Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Poop and relationships

One of the things I must do on my application for vet school is to write a personal statement. This statement must be no more than 5000 characters in length and should explain the journey that I've taken in my decision to become a veterinarian, and what experiences and circumstances make me unique.

You guys, I thought I would rock this. Seriously. I mean, I write a blog. I write about myself all. the. time.

Um, you may or may not have noticed, but my style of writing is....wordy. As in, I like to use a lot of words. You know, for emphasis. I like to go over and over a point to make sure everyone understands it with the depth of passion that I do. This particular trait does not marry well with a character limit of 5000 (with spaces!)

So I just wrote my story and then edited. Or, more specifically, zlionsfan helped me edit. Then I redid some of his edits and made my statement too long again. Then I re-edited MY edits, and, well... now I have a statement that I feel is choppy and sounds like a toilet being flushed.

Still, I've emailed it to a couple of people whose opinions I trust (never fear, cousin, I'm coming after you next) and as I anxiously await their feedback (they are not early morning people) I am mildly freaking out about my personal statement, my future and of course, my life in general.

I never said melodrama didn't have a place in my life.

So, a few days ago I was having a mini-pre-writing-my-personal-statement breakdown. I had this particular breakdown in the car with the boy. After venting all of my fears and frustrations, the boy sat silently. I turned to him and said, "Now is the point in the conversation where you say pretty words to make me feel better. Sort of like zlionsfan does."

He thought for a second and said, "You shouldn't freak out."

He said no more. No matter how much I harassed him (which was plenty) no more comfort was forthcoming. He is not zlionsfan, he said. And apparently I didn't really need comfort for my theatrics. He felt no need to coddle me.

(Don't worry - this is all related.)

Last night the boy stopped by after work to check in on my personal statement. I was in the midst of erasing my fifteenth draft, and I won't lie - I wasn't in a good place. I mean, it wasn't the depths of despair that organic chemistry brought to me, but it wasn't happy-go-lucky either. The boy sat silently, read what I had written, gave me feedback and then left.

But then this morning? We had the following text exchange. (And I swear to you, I haven't altered a single word.)

E: It is written and it is crap. I may as well poop on a piece of paper and submit that instead.

B: poop WOULD be an attention grabber

E: Hmmm. Maybe I dismissed that option too quickly...

B: there you go... I mean... nothin' says "Look at MY application" like a big pile of shit.

E: Soft smeary shit, or hard little turds? Ooooh, what about corn poopies? It shows that I eat my veggies...

B: it shouldn't be your shit... it should be some kind of exotic animal shit to show how much you care about animals... the more exotic the shit, the more you care.

E: Tasmanian Devil?

B: black mamba... invokes a little fear into the panel

E: Black Mamba like Kobe Bryant, or like the snake? Honestly, I can't decide which is scarier...

And just like that, I was laughing. Not brooding and sulking, but actually laughing. And now I can re-read what I've written for the gazillionth time with an editing eye, instead of despair and hopelessness. Because maybe sometimes? I want to be coddled, but what I need is to be reminded that life is not so serious. That perhaps I may be overreacting. And that while I'm allowed some of that, I need to snap out of it and get shit done. And sometimes you get what you need instead of what you want. (Wouldn't that be a great song?)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I have difficulty believing that a visit to the Dr. is nothing more than a waste of time

I guess I should qualify that. Kids get sick and should see the doctor. The doctor can generally make them better. Bones get broken and the doctor fixes them. People are in terrible accidents and doctors can sometimes perform miracles. Brain tumors and cancers? Ditto. Doctors are fantastically skilled miracle-workers, have no doubt.

So when I woke up on Thursday with incredible dizziness that I had never experienced before, I wasn't quite sure how to handle it. Stuffy nose? Familiar territory. Headache? Psh. Achy body? Fever? Chills? Who hasn't been through that. But dizziness? With no alcoholic consumption involved? I was rattled.

The dizziness continued throughout the day until a wonderful suggestion by someone with chronic ear infections. Sudafed. Apparently this would help drain my Eustachian tubes and stave off the symptoms until I could see a doctor. As an ear infection novice, I learned that inner ear infections are terrible terrible beasts that don't hurt until they HURT. So my advisor recommended that I still see the doctor. Which I did. I actually looked up a GP, made an appointment and everything. Look at me grow!

Uncontrollable dizziness is not something you mess with in my world. We like control in my world. And if I can't stop the dizziness, not even by concentrating and forcing myself to walk in a straight line? Rattled.

The Sudafed worked miracles. By the time my doctor's appointment rolled around on Friday, I was just starting to feel the deep down cottony effects of the Sudafed wearing off. Thankfully, the dizziness had not returned. I got to my appointment on time, got a thorough check-out by the doctor, and voiced my concerns and what drove me to visit. My blood pressure was checked, checked again, and checked again in a variety of positions. Perfect.* My ears were checked. And checked again. My breathing was listened to. Finally it was determined that I had a minor ear infection, but nothing that would seem to cause dizziness. Diagnosis = uncertain. I was given antibiotics, had blood drawn (over STRENUOUS objections. I had just had blood drawn by another doctor three months prior!) and told to visit again in a week.

