Every once in a while it really does seem like a good idea to make a personal entry around here that isn’t all, “I worked on this and this,” or, “I read such-and-such a book,” or, “Look, I went to Disneyland.” And if I make this as comprehensive as possible, I won’t have to write another one for a while XD

First off, medical shit. In November or so, I finally got fed up enough with a doctor I’d never been terribly happy with to switch to a new one, and found, not greatly to my surprise, that I had a laundry list of stuff to ask about. She ran bloodwork, recommended various things, and referred me to a number of other clinics for other various things. I’ve payed a damn lot of co-pays lately.

At a neurologist, I had steroid injections into my carpal tunnels, and that made them feel better for a day or so before they went back to hurting the way they always do. However, later, at that same neurologist, I did a rather painful test (involving electric shocks and acupuncture needles -__-) to determine the extent of my carpal tunnel syndrome and whether I need surgery…

And it turns out that what I’ve believed was CTS for fifteen years (originally suggested by that doctor I didn’t like much) is probably not CTS at all. I have a follow-up exam at the neurologist sometime soon here (I forget when), and we will discuss possibilities and steps to be taken in greater detail, but it looks like I’ve got some inflammatory problem like tendonitis or just plain arthritis in my wrists and hands. So that’s fun.

I did a sleep study (which cost me $250) to try to determine why the hell I can never ever get a decent night’s rest ever and have to rely on a drug I’m allergic to to give me a boost every single morning, and I ran into a number of problems having to do with the sleep study clinic really not having its shit together. Supposedly they have sent the results to my doctor, and I have an appointment tomorrow to speak to her about them, assuming the sleep study clinic actually did really send them for real. Unfortunately, the casual information the secretary on the phone was able to give me seems to suggest they didn’t find anything identifiable, so it’s possible tomorrow’s visit will be another co-pay for nothing :\

I also had a cutaneous cyst removed from my back today. It was a simple procedure with local anesthesia, and it went very well — I didn’t feel a thing, and was only a bit shaky afterward, I believe, from lying in a weird position for a while — though it cost me a $500 deposit and that was just a deposit. I tremble at the thought of what may arrive in the mail for me afterwhile.

Anyway, these cysts run in the family, so, although dad does have skin cancer, it’s more likely that the thing is benign like most of them are. I won’t know for a couple of weeks. And those couple of weeks are how long the doctor wanted me to refrain from bending, stretching, lifting, or general exertion. Unfortunately, that’s a pretty good description of my entire job, and there was simply no way I was going to take two weeks in a row off work. I settled for one.

And that’s a perfect segueway from medical shit to the topic of work. I kinda feel like even mentioning the work situation as it is right now will jinx it, but since it seems almost guaranteed to be jinxed by something or other sooner or later, I might as well not worry about it XD

We have just barely hired the last person we were looking for, so numbers-wise we are not technically understaffed until the next one quits. However, we still only have three people fully trained for the main rotation, and are trying to juggle that rotation alongside the training of three others (soon four, when the latest new person starts). Everything in the back (surgery prep) is shaky but OK, but there is literally never anyone to help in vaccines in the morning, and they tend not to even start until an hour or two after they’re supposed to. Things are definitely improving, though, and I did get another raise.

Speaking of raises, however (man, I’ve got some good transitions in this entry), Colorado recently voted into law a mandatory increase of minimum wage to $12/hr over the next couple of years. Though I am interested to see how it will affect the economy and various types of businesses, I definitely voted against it… my non-profit clinic, I fear, as well as many other places along those lines, cannot afford to raise everyone’s pay that much. I have no idea what this is going to do to my workplace.

The head doctor has been scheduling a lot of three-doctor days lately, and I think part of it is to bring in more revenue at the expense (not deliberately) of the sanity and well-being of the technicians. On normal days, two doctors work, and on Tuesdays one of them is even the sweetest but slowest surgeon that ever surged. So on normal days we do 20-30 surgeries… while on three-doctor days we do 30-45.

