Saturday, July 30, 2011

What driving across the state makes me think about.

Ok this is going to be a weird post I already know it. But I have spent the last few days driving from one side of the state to the next and then back again, the whole way I kept seeing those little road side crosses all over the place. I hate those little road side crosses for some reason, so I though I would ramble about them for a little bit. I guess part of the reason I dislike them is because I don’t get why they are placed on the road side. OK so yes I know first had how sad it is to loose someone you love and I totally understand why you want to have a spot to morn their life. I mean it’s sad that someone lost their life on that stretch of the highway. And I guess everyone needs to feel like they are getting a little closure.  But seriously why do they choose to place a constant reminder right on the site of your loved one death. I mean is it some place you are going to want to return to time and time again? I highly doubt that honestly.  I figure it boils down to a few different things,  number one is that some sort of tragic accident occurred right at that very spot and some morning family member what’s to leave a forever reminder of that horrible event for the world to see. See here is my problem with that. I mean if it was because this family member is in morning and wants to have this place of remembrance… Why don‘t you ever see the freaking people coming back to morn at the spot. Ok yes, sometimes you see some random silk flower and a laminated picture or two.  But unless the tragic event occurred in the last two months, those silk flowers are so faded and dirty that they just look like brown mud covered ugly bushes.  The pictures that had been left are starting to incinerate and words are getting all wind blown with the passing traffic to the point where you can no longer comprehend them. So I find it hard to believe that someone would pick placing this as there collective spot of morning when I bet there are a million cemeteries around with well tended too gardens and even fresh kept flowers galore.  And probably much more easy to access when you do feel the urge to remember this persons life, because it wont require a drive to the middle of nowhere and stand along the side of a busy highway in morning.

So I think that people place the crosses less as a place to morn a loss, and more as a reminder to those of us who drive by and see the little cross as we pass. Reminding us that roads are dangerous and that you might die so pay attention and whatnot.  And I‘ll admit that when I catch one of these little crosses covered with all the collective brown wind blown junk attached to it, I do take that extra few seconds to see if I can figure out what happened to that person. But honestly it’s like such a contradiction that this is what the purpose of them is. I mean it’s really just something that actually catches your eye and distracts you just a slight amount form concentrating on driving, and possibly causing just enough lack of attention to the road around you therefore causing you to get in an accident yourself. And heck maybe that accident will cause another death of another person or yourself, therefore allowing another lame roadside cross to get put up and perpetuating the whole turn of events all over again.  Ok so maybe that’s being kind of over dramatic but part of me kind of thinks that way. I mean it does just cause you to draw attention away from the road and makes you try to see if you can read any of the left over trinkets that have remained blowing around in the wind still attached.  What if at that same moment someone brakes really fast in front of you?  See it could happen.

I guess I do understand that need to feel like you are doing something after someone close to you dies. And I also understand that whole feeling that maybe leaving a little trinket will make some sort of difference to the world, because in times like that you feel so completely hopeless that you try to find anything to be your cause. So I guess I can forgive the crosses to some extent. I just wish that these same people who put them up would take responsibility for taking them down. Who knows maybe it would be just as healing to get some closure removing it from the tragic scene of the accident.   Getting to relive in all those trinket’s meaning and beginning to move forward. Anyways I hope this doesn’t offend anyone and I have no clue what the right or wrong thing to do is in a horrid situation like loosing someone in an accident along the said of the road. But like I said these last few days I spend driving a lot and kept seeing them all over the place and it started to be the thing I couldn’t get out of my head.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm kinda freaking out but also know that I'm just being dumb.

My best friend just had a baby a few weeks ago. I am so excited for them and can’t wait to get all the details about her life and see how she grows up.  She has been the result of so many tears and so much money. Honestly I cannot be happier for them. But there is this part of me that is really sad about her birth.  I know that this makes me a super crappy person, but the selfish part of me hates knowing that her being around is forever going to change the relationship I have with my best friend.  And I can’t help but worry that it might not change for the better.  See babies do weird things to people. It’s like they magically mend broken relationships and such. They make once bitter people suddenly all mushy and gooey. 

My best friend is that person who I am able to connect with about all my insane bitterness in the world and my family. She was able to match my bitterness perfectly because we shared so many of the similar concerns and problems.  But now she gets to be all happy and have this magical thing that she has wanted so badly for the last ten years and I feel left behind in my bitterness all alone now. Also babies tend to bring families together. See I have always had these dreams of being able to spend our holidays together with them and my someday future children. But now that the baby is born I know for a fact that their respective family’s are going to fight to the death for that holiday time, and my best friends wont be able to ditch them to hang with me anymore. Because this is what babies do to people, they make everyone forget about how crappy they might have treated you before, and once they are born it like people just consider it a blank slate again.

