Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Can I have that? Pleeeeezeeee?"

I realized something just a few minutes ago.  One of the classic "get down to the client's level" things I do is narrate my patient's "thoughts".  When I'm about to do something invasive to a patient and I can see the owner tense up and get nervous, I start cracking jokes about what the dog/cat/hampster/chicken/whatever is probably thinking (besides "HOLY S***!!").  Today, I narrated my own dogs' thoughts for my husband.

It's starting to go too far.

The unfortunate thing I have also realized, however, is that it's too late to stop it.  My bedside manner has matured over this past year of practice, and there is no hope for me anymore.  I baby-talk the puppies, I sympathize with my sick patients and I praise dogs and cats for being brave during routine appointments.  It's like I'm a pediatrician. 

I've been practicing all these techniques since I've been back at work this week, and so far, the only thing keeping my "animal baby talk" in check, is that it's been pretty busy.  I can't seem to understand why business is so much brisker in the summertime, but it is.  "What's the big deal about being busy in the summertime?" you might be asking yourself.   Well, I tell you.  When I get home from a long day at work on these long, hot days, instead of cracking open a bottle of red wine, I turn to my husband for the supreme relax-at-the-end-of-a-long-day-fix...

Get ready for this, ladies and gentlemen...

Yes that's right.  I married the ice cream man.  In our possession, at this very moment, are forty-one half gallons of Homeland Creamery ice cream.


Obviously, the chocolate reeses cup ice cream is my favorite. 

And obviously, I will weigh about a thousand pounds by the end of the summer.

I'm trying to quit.  I really am.  I'm trying to pretend it's not even down in that huuuuuge freezer in our basement...but I have a confession...yesterday, while my dear, sweet ARay was taking a nap on the couch, I started to sneak downstairs to get some of that dairy goodness...and I got caught red-handed.  I immediately felt like a three year old with chocolate (ice cream) all over her face.

I have not had any ice cream today.  The shame is an excellent diet plan.

Fred and Norman live at our house now, outside, under the shady trees.  They call out for their mama and he comes arunnin'.  It is just the sweetest thing.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion"

Happy one year anniversary to my most favorite husband!  I love you and am proud to be your wife.

Only the most romantic supper ever - Bojangles should always be enjoyed by candlelight. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Loss is an interesting concept.  It can trigger all kinds of emotions, reactions and painful states of being.  Loss is an interesting word as well; sometimes it seems like a more profound or even more poignant way of describing something that is awful.

As in, we lost the baby.

See, we say lost...but he or she is still here, still with me, and in both of our hearts.  As much time as it took me to convince myself I was pregnant, I can only imagine how much time it's going to take me to convince myself that I'm not anymore.  Loss is sharp, cutting, hard and then continues on as a dull ache that has its core down deep - deep in those places where so much life used to be.

With all that said, I thank our Almighty Father that he created a flip side to loss.  He came to earth to remind us that there is, above all else, hope

Imagine that.  We can still be hopeful, even now, even during the pain of loss.

And we are.

We covet all your prayers.  Thank you for being here with us as we go through this hard time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vacation day...

In light of the fact that my fellow associate, Jessica, took her vacation last week....I took a vacation day today.

I know.  It's a shocker to me too.

It was simply wonderful; just fantastic in all its sunburn glory.  I am eternally grateful to my in-laws for making it possible.

We had fun.  I took long naps. 
Thank you, Jesus, for weekends.  Amen.

Friday, June 17, 2011

6:45 am

(approximately 45 minutes before my alarm is set to go off) phone call:

Michelle (groggily):  This is Dr. Tompkins, hello?

Woman on the phone:  Yes, hi.  I have a question.

Michelle (waking up a little more):  Yes ma'am, is this an emergency?

Woman on the phone:  Well, not exactly...well, I'm not sure.  You see, my Granny has a little dachshund that was neutered last week, and I was rubbing his belly and noticed a strange lump.

Michelle (almost fully awake and starting to get annoyed):  Ok.  Where exactly is the lump?

Woman on the phone:  Um, it's a little difficult to say.

Michelle (annoyed):  Can you try?  It will help me to know more about what's going on if you can describe it to me.

Woman on the phone:  Ahem, well, the place I'm speaking of is...(pause)...near his man-parts.  Between the long man part and the ones that used to be there before he was neutered.

Michelle (flabbergasted):  Were you rubbing that part of his belly?

Woman on the phone:  Yes!  And this little hard lump came up.  It's gone now.

Michelle (holding back laughter):  Allllrighty.  Well...I think what you're noticing is a normal part of his male anatomy.  He may be more comfortable if you don't rub that particular part of his belly.

Woman on the phone:  I guess, well, I thought...that since he's neutered now, I could rub his belly without him getting excited.  I think maybe I'll just pet him on his back from now on.

Michelle:  Yes ma'am, and in the future, these kinds of questions can probably wait until regular business hours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer nights...

It's positively gorgeous here in the mountains these days.  These summer nights remind me of growing up in New England; mid 70's, no mosquitoes, birds calling, frogs humming...oh's that good.