It took me about 24 hours to fill my prescription, but fill it I did. (The pharmacy on a Saturday afternoon is a WHOLE 'NOTHER blog.) I even remembered to take my gigantic pink horse pills as prescribed.

So then why on EARTH did I wake up this morning feeling like I got hit by a truck filled with snot? Seriously, it's like the antibiotics only made the snot monster in my head ANGRY and he is now exacting his revenge on my sinuses. I feel WORSE now (albeit, sans dizziness) than before I went to the doctor.

At least this stuffy head/headache/raspy throat/no voice thing is familiar territory? Bright side? Maybe?

I'm still disturbed by the memory of the dizzy. And I guess I would feel better if an actual cause for the dizziness was given. Or if I didn't feel like a Mack truck ran me over last night. I've heard arguments that a visit to the doctor is about confirming peace of mind. That at least it's nothing serious. But I got an uncertain diagnosis, so....

Sigh. Just consider this my yearly I-am-sick-so-I-shall-whine post. Only this time I spent money to go to the doctor first. At least the blog when I get my bill should be fun, yes? I already feel sorry for the doctor that I will see again on Friday. Pity him, my friends.

*Take THAT all of you "you shouldn't eat so much salt, Emily" people!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Imagined Conversations

Casey: (sigh) So glad you're back, Blue. It's always a joy. So tell me again, when are you going home? Erm, I mean, how long are you staying?

Blue: OMG! I am so happy to be here! It's so good to see Original Mom again!! And you Casey!!! I've missed you too! The only bummer is this crate thing during the day.

Casey: Yeah, I've missed... Wait, what do you mean, "this crate thing?" This is what dogs do! We wait until our parents come home at the end of the day. Mom just likes us to wait in our crates so that we don't torment the cat. And you know we would if we could...

Blue: Nuh uh!! There's this place called "Heavensville" and if you live there, you are never in your crate. And you live with TWO cats.

Casey: Never?

Blue: Never ever. And your parents are always home. And you get to sleep on the couch. Or in the bedroom. Or wherever you want! And your dad? He gives you treats at least once a day. Sometimes more!

Casey: (wonderingly) Once a day... Amazing.

Blue: And when the parents are done with dinner, dad cuts up all the leftovers and mixes them with your food! New Mom yells at him not to do that, but he does it anyway. He's awesome.

Casey: Really? Isn't dad that big guy who yelled at me when I came in the door?

Blue: Um, you broke through the screen.

Casey: Who makes a door out of screen? I mean, it's so fragile! You can barely see it. I didn't even notice it was there.

Blue: What about the plexi-glass that was behind the screen? You know, the one that dad put there after you used that excuse last time?

Casey: ...

Blue: That's why Original Mom doesn't like bringing you to "Heavensville" you know.

Casey: Whatever. Mom takes me with her every time she goes.

Blue: Oh yeah? What about those weekends where you get to spend "quality time" with the boy? Where do you think Original Mom goes then?

Casey: ...

Blue: Anyway, this place is fine. I love seeing you guys, and Original Mom gives us that yummy peanut butter. It's even better than the treats in "Heavensville." Too bad we don't get it very often.

Casey: Mom says it will make us fat.

Blue: Speaking of that... You're looking... healthy.

Casey: What are you saying?

Blue: Oh, nothing. I just heard New Mom asking Original Mom what had happened to you. That you used to be so slim.


Blue: (snort)

Casey: What the..? It's not like you're really that fit yourself, you know. I don't know what you're doing when you're not in your crate, but it's certainly not running. Don't think I didn't see you collapse on the grass after our 50 yard sprint on Sunday.

Blue: You mean that sprint where original mom managed to run faster than either of us?

Casey: I know, right? Shameful. We're not puppies anymore...

Blue: Anyway, to answer your original question, I'm here until October 1st.


Blue: Yeah. Why?

Casey: Oh... um... no reason... It's just... Um... Laney will be upset that there are two dogs in the house for that long.

Blue: What are you talking about? Laney LOVES me. I never chase her. I learned how to treat cats from living in "Heavensville."

Casey: Quit bragging about "Heavensville," jerk! Living here is awesome.

Blue: Sure... awesome. Wait until you try the new treats that dad sent home with Original Mom. You will freak out. That is... if she ever gives them to us.

Casey: She will. Especially if she's going to go biking while you're here. Here's what you do... when she moves that giant thing on two wheels out of the living room, jump on the couch, flatten yourself as far down as you can, and look at her with "puppy dog eyes."

Blue: What will that do?

Casey: You'll see. We'll get ALL KINDS of goodies when she leaves.

Blue: Sweet.

Casey: Stick with me, kid. I'll teach you the ropes. Mom's a pushover if you know the right buttons. Crate or no crate, living here isn't so bad.

Blue: It's no "Heavensville" though.

Casey: Will you shut up?!