Thursday, February 7, 2013


Last march, I was training for the Illinois marathon. I was training well. I was running three days a week with a training plan, tempo runs, long runs, intervals - and I was killing it. My foot started to hurt, but it wasn't a significant amount of pain. I've been training for different races for 20 years - I can usually tell when I need to slow down and when I'm able to push through it. That doesn't mean I make the right decision to stop training, but at least I recognize when I'm being stupid. A month later, the pain was getting pretty intense. I saw the doctor at the university health clinic who told me to rest and to use crutches and that I would be fine. I followed directions, using crutches for the final week of rotations and through all the fun end-of-vet-school things. After two weeks, I started walking again and the pain wasn't too bad. My friends and I went to Maine for a 10 day vacation before graduation and we hiked all over Acadia National Park and drank our way through Bar Harbor afterwards. It was a blast. Wearing heels at graduation was painful. I started my job at the animal hospital the day after graduation and wore crocs. Every. Single. Day. I could no longer wear running shoes, gym shoes, any kind of shoes or a dull burning sensation would creep along the edge of my foot. Unfortunately, my insurance didn't start until July 1st. On July 2nd, I met my new primary care physician who immediately referred me to the podiatrist, suspecting a bunion as the cause of the pain. He diagnosed my issue as "Joplin's neuroma", telling me that it would take 6+ months to heal or I would need to have a neurectomy. That would lead to permanent numbness along the side of my big toe and foot - not ideal for an athlete... or anyone really. 6 weeks later, I got a steroid injection in the nerve, which helped for exactly 3 weeks. He sent me over to the foot surgeon and finally, finally, finally said the bunion itself was the problem and leading to the nasty nerve pain. Three weeks ago, he shaved the side of the metatarsal bone in a neat, quick, 15 minute outpatient surgery. I was up and walking right away, went to work the next day (which doc said I could, but mistake! ouch!). I've been recovering well since then, but I still have 2.5 weeks until I can run again. I'm excited, I'm excited to train, to run pain free (I hope) and to wear normal shoes again! I'm going to try to document training and keep myself accountable. Hubs and I have been trying to eat healthy - I'm trying to see how long I can go without any fast food (minus the chipotle, pancheros, qdoba type places, I have healthy options there... and I love it). We didn't eat a lot of fast food before, but when we travel or on sundays we sometimes get McDonalds... eek. This is the only "restaurant" within 10 minutes of our house, sadly. Here's to a happy, healthy new year :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I've been thinking about my blog lately. Every time I sit down to write a post about something interesting that I saw or a frustrating case that I have, I realize that I can't give details that would even make the story interesting. As much as I have kept this blog under wraps, I would be deeply saddened if a client came across something negative that I had written. That would reflect poorly on me, my staff, and my clinic that my husband's family has worked for nearly 30 years to build. We have a stellar reputation, and I would hate to be the one to tarnish it. Do other clinics see at least 8+ new patients a day? I find that crazy. We have seen 6100+ clients in just under the 3 years that the computer system has been in place. That equates to at least 10,000+ patients. I find that crazy! That all being said... I'm becoming frustrated with the public. It makes me very sad to see puppies dying of parvo that could have been prevented. Heartworm disease that would have been prevented if we had seen the animal routinely. The mass that could have been removed months ago, but is now the size of a grapefruit. I understand money is tight in our area - we sometimes get complaints over pennies. And that saddens me to no end, to think that people literally have to count pennies, and are still trying to do right by their pet. I found myself getting almost snippy last night over the frustration and burnout that is slowly seeping in. I can't care about a pet more than the owner. That isn't fair to the animal and it isn't fair to me. On the other hand, there are owners that are trying all that they feasibly can to help their pet, but are restricted by finances. I found myself close to tears last night pleading with an animal that isn't doing well and refuses to eat. And yes, I actually spoke directly to the cat. In front of the owner. Given that it was late at night and I'd had a rough week, possibly I was starting to lose it. But today is my day off. And I know that I will be stopping into work this morning to call in a prescription for that animal. It's what we do. There are weeks that I have calculated out that I make far less than $10/hr. And I'm a doctor. And between KJ and I, we are sitting on $350,000 of student loans. So when people get upset when we can't do things for free or when there are complaints about the $27 exam fee and the $7 rabies vaccine... I literally want to cry. Like I said, I can't care about pets more than the owners or compassion burn out will be lurking close by. We as doctors still need to provide for our families. We went to an excessive amount of school and racked up an astronomical amount of loans (in relation to how much we make) in order to share our knowledge and help animals. Like I said, I'm glad it is my day off today. That eternally positive, happy person is still here. But sometimes you just have to vent :) Also, I miss blogland. I hope this is the start to my comeback tour.