This evening, George, Bella and I were reading through some magazines on the front porch while Aaron Ray was out moving some calves from one place to another (cattle farmers do that a lot.  It seems to require an enormous amount of effort, and I'm glad I was off the hook for this evening).  We were perusing through one of my favorites tonight when I came upon something interesting.

In my half-comprehending, extremely-relaxed state, I saw this ad for Avant wine and my immediate thought was this:

Yes, I realize that the names are not the same, but they are very close, you've gotta give me that.  All at once it dawned on me.

The baby-brain-takeover has begun.

It's insane, exciting, sobering and more insane again...all at once.  Like, "lions and tigers and bears, oh my!," except, "diapers and bottles and baby talk, oh my!" insane.

Oh my.

Thank God it takes nine months to grow this little munchkin.  I think it's going to take me that long to get used to the idea.  For so long, my career was my baby, but I guess the good Lord (and Aaron Ray Tompkins) had other plans, and I'm glad.

At any rate, I continued to happily read my magazine, and wait on my dear husband to come home, when I heard a truck coming down the driveway.  I was all primed and ready to meet him at the stairs, when I saw, horror of all horrors, Aaron Ray's dad's truck pull up.  Now, I just so happened to have just come out of the shower, was wearing my most comfortable old t-shirt and my most comfortable pair of Hanes underwear.

Yes, friends, I sit out on my front porch, hardly clothed at all, a lot of the time...and almost every time I'm surprised by some member of Aaron Ray's extended family.

That got me to thinking too.  We learn about the "fight or flight" response in science class at school and always think of some small animal being chased by a ferocious predator.  Friends, the fight or flight response is alive and well in every day living.  After tonight, I can testify to it.  My wonderful digestive system knew just what to do - all that blood for digesting my lovely supper was diverted out to my jump up and run muscles...and jump up and run I did, only to find that it was Aaron Ray driving his daddy's truck.  Now, my intestines are extremely unhappy with their lack of energy supply and, with the baby complicating matters, I think I've reached my quota for unpleasant stomach issues for the day.

And with that, you've reached your quota for unpleasant mental images for the day.  I hope you've enjoyed your review of physiology this evening, have a good night!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

City Girl + Country Boy = Country Baby?

Ohhh, Lordy.  Bless your heart.  Guess what?

That's right.  We're gonna have ourselfs a young 'un. 

I figure I'd better get crackin' on the country folk manner 'o speakin', seein' as our sweet child is going to have to fit in 'round here and not so much in those high falutin' places I found myself most of the time whlist I was comin' up.

I suwannee.  There ain't no tellin' how this is all goinna work itself out.

But I do know this.  There's gonna be a little blessin' of a baby in this here house come January.  Glory be.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Last week...

Yesterday morning, I woke up to mass destruction at my house.

If the war department knew about the two covert weapons I have here in my possession over which I have absolutely no control, they'd put me in the clink for sure.  I mean, it should be illegal to have animals that destroy for no reason whatsoever.  I love Bella and George, but when I spend all Memorial Day planting and mulching and pulling weeds only to find dug up mulch, pulled-up plants and destroyed planters, my eyes turn red and steam comes out of my ears a la Saturday morning cartoons.

Just follow the trail of miracle-gro potting mix and you'll find half of the other window basket, a dilapidated basil plant along with various and sundry now-dead annuals I thought would look pretty with the herbs.

No more 'maters from these scraggly looking things.

This little feller had some really pretty marigolds gracing its lovely Holstein form.  Where the marigolds are now, I have no clue, and, her springy adorable little face is now sadly distorted and reminds me of that mean kid's toys in Toy Story.  I can't look at her anymore.  It hurts me.

So, I re-mulched, re-purchased, re-potted and generally gave myself good reason to hydrate like it was my job.   Then...I put out the portable Invisible Fence thingamajigy, and now...peace reigns.  Here's hoping I won't wake up to more mornings where my optimism and faith in the greater good are disappointed.

This past week at work, (thankfully) there weren't many disastrous highlights that I can remember.  I felt only slightly maternal while I stayed up until 2 am (and read The Secret Garden - how had I never read that sweet book?!?!) with this little mother as I hopped her up on oxytocin and helped each little beagle munchkin be born (mainly so I could avoid having to do a c-section...yes ladies, if I were your ob/gyn, you would curse me behind my back while I made you labor for hours and hours).  It was very fulfilling to watch them all nurse with glee the next morning:

6 boys and 1 girl.  Imagine that.
Here's hoping I won't be up that late tonight and that I have a peaceful evening after a very busy summer day in the office.  Tomorrow may start out pretty interestingly, sophisticated people who work in an office that has nothing to do with animals probably have day planners and iPads or PDAs or whatever the fancy new thing is to remember your morning appointments...I have notecards stuck to my steering wheel:

Yes, I was driving.  Yes, I realize it was not safe to take that picture.  Oh well, what's done is done.
I'll let you know how it turns out.