 Like I said I know this is totally selfish of me and I know that I have even talked to my best friend about it and she has assured me that things won’t be different. But they will be even in just a tiny way I know that from now on I am going to have to compete in this kid’s life to matter.  It’s hard for me because I don’t have this close relationship with too many people and I just don’t want to see this one go by the wayside.  And honestly I know that I am not giving enough credit to my best friend who I do know is going to work her ass off to make sure that I am included in all the wonderful things that this baby is going to bring. But I guess there is this part of me that just can’t shake these past experiences where people stopped fighting for my friendship and just let it slip away. She could never truly know how much she means to me and hat a totally loss to who I am if she fades out of my life. I consider her at times more like family then some of my real family is.  

I have made plans to go out to visit then next week and I really can’t wait to meet the baby and see first hand how wonderful I bet she is.  I’m sure that the second that I get there all my fears are going to disappear and we will all slip into our normal routine of laughing and talking about nothing like we always do.   It’s just hard having people around you move forward in ways that you can’t seem to be able to. I have been feeling so lost as to what I want my future to be and where I want it to be moving towards. I guess there is apart of me that cant help but feel like its sucks that the universe gave the one person who really understood where I was coming from and exactly what I was feeling this chance to stop feeling like I still do. I mean where is my break? Why can’t I get the one thing that I have wished for and worked for so hard for the last 10 years too?  Why am I the one who is getting left behind while they get to move forward? Sometimes I just don’t get what I am doing wrong and why I don’t seem to be enough to get those dreams too. 

I’m again going to say that I know this is retardedly selfish and lame that I am here whining abut such dumb things, when the world has such bigger issues. But what can I say… This baby has me worried and it has me rethinking plans in my life that I thought were going to be a certain.  Now I just am feeling back to being kind of lost and unsure if I can talk to my best friend about it, cause she gets this joyful bundle of awesome occupying her time and maybe cant remember what its like being where I am anymore. Who knows, I’m probably totally wrong and I’m sure next week when I am back from my visit I’ll read this and crack up about how stupid my feeling once were.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bye Bye Baby Owls

This is the recap of one of the major releases that went on this week at the wild life center. I wasn't there for it so it comes second hand from one of the rehabbers who I work with on the weekend. But I did have a lot of contact with all these owls over the last few months as they spent time at the center. Its just another warm and fuzzy story that reminds me why I love doing rehab work so much, even just as a twice weekly volunteer.   I just thought I would share it with everyone because there are some awesome pictures to go along with it. Enjoy!

On May 5, employees at the Quincy Animal Shelter in Eastern Washington discovered a box sitting on their doorstep. It was not surprising to find a box on the doorstep of the shelter as the appearance of the mystery box is a common occurrence in the animal sheltering world. But the box on the doorstep of the Quincy shelter did not contain the expected puppies or kittens. Instead, workers who opened the box came face to face with five downy Barn Owl chicks. There was no note or information of any kind left with the birds so reuniting them with their parents was not a possibility. The shelter contacted the Wildlife Center for help, and we dispatched a volunteer to retrieve the owls and transport them to us for care.

All five Barn Owls thrived during their time here at the center and by the middle of July, all five owls had reached the point where they were ready and able to fend for themselves. On Sunday they were transported them back over the Cascade Mountains to a 4,000 acre wildlife preserve called Swauk Creek Ranch. This would become their new home. Swauk Creek Ranch manager Eric assisted with the release as well as one of the rehabbers. The following photographs tell the story of their return to freedom.

