Tag Archives: life

Growing Pains Pt.2: the Eternal Morning

For all those who actually read my blog when I update it I’m sorry for not posting this all at once. I really can’t write it all down without being over come with emotion and mentally shutting down. I do this to grow and honor the man who stood before me so I will push beyond it and finish, thank you!!!

Continues from the previous post:

After having an amazing dinner after an amazing graduation ceremony my father and I parted ways after exchanging the words “I Love You” to each other. As every day goes by I value this memory more and more because it’s the last thing I ever heard my father say. 

My wife and I stayed up a little while longer watching movies and editing footage of the graduation then hit the sack pretty hard.

BANG BANG BANG!!!

At first I was too deep in my dream to realize it was my cousin, Doug, beating on the door.

It came again,

BANG BANG BANG!!!

My wife and I woke with a sense of urgency and rushed for the door. By the time I got there he was down the hall already. He came rushing back at my call and my heart began to race. My cousin is a man who when dealing with me has always had a cool head, even tone unless I piss him off. He is my big brother basically and always protected me. But in this moment for the first time in life I saw that he didn’t have the strength to do so. His voice cracked as he spoke to me. With each break in his voice I had to swallow back fear and anxiety.

“Uncle Roy had a seizure, so auntie called me to help get him up. He wasn’t coming out of it so we called the paramedics. GET DOWNSTAIRS ITS NOT LOOKING GOOD!” He said with fearful urgency. I turned and finish getting dressed and my wife and I followed him downstairs. 

All I remember from this point was my heart was gripped with anxiety and I knew it was early in the morning, the sun hadn’t risen yet. My family was pacing about downstairs and paramedics were in my parents room. I was ushered in to find my mom on the bed shaking with worry. My sister pacing but not going too far and saying “C’mon Daddy” to try and bring him out of the seizure state. The last thing threw me into a state of shock and/or awareness.

Everything around me began to bleed together except for the image of the paramedics trying their hardest via CPR to recesitate my father as he lay on the floor of the bathroom, lifeless. That’s such a jarring thing to see especially when your mind works the way mine does. I’ve earned my degree in biology, and been working in Veterinary medicine for over 5 years so I’ve picked up on a few things. So now in this moment I’m picking up on words such as cardiac arrest, no pulse detected, epinephrine isn’t working… and so on and so forth. It only got worse when I see my sister and mother holding on to a hope of him shaking this off. The moment I saw my dad there on the ground I locked eyes with him and forced myself to stand by his side and fight back tears. 

The first responders worked tirelessly for over 30 minutes trying their best to bring my dad back. They never stopped with their chest compressions the entire time. I never moved from that spot. My cousin Doug tried to get me to move away from the situation and I refused. My wife kept checking up on me, but I wouldn’t let her take me away. I barely blinked as I stared at them working. I stood firm as I fought back the urge to scream and cry out for him. I fought back the urge to jump in and perform chest compressions myself. I just didn’t move at all. This moment became an eternal morning, a hell in and of itself as my entire family suffered in hopes of hearing my father laugh about this later.

Hope… a funny thing really. Sometimes hope in the face of education and realization is nothing but a harmful ideal. It was for me in that moment. I knew my dad wasn’t getting up. I knew that the chest compressions would have worked by now if they were going to. I knew that they pulled some fluid out of his air way but I don’t know how much. I knew I was not going to leave him on that floor alone, and I knew my daddy was gone. Even with all that I knew, I still hoped. I hoped I was wrong. I hoped he would get up and we’d take him home. I hoped that eventually we’d build another grill together. I hoped we have more arm wrestling competitions and make more mix cds. I hoped he would one day see my first child if I was ever that lucky to have one. I hoped… I hurt… I still hurt…

The head paramedic finally after a long battle decided it was a loss. He was pissed off, spouting “I knew this wasn’t a damn seizure!” He was angry with the world at his defeat. He took off his gloves and looked at his watch then called out the time of death and I went blank to the world around me. I didn’t see anyone else but my lifeless dad on the cold bathroom floor. I wanted to go to him but he paramedics told me I wasn’t allowed to touch him until the coroner came. Simultaneously it was announced to my mother and sister that he was gone from this world and I became aware of my mom on the bed when she cried out. My mother and sister are strong people, the strongest of women, so I rarely see them cry. But seeing their tears that day felt like someone running my heart through over and over again as I choke on my blood. I couldn’t do anything for them, I wanted nothing more than to comfort them. But I couldn’t move. I wouldn’t move from my dad’s side. I wasn’t allowed to touch him. It I was going to be near him.

