The other day one of my grandmothers jokingly said that she would always be a phone call away in case I needed to ask any medical questions of her. I am so thankful for the multitude of life lessons I have learned from my grandmothers. Although I cannot recall any specific nugget of wisdom from them that would help me prepare for clinics or questions on the NAVLE, I would like to share some of what these special women in my life taught me that may be indirectly applicable to veterinary medicine.
Grammie worked in longevity therapy, helping the elderly for many years. In doing so, she helped instill within me the concept of disease at a young age. She led me to a very simple, yet profound linguistic realization: Words mean things! Disease can be broken down into dis-ease, the opposite of ease. Surely, this simple word deconstruction does not teach me the complexities of any disorder; vet schools exist to achieve that end. But it does serve as a reminder that whenever I am confronted with words like cardiomyopathy, I can break them down into its Latin or Greek roots so that I can better remember the pathology and explain it to others.
Baba (short for “babushka”) is one of the hardest workers I know. She has her routine and sticks to it, truly leading by example. Oftentimes I feel burnt out from studying or sitting in the lecture hall upwards of eight hours a day. Even though Baba need not go to her work as much as she does, she never puts up a fuss. I have never heard her complain about anything, except about me not eating enough of her famous salat olivye. In all seriousness, her constant resolve is something I strive to emulate as a vet, no matter how many clients I may end up seeing in a day.