Picture from Wild Again
The first owl was reluctant to leave the perceived safety of the box. We decided to let him think it over while we released the other owls.
Picture from Wild Again
When we opened the second owl’s box she had no reservations about taking flight. She immediately launched herself skyward.
Picture from Wild Again
She flew about 100 yards and landed on a perch in a nearby stand of cottonwood trees.
Picture from Wild Again
Eric opened the third owl’s box, expecting the owl to fly away from him in the direction the box was pointing. Instead, the owl turned 180-degrees and flew right in front of Eric’s face.
Picture from Wild Again
After flying in front of Eric, the owl continued on, disappearing into tall trees along the ranch property’s namesake Swauk Creek.
Picture from Wild Again
The fourth owl was also a bit reluctant to leave the box. He stayed put for several minutes, eyeing us suspiciously. When he finally decided to fly, it happened so quickly that I didn’t even get a photograph.
Picture from Wild Again
The last owl exited his box immediately and flew almost straight up.
Picture from Wild Again
As he was gaining altitude, above me, I managed to capture this photo.
Picture from Wild Again
When he was satisfied that he was high enough above Eric and I, the owl turned toward the cottonwood stand.
Picture from Wild Again
He gained speed and disappeared into the trees.
Picture from Wild Again
With the other four owls now free, we turned our attention back to the first owl that was still sitting tight in his box. Eric gave the owl some gentle encouragement to leave, and the bird backed out of the box in a defensive posture.
Picture from Wild Again
Now out of the box, the owl continued to keep up his defenses. He was not willing to turn his back on us to fly away. We backed up about 25 yards and stood behind a truck. After waiting about 10 more minutes the owl still had not taken flight.
Picture from Wild Again
I decided to call the owl’s bluff by walking toward him. He first intensified his defensive display, but when I came within arm’s reach of him he took off for the safety of the trees.
Picture from Wild Again
To get his bearings, the owl flew in a wide circle. For a moment he was just a silhouette against the clouds.
Picture from Wild Again
After completing his circle, the owl seemed to make up his mind. Now he began to fly in a straight line to the northwest.
Picture from Wild AgainThe owl flew over the top of the cottonwood trees and disappeared from view.
Picture from Wild Again
After the release, some of the owls could still be seen resting in the cottonwoods.
Picture from Wild AgainKnowing that all five birds were secure on high perches, we left them to become acquainted with their new home.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Two weeks done

My first few weeks at emergency have been going ok. I mean its such hard work where you have to constantly spend your time checking and touching each animal hourly if not even more frequently. My first night we had a little Shitz Tzu that was having such severe seizures he was requiring injections ever 20-30 minutes to keep them at bay. Basically someone had to be at his bedside the whole night catering to him alone.  I forgot about the emotional and even physical demands that are required to provide this kind of constant care. But it’s been crazy to be back in an environment where you don’t ever really have the chance to relax even for just a few minutes. I leave after my sift feeling like I did real hard work and I feel like I have mattered in a way that others may not understand.   It’s been nice and I’m thrilled to be back in doing emergency medicine.

This is the first time in a long time that I have worked for a large emergency hospital that is not just an emergency but also specialty practice, with neurology, surgery, cardiology, radiology, among others. During the day it’s a bustle of activities and departments all working together and caring for the animals.  It’s nice that this place the specialists transfer the patients over to the ER completely at night and so we are able to make all the medical decisions for their care with out having to consult them. It’s nice to have that element of trust in place on the ER doctor. I have worked and seen hospitals where those cases are kept separate and when you might need to perform a treatment you would have to contact that doctor to get the permission.  I like this system so much more, and it’s allowing for the best patient care to be provided every night.

The things that come in over night for emergency are fun. It’s such a variety from people who are genuinely concerned and have real issues, to people who know that they are being over concerned and probably seeing things in their animals that aren’t there.  But you can’t fault either of these people because either way its nice knowing that they care enough to be concerned enough to drag themselves in the middle of the night to the ER.  Sometimes its funny cause we will present a plan to people and they will be like “no I’ll just wait and see the regular vet in the morning” these are the times when you wonder why they even bothered at all. I mean you could have just done that and saved the trip downright? But the other thing I have noticed is that there really are a lot of day practices that will absolutely refuse to get animals sent to them.  Or get someone in that might need to really see the vet because they are full. I feel so lucky to have always worked for a place where we tried our best to accommodate the needs of our clients and taken their animals from the ER when it was warranted. And able to see walk ins even when we were super busy.  It’s frustrating to have so many places that won’t treat clients that same way.

