Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring is here!

Driving home yesterday, I noticed a grand thing: the hills (pastures) were alive with green. Everything was green, and I'm not quite sure where it came from since my drive that morning was through brown bland countryside.

It rained almost all of yesterday, which must have significantly contributed to the greenery. The green pastures was a sight to see though! I liken it to leprechaun green covering the fields, in stark contrast to the sandy brown of the dead grass along the highway. The cattle were very eager to lap up the new growth of grass.

When I reached the house I was eager to determine if my horses' pasture was indeed green as well, which it was, but not to the extent of the pastures I had past. The weather, at a consistent 50F, is much improved from the frigid freezing winter we've had. The snow officially melted this weekend and is gone. It seems as though Spring is here to stay.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Trading Shells

I'm moving, again. My 65 year old roommate is heading to Michigan, so I've decided to move closer to town rather be stranded in the woods. This will be a much better living situation since my new place is only 3 miles from school, as apposed to 30.

The girl I'm moving in with is my age, has 2 or 3 horses plus 2 dogs, and seems pretty down to earth. I'll have the upstairs (and my own bathroom, which is a must) and she has the downstairs. She has a 75 gal fish tank, which means that maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to get a African Clawed Frog (like the one I had in my pre-SKB days).

I move at the end of the month and gave my official 30 days notice to my landlord today. Everything works out well because his wife is returning from Iraq in May, and they need their room back anyway. I have to say that I will miss having a spacious bedroom, a 18x12 walk in closet, and a 15x12 bathroom. Ah, 'tis the life of a hermit crab!

Meanwhile, school is going well. I'm on Radiology (X-rays) now, and really actually enjoy it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

DVM How To Guide

I have gotten a lot of questions about the ECFVG process (for foreign veterinary graduates), and am kinda slow to individually respond to emails, so I made this step by step checklist. This is mainly for people who have not taken the PAVE, live in a non-PAVE state (list of PAVE accepted states), or did not pass the PAVE. Hope it helps!

1. Fill out ECFVG paperwork/registration, pay $1000 check or credit card. Also include proof that you graduated from a english speaking highschool or TOFL.

2. Basic Clinical Sciences Exam (BCSE) do that ASAP, $75 money order.

3. Did you take and pass Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE)? Well... even if you did, it's too late to register for the April North American Veterinary Licensing Examination(NAVLE) which was due Jan 3rd... cost is $525, plus you have to go thru a state, which means another application. I went thru Colorado because they're cheaper and the application is online ($50), then you need to get your scores transfered to whichever state you want to practice in ($80). (It cost $185 to do all this thru OK, which was more $$.)

4. Request the application for the Clinical Proficency Exam (CPE) ASAP, pay $500 money order. What they don't tell you is that they will take your check, then sit on your application for >1 month! Year wait on sitting for the test, so get your paperwork fast. It is a good idea to send it certified USPS or FedEx/UPS so you have a record of it arriving so it can't mysteroisuly get lost in the mail.

5. Send in completed application for CPE, pay another $500 money order. Hope they don't lose your money order.

6. Pay rest of CPE, $4000 by money order, >60 days prior to your test date. Important! And send it in such a way so you know they got it! That's a lot of money to lose otherwise. And for all you folks asking what's on the test, one: I have no idea, and two: it's against the rules to take and tell. Sorry.

7. Send ECFVG people copy of graduation (via the school), then you're complete!

8. You can take your state licensing exam while still in your clinical year, w/o passing the NAVLE or completing the ECFVG, BUT they won't grant it until you send them proof of the ECFVG/PAVE and graduation!

9. Once you have your state license number, go to your local narcotics board. For Oklahoma, that is the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. We've been told that when it asks for DEA number, answer "pending." Pay ~$420 by credit card.

10. To get your DEA license, which you will need for any controlled substance, fill out the DEA form #224. Pay ~$550 by credit card.

Now to keep your license and keep you out of hot water, you will need to keep track of all controlled substances (drugs), and American Animal Hospital Association sells them for ~$50 to the disorganized. If something ends up missing or stolen, fill out DEA form #106 and keep a copy for at least 2 years. And if you need help, there's always Narcotics Anonymous! :o)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sick Day #1

Last night I felt really dizzy, then fainted in the bathroom, thus knocking down everything on the wall. Exhaustion perhaps? Been going 7 days a week at school now for a while. Not drinking enough water definitely, combined with throwing up my dinner and cramps, I definitely felt like crapola.

