the curator, which was even more awesome. It was a really good time, and totally worth the three hour trip there and back! Thankfully I carpooled with people, so it was a fun trip.

Last night I went to the vet med talent show, and was blown away. There’s a lot of talent in vet school!! The night ended with the anatomy band, the highlight of the night. One of our anatomy professors played electric lead guitar, another played bass guitar (and acted like a total rock star), and another played the saxophone. There was also the webmaster on drums, one of our tech guys on trombone, and four 2013ers on vocals. Amazing!! I’m reminded all the time that I really am at the best vet school on the planet. :)

Classes are going okay… genetics is a pain in my ass, parasitology is AWESOME, and everything else is somewhere in between. Our first test is next Wednesday, and then it’s at least one test a week until the end of first year. Which is June 9th!!! In less than 2 months, I’ll be done with my first year of vet school… crazy. I can hardly believe that. It really does go by so quickly!

I’ve been really busy with VSO (Veterinary Student Outreach Club), because I’m one of the presidents and our yearly event, Future Day, is May2nd. We host high school students from all over the state to a free event with talks, tours, and wetlabs to learn all about veterinary medicine. I’m super excited for it, but in crazy planning mode trying to make sure everything goes smoothly.

And now, I’m writing this instead of doing my genetics take home quiz (due Wednesday) or studying endocrinology and parasitology (quiz on Thursday). Guess I should get to it…

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In full swing

Spring quarter is off to a pretty awesome start. So far I like all of my classes (except yesterday’s urinary systems lab was a bit more chemistry and math than I’d like…). All of our professors seem really great, fun, and approachable, and lectures are pretty interesting so far. And Tuesday I had a parasitology lab that was pretty rad, using different methods to analyze soil and cow, sheep, horse, dog, and cat poo (yes, I realize that this does not qualify as “rad” to most people). Sure it was smelly and kind of gross, but once the slides made it under the microscope it was totally fascinating.

But the best part of this week was definitely Monday afternoon. I got to go out to the California National Primate Research Center with a few other members of the Lab Animal Medicine Club and conduct a physical on a rhesus macaque. They were anesthetized by a vet and an anesthesiologist. Then they went over how to conduct a physical exam and oversaw everything we did. I got to do a head to toe physical, draw blood (it was a blind femoral stick – slightly intimidating!), place an IV catheter, place an endotracheal tube, and ultrasound the liver (the first time I had conducted an ultrasound). I learned a ton and got to practice clinical skills on animals I will probably be working with for the rest of my life. It was the most amazing experience!! It really reminds me why I’m here and helps keep me motivated :) I am so grateful to be a student here, at the most amazing vet school ever. I don’t know who decided that it was a good idea to let me become a doctor, but I’m glad they did!

And more proof this school is amazing – on Saturday I get to spend the entire day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for free, thanks to WAAM (Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Medicine club)! This will include a behind the scenes tour with the curator and some time with the veterinarian, as well as lots of free time to explore the aquarium on our own. It’s a three hour drive, and that’s a little rough, but I’m super excited because it will totally be worth it!

Seriously. Vet school = amazing.

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