After waiting another eternity for the coroner to get there he performed his exam of my dad and gave us his cause of death in his opinion. It was a heart attack he deduced until further investigation. After he was done I finally spoke again, asking him, damn near weakly begging him to be able to take my dad’s watch off of him. My dad always wore this watch, it was Many, MANY years old. I needed to take it and keep it. To me it was like keeping him with me. Another piece of my hero that I could preserve. A watch I wanted protected more than life itself. After transportation came they readied him for transport and rolled him out on a stretcher. One of the hardest things I’d ever watched was to see them carry him down that hall and through the doors. Watching my sister cry as she was held by my brother-in-law is another pain in my heart I’ll never forget.

At this point none of us are really talking, and I’m sure my family really thought I was a heartless asshole at this moment because I didn’t cry. In fact I wouldn’t cry, I blatantly refused to cry because I felt I needed to be strong for my mother and sister. I willed my self into a perfectly stoic wall and tried to be there for everyone. So, I’m sorry to my family who reads this for that moment if you thought I was heartless, I was just trying to be strong. The key word is trying. My wife, my rock, could see that I didn’t need to try right now and got me back to our room once things were somewhat settled.

She tried to comfort me, talk to me and get me to talk back. She knows I will bottle things up until it sickens me. So I got to talking about my last conversation with my dad and that stoic wall broke. I just remember feeling immensely weak, like my soul would leave my flesh if it wasn’t for my wife holding me as I crumbled to pieces. Tears left my eyes with such ferocity as if offended that I held them back. I cried, I yelled, I felt utterly helpless and like an abandoned child. I just didn’t know how to process this event, this loss. My wife just held me, crying as hard as I was. My dad was a dad to her too, they bonded immediately and this crushed her, but because of me she held it all back because she wanted to be strong for me. I love her more than I can ever quantify for the admirable strength she has. I don’t remember much more from this moment on, I’m sure I cried myself to sleep in my wife’s arms. But there was no rest to be had…
To be continued 

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Growing Pains pt. 1

 

It’s been a while since I wrote anything. It’s been hard to pick up a pen and create when such a huge part of my life was was destroyed…. Destroyed is such a strong word, but its fitting with how I feel on the inside. If you are close to me, work with me, or simply know me you know that on May 7th, 2017 my family and I lost my father, LeRoy Hemingway. That weekend was one that took me on an ultimate High, and then an ultimate low. I had the honor of watching my nephew graduate and get his second post high school degree. That kid fills me with pride.

After taking him out for his graduation dinner I had the honor of taking my mom and dad back to the hotel in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Once we got mom settled in, my dad wanted me to take him to the local gas station so he could pick up his “winning” lottery ticket and a few snacks for him and my mom just in case they needed it throughout the night. Without hesitation my dad and I jumped into the car and turned up the music. We critique the modern music and appreciate the melodies of the past as we travel less than half a mile to the nearest gas station.

My father has a routine when it comes to out of town gas stations,  he usually looks st the hats that they are selling, if they are selling them. Anyone who knows him knew that he wore a cap all day everyday when he could. He would get his snacks, plain chips, Pepsi, and a bag of salted peanuts to put in the Pepsi. Lastly, he would play his numbers and get a lottery ticket or two. Playing the state lottery seemed to fill him with excitement. My dad didn’t miss an opportunity to possibly win millions of dollars. Sadly, he never did but he did more often than not get his ticket money back. It was all in good fun and a hobby of his through the years. At this point in life with me leaving the nest and moving to another state it was a nostalgia trip whenever I got the chance to do it. Something I’m going to miss more than anyone will ever know. 

When we got back to the hotel I walked him to his room and told my mom and dad goodnight and that I would see them in the morning. They said the same, and I gave my mom a hug, and kiss telling her that I loved her. Dad walked me to the door and I told him that I loved him, and he said “I love you too.” Before closing the door. These two gestures are forever burned into my eyes and memory.