I was bound and determined not to miss a day of school-- especially since I'm on food animal (which I love) and have an in house patient that I must care for. well I couldn't stand up long enough to dress myself, so I decided if that was the case, it would be unlikely I'd be a safe driver (which didn't stop me before when I broke my glasses). I crawled back into bed and call in sick. We get 7 sick days in 1 year.

Around 10am I crawled out of bed to heat the cold bagel I'd been eating since 5am, and ran into my roomie. The perks of living with an older lady is that she has a blood pressure monitor! I took my BP: 105/71, HR: 101. Super, and surely higher than it was in the wee hours of the morning. I took it a little later, and it was 102/66, which really explained the lightheadedness. I decided to implement a salt overload (yum yum chicken and dumplings!!!) and got my BP back up to 117/68 round 6pm.

So my plan it to go to school tomorrow. I have an alpaca that was attacked by a dog over a week ago, and his wounds are quite extensive to say the least. He's anemic and light headed too. Seems that we match. (This picture is not him, he's prettier with more expressive eyes, but looks similar enough.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eye Appt

It's been a while since I've been to the eye dr and I'm always busy at work/school (never get time off). A few weeks ago I broke my glasses and found a VERY old (opened 6mo ago, purchased 3 yrs ago) pair of contact lenses that I used to tide me over to get the eye appt. There are no Vision Centers in Oklahoma Walmarts (it's illegal for some reason). One day I got off work early, and stopped at an eye office on my way home. I asked how much the appt would be since my finances are extremely tight right now (like qualify for foodstamps if I had time to stand in line for them). They said the eye exam for glasses and contacts would be $130-160ish, so I said ok. When I was done, they said the bill was >$200! plus if the contacts didn't fit right, there would be a $30-50 refitting fee for each visit! I paid the bill and cried all the way home.

To complicate matters, the dr said he wouldn't renew the prescription for the contacts that I'd been wearing for >10 yrs, but gave me a different brand that were >2-3x's in price! I should have been more forceful when I tried to explain that I couldn't afford more expensive contacts and I was happy with the ones I had always worn. (I did tell him that exactly, but he was very dismissive about it and flat said he wouldn't prescribe my Acuvue.)

I've never spent >$100 on an eye exam before, and tried to decide how to handle this, since I can't afford to go back to get the contacts prescription and now can't afford to go anywhere else. I totally understand them being a business and needing to make money, but if they'd given me a more accurate estimate, I would have gone elsewhere and not wasted either of our time.

Well, I decided to go back for the week later contacts recheck, since it was with a different dr. I explained the situation as professionally as I could, and he paused for a moment, then looked at his calendar. Turns out, the dr I'd seen had been up the night before my appointment at the hospital with his father who died. Shocking that he even came into work! Well the other dr fixed my bill and renewed my cheaper contacts prescription. I'm very glad that I didn't overreact.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Passed the BCSE!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I found out that I passed the Basic Clinical Skills Exam (BCSE)! This is the first of about half a dozen exams I must take to get a license and be an official vet.

Mom's Christmas Surprise!

Sean's mother is basically bedridden from a knee surgery that did not go so well. She was quite lonesome at home, and I wanted a new cat, so I ran across a Maltese at the shelter that made me think of her. Well several days later, we went up there and the little dog was adopted (no surprise). Went back a few days later and ran across a red Pekingese than looked like Starbuck, so we hauled his mom up to look at it, and then it turned out to bed adopted (after standing in line waiting for 1hr and a half).

By this time, his mom now really wanted a sweet little dog, and his dad threw in a poodle request, so I started searching craigslist and petfinder. I'm so not a fan of breeders, especially the ones selling little mutt mixes.

We happened across a little 8 year old grey toy poodle at a rescue. He'd been there for ~6 months; no one wanted him because he had a pretty substantial heart murmur. He was pretty adorable, and matched Sean's dad (grey hair, white beard). He's perfect.

Anyway, we ran across Sophie a blonde and white Pekingese (likeness pictured, but Sophie has tragic eyes). She had been turned out by her owners and a neighbor found her. She was skin and bones and due to give birth to a litter of puppies. (The puppies were omg so cute, looked like the ones in the first picture, only smaller!) Turns out their dad was a black Pomeranian. I told the lady that I'd ask my brother his opinion, but if she didn't have a home for it by the time we picked up the Pekingese on Christmas eve, then we'd pick him up too.

Well of course Josh was excited over the fuzzball, and she still had him, so I boxed him up in Bootsey's travel carrier and put him under the tree. My mother shrieked! I can't believe everyone was so good at keeping him a secret! This is Pepe le Pew (formerly known as Smokey). My mother had mentioned being interested to getting a little dog in one of the puppy mill seizes that end up at school.