Life Just Keeps Piling Up.

What.  A.  Week.

Monday: Oh my, that seems so long ago… all I really remember was that it was a very hectic busy day.  And it started with a customer cussing me out.  He came in to euthanize his cat.  I went in, and as per my usual I try to be very meek and sensitive because I feel it is safe to presume that MOST people are very emotional and upset about coming in.  But the unfortunate thing about it is that there IS a cost associated with a euthanasia.  And if we have never seen the animal before, or if it has been more than a year since we saw the animal, we have to do an exam.  I’m fairly certain it’s a law.  Basically because we have to make sure the animal doesn’t have rabies, or some other highly dangerous and zoonotic disease.  And also because our practice does not practice “convenience euthanasia”.  (When an owner decided that they wish to kill their animal because they no longer want the responsibility of routine ownership, or because they redecorated and it doesn’t match their house anymore…. basically any reason other than a legitimate concern about the animals welfare, pain, and suffering.)  Anyway, he saw the piece of paper I bring in that lists the costs of exam, euthanasia, and the cremation options and flipped. out.  He started yelling at me about how he wasn’t going to pay that much, how dare I make him pay that much etc.  I offered to go and talk with the doctor about discount options (because sometimes we do discount services if the animal is really suffering and the owner is really broke and we just want to be humane) but he refused, grab the cat carrier and stormed out.

Great way to start the day, hu?  He ended up coming back when he realized we have the best prices (duh!) but my boss took him aside and told him that 1-we had since learned he wanted a convenience euthanasia on a young cat with flea allergies.  A fairly simple thing to treat and then prevent.  And 2-the way he treated the employees (namely, me) was unacceptable and if he didn’t leave she was calling the cops.  She had to walk him out the door, the whole time he was yelling “I’m going to call your boss!”  and she’s saying “I am the boss.”  I guess it was kind of hilarious if it wasn’t so upsetting.  He ended up going to a different vet and having the cat euthanized there.  Some people…

The day went from there as a very busy, overloaded schedule kind of day.  I just remember being really exhausted at the end of it.

Hubster and I have been trying to tighten down the budget, and as such we try to plan out meals for the week and go to the grocery store with a very specific list of what we need for those meals.  (As opposed to our normal “I dunno… chicken sound good?  Don’t know what we’ll do with it, but we should get some…” where we end up going back to the store throughout the week to round out a meal, or giving up and ordering take-out.)  Between that, and deciding to participate in the Orthodox Lenten Fast (No, we don’t not-eat for 40 days.  We refrain from certain kinds of food.  This week are giving up meat, and starting next week we also refrain from all animal products and wine.  If you’re a nerd you can check out these links HERE for fasting in general, HERE for Lent specifically.) Anyway, we had planned to make a Chipotle-Butternut squash-Apple soup.  Well, it turns out that the prep work is rather involved, and even though Hubster had the day off he hadn’t given himself enough time to prep is for me, in order to make it that night.  We caved and ordered pizza.

Tuesday: Another blur of a day.  I made a lot of stupid mistakes, and almost cried at work.  We were just overwhelmed with appointments.  I would like to say, after several weeks where we were too light on appointments, and people have been getting sent home early, it’s nice to have a sense of “job security” that we are busy, but it doesn’t exactly help to feel like we are understaffed either.  My boss did an amazing job of rounding out the day with going over the positives, and basically cheering us on and telling us we are awesome.  I got home hoping that Hubster would have at least started making the soup… no dice.  Which made me a bit grumpy  – he had Monday-Wednesday off class and even though I worked a full day I still had to be the one to cook dinner when I came home?!?!  And when I asked him about his day, it sounded like he spent the majority of it napping or watching tv.  Not exactly helping my case of the grumps…

Wednesday: Another crazy day.  I was supposed to be training in the treatment area (I normally am in charge of the “front” – meaning I check in patients, get history, and assist doctors in the rooms.  “Treatment” encompasses running blood-work, urine and fecal samples, either in-house or filling out the proper forms to send it to the lab as well as monitoring hospitalized patients, giving them any medications, assisting the surgery technician if they need something as well as giving all treatments to the regular appointment patients.  This frequently included toenail trims, radiographs [x-rays], drawing blood, clipping-and-cleaning of minor wounds… it’s a very big job.)  But because we were slammed with multiple surgeries and a few emergencies my boss who was doing my rainging got sucked into helping with surgeries and so couldn’t train me… I ended up getting swapped to working the front.  Which made me feel like I SUCK, I thought I wasn’t doing a good job… I finally broke down and cried.  Thankfully one of my wonderful fellow techs assured me I was doing a great job, but my boss just couldn’t train like she wanted, and in order to put patient care first we had to revert to putting everyone where they were the strongest.  Which makes perfect sense, but it all just kind of hit me in a big emotional way.  (I’m currently today on CD 24 – PMS much?)