The tools that my new practice has are also amazing. It’s like a schmorgus board of awesome tools and skills in this building and again it’s nice to be able to have them all at our disposal. In surgery the other night I was able to hook my dog up to a ventilator to breath for her. Just cause they have it and its better medicine to use it. Its nice and comforting to know that we will never run out of fluid pumps, that every drug imaginable is available for use, and if something super critical comes in we can perform whatever is needed to save that animal without a second thought. I guess this is what makes an ER so different then a general practice, having access to all these special tools.  I’m enjoying it a lot so far and glad that I made the step in this direction.  Once I start to adjust to the schedule and sleeping during the day I will enjoy it more, but I know that will just take time to adapt to it. So far most of the people have been really nice, although of course a few have been less the friendly to my arrival, but I know that with time they also will come around. It just going to be a process and I know that starting anything new will have its up and downs. So far in my first weeks the pros have out weighed the cons so I feel like its been a successful changeover.  I miss my old work were I had a great friends and knew what my skills were and they knew mine. But I know that with time I will get the same things with this new place and I have to just be patient and trust that it will happen with time. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My newly formed gigantic blisters

OK so making the decision to walk to work my first night was by far probably the worst decision I have ever made.  See when I got offered this job one of the things that really excited me was that it was only three miles from my apartment. I was totally like sweet, I go a further distance when I am at the gym doing cardio and this will be awesome I can ditch the car, get some exercise, and help reduce my carbon foot print all just by walking to work. See in all my jobs I have never lived this close and it really excited me that I had this as an option.  The last place I worked required a 35 minute drive and if did want to take the bus I would have to transfer three different times and have the trip take almost two hours.  Where I worked in Oregon I had to spend almost an hour driving around on a super loan highway each way.  In Colorado the closest I got was about fifteen minutes away and never close enough where I could head home for my lunch break.  So on this first night of my new job I left an hour before my shift started. I wasn’t entirely sure about how long it would take to get there and of course I didn’t want to be late. It was a perfect summer evening and when I started out it was at the end of a sunny day and only as I had the last few blocks to go did it turn dark, and never once didn’t I feel weary about being outside.  I threw on my ipod and enjoyed a great play list as I walked along. I timed it perfectly arriving only 15 minutes before I was required to and with just enough time to clean myself up, change, and drink a bunch of water to refresh before clocking in.

I got so wrapped up in the whole walking to work stuff that I forgot one very important detail. Working emergency is like way harder and more physical work then I have done in a long time.  And even though it was only my first day I was running around like crazy,  and unlike in my last job never really had a chance to ever once sit down..  By the time my ten hours were done and I started my three mile walk home my feet hurt pretty badly. The walk home is pretty much up hill for the whole first half. I wasn’t very tired and it again was a perfect summer morning, the sun was shining, and I was thrilled to have brought a tank top to change into. Half way back home I started to really feel the pain in my feet, but I just figured that it was being on them now for almost 12 hours.  The walk in total took about an hour and as I entered the house I was so elated that I had made this decision to walk to work and eager to do it again tomorrow because I felt so refreshed and healthy. Even with my now super killing feet. It wasn’t until I got undressed and jumped in the shower that I noticed the huge blisters forming on my feet.  After I fell asleep for a few hours they seemed to triple in size, and by the time I woke up I seriously had so much pain, that spent the rest of the day hobbling around the house.  Now I am keeping my insanely huge blisters covered with a million Band-Aids and thick socks in order to super pad them. I have managed to make it through last night with minimal pain and a whole lotta Tylenol. And tonight I’m planning a similar plan of action and doing the same thing, because they are still super killing me. So needless to say, last night I drove in and will tonight as well.  I felt a little bad about it, but I guess it was ambitious to think that a six mile walk on top of my new responsibilities was a good idea. Maybe I should try to work up to the walking to work stuff But I guess that’s what I get for trying to reduce my carbon footprint.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

starting again

I know this is a short posting but I start my new job tonight.  I have been trying to stay up an hour or so later each night so that the shock of having to work overnight won't be so horrible. I am so excited but also so nervous. In my adult life I have so many first days at so many different jobs. Some have been super awesome and some have been not as much. I am excited to see what happens with this one. I have a feeling that the people I will meet are going to be great because in all the times that I have already met them they were super nice. The hospital seems so excited for me to be working with them and this excitement is so infectious.  I am slightly fearful that I might not be able to keep up with the skills required for emergency medicine because I have been in day practice for so long. I mean five years is a while when you think about how much has changed in veterinary medicine.  I just don’t want to feel super lost and honestly wish I had a tinge more confidence that I won’t. But I do think it’s going to be ok. I hope that this afternoon I can force my body to take a nap because that is going to help me not crash in the middle of the night. Well see I guess because that’s all I can do at this point.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I officially don’t have health insurance. This is kinda a scary thing for me, which is weird cause I have had many times in my life where I have lacked insurance. The part that sucks right now about my lack of health insurance is that I really think I need to go to the doctor and because of my lack of insurance I will not go because I can’t afford to.  About a week ago I was just sitting at my computer just doing random stuff online like I always do every night after work. I was suddenly struck by this horrible pain in the right side of my abdomen. It was like so intense and came on super suddenly all with in like 10 or 15 seconds. I instantly couldn’t move and felt like I was going to throw up. It was super scary. I have a very high pain tolerance due to the many random injuries and medical things I have had done to me over the years. But this was so bad. I seriously had tears running down my face due to the intensity of the pain and it seemed to spread down to my pelvic region now and seriously every time I tried to move it was like a million knives stabbing into me. I found enough energy to Google “sudden right sided pain” and sad to say all the results were like super doper bad.  The very first thing that pops up is appendicitis and that is a medical emergency and requires an immediate trip to the ER.  Huh now I was even more worried and unfortunately immediately regretted doing what I hate when clients at work do and that’s when you try to self diagnose medical stuff by using the internet.

