Sunday, November 30, 2008


after a prolonged wait, here she is!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

things come together

so yeah, my finger is broken. i slammed it in the car door on monday, went to the ER yesterday (= finger broken, nail displaced) and the hand doctor today (= better splint, nail will hopefully not die)

but the big news: I got an interview at tufts vet school. they get 700 applicants for 80 spots and only 240 get interviews. there is one interview day in december and 5 in february. and guess who they want in december? me, that's who!!! so yeah, i'll still be wearing my purple rhinestone finger splint. but gosh darn it, things are coming together. so i need to keep my eyes on the prize and believe in where i'm going. because i am doing what i love. and if you love what you do, you never go to work.

now my finger hurts too much to keep typing. splint back on, and back to bed.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

on downtime

work was crazy today--maybe not the absolute number of patients i've seen triaged/treated in a given time set but if each patient is assigned a magnitude of illness and then that quanitity is assessed (patient x degree of illness = actual busy-ness) then today was off the charts crazy. a tidbit: tapping a chest for septic exudate (smelled real bad), emergency surgery to lance a mucocele occluding an airway on a dog in respiratory arrest, a three pound foreign body dog and a host of other very sick and sometimes stinky and often really sweet animals.

i put a catheter in a fractious cat (restrained by one of our senior nurses who knows how to do everything and i look up to a lot) and she said i did a good job which made me feel really good. because book stuff is one thing, actual life stuff is very different.

i stopped on the way home for hair dye (my roots are showing!) and got some toys for carbon. when i came home mom reported that she hadn't pooped so i took her outside and she promptly peed and pooped for me so i'm feeling pretty good about housetraining, like, maybe i'm making some progress. kitten is getting braver about breaching the puppy's territory and can easily leap over the baby gates.

mom brought in last year's christmas tree from outside (where it's been serving as a perch for small birds eating bird seed) and put it up in the living room with a strand of lights .I initially didn't like it but it's kind of growing on me in a scorched earth, desolate kind of way.

so that's it for now. i'm treating myself to a beer and waiting for william to get home so he can meet carbon (who he doesn't know about!!).

crazy day, but good. i feel exhausted but in a 'gotten stronger' kind of way, not a 'gonna break' kind of way.

Friday, November 21, 2008

everything is connected

and not just because i love CSI:NY. of course, no one but me would even get that reference. so why bother? because who but me reads what i write, anyway :-)

anyway. so i had a long talk with my physics prof today and another student about dark matter, dark energy and the nature of the universe. and i just found myself thinking so much, in the way that i feel like the world runs like ribbons and i see them floating and coming together and i see the whole picture in an ephemeral glance.

i still think a lot but i don't write a lot and i think i should. i think it helps me so i don't lie in bed at night and think.

right now carbon is in her crate because she was chewing on a wire and i needed a break. i'll take her out in a bit for another poo/pee attempt.

but back to my musings. i talked with my physics prof about the nature of the universe and the differences between science and religion. and i realized that i believe in science with the same mystic dedication as many religious ideals. He pointed out that there are two ways to view scientific discovery/investigation : (1) the universe follows or doesn't follow its own rules. we can't know them and what we discover are only rough approximations or things that are true only in certain cases. OR (2) science discovers the real truths of the universe and allows an understanding of the underpinnings of existence (this is my own rewording/reworking).

and i realized i'm a believer--in science, in DNA, in quantum physics and uncertainty and neural remapping, in string theory--in all of it, even if i don't understand it all. Because there is a part of me that gets it and sees these themes underlying all of it.

i've been thinking a lot lately about what is human observation and how that affects my feeling on the 'first observer' and the two-slit experiment conundrum (why should an observational effect exist if there was no one to observe in the first place?) and i find myself stuck on realizing that to 'observe' is not to 'know' in an epistemological sense but rather to exchange energy with and thus discover the other particle's location or velocity (but not both, of course :-)

so what is it for a human to observe? there is the interaction of the light and the eye or sound and the ears and all the other energy-sensing nerves which transmit their energy to the brain.... but i feel like there is something special about consiousness, about self-awareness that goes past chaos theory and self organization, something about recognizing your existence makes that special, is a kind of observation which fundamentally changes the system being observed.