We also dealt with a frequent client who… well, there is no nice way to say this, but she is a little crazy.  She is constantly coming in thinking something is wrong with her dog, when nothing is wrong with the dog except it is feeding off her stress.  We have run blood-work, taken radiographs, kept the dog all day for monitoring…. nothing has shown up.  It has no clinical signs or symptoms.  But if you try to tell this woman that her dog is fine, she looks at you like you are an idiot, who clearly doesn’t care about her beloved pet.  The only time she is happy is if you can find some teeny tiny abnormality and give her something to “cure” it.  It’s very annoying and takes up time that could be spent on animals who really ARE sick.  I finally mentioned to her at the end of the day (after taking radiographs and monitoring the dog ALL DAY) that since we cannot find what is wrong, we may need to refer her to a specialist.  Which is also annoying.  So far we have not done any unnecessary invasive procedures on this dog, but if she goes to a specialist she is going to force her dog to undergo unnecessary invasive procedures.  It’s really technically not the humane thing to do, but of course I can’t just look this woman in the eye and tell her she is imagining things, that this is all in her head.  She will just go to some other clinic and do this all again.  My only hope is that if a specialist looks at her and tells her that her dog is fine, she will finally believe it.

We also had a surprisingly number of morbid cases.  On a normal day, we may or may not have any euthanasias, at most maybe 2 or 3.  Wednesday we have 5.  And we had a DOA.  A woman had let her small dog out to go to the bathroom, while she used her own restroom… when she came out she witnessed it being attacked by a large dog.  But if that wasn’t enough… her husband had bought her the dog when they lost their son.

I cannot even imagine the pain, hysteria and trauma this woman is going through.  When the dog came in, the tech who had taken over treatment for me was so overwhelmed with death (Since she had to make paw prints in clay of all the previous euthanized animals, fill out the paperwork for their cremations, prepare the bodies for pick up) I could tell she had hit her “wall”, so I volunteered to handle this case.  I think it also felt like a personal case… while I did not lose a child who had been living, this woman and I are connected in some weird ALI way…. it felt important to me to handle this.  Everyone else was like “That’s so sad, what can we do?  What can we say?”  And I just looked at them and said “You guys.  There. Is. Nothing. you can say.”  I am sure this woman knows nothing about me, but all I can hope is that the time I spent making the paw print as perfect as possible, will somehow bring her some miniscule relief from the pain she is currently drowning in.

And then of course the blogosphere has been dealing with Mo’s loss.  I have not really done anything.  In a state of shock myself at the whole situation.  She has been such a great voice in the community.  A poignant and witty blogger herself, I can think of several posts of hers that helped me.  She personally reached out to me when I learned that Hubster had sex with another woman.  I feel so bereft for her to lose this pregnancy.  And yet I have not been able to reach out to her as I would like to.  I just cannot even fathom that this has happened.  It feels like a weird, twisted dream.  I know infertility and loss isn’t fair to anyone, but she has been someone I have been rooting for so strongly.

Throw in the fact that basically the only friend really available to spend any time with is my super-fertile friend Suzy.  Mother to an almost-2-year-old and currently pregnant (the first time they tried).  She is a great friend, but it is also difficult at time to spend so much time with her.  But my other option is being alone and that also sucks.  I’m trying to be a good friend, and help her around the house as she is trying to juggle a little boy who is feeling under the weather as she is having all kinds of food aversions and not feeling her 100%.

Hubster and I had a long talk last night, weighing the pros and cons of more fertility treatments vs adoption.  We have a lot of fears and concerns with both.  He is in school, and if we have a baby before he gets out, we wont have any income.  And we are very aware that there is only so much money left in his trust fund, especially as we currently using it to supplement out single-source-income situation.  that being said, we technically do not have it in the budget to afford fertility treatments.  And that being said, we probably wouldn’t qualify to adopt.  Our credit sucks, our income situation looks crappy (For one of Hubster’s school grants we had to apply, and qualify, for food stamps.  We did.  It’s a rather ridiculous $16 a month, but still.  We qualify.  That can’t look good for applying for adoption.)  If I’m honest, I’m not sure that I’m really ready to give up the experience of pregnancy, as stupid as that sounds.  I want to have morning sickness, and feel the baby kick… I want to give IUI a shot, so that at least I wont ever wonder “what if”.  I have fears about how raising an adopted kid is so much more challenging, as everyone who had ever been adopted keeps telling me.  I worry that if we put this off for another year because of Hubster’s school situation, it’s just one more year to age my ovaries.  In March I turn 27.  And while that’s young in a lot of ways, it’s getting pretty close to the “top of the hill” as far as my reproductive parts are concerned.  Also in March is the anniversary of when our baby would be experiencing their first birthday if we had not lost them.  There is just a lot of emotions pent up in me, and not really anyone in real life to talk to about them.  And with my work schedule I really only have time to get online and update my blog and read other blogs about once, maybe twice a week, and so I have felt less and less support from this community as I just do not have the time to be a part of it.  It’s nobody’s fault but my own, I know that.  But the more isolated I feel, the more drained and exhausted I am… vicious cycle.  I just want someone to sit down with over a warm coffee or tea and chat with about all this.  The closest person I have to do that with is Alex, and as great as she is, she is sadly not super close, so we really can only get together about once a month.  And I can’t ever work anything out with anyone else.

