Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When I grow up, I want to be an animal doctor.

The annual interview day at our school is almost upon us. Our school does it all in one day, in one neat little package - get in, get out, thanks for coming. When I applied, this was my last of four interviews. At that point, I was over the interview process and only wanted to know if I would be going to vet school (or not) the following year. I knew my Kansas state interview had gone well and I liked the school a lot. The only draw to Illinois was cost of tuition and being closer to home, not the actual school itself. I had heard a lot of negative things about the school and not a lot of positives...

I drove down that day - skipped the tour, skipped all of the informational meetings - almost like I didn't want to know what the school had to offer, because if I got accepted, I would be going because of cost. If I hated the school and got accepted to there AND another school, I knew I would have a tough time turning Illinois down, despite everything I hated about it. The state of blissful ignorance - we're well acquainted.

My interview was a blur. I remember nothing except that one girl was wearing something Cardinals related. I can't even tell you if it was a hat, a t-shirt - nothing. Years later, when my friends and I would talk about the interview process - they could remember everything - "oh yea, I had Dr. P, and that fourth year named Megan." What is wrong with me that my own interview day is a gaping black hole? Maybe it was my indifference, who knows.

What I do know is that I don't regret it. I met my husband here. That above everything means the world to me. In some small place in my heart, I'll always have a certain fondness for the school when I think about late night anatomy lab study sessions with KJ and my friends, cramming for exams in the cafe for 12 hours a day, rocking out to country music and "gangta rap" while cutting our anatomy animals, and having a ball (a lot of the time) in clinics. I have met a lot of amazing people in my four years here - and I'll be happy and honored to call them my colleagues in just a few months.

I've also been thinking about kids lately, or more so the "idea" of kids. Its going to be years before we jump on that train, but I love that our future kids are going to grow up at the animal hospital and be surrounded by animals their whole lives. Maybe they'll want to be vets someday, and maybe they won't - but either would be okay with me :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I run so I can eat.

Marathon training is underway. I'm glad my schedule for the rest of the year allows me to have time to train and have free time on top of it. Unfortunately, the temperature is about 10 degrees with icy rain... so I've been doing a lot of indoor, treadmill running. Today's run was 11 miles and I had the fortunate opportunity to watch nearly all of Legally Blonde and zone out for awhile. It was lovely.

Post-run, the husband "convinced me" to get Pancheros burritos for lunch... and frozen yogurt for dinner. That's love right there - he knows my weakness for americanized mexican food and love of freezing cold dessert in the dead of Illinois winter. Honestly, this is one - albeit small - reason that I exercise as much as I do. I love eating. I mean, love running too, but I really really love eating :)

I start my next block of imaging tomorrow - which means more time to read books! I'm on the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy now. So far in 2012, I also read Inheritance, the fourth book of the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini (awesome books). Then I read All My Patients Kick and Bite by Todd Wells - a cute, funny book written by a mixed animal vet about his most memorable patients. I just finished Dewey the Library Cat by Vicki Myron yesterday. I cried through the book, both from laughing and sadness. The way she depicted Dewey reminded my so much of my Quoddy cat, our rambunctious, trouble-making, sensitive, stubborn, snuggle loving-Maine Coon cat. I recommend all of the books if you are looking for light, easy reads.

More to come from my adventures on radiation vacation (aka diagnostic imaging).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Boards... I pass them.

I passed boards.

I passed boards.


(correction: WE PASSED BOARDS!)

It hasn't sunk in. At all. In fact, I woke up this morning and checked again to make sure. I *honestly* was scared I wouldn't pass. When you walk out of that exam, you are in a daze. Actually, half way through the exam you start to feel like you are in a fog. Then, a few hours later, when you try to talk about it - you only remember six questions. And you hope to God that your friends agree with your six answers.

I called my family last night to tell them and I know they are so proud of me and its an amazing feeling! I owe it all to them. I wouldn't be the person I am or have the accomplishments that I do - with school, sports, and life - without their endless support and encouragement to follow my dreams and do what I think is best for me - even when they don't always agree (aka turning down a full ride for a college I didn't think was right for me... even though six months later I admitted to my horrible mistake and transferred!). I love you mom, dad, and bro - you are my strength and my rock.

Four months from yesterday we will graduate as DVMs and be thrown into the real world. I'm terrified and excited. I updated facebook this morning to add my current/future employer - associate veterinarian, at your service!

Husband and I are headed to Chicago for a day trip to celebrate today - we have a lot to be thankful for :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The times they are a-changing...

... in more ways than one. I'm still alive. Fourth year tried to swallow me up and claim me as its own, but I'm rising above it. Take that fourth year. And our house just got robbed... but I'll get to that later. Take that robbers.

I've been living in a post-boards splendor for a month and a half now and it has been blissfully uneventful... other than the typical grind and headaches of rotations. I just came off of five weeks of internal medicine and am settling into 4 weeks of imaging.

