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Monday, August 31, 2009

When It Rains...

Sometimes I feel that people may have a misconception of how a veterinarian's life goes. Because we're doctors, we should be living in bigger houses, driving expensive cars, and having relatively easy lives. Part of my reason for beginning this blog was to give the public an insight into the daily life of a vet. Strip away the doctorate and the title, and we're just regular people with problems just like anyone else.

Let's take the last few weeks in my life. First, the water pump on my car sprung a leak (it's a 14 year old-car, so there goes the illusion that we drive fancy vehicles). Then the air compressor on my wife's mini-van locked up and the belt broke while she was about an hour away from home. We managed to get these things fixed to the tune of many hundreds of dollars, pretty much depleting any reserve funds we had. Yesterday I was coming home from picking up a pizza and my car died. Today I had it towed to my mechanic and learned that the starter motor was bad and the battery wasn't putting out enough voltage, requiring both to be replaced. There's another fine chunk of change. All of this specifically while we're trying to get ready for a big annual trip this coming weekend. I'm sure just about anybody can relate to these kinds of problems. But then add to that a problem with the dog I did anal sac surgery on, and we have mental stress adding to the financial stress. It's enough to make you want to crawl into a hole and pull it in after you.

But that's not really an option. And it seems a bit too big of a coincidence for all of this to happen at the same time, right before a group I'm staff with, Fans For Christ, is getting ready for a really big ministry opportunity. Yes, I believe that this situation is largely due to a spiritual battle, though I realize not all of you may believe in this sort of thing.

So you can see that vets are susceptible to problems just like everyone else. I'm as guilty as anyone of seeing my own doctor for his title and skills, and don't often think of him beyond this. The next time your own vet or physician seems a bit stressed, stop to think that some of the difficulties you have may be happening in their own lives as well. Compassion to our fellow humans is an important part of being what we are, and what separates us from the animals.

Thankfully I do have a support network. My staff is great and really help me manage my work day (though they can get pretty stressed themselves). My wife is amazing, and has given me so much support over the years...she is a big reason why I can stay sane in a crazy world. Tristan is great therapy, sitting on my chest and purring loud enough to be heard across the room (I posted on "therapeutic purrs" a few months ago). And I also have my faith and belief in God and His promises to me. He has never let me down, and I know that this will be the case this time as well.

There are a few sayings I try to keep in mind at times like this:
"When it rains, it pours."
"To every cloud there is a silver lining."
"And this too shall pass."
"It can always get worse."
"What doesn't kill you will make you stronger."
"Faith isn't believing that God can, it is knowing that He will."
And then one of my favorites...
"I'm not suffering from insanity...I'm enjoying every minute of it."

Here's to the stresses and craziness of life, and whatever it takes to get us through it!