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Being Late to the Most Important Test of My Life: NAVLE

Posted by Jessica Gramlich on Sep 11, 2015 9:50:00 AM


It was late November. After waking up, having a bite to eat, and trying to cram the last few facts about pig diarrhea into my brain before my NAVLE, I headed out to the most important test of my life. 

The tests are given at Prometric testing centers, which are rooms with rows of computer cubicles. I made sure I had everything I needed: wallet, keys, a set of notes for last minute cramming, and a set of directions to the testing center, and I was on my way.

I don’t know if it was the stress of the morning, my usual lack of sleep as a senior vet student, or my usual poor sense of direction, but as I made it to three-fourths of the way there, I could not find the next street on my set of directions.

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Topics: NAVLE, Learning The Hard Way

Don't Go It Alone

Posted by Jessica Gramlich on Sep 2, 2015 9:55:37 AM
My dog has cancer.

My dog has CANCER. The thoracic radiographs are so extremely obvious I can’t even give myself a second of denial. I try not to cry but the tears come anyway ,steadily streaming down my cheeks. My sweet dog, my poor sweet dog. I knew there was something very wrong. A lab that refuses breakfast? You might as well just start filling out the cremation paperwork now. But this is my dog, my 9 year yellow lab and I love her and I don’t want her to die. My mind is racing while my heart is breaking. My friends hug me and say that they are sorry. It’s clear that relaying this news is just as hard to give as it is to receive. I’ve always hated having friends for clients because it is SO much harder to give them bad news, but now that I’m on the other end, it is comforting to hear the devastating diagnosis from those that I trust, who I know care as much about me as they do about my dog. We all cry together.

I went home after that appointment and started texting my veterinary friends and coworkers. I sent a picture of the radiographs and a “what would you do if this was your dog?” I really thought that I would be more professional when my dog became ill. Unfortunately, I was just like any other owner, I lost it. I cried for an entire day. I cried so hard that my face hurt and my eyes were so puffy that I could barely see. I tried calling my best friend but all she could hear was my sobbing. It wasn’t just that I was sad that my dog was sick, the weight of having to decide how she was going to die overwhelmed me. Being a veterinarian and having the knowledge of what was ahead mixed with the emotional baggage of being the owner was a new kind of stress that I wasn’t ready for.

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Topics: Learning The Hard Way

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