Here comes a random vent, so get ready:
Sometimes it sucks to be an adult. Did I miss the memo as a kid? The one where they tell you that life only gets more complicated with time and you better live up your glory days on the playground? I remember when life was so easy and at the time I thought it was SO HARD.
Remember high school? Yeah, I do. I was constantly stressed over stupid teenage relationships with dumb boys, I was stressed about grades, stressed about basketball and volleyball, about which college I'd attend.
In college there was that struggle with my identity away from my parents, discovering the real me, making new friends, deciding on a career, etc. Boy, that was a total walk in the park compared to this 'adult stuff.' I'm sure when I'm 40, I'll look back on my mid-twenties and say, "I really had it good, what was I complaining about?" But I'm not there yet, so bear with me.
I'm not saying my life is particularly hard and nothing really monumental has happened. In fact I am fully aware that I have been incredibly blessed in life and I'm grateful for everything I have. But this post is about those crappy parts of being an adult, the awkward transitions from a kid to a grown up. I hope you can empathize.
I was off work today because I worked on Sunday. What would normally be a very free and liberating day off became filled with two appointments that threw this adulthood thing into my face.
First, I had to go to the dentist to have two 'very small' cavities filled. Besides the fact that jamming ginormous needles into my jaw sucks in itself, the whole time I was thinking, " I wonder what my dental insurance will cover today? How ridiculous will this bill be when it arrives at my doorstep? I can't wait." Back in the day, I never had to worry about dental or medical bills....my parents did all of that for me. Again, it sometimes sucks to be an adult.
Don't even get me started on how awful it is to rollover previous employers' retirement accounts into my current 403b. I can't even talk about the burden of choosing which medical insurance option will be best for the upcoming year. Organizing our various life insurance policies and deciding how much my spouse would get if I died, doing taxes, monitoring bank accounts, and paying tuition all qualify as 'sucky adult responsibilities.'
Then, Henry had his annual check up at the vet. No big deal, right? Wrong. Stressful and headache-inducing.
You see, when you completely overhaul your life and bust free of your comfort zone with a move to a different state, you force yourself to find new trusted businesses. A new general doctor, a new OB-GYN, a new dentist, a new hairdresser, a new vet, a new place for fabulous pedicures [still haven't found that one!]....the list goes on.
We found our current vet simply because it was the closest to our home and seemed to be popular online. We've gone a total of three times now and every time we walk out feeling a little slighted. Perhaps it was because our St. Louis vet was insanely awesome and we loved her with all our hearts--but this Wisconsin one is quite dissatisfying to us. And by 'us' I mostly mean Nate, because he is more worked up than his neurotic wife--which is saying a lot, no?
At his 6 month check up as a puppy, our fabulous St. Louis vet told us that Henry had a very slight heart murmur. She said it was nothing to fret over and it was barely detectable...but it was just something to watch over time. Okay, fine--our baby isn't perfect. We can live with that.
Then last year, this new WI vet agreed that the heart murmur was very slight but he 'recommended' we consider a full cardiac work up just to be sure that this murmur did not equate heart disease. We asked a few questions and decided that since Henry was not showing any symptoms of heart disease [ie exercise intolerance, coughing, fatigue, etc] we would pass on the expensive work up. After all, he was only two years old.
So today, another vet at the same clinic saw Henry. She said that now his heart murmur has progressed from a Stage I to a Stage III out of a possible VI stages. [insert my own heart stopping here]. She suggested that we consider the full cardiac workup to rule out heart disease. If this murmur is due to disease he would need medications to prevent it's progression. If it's just a valvular disorder there isn't much they can do, and it's really not as serious.
Great, wonderful, right? Wanna know how much this proposed work up will cost? $530. Gulp.
My instant reaction was, "If my baby needs these tests then I'll plunk down my hard-earned money right this second." But Nate saw it all differently: he felt like the vet was trying to scare us while preying on our obvious love for Henry. He doesn't deny the need for investigating the murmur but he thinks this particular vet is vastly overpriced [after googling and asking around about other vet prices] and he's not pleased about her explanation of the tests.
I guess when he inquired about these tests she didn't really give a straight answer....I'm not sure because all I heard were sirens going off in my brain, "Something might be wrong with Henry, he's not going to live forever, and someday you will have to deal with his death." Those sirens drowned out any babbling by the vet. And they made me feel completely nauseated while stimulating my tear ducts. I know, it's dramatic but I'm a little emotional today, okay? I'm sure it has something to do with the residual Novocaine coarsing through my veins. :)
This vet also suggested we get Henry's teeth cleaned because his back molars are a bit plaque-y. Apparently this procedure involves general anesthesia and another $340....gulp, again. My brain completely shut down at this point because spending 1k on anything makes me hyperventilate. But again, if it's something my furbaby needs then I'm all for it. I'm just not sure we are getting the best care or the best price with this particular vet--and Nate is convinced we aren't at the right place. We both agree that if Henry needs these procedures we'll do it but right now we need to do a little more research and possibly get a second opinion. In the mean time I'll be snuggling extra-tight with this loverboy:
I have no doubt that we'll figure this whole thing out and we will do what is best for our boy. But it's just one of those big decisions that adults have to make; one of those unexpected expenses that creep up on us all and deserve significant attention, even if we'd like to push it away. And of course, it hit me like a ton of bricks today: "You think a dog is expensive, just wait until you have kids."
I realize that an aging pup incurs some unplanned costs and I signed up for this one when I got Henry---I do not regret it for a second. I'd gladly spend every cent of our savings on the little guy. But if a yearly vet visit can throw us for this loop I can only imagine what a Pediatrician visit will do someday. I shudder at the thought of THOSE emotions. I'm just not ready. It makes me reach for one of these bad boys:
After all the vet drama, Nate grabbed his stethoscope and promptly examined Henry's ticker. As if he really learned about doggy heartbeats in PT school....please! But then again, I wanted to inspect this so-called murmur myself. So sue us--we are controlling medical people. We can't help it.
So yeah, that's what I'm feeling right now: contempt for adulthood and all the tough choices it brings. Anyone else understand my thoughts on this one?
On a completely unrelated note, the world might be coming to an end.
Something freaky happened in Milwaukee today. No, my dream of 60 degree temperatures did not come true much to my dismay. Instead, we experienced 'Lake Effect Snow' which in laymens terms means "Totally crazy and mind boggling snowfall in some parts of the city but not others."
Right next to Lake Michigan and especially south of the city, they got hit with 18 inches of snow within a 24 hour period of time. Big whoop, right? The really freaky part is that any area of the city that is NOT right next to the lake got nothing. We live less than 10 miles from the Lake and it was sunny and barely boasted a few flakes today. It was like a whole different planet, a different climate, and a different atmosphere just a few short miles away from us. Does anyone else find that really messed up besides me?
They were showing videos of people shoveling out of snow over a foot deep while I stared out my window in disbelief. Is that really just an 8 minute drive from my house? How can this be?
My only rationalization is that Lake Michigan pretends to be the ocean sometimes. It thinks pretty highly of itself....creating it's own little snowstorm and calling it 'Lake Effect Snow', just to boost it's ego. I've heard rumors that the Lake makes it's beaches warmer in the winter and colder in the summer but I never really believed in the power of the Great Lake.
Part of me is SO glad we moved a bit west from our old Lakefront apartment, because 18 inches of snow would definitely do me in right now.
Instead, I'll let vet bills, dental bills, and reality do me in while I drink my beer.
Vent over. You may now resume your internet browsing.