I was devoted to animals growing up, but I also have always had a fascination with medicine. I spent weekends during my senior year of high school either working as a hospital volunteer or shadowing an emergency room doctor, and even got the chance to sneak around and follow a neurosurgeon, much to my delight. I loved spending time in hospitals and especially ER’s. Everything was moving and random and yet so organized. I can close my eyes and smell the cleanliness and hear the beeping machines. Even now, so far removed my medical past, it gives me a sense of calm and I can honestly say I miss the nights spent in scrubs.
I enjoyed getting to interact with the patients and working with the amazing doctors who would answer any of my questions. They taught me about staying sterile, drawing blood, reading an EKG, and how far away to stand from a drunken drug addict dragged in by the police at 3 a.m. because if they threatened to pee on you, chances are, they weren’t kidding.
I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life in a hospital living in scrubs, saving peoples lives, and maybe living on a farm having some animals for my own enjoyment.
Then I got to college.
I got to SMU and I started taking chemistry and my dyslexia finally caught up with me. It was a terrible realization. The combination of the numbers and letters, the pluses, minuses, subscript and superscript were to much for me. I saw that I was failing, even with tutors I was unable to keep up. So I dropped chemistry the day before the first exam, and so my dreams of being a doctor fell out the window.
I was devastated. I had worked my whole life for this, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was struggling to the point of torturing myself. In college I stopped working in hospitals and traded my scrubs for waterproof boots as I found my home at a big cat sanctuary.