I’m lucky enough to have this, and I’m grateful, but the gesture of closing the door still hurts, I’ll explain why. The words “I love you too” are the last words I ever heard my dad say. That was our final day and conversation. I’m blessed with that, that’s more than others for a chance for. Closing the door took on the meaning of closing the chapter on our journey together. I was shut out, and he was taken from me. I know I have a writers mind and I create scenarios, but this wasn’t fictional. This was what it actually felt like hours later after I replayed the memory in my head. This is what it felt like after the coroner left us there a wounded family not knowing what to do…

To be continued next post.

Trying to deal…


Sometimes when I close my eyes, I see
Amid the darkness I’m reminded

The images won’t let me be

I’ve yet to find the strength to bind it

Some days I’m stuck in an infinite loop

Being reminded of my helplessness 

It’s depressing enough to make me join a group/

But would that help my mental fitness?

I just stood there that day.

Internally screaming 

I fought hard to keep tears at bay 

Internally reaching

How do I completely move ahead

Part of me is still there

Part of me is dead

Now I’m emotionally volatile, is that fair?

In this Land

I live in a land that boasts its Christian values Values it didn’t create, but did twist to its own whim and will

This is a place that hosts a multitude of races

Yet it’s natives are the minority’s with ever smaller growing territory,

I’m sorry family,

This land is filled with the descendants of immigrants

But it’s current leaders wish to expunge them like their parasites/

In this land those with melanin have less rights than a fetus conceived through rape/

It’s become harder to feed our kids than it is to Vape/

Our land is the land of the free

Unless you’re talking of speech, expression or religion/

Oh this land is so unique 

This is the place where email location is more important than experience doing a job/

Our flag proudly waves Red, White, (Black) and Blue/

Especially if you let our cops use a baton or two/

This is the land for you and me!

Wait that’s only if you don’t want skittles and tea/

But you should serious come to this land

Where even today there are systems I. Place to make you feel more beast than man/

All of us no matter the color suffer the same fates/

We’re citizens of these Great United States.
-Poetic Ice

Dusting off…

It’s been a while since I picked up a penA long time since I used ink to sin

It’s time I stood up and fought

With the ultimate power, thought 

Or should I saw the power of knowledge 

Knowledge isn’t solely obtained in a college/

Sometimes a higher IQ belongs to a dealer in the street/

We’ve reached a time where the minds need to meet/

The scholar and the thug must join

A political tyrant threatens our education health and coin/

We need unity against the mental illness of racism/

Heroes to stand against fascism 

Warriors to defeat political bigotry

So our country can reclaim its dignity

It’s time to fight together against what they have in store/

For the betterment of our humanity, we go to war!
But only as a unified force will we succeed in bettering our land. Then and ONLY then will it be Great again.
Poetic Ice

Things Vet Techs Don’t Like: Volume 18

Wow, volume 18 huh? we’ve come a long way from a bored Technician ranting two years ago haven’t we? Maybe I should stop, I have matured a lot and grown into a stronger, more patient man and I’m sure you’ve all grown with me…. Grown to the point of confusion and rage at times by the things we encounter… Yeah, no change on that front so the volumes must continue! Let’s get into it shall we, I welcome you to The Boarding Edition

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The Barker

Okay so let’s begin this journey with the most common boarder you will ever encounter in this field. The Barker. This is the dog that is in the kennel whom is a master of sheer destruction via sound waves. Once they enter your facility this beast will never stop barking. Whether it’s high pitched yips or low baritone Woofs, this dog will bark for the duration of its stay at your kennel. This poor beast doesn’t even stop barking to sleep. So since this beast won’t sleep you assume it will stop barking to eat. You are wrong, you naïve fool, so wrong! No meal or treat will stop this dog from singing you the song of its people. After about 8 hours of this The Barker goes through a transformation that takes their bark to the next level. It now barks with enough passion, power, and volume to summon Christ himself. Bless your eardrums.

