Friday, June 02, 2006

"Sucking it Up" With a Trembling Lip

I work as a vet-tech in a busy animal hospital. My days are frequently exhausting and stressful. I love what I do, don't get me wrong, but on the days where the stress level is so high that it's almost palpable, the littlest things that go wrong are enough to bring anyone to tears. Today was one such day.

We treat small animals in our hospital (dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, guinea pigs, etc.) and we have four rows of kennels that are each three kennels high. The end of the work day was drawing near, and I was trying to get a head start on the end-of-shift cleaning by scrubbing the used kennels that were not occupied by any of our furry patients. As I scrubbed the kennels closest to the floor, I remembered about 4 different things of greater priority that had to be done within the next few minutes. And the dog in the cage behind me started vomiting. And the phone was ringing off the hook. And the doctor needed me across the room. And another coworker was asking me a question about how to run a blood test. You get the idea. I was starting to feel overwhelmed.

I stood up quickly, not realizing that there was an open kennel door just above me until my head slammed into one of the sharp prongs on the handle.

"AYE CHIHUAHUA!" I yelled, clamping one hand on the rapidly growing bump on my skull while walking over to help my coworker, assist the doctor, answer the phone, and clean up the vomit. These things had to be done, so I couldn't stop and think about my pain. But my head hurt. Bad. It hurt so badly in fact that I felt like crying.

When you were a little kid, tears were a perfectly acceptable reaction to impaling your skull on a metal kennel. (Ok, "impaling your skull" is a bit overdramatic, but I was in a lot of pain.) Crying is almost expected from kids when they hurt themselves. As an adult, bumping your head and then crying about it makes you look like a moron.

How did this happen? Where, along the timeline of human development, did we lose our rights to cry in public when we hurt ourselves? The fact that I knew I couldn't stop everything I was doing and cry this evening just made me want to cry even more. So instead I made everyone feel the bump on my head, and, to further legitimize my pain, I made the doctor use his vernier caliper to measure the bump.

It was 6cm x 5.4cm x 2cm.

In sharing these stats with everyone around me in an efficient, though slightly irritating way, I felt that my pain was thoroughly validated, and I was able to move on and complete my tasks. However, I still feel like crying would have been even more efficient and evoked more sympathy, and I'm still thoroughly disappointed that this is no longer an option for me.
And my head still hurts.
Going to find Tylenol now.

Maturity n.

1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of full development, either mental or physical
2. Suitable or intended for adults; composed of adults: a mature audience.
3. Worked out fully by the mind; considered

Resentment n.

Indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance. See Synonyms at anger.


I haven't been around much. I've been busy, man. My preschooler isn't a preschooler anymore--school's out! YAY! I get to have my kiddo at home with me. I'm loving it. We've been busy keeping busy basically. One thing I've been doing is putting the finishing touches on my mom's 60th birthday party. I'm excited about it because I know she's going to love it! She's been so sad for the past 7-8 months (she found out her mom had cancer and wasn't expected to live more than 6 months), with good reason. My grandmother finally is at rest--she went peacefully in her sleep (she was on a heavy morphine drip), thank heavens. Now she can finally get some rest. :o( My mother has been so tough--I don't think I would be. She's usually happy and peppy like me and I want to give her that back, even if it's for just a day. Nothing can replace her mom or completely take her mind off of her mom, but I want her to have fun and celebrate for one day. She needs a break to just... enjoy herself.

So, I've put together a Hawaii-themed party for her. I've been planning it for a while now and on June 17th, my mom will be doing the hula with us and some of her dearest friends! I've bought her a beautiful dress from Hilo Hattie--hope she likes it. I've rented tables, chairs, and tents. I bought favors and leis for the party guests. Now, I'm in the process of figuring out the menu. But, what does one eat at a...

Luau: n.
An elaborate Hawaiian feast featuring traditional foods and entertainment.

Think before Speaking

As I was growing up, my parents constantly reminded me to think before speaking. I thought at the time it was advice constructed to ensure one didn't say anything impolitic, but now I know it also refers to not dangling things in front of children. One shouldn't mention the park unless one is prepared to go to the park, because children are guaranteed to glom onto that one word, park, and not let up a relentless chorus of "Are we going to the park? You said "park". Can we go to the park? I heard you talking about the park. Park! Park! Park!"

1. Not wise.
2. Lacking sensitivity and skill in dealing with others.
"impolitic." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 02 Jun. 2006.

1. To take by theft.
2. To seize upon or latch onto something.
"glom." WordNet 1.7.1. Princeton University, 2001. 02 Jun. 2006.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I got this from my mother

Sometimes when the children are about to eat something delicious, I tell them I need to taste it first to make sure it's not poisonous. They will laugh and tell me to just take a little bite. Sometimes I fake die, then attempt to save them by making off with the delicious "poisoned" food.

Who knew I could work a piece of furniture into the mix?

1. A buffet, sideboard, or bookcase, especially one without legs.
2. A piece of office furniture having a long flat top and usually file drawers.
[Italian, from Medieval Latin crēdentia, trust (possibly from the practice of placing food and drink on a sideboard to be tasted by a servant before being served to ensure that it contained no poison).
"credenza." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 31 May. 2006.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Please grow

When we go to the Children's Hospital for our regular appointments this week, the hematologist will be as kindly as ever, no matter how bad the bloodwork. But when he gets to the question about have I noticed anything since the last visit, I am going to have to tell him that when I had the youngest's feet measured for sandals this summer, I realized his feet haven't grown, not even a half-size, in a full calendar year.

He's coming up on his fourth birthday, and he still wears a toddler size 8.5.

I'm feeling quite

Being in low spirits; dejected and disheartened.
[From obsolete chaps, alteration of chops.]
"chapfallen." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 30 May. 2006.

And very, very tired.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

No relation to Sebastian

There was some quite poor behavior exhibited today by a few adults at the children's park. Uncharacteristically, I said nothing. As I explained to someone later,

"The South is usually such a bastion of manners and propriety that such a glaring, persevering, and public* display of poor upbringing shocked me pretty much speechless."

1. A group that defends a principle.
2. A stronghold into which people could go for shelter during a battle.
3. Projecting part of a rampart or other fortification.
"bastion." WordNet 1.7.1. Princeton University, 2001. 29 May. 2006.

Besides, I added, I had a hinky feeling.

1. Nervous.
2. Suspicious.
3. Off.
I wrote that definition. I couldn't find one on But take my word for it; that's what it means.

*that poor behavior occurs in private is not shocking at all, however. It's just not done in public here.