june july 2012

colossalmass  asked:

What is intern year like? I find it difficult to picture due to shows like Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs. :) I once started to read a book called The Devil Wears Scrubs... but I've decided I would really like to hear an actual personal account of someone who's been through it. Please & thank you. <3

Lucky for you I have an Intern Year tag (see also: July 2012-June 2013 in the archives) for you to peruse and get a little taste of what my intern year was like.

But let’s do a little timeline, shall we?

July: You are clueless. You did not realize quite how clueless you really are until now. Two months ago when you got that lovely piece of paper with your name in calligraphy you thought you were the jam and you had this whole doctoring thing down. Now you know the truth. You are clueless. Everyone around you thinks so.  You aren’t dumb, but you have no idea what you are doing here. No one taught you how to fill out prior authorization forms or how to write a prescription for a handicapped parking tag. Your EMR makes no sense. You feel that you will never be as smart or as confident as the second or third year residents. But you will. 

Keep reading

~July 2012 - June 27, 2015
Rest in peace.

Archie was a sad story–I knew he would be a sad story from the moment I heard about him, but that didn’t make it any easier to deal with when he passed. He was on Craig’s List, the owner listed him as a 2-3 year old whose cagemate had passed away and she wanted to rehome him to somewhere he could have friends for the end of his life.

Part of me hesitated about getting him–there was no photo and a lot of people are wildly inaccurate when estimating rat ages (usually they guess rats are much older than they actually are–if I had a dollar for every “four year old” rat someone talked about, I’d be rich, when in reality, it’s EXTREMELY rare to have one that old) and I had the sneaking suspicion he might be a middle-aged boy in the throes of puberty who’d be impossible to get in with anyone else.
My boyfriend lived closer to the owner than I did, so we arranged for him to pick the rat up and keep him for a few days until I was able to come visit and take him. He called me when he got him and said he thought he was very old–he doesn’t have a ton of rat experience, but he kept saying he was worried he’d die before I got him. I asked for a video and I saw at that point that yes, he was a 2.5-3 year old rat very close to the end of his life and I had genuine concerns he wasn’t going to make it until the weekend I could get him.

Thankfully, he did make it to the weekend, but I didn’t feel like he could make it through much of a settling in period like I usually give new rats before introducing them to companions. Because he had the easygoing senility of most elderly male rats, I went ahead and started “introductions” (or what was needed of him) the very night I got him home. He got in with the also elderly Alan and the neutered amiable Lyle very, very easily, and within ten minutes, was cuddling with them like they had been friends his entire life.

I only had a week with him, but I think he enjoyed that week as much as he enjoyed any week in his life. He cuddled with his friends; I put in fleece so he wasn’t scratching his belly on the aspen like he had been at his old home (he had sores on his butt from dragging himself around on the rough pine shavings), I lowered the hammocks until they were almost touching the ground so that he could get in them, I gave him and Alan a delicious Ensure soup that they both loved every night. He was very, very happy.

I spent a lot of money on gas and a lot, lot of time to care for Archie–elderly rats are not easy to deal with and they take a lot of effort to make sure they’re able to eat and get around correctly. I’m sure most people wouldn’t have found it worth it, since he only lived seven days after I brought him home. But he enjoyed that seven days so much that it was more than worth it to me, and it would have been worth it even if he had only had friends for an hour. The most difficult thing about taking in rats from bad situations is that they don’t always make it very long, you’re not always able to give them years of happiness, sometimes it’s just a few days or a month. It can be really hard to put that time into perspective, because to a human, that’s a very fleeting period of happiness, basically the blink of an eye over a lifetime. But rats don’t live very long, and they don’t have the memory capabilities of a human, so to them, who knows how long those few days seemed. Archie’s mind was so far gone by the time I got him that I sincerely doubt he was able to remember the time before, living by himself in a big empty cage on scratchy bedding; he didn’t remember being bored, he didn’t remember being lonely. I think all he remembered at the end was his last few days, cuddling with his friends and lapping up Ensure and sitting under a blanket with me and Alan while I read and petted them. I’m glad that I was able to give him that, I feel like the luckiest person in the world because I’m able to see such drastic transformations in so many animals on a regular basis, it’s something I don’t think I could ever get used to. Seeing Archie cuddled up next to another rat for the first time in a year was such a nice sight, I have been blessed to see a lot of rats go from bad situations to great ones, but I have a soft spot for elderly rats and being able to give him a peaceful, happy place to pass away was the nicest thing that I could have done for him. He was a good boy and I loved him.

I am not a religious person and I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other about where souls go when they die, but I hope with every fiber of my being that there is a heaven for rats and I hope that he’s got all the low-hung hammocks in the world and big bowls of Ensure and lots and lots of rat piles he can jump in and sleep right in the middle of.