Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My math skills (or lack thereof)

My guinea pig has been sick.  He's nearly well now, but while taking antibiotics, certain things happen to animals, too, when they are on antibiotics.

Well, my little guy had taken a full course of the meds to counteract the situation, and I needed to call the vet today to see if he would call in a prescription to Walmart because my little guy still needed some meds, and the vet's office is about 3 hours away on a good day.  I've had a vet phone in a prescription to a human pharmacy before, and in a situation where the vet is so far away, it's a huge convenience.  (I'm sure people are wondering why the vet is so far away, but very few vets are really qualified to deal with guinea pigs.  My vet is an exotics who is wonderful!)

Let me back up a moment.  In college I was diagnosed with a learning disability in math and foreign languages.  This surprises many people because I attempted to learn Hebrew on my own and that I am as good with stretching a dollar as I am.  It used to take me the longest time to figure out what 35¢ coupon tripled would be.  I usally work left to right in a math problem instead of right to left.  (For instance, I would multiple 30 by 3, then 5 by three, then add them together.)  I'm sure you can see where difficulty can come in when I am faced with a more complicated math problem.

Usually I am good in metric.  Living overseas one summer helped with that greatly.  My vet does everything in metric.  Today he asked me how many grams my little guy weighed.  Now kilos I can do.  He's about .85 kilos.  But ask me to think fast on my feet to do the conversion from pounds to kilos and then move the kilos to grams.  Oy vey!

Well, then I didn't realize I did this until after I got off the phone with him.  Dealing with CCs is new to me.  Add in most of the meds are being dosed in fractions of CCs.  I told the vet I gave my guinea pig 48 CCs of an over the counter med.  OH MY!  I should have said 2.8 CCs.  (Well, I was only about 45 CCs off!)

I'm really, really embarassed.  I bet my vet thinks it's a wonder I haven't killed my precious pet with dosing like that.

Next thing on my to do list:  get better at math when it involves CCs.


  1. Don't feel bad, Jenn. I am math-challenged as well with a degree but can't do more than 4th grade math. What a struggle when I was subbing and had to "teach" math. Talk about stress. Susan C.

  2. Funny! I could use your math skills dealing with the metric system and celcius in Russia!