Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Change Of Pace

For the past several months I've been quietly working part time with the schools doing substitute custodial work. I've loved it. Upon becoming a part of the substitute list I was then eligible for a permanent position if one should arise and no one in the union bids on it. Well, several weeks ago a job came up for bid. I patiently waited for no one to bid and then was interviewed for the position. I got it.

Over the past year I've been looking for a change of pace. I've stated in previous posts, most people don't know what I do. I don't just put a client in a room and my job is finished. I put the client/pet in a room, get a history, temperature, weight. I'm the restrainer for the doctor while they perform the exam. I'm the first in line to get bit or scratched. I fill prescriptions, make labels, present estimates, write up payment plans, complete charges. I maintain controlled substances and logs, take radiographs, calculate/draw up/administer/monitor anesthesia. I draw blood, place IV catheters, administer fluids/vaccines/medications/injections. I perform blood testing/urinalysis/fecal samples/ekgs/blood pressures. I count blood smears and read microscopic analysis. I'm a pet owner educator and a shoulder to cry on for those having their pet euthanized. I clean the clinic from top to bottom including dusting/mopping/trash. The list goes on, but in other words, I have a lot on my plate.

It's kind of hard to explain why I'd want to switch careers. One thing that made me want to change. Benefits. The benefits as a veterinary technician aren't the best, especially with healthcare. I will now have decent benefits which I haven't had since the military (yes, I'm calling the military benefits good compared to what I've recently had). Other than benefits there are many other reasons why I have chosen to take a step back. Too many to go into here. I have given my current employer notice that I'm willing to stay on part time or as needed. I still want to keep my hands in the field if at all possible and will keep up with my registration.

I know there's a stigma that comes along with being a custodian, but I'm not too proud to become one. As with reasons why I'm stepping back from the vet world, there are reasons why I want to work for the school. Just a few....Believe it or not cleaning is a passion of mine and I like to work independently, so it's a good fit. I'm currently working with David, which will not always be the case, but we both enjoy the time together. This is a way for me to give back to the school I once attended and it has allowed me to face some demons that I left there upon graduating. As David did, I'm currently working to earn my boilers license. After completion of my class I will then log hours on a boiler then be able to take the class. Become a fireman/boiler operator is not an immediate position upon earning my license (as with David) but in time we'll both be able to move up. And sad, but true, I will be able to earn more as a custodian/boiler operator than as a veterinary technician.

There are many changes that happen throughout our lives. I'm not closing the door on being a veterinary technician, but I'm opening the door to other opportunities. You never know, in a few years, I may want to pursue something else, but I'd hate to look back and regret not trying something new.

More On Elwood

David beat me to a post on losing our froggy friend Elwood. It's amazing to me how such little fella can impact your life. I never imagined I would touch a frog, let alone hold one. Although he was an amphibian and not a reptile, he helped me face my phobia of snakes. I still have a decent fear/phobia of snakes and would like to stay as far away from them as possible, but they don't freak me out as much.

A couple months ago Elwood started to have lumps under his skin. After research we believed we found a diagnosis/treatment. Cestode worms. We performed treatment and the lumps resolved. Unfortunately I can't help but think he was never fully healed. Within the past several weeks he developed multiple skin lesions (some in the form of abscesses), his appetite diminished, and another large lump appeared on his head. We were treating him with antibiotics but he was to the point where he would not eat for days at a time. Finally, I decided to puncture the lump near his head and removed discharge. The following day we found him after he had passed with the same discharge seaping from his entire body. Ultimately we believe his body was full of some sort of infection.

As David said, this truly saddens us, however we also understand that this comes with keeping pets. He brought happiness to our lives and I hope he enjoyed his habitat as much as we enjoyed building it for him. We still have Whompy, our other frog, and he seems to be doing well.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We miss our boy

Hey everyone, this is David. I wish I could say I had good news, but I don't. Some of you may know that Elwood our tree frog has been ill. He was fighting a skin infection and yesterday afternoon Heidi and I came home for lunch. As soon as I saw him, I knew he had passed on. It was almost a year ago to the date that we bought Elwood. I understand he is only a frog, but we truly love our animals and our hearts are very heavy. I am glad he is no longer suffering, but we still miss him very much. We bought a little wood box with a latch, and we made a little plot for him next to our garage. It's true that we've saved our animals and given them a great life, but they have also rescued me. Caring for them is therapeutic for me, and they can get me through some tough days. Rest in peace Mr. Wood