The Fearful One

This poor unfortunate soul has the title The Fearful One. Nothing makes your job in veterinary medicine more aggravating and dangerous than a fearful. A fearful pet is more likely to get extremely desperate and attack to garner its freedom from you. In the case of boarding, fearful dogs and cats cower into the corners of their cages. I’m talking about an impossibly small ball in the impossibly cramped corner of the cage. All in hopes that it was an accident that you opened their kennel. Once the realization sets in that you meant to do this they activate their next line of defense, excrement. Submissive urination, defecation and emesis from being overly worked up is all a possibility with an extremely fearful dog. Once you breach their second line of defense and clean up the mess their third and final option becomes clear in their mind. It’s a two-parter as well. First these dogs have mastered fear biting and will use it at will if provoked enough, second once they have bit or snapped at you they will escape by any means necessary. Remember this dog isn’t biting you to kill you, it’s doing so to make an opening for escape. These pets aren’t truly aggressive just terrified of you.

The Junkie

This class of boarder is known as The Junkie, or at least by the time you are done with your shift you feel that way about them. This pet is usually at or over geriatric age and has been given a diagnosis that will result in death were it not for the miracle of modern medicine. When you work for a facility that offers medical boarding you are a godsend to those owners who don’t trust a pet sitter to give medications, so take pride in what you do. But, that doesn’t mean we aren’t aggravated by the fact that your P has 7-8 different medications all given at varying dosing times, which are staggered throughout the day and not given together in any way shape or form! My god why can’t they all be given together (If possible lol)? Now every thirty minutes we’re medicating your dog. We don’t mind, but if your pet doesn’t want the pill, we have to use a pill pocket. If they don’t want that we try to hide it in wet dog food. If that fails we enter into a UFC brawl with the pet, putting them in some form of headlock that allows us to pry open their overly powerful jaws to shove a pill down their throat. This method results in one of two options: The dog bites you either by accident or on purpose because we are essentially gagging them for a moment. The second option is that pet NO LONGER trusts us and feels betrayed by our actions making each dosing after that harder. That look of disappointment and disdain afterwards just makes you feel sooo bad, but you remember that he has 72 more pills to take and you don’t feel so bad anymore.

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The Apex Predator

Okay in the mind of an overly creative imaginative vet tech such as myself this is the scenario that plays in my head when it comes to The Apex Predator: The owner of this dog stops at the door and kneels down to whisper into their ear and casts a spell of true malice and malevolence while “Eye of The Tiger” plays softly in the background. As the spell is casts the ancient spirits of prehistoric wolves, velociraptors, and your elementary school bully now possess this dog making him the most demonic thing you will ever encounter in your working life. The Apex Predator enters your facility in pure rebellion of your kennel. It matters not who they see, they will bite/claw/maim all that are unfortunate enough to pass them. They exhibit multiple forms of aggression. Cage aggression, kennel aggression, dog aggression, male aggression, there was a breeze aggression, I hear a voice aggression, you have a mother and father aggression, all of them. It’s safe to say that this pet was a T-rex in its past life. When the owner comes to pick up the spell is broken and they become extremely cuddly towards you and everyone around you. This cast the illusion that he was like this for his entire stay. This then prompts the owner to schedule another visit with your facility, YAY!!! But, they only try to do it when you work, NOOOOOOO!!!!

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The Cat

This is plain and simple. The Cat isn’t a complicated boarder, but it can be the most exhausting of the lot. Cats are either sweet cuddly balls of fur that you love to rub on and give attention while they stay with you. Or they are dark malicious phantasms born of fire, brimstone, hate and dragon’s piss! Sent fourth from the bowels of hell to render your mind, body, and soul null and void as it reigns down its unholy terror upon you. All just to feast on what remains of your dried up husk of a vet tech simply because it was mad at the fact that it was brought to your kennel. Yup, simple indeed. A purr angel, or Lucifer’s left nut, that’s what you get with cats.

But that’s just my two cent on the matter. Remember these are just the over simplifications and exaggerations of what we do at the job for satirical purposes. Not a direct reflection of any facility. Except the cat part… that’s just life.

-Poetic Ice

 

Night Shift

I belong to a unique sect

A set of warriors who excel at night

Your dinner gives way to nighttime ramblings/

Its our peak time for live or death gambling/

Night workers, black sheep that can’t be herd/

Taking the blame for inaction without saying a word/

Truly are the heroes unsung

The martyrs for which blames noose is hung/

Yet we still push on with all our might/

Because we honestly do love the night/
-poetic Ice

Be proud to be a night shift worker. All employees are of value and deserve appreciation whether they work day or night. On that same token mistakes are made equally whether they are nocturnal or diurnal, take ownership of them and learn from them. Be proud of yourself and your shift!