Part of the problem is getting all the dogs checked in. Optimally, every single day but especially on three-doctor days we would have all three exam rooms doing dog check-ins so as to get them done in a timely fashion and allow the person in the first room to start the vaccine clinic at 9:00 as she’s supposed to. But I mentioned how many fully trained people we have, right? And three-doctor days are chaos in prep, so the supervisor often needs to pull the third fully trained person to help back there, leaving only two others to get half a million dogs checked in.

Sadly, I am not the fastest checker-in of dogs. It’s partly because I’m not very fast at anything unless a computer is involved, but also partly because I’m so freaking tired in the mornings (see above re:sleep). So unless I’m the person pulled to help in the back, that leaves me, the slowest of the three checkers-in, as fully half of the people getting all these dogs examined and pre-anesthetized. And don’t even get me started on microchip drama.

Anyway, I feel like the world’s biggest heel for taking this week off, because the head doctor — knowing one of the trained three would be off all week, knowing how utterly miserable it is to try to deal with a three-doctor day under those circumstances — went ahead and scheduled two three-doctor days this week anyway. However, I felt I’d already put off the cyst removal for too long as it was, and I happen to be doing OK financially right now, so now was the time.

Then I turn out to have an unfortunate cold that would have been really annoying to work with. It’s really annoying to not work with, but I have to admit that, if it was going to come along at all, it couldn’t have done so at a better time. Now I can sit or lie around for two reasons, and not worry about dealing with this cold at work.

The cold has left me feeling stupid and weak today and yesterday, though. I was thinking somewhat greedily of all the writing I’d be able to get done whilst off of work, but that hasn’t really gotten started yet. Yesterday and today have been spent mostly on Skyrim, and I really hope things improve while I still have some time left to be super productive before I go back to work.

I also haven’t felt up to responding to emails, so if you’ve been expecting a message from me, now you know why it’s delayed. It’s a good sign that I’m feeling up to writing this entry, though… we’re getting there!

Lately, slowly, I’ve been trying to get my bedroom more organized. I’d like to free up a little floor-space for various reasons, and generally make things more convenient. This is a multi-step, somewhat obnoxious, and also somewhat expensive project, but I’m plugging away at it.

The first step was getting rid of as many of my physical books as could be replaced with ebooks (and as I felt like parting with; obviously anything I’m really attached to stuck around). The biggest problem turned out to be manga that are no longer licensed since TokyoPop crashed and therefore are not available yet in electronic format — primarily Saiyuki and GetBackers. But by creative shelving I managed to reduce my book-storage footprint by half, freeing up quite a bit of space for other things.

Then I had to sort through all the junk on my closet shelves (most of it just needed to go to Goodwill) in order to empty those for the next step, which was some lovely rolly drawers from The Container Store. I was stalled for a bit at this stage, though, because of silliness.

See, my mom’s bathtub is directly above my closet, and for a while my closet ceiling had been leaking every time she took a bath. My ever-optimistic father, convinced the problem would go away on its own, continually ignored it until I became very importunate about how much I disliked the leak. Then he tore my closet to pieces and left it that way for weeks and weeks. If you ever wonder where I got my easy-going nature from, look no further XD

Anyway, he did eventually finish fixing the plumbing and my closet ceiling, though my hooks on the walls, after he re-mounted them (poorly, evidently), fell off almost immediately and have yet to be fixed. So I was able to install my beautiful drawers. They fit so precisely, it’s as if they were specifically designed for my very closet. This was before the hooks fell; witness:

The next stage of the plan, now that I’ve moved the contents of the dresser into the new drawers, is to get rid of the dresser entirely. This involves relocating (or rethinking my ownership of) all the junk on top of the dresser, a process I’m approximately halfway through. I’m also going to need a new mirror, since the one I currently use is part of the dresser.

The ultimate plan is to get a new desk and a draft table that will sit opposite each other in the space the behemoth dresser currently occupies. Then the eight-foot table my computer has lived on for years (and that is half unused except as a storage unit for junk) will also go away. It’s going to be amazing!!!!!! Too bad it’s so boring to sort through stuff piled up in places.

So I have this dog Hiko Seijuurou XIII, right? And he’s the best dog in the world, right? And he loves to play with his kitty, and he loves to lick his paw, and he loves to have him belly rub. And he goes in the best circles, and jumps and jumps and jumps, and stretches out his stubby little legs. But sometimes he also likes to eat my lip gloss.

He’s so naughty! And adorable!

I’m trying to think what else has been going on in my life that isn’t covered in PL’s or AEL’s. Not much; those are the important things. So I guess just a few random notes and some dreams will follow.

One thing I’ve been (extremely slowly) working on over the last few years is tagging old posts. Which means, of course, reading old posts. And recently I came across one (among many) with a survey in it. One of the questions was, “Would you kill a dog for $1000?” Obviously I took the survey long before I ever knew I would become a veterinary technician, and now that question made me laugh right out loud. I really, really wish I got $1000 every time I killed a dog!!!! I do 1-2 euthanasias a week, and they are mostly dogs, so that would make me more money than my regular paycheck XD

Also, re:work. A while back, a guy came in wearing a full Spider-Man costume — head to toe, mask and foots and everything — to get his dog vaccinated. I don’t know why. And then the dreams I feel like recording were also about work. Go figure.

I dreamed that somebody brought a tarantula in to my clinic for a nail trim, and apparently, in this dream, nail trims on tarantulas was a thing and also a thing we did. The tarantula was behaving like an angry chihuahua, though, and nobody dared get near it except Kiiiiimmy Kim-Kim (who in real life no longer works there), who man-handled it and gave it its nail trim XD XD XD

Then the dream shifted, and I was Sam Vimes, and the tarantula (now even bigger) had a dire grudge against me. She moved super fast, too, and obviously didn’t care if innocent bystanders got hurt in her attempt at killing me. So I caused the church we were all in to be evacuated, and sent everyone out over the lake to the islands, because I thought the spider probably couldn’t cross the water and everyone (especially all the childs that were present in the church) would be safe out there.

There were two islands. One of them held another, older church building, and the other was all full of beautiful waterfalls and a giant movie screen where the kids could watch something. But even as we were getting everyone settled on the islands, I saw the freaking spider in the island church building, and realized that not only could she cross the water, she’d already done so at ridiculous speed. Obviously the only way to protect all the people was to sacrifice myself.

At this point the self that was observing the dream was like, “Oh my gosh, is he really going to kill off Vimes?????” though there was some confusion whether I was referring to Pratchett or myself-as-fanfiction-author. But then I woke up before the spider could kill me or I could write a fanfiction about a spider killing Vimes or whatever.

You know how some vet clinics have a clinic pet that just wanders around the clinic and lives there? Well, in a different dream, it seems, it was normal for my clinic to have an “exam room companion” in each room. We were discussing what animal would live in each room, and the person I was talking to said, “Well, we’re thinking about Shelob.” And warily I asked, “How big is she?” And the person raised her hands so they were about two feet apart. In relief I said, “Oh, yeah, that’ll work.”

So in each of our three exam rooms we had this giant spider on the wall — stuck to the wall so it could rotate but not walk, like gold skulltulas — and I was greatly looking forward to how they would help business. I figured the little dogs would be so busy barking at the spider that they wouldn’t even notice they were being vaccinated. There was some other nebulous benefit to their presence, too, that the dream never really specified.

So these spiders were about two feet across the body — their legs were tiny little stubby things like you see on cutesy Halloween spider art. Maybe that was why they couldn’t walk. Anyway, my supervisor came in at one point, and she and I were discussing how well the spiders were working out, and she wondered aloud if she was brave enough to pet the spider. Cautiously she did so, and I had to remind her just how close her hand was to its snapping chelicerae.

So that’s my personal journal entry. I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten that I’ll remember, like, tomorrow and want to document (and then won’t). For now, that’s your lot.