Reality hit today when the NBVME released the NAVLE scores to the states that subscribe to the online portal system... 23 states get to check their scores online and unfortunately Illinois is behind the ball as always. We are sitting, patiently (or not so patiently) waiting... pacing... checking facebook/gmail/various websites for updates and trying to put the potentially life altering news out of our minds until we know for sure. If you do happen to fail, the world doesn't end. You get another chance in April and you still graduate and all is well in the world. I think the tricky part is getting back into the studying mindset for three months knowing that you didn't pass it the first time. Dear God, let me pass on the first try.

Since this year will bring a thousand changes in my life with graduation, moving, and starting my career, I thought it would be appropriate to start with some goals for my mental and physical health. I've been feeling a little depressed lately and I can't pinpoint the reason but recent events have made me uneasy and scared.

So, like I mentioned, our house got robbed. On Christmas night.


Now, I imagine some of your jaws have dropped and you are thinking "what kind of horrible human being robs a home on Christmas". I agree with you whole heartedly. It takes a certain type of asshole to break into a bedroom window of two poor veterinary students and steal almost everything of significant worth. Thank God nothing of sentimental value was taken and that we and our animals are safe.

We had taken both cars out to Kyle's parents farm (about 30 minutes away) and my parents and brother had come down on Christmas Eve afternoon and we all got to celebrate that night and Christmas morning (after we got home from work at eleven... yes, we worked all through the Christmas holiday). My family left around 1 and Kyle and I had more Christmas with his family. We left around 10 for home in separate cars and I headed to a friend's house to take care of their dog before heading home and Kyle went straight home. I got back about 20 minutes later and as soon as I pulled up, Kyle got out of the truck with Ben and came to my window. The first thing he says is, "Don't freak out, but we got robbed."

So I did what anyone would do. I punched the steering wheel repeatedly and cursed/screamed at the neighborhood. When I had finished my tantrum, he asked for my phone to call 911, since he phone had broken a few days before and we hadn't replaced it yet. Apparently, Kyle had walked in the house with Ben and saw the TV was missing. Of course, he thought the cat had knocked it over because he does that crap all the time. Then he noticed the PS3 (that I bought for his birthday four weeks before), Wii, and laptop were missing. He immediately grabbed Ben and sat in the truck parked at the end of the street with the doors locked until I came home.

The police arrived in three separate cars and had to "clear the house" just like they do in the movies. Guns drawn, they went through each room with flashlights to make sure no one was still in the house. Then we were allowed to come inside. Apparently they had taken out our window air conditioning unit and broken in through the bedroom window. They flipped the mattress and searched the nightstand/file cabinet - of which they found nothing because everything of importance is in my office. They went in my office, which happened to be filled floor to ceiling with shower/wedding gifts in boxes - but only took a single plastic bag, I assume to carry all of our stuff out of the house with. THANK GOD.

They must have grabbed everything they could in the living room and headed out the backdoor (which they left open, luckily the cats didn't go on any adventures that night). My laptop was sitting on the kitchen table, but they missed that.

All in all, it was terrifying and a huge invasion in our privacy. To think that strangers purposefully broke into our home and took our belongings makes me feel incredibly vulnerable and exposed.

The following day, we ventured out to the stores and priced out new TVs. Even though we had purchased our 32" less than a couple of years ago, we were able to buy a 37" that day for about as much as we had originally spent and a new playstation 3 (our insurance should be covering nearly everything). Later in the week, I went up to visit my family and we went shopping at Costco where we discovered a floor model that was 47" and only 20 dollars more than we had spent on the new TV. It was much better quality, 120 Hz, 1080p, wireless capabilities, 3D capabilities, etc - I bought it on the spot and returned our other one with no problem (thank you Best Buy). Its pretty awesome - way different than our little 32" - but it wasn't fun shopping for new stuff knowing WHY we were doing it.

Anyway. Lock your doors and windows. Get a guard dog. Or an alarm system. Your choice.


So about those goals - I have a bunch. Here they are:

1. Graduate.

2. Run in at least 3 races in 2012. Already training for the Illinois marathon April 28. Doing the Shamrock Shuffle in March. Possibly the Chicago marathon in October.

3. Lose 10-15 pounds. I gained back all the weight I lost over the summer for the wedding... its time to get back on track.

3b. Calorie counter. Joined and have been tracking my calorie intake... I'm not going to be a crazy person about it because I enjoy drinking and ice cream but to have some idea of the kind of nutrients I'm taking in on a daily basis. I just want to make sure I have enough protein, fiber, etc.

4. Learn to budget and manage my money. Joined and have been good about keeping up with it and checking which keeps me from spending more money.

5. Read for fun. I'm on my third book of the year so far. It helps that I am on a very laid back rotation right now, but I forget how much I miss reading. I have loads of books that are waiting to be opened.

Sorry for the long catch up. I'll be back to updating more regularly :)