So.  Here I sit.  At 11:31 AM, cozied up in my bed and my laptop just trying to work up the energy to get up, put on real clothes, go over to Suzie’s with a smile on my face and soldier on as the supportive friend.  And then come home and tackle dishes, laundry, and dinner.  And soldier on as the woman-who-can-do-it-all-wife.  So that I can get up and go to work tomorrow and soldier on as the giving-it-110%-vet-tech.  All so that I can drop back into bed exhausted at the end of the day, and hold back tears of exhaustion and emotion as much as I can, at least until I’m alone.

***UPDATED***

Hanging out with Suzy was great.  She is so NOT the “smug pregnant lady”.  She has had other friends besides me deal with miscarriages etc, so she is very aware of how lucky she is.  And she is a great listener when I ended up breaking down and crying about everything.  I still wish I had more ALI friends close by, but it’s always reassuring to remember what a great friend I have in Suzy.

And I came home and told Hubster in no uncertain terms that I could really use his help in making dinners a few nights a week because after a long stressful work day it would be nice to know I don’t have to come home and still cook.  And he was very understandable and agreeable to the idea, although he reminded me that his dinner nights will be simple meals, which is fine with me.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. What a week, indeed! I am so sorry that you’ve had a rough time. It sucks to be emotional at work.

    As for being supported, it’s hard to find people to talk to. I only have one friend who I can really talk to about the TTC stuff in my life, and I met her through my blog. I think most bloggers go through low patches in blogging, either because of time constraints or “not feeling it”. You’re a busy woman and so, of course, you don’t have a ton of time to blog. I hope you do find some local support!! I wish I lived closer, we could have tea and cry and talk about all of the stuff that TTCers need/want to talk about.

    Adoption vs IVF vs IUI. I think you should go for at least one IUI. As much as I hated going through it, I’m glad I did. It really helped me feel more settled when we moved to adoption. We chose not to do IVF, since there’s no guarantee that a child will result. And, if we were going to spend money on family building, adoption seemed like a more prudent choice. Whatever choice you make, take time to think about it and come to a decision in your own way. Should you decide to peruse adoption, let me know, I’ve done a ton of research.

    HUGS to you!!!!

    Reply

  2. Sorry you had such a rough week. It really does sound like you’re trying to do it all, and as much as I know we feel like we have to, I’ve also learned from experience that if you do need help, you’re not going to get it unless you ask. Husbands are not mind readers, unfortunately. They’re not even subtle hint picker-uppers.

    I know it’s hard not having any close friends to talk about all this infertility stuff. But just remember, you are not alone! And if I could sit down with you and a cup of coffee, I so would!

    Reply

    • Thank you for the reminder of needing to just be blunt with Hubster. Sometimes I forget that I just need to look him in the eye and say “Hey, I really need X. How can we meet this need?” And also remind me that, even if I don’t have many “IF” friends in real life, my real life friends are STILL my friends, who care.

      And maybe someday we will find a way to meet up and have that cup of coffee!

      Reply

  3. we have the same problem re: meal planning..or lack thereof…and it results in way too much take out or trips the stores (when extra unneeded items then also find their way into the cart!!). i just started trying out a meal planning service called e.meals-yes, i could do this myself, but i don’t, so yes, i am paying $21 for 3 months ($7 a month that i’m sure it will save me!). they provide seven simple meals (with a side), the needed recipe (short and pretty quick so far) and the grocery list. you print off the list, check off what you already have and get the rest in one trip. having done it all this month, it really has saved us a lot of money! i’ve spent probably about 2/3rds to 1/2 of what i usually spend and we’ve only ordered out about once a week as opposed to only eating in once a week! plus, they have some lists that might match a store you use that they match with the weekly sales and a low fat or portion controlled menus options too. (we’ve done the low fat and it is good!! like molasses pork tenderloin good!). anyways, that’s my new found life helper that is helping our budget big time (and we aren’t eating the same three meals every week!)

    Reply

    • That sounds awesome! I’ve been trying to figure out meal planning, basically googling “soup recipes” or “easy vegan dinner” etc but I can see how helpful a service like that could be! And even though the unneeded items still find their way into my cart from time to time (*cough* chocolate! *cough*) Having a list and trying to be as frugal as possible has helped cut down on those unnecessary expenditures quite a lot. However, when I find myself stuck one of these days I will have to check it out!

      Reply

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