By now it had been like fifteen minutes of this horrid pain so I thought I really need to decide if I want to go to the ER or not. So here was my dilemma. I only had a few more days of health insurance until it was canceled for that period between when I quit my old job and before I’m eligible with my new one.  So my worry is that if I sat on this pain and didn’t do anything about it and it did turn out to be something really bad, it would show up during this period where I was UN insured.  But on the flip side going to the ER isn’t a cheap thing and I know first hand how much medical stuff costs even when you do have insurance.  I also had to work the next day and I knew that we were short one person and didn’t want to leave them short another.   I admit that I have a strong loyalty to my job. I tend to pick working to taking care of myself often. Maybe that’s what makes me such a great employee. So anyways back to my mysterious pain, so I decided that I would take a few Ibuprofens and see if in two hours it made it go away. If it did then I would see what happens in the morning and maybe try to leave work early and go to the doctor and if it didn’t help in two hours I would go to the ER. I lay down on the couch and waited my fate. After two hours I was super achy but the pain wasn’t as bad so I figured I would just go to sleep, if in the middle of the night once the drugs wore off I was back to having the horrible pain, I would know what I had to do. Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next day feeling totally fine. No pain at all and it was almost like a distant memory of long ago Seriously I felt totally normal. Its hard to believe that it went from so super bad to gone is such a short time.  It was really the weirdest thing I have ever felt.

But here’s the thing that has worried me ever since.  Well a few things do honestly. One I have never felt that sort of sudden onset of excruciating pain before, so I have to think that it still could mean something serious. Also a few days after it happened I have had the worst sore throat that I have ever had in my life. Now at first I just figured that I got a little bit of a cold. I had this sore throat and sometimes I woke up with a bit of congestion. But now that’s its been over a week this sore throat is still super bad like hard to swallow bad, and I have no other signs of illness.  Oh one of my glands is really enlarged and painful as well. It’s like everything I read (yes back on the internet I go to get my self diagnosis) says that if you have a persistent sore throat for longer then a week you should worry about things like strep. I probable should go to a doctor, but because I now don’t have health insurance and super cant afford to go without insurance, I am not going to and so if it is something like strep, It wont go away and could become much worse .Or heck what if its something like tonsillitis and I need to have surgery to remove my tonsils. That would be awesome with no insurance.  Its really tough being in this position because I don’t want to take my health lightly but what else can I do? I sympathize for all the millions of people who don’t have the option of health insurance or who have medical issues that aren’t even helped by their coverage. Because I know that so many people in this same position exist in the country. It’s such a flawed medical insurance system we live in and this week I have kind of felt it first hand. I have tried really hard to take care of myself extra well these last few days, because I know that I start to get really really busy the rest of the month.  I start my new job with all new crazy hours, I have taken on extra shifts at the wildlife center, I am house sitting for a ton of people some weekends three at once, and I know that come the end of the month I’m going to be slightly burned out and over extended feeling. But its strange that I feel totally normal except this super bad, can hardly swallow, only making it livable with the help of Tylenol and Nyquil ,sore throat.  I just hope that I can beat this and that it’s nothing serious, because the last thing I want to have to do is need some sort of emergency surgery while uninsured. That’s like my worst nightmare… Man I’m not even going to think about it.   So for the next two remaining days I am going to drink a ton of juice and tea, lay around the house watching movies and reading books, basically being bored out of my mind. But hopefully it will make the pain go away. If not then hopefully I can live with it for the next 90 days until my insurance kicks in and then I’ll head to the doctor.