so who knows. i need to clarify my thinking, or perhaps it won't happen ever. i have all these good things in my life but i'm also just so tired. carbon (the puppy) is a ton of work and though I love her, i'm so tired. i have so much stuff going on and so much to take care of all the time--kitten, ginger, carbon, vet school apps, work, school, diet, exercise, karate.... sometimes i feel like i can't think past the next minute. and its better than two weeks ago, when i couldn't breath without crying and i felt like i was losing my whole world (when kitten was sick).

so i want to reread my physics books and read the other ones and then think about the neural mapping and the biochemistry and physiology and everything else and how it all works together, like the same song playing in the background but with no words, just that melody, endlessly repeating.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


so as i type this, my puppy is asleep in my lab. work was fine today (emotionally draining, soul carving as usual) but here i am with carbon asleep in my lap and it's so warm here, in this moment.

i have a couple of things to fix with my vet school apps but i'm not super worried about them. i'm worried about my clinical judgement, feeling inadequate when i can't tell that something's really sick, worried that i'm beginning to make what i think are called 'availability' errors (from 'how doctors think') such as today when i tried to rationalize a puppy who had GI symptoms and a really high BUN (but normal creat) as being 'dry' when in fact i should have realized that maybe the GI symptoms were not the primary pathology and that the renal system was busted (it was).

so who knows. i love what i'm doing, i love my puppy, i got dry prescription diet for kitten/ginger so they don't starve. My puppy is not totally housetrained and i really feel like i suck at walking her. i try to tell myself that doing things i 'suck' at is the most important thing i could be doing. so i'm trying, every day, to be better, to be a better version of me.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh My God!!!!!!

Ok, so i don't ever write anything in this blog anymore, and the truth is ,my life has actually been still going on a lot.

but the short version: I'm getting a puppy.

the long version:
Oreo (one of our family cats) died 10 days ago. I diagnosed her at home with respiratory distress, brought her into the hospital where I work where x-rays confirmed pleural effusion (probable diagnosis: lymphoma) and then the bombshell: Oreo was FeLV/FIV positive (very bad contagious cat diseases). So kitten and ginger have been exposed their whole lives. Oreo was probably positive from the time we adopted her and was never tested because we were ignorant and the SPCA didn't have the money.

so ginger and kitten were tested and currently tested FeLV/FIV negative but need retests and further testing in 3 months. and my life fell apart.

then, last thursday, kitten was acting weird. I palpated his bladder and expressed it and it was bloody. so I took him into VRC where I thought they would diagnose a UTI. They didn't--they felt that he had a partial reobstruction of his PU site. So he was hospitalized for two days. I cried for most of it.

Around this point I confessed to my parents that I was having a hard time dealing with Oreo's death and kitten/ginger being FeLV/FIV exposed. I also told them that medically, we couldn't bring another cat into the household while we have kitten and ginger (we had talked about adopting a kitten). So I brought up the dog. and my parents said yes.

so i started cruising petfinder and filling out applications. I met one dog who i didn't think was 100% healthy but then this monday I met a wonderful litter of puppies. The family raising them brought them over for our home visit this evening and we (joey, mom, pop) passed! So tomorrow or friday we're going to bring home our puppy (either a little black girl or little caramel girl) forever.

i'm so excited. i'm still worried about ginger/kitten's FeLV/FIV status, but i feel like my life has hope in it again (because last week i felt like everything i loved would die and i was feeling kind of hysterical). So yes, I joey L%$@d will proudly enter the realm of "dog owner" as of this friday. and i'm so happy i could cry. i'll post pictures in a bit.