Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 91- A Quarter There!

    I can't believe I have been in clinics for three months now! It still amazes me how time flys. Although I have always dreamed about what the future holds for me, it has never been so close. It is finally starting to seem real that I may very soon live out my childhood dream and actually graduate from vet school...knock on wood...knock on ALOT of wood.
    Today the feedlot veterinarian I have been riding with had some meetings so he sent me off to the mixed animal practice in town to spend the day with them. I showed up at eight and met the lady I would be working with and as she greeted me with a giant dip in her lip I knew we would get along great, and that we did. She was an inspiration to me as I learned she has managed to buy the local practice, work 12 hour days and raise two girls, ages 7 and 9. WOW!!!!!!!!!!! This is one determined women and I was inspired by how much she is devoted to her work and family equally.
     We started off the morning by ultra sounding a pregnant mare and seeing another horse with an eye problem. We then headed inside to the small animal surgery room where she quickly did a spay and a dental on two dogs. Then we spent the afternoon at the local sale barn aging and preg checking beef cows that will sale tomorrow. All in all, a great day.
      I have been lazy over the past couple weeks about up loading pictures for ya'll so wanted to share some today.......

Wild Sunflowers and Horses in the Sunrise......Gods word was never so loud as it was when I took this.....
Breakfast....Come and get it.....

                                                   Sunrise in Kansas with Grain Elevators

                                                     Prairie Dogs....Look Closely

                                                     Heading out.....Pen of cattle moving out!

                                                Cows as far as the eye could see.....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 89- Holy Cow

    This week has been insanely busy. It is 7pm now and we left the house this morning at 5:30am, this 13 hour day was a breeze compared to Monday and Tuesday which where both just over 16 hours. We started the week in Nebraska and the feedlot was over 500 miles away so we had to make it an over night trip, in which this sign was in my hotel room! Too funny...

     Today we went to 3 feedlots in Kansas in which I did 4 field necropsy's. Due to the high volume of cattle you will unfortunately have some that die during the feed out process. One of the lots we visited today fed 30,000 head of cattle at a time, so inevitably some will die and feedlot owners want to know why. Well I got this profound honor today. I know it sounds like loads of fun but luckily for me today it was 108 degrees and my specimens had gotten pretty ripe in the Midwestern sun. I literally can not get the stink off of me!
     As ya'll know this last year is a learning process and as new vets we will make mistakes and embarrass ourselves. So I would like to share a couple of this weeks...well...FAILS....
     The doc motioned for me to follow him back to a small office just outside the cow pens to print some reports for the cattle we were about to process. As you can guess the break rooms and offices adjoining cow pens are not very clean, and stink of cowpokes who don't wash under their finger nails. As I turned the corner to review the data with doc I got a big surprise, actually two of them....two big ole boobies on a calender on the wall. As I quickly narrowed my sites in on the computer and tried to be as professional as possible, i.e. pretend I didn't see the boobies, there they were...about 6 inches from my head, eye level and starring me right in the face...more boobies. I prayed that the data would be short and sweet but of course it wasn't. I had to choke down my laughter for at least 30 minutes while the boobies starred at me!
     On Monday I was introduced to the secretary at a feed yard and to be polite I attempted to make small talk,,,
     Her: So hun where are you from?
     Me: Florida! But I am really enjoying Nebraska it is so beautiful here!
     Her: That is great hun be you are in Kansas!
   Today, as I attempted my first so;o necropsy I was trying to look like I knew what I was doing. I could tell the cow was pretty rotten and expanded with air or bloated, but I knew my anatomy and knew how to stay away from the danger I thought! As I made my first cut into the skin the cow exploded....literally exploded, I jumped back, tripped over her legs and hung my head knowing the someone was watching! I was deathly afraid to lick my lips all day...they are now very chapped!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 85 Buffalo Bill

    Well I survived my first week as an extern with the feedlot vet. This week we traveled to Colorado and Nebraska as well as Kansas. The days are long and there is alot, and I mean alot of driving. Most feedyards he services are between a 2 to 3 hours drive from the house. This means early rising, I get up every morning at 4:15 am and we pull out by 5:30am. During the day we ride through the feedyards and look over each pen of cows, the yards we service hold about 12,000 head of cows on feed. Then we head home and usually get back around 6pm.
    One of the things I am enjoying the most is learning the history of the wild west. As you enter the town of Oakley, Ks there is a large statue of Buffalo Bill shooting a buffalo. I asked about the history behind the statue yesterday. When the west was being populated by settlers there were two men going by the name buffalo bill and neither was happy about the other. So they decided to have a duel, whoever could shoot the most wild buffalo in one day would win the name Buffalo Bill. One cowboy decided to round up the wild buffalo and ride along the outside shooting them, the other ran them down one by one, obviously not using cowboy skills and ended up taking less buffalo. And that is how the famous Buffalo Bill got his name and this hunt happened just outside of town!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 82- I'mmmmm Baaacccckkkk........

     Hello Ya'll! So glad to be back on my blog after my study hiatus! I wish I could give you all great news that the test went great, but unfortunately I found it very challenging and I am pretty sure that I may not have passed! But, it won't be the first time in my life that I failed at something because as I have learned from many failed chemistry classes and counselors telling me I would never get into vet school....ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE if you have DETERMINATION. So failing to me, although sad, hurtful and hard to over come is just a bump in the road to SUCCESS. I will find out my test scores in about a month and if I have to take the test again than I will just have to take the test again. Now I am not however promising that I won't cry my eyes out for at least a day and a half, I am tough but not that damn tough!
     Yesterday, I packed up and headed north! This week starts my 9 week stint of externships. This is where we wonder out into the unknown, (outside the OSU Teaching Hospital) to get real world experience. My first externship is with a feedlot veterinary consultant in Oakley, Kansas! Oakley is named after the famed, Annie Oakley! This vet services feedlots across the tri-state area in Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas. Today he showed me how to use a program that records the lung sounds as you listen to the lungs of cattle with respiratory disease with your stethescope, and the computer generates a score based on the harshness of the lung sounds. This score predicts how sick the cow is and how likely the cow is to recover from the disease, pretty freaking awesome, and he invented it!!!! I am with greatness people! Other than that it was a whole lot of driving, 2 hours just to get to this feedlot and even farther tomorrow and a whole bunch of cows and corn!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


   