As a veterinarian, I am required to obtain continuing education credits to maintain my license. This past week, I have been blessed to be able to attend NAVC (the North American Veterinary Conference) in Orlando, Florida. No, I did not get a tan (or a sunburn as is more likely when I am in the sun), because I was learning so much! The average day started with my first lecture at 6:30 am and my last lecture ending at 6:30 pm. There were a couple 15 minute breaks and about an hour and a half for lunch – granted, most of lunch was also spent in lecture! Unlike other times in my life when I could barely keep my eyes open during classes, I only had that problem once this past week, and that was because I had been up until 1:00 am and got up at 5:30 for that 6:30 lecture! The good news, is I never actually fell asleep!
I can’t wait to bring all of the information I have learned back to Wisconsin and get back to work and implement it. From improving my oral surgery techniques, to new tricks and tips for low-stress handling of patients, to new therapies for treating anxiety and scratching (if you have ever had a pet with either of these problems, you know how hard it can be to treat for both your pet’s health and your own sanity!) and making everything I do safer for my patients and our staff I am thrilled to make some changes. Along with new information, I am also thankful that I was able to review some things that are not as clear in my head as they may have been when I graduated from veterinary school in 2005.
I was also able to see friends from the past that have scattered around the country and the rest of the world. It is wonderful to see the changes they have had in their lives – marriages, children, new jobs, adventures. Perhaps my favorite was seeing my best friend from college (she went on to a different veterinary school) and seeing more pictures of her precious son. This little boy is 8.5 months old and should have been at the conference, but was unable to attend due to health issues. He is waiting for a liver transplant and just got out of the hospital. My friend and I didn’t have a lot of time to spend together because we went to different lectures (she works in emergency medicine and I am in primary care), but having the opportunity to see her at all made this experience the best I could ever have. I have been able to see the change that has come over my friend, softened edges, although still tough as nails. She has more love in her than I have ever seen. I also learned more about the difficulties that genetic conditions can bring to a family, and also how strong it can make them. I am blessed to have my life, my family, my education, my friends, and despite some issues my health.
Today, I ask that you look at your life and all that you have to be thankful for with in it. I also ask that you pray for little Liam and his family. Pray that the insurance company stops fighting them so that he can receive the medical care he needs. Pray that the doctors and nurses care for him and keep him healthy. Pray for strength and comfort for the entire family. Pray that he will receive a liver in the not too distant future. Pray for all people that need transplants, and consider being an organ donor yourself (livers and kidneys can be given by a living donor), if you or a loved one passes, consider organ donation then as well – it is a gift of life and joy that can come out of pain and sadness.
I pray that you have a wonderful and blessed life!