Samantha of Back to Me is a former vet tech, so I've been emailing a lot with her about Georgie. I was fretting to her because I felt bad that I hadn't noticed his side-breathing (which means he's having trouble breathing), and that when the vet asked how long he'd been doing it, I had NO IDEA because I HADN'T NOTICED. And even after the vet pointed it out, I still don't feel like I can see it. I'll look at him and think, "AH! Yes! I see it!"---and then I look at one of the other cats and their furry sides look the same to me.
Sam reassured me that breathing stuff is hard to see. I was relieved.
It reminds me of other things I've learned in various jobs, things that at first were impossible to see but then became obvious. One example is when I worked in a plant nursery and my co-workers were trying to tell me about plants that were "stressing"---that is, plants that needed to be watered but weren't yet WILTING or anything. At first I was just, "What?? I don't know what you are TALKING about." But after awhile, "stressiness" stood out to me like a blinking red light.
Once you learn something like that, you don't unlearn it: it's still like a blinking red light. I get a little stressed myself when I see a stressing plant in a lobby, or a whole row of stressing plants outside a grocery store. If I have a sippy cup of water in the diaper bag, I'll give them a little drinky.
Another example is when I worked at the daycare and learned to tell if a diaper was wet. It seems so obvious now, but I remember when my co-workers would say, "Well, just FEEL it. Is it wet?" and I'd be all, "Uh." Now I give it a little squeeze and I know if it's wet or dry or OMG DANGER DANGER EXPLOSION IMMINENT.
Also from the daycare I learned how to estimate a fever by putting my lips on the child's forehead. I never got as good as my coworker Steph, who could judge it within a couple of tenths of a degree, but I could tell "no fever" from "low-grade fever" from "oh dear, we are going to have to call the parent."
I used to make a lot of bread, and I got very good at telling when the dough needed more flour and/or more kneading---even though at first I was looking with frustrated bewilderment at the recipe that told me to add more flour "if needed."
And I've made batches of fudge so often, I can tell by the smell and taste of it when it's ready to pour out---even before it's lost its shine or stiffened up.
I'll bet you all have superpowers like this: things you can spot right away when the average person wouldn't know what you were talking about. Tell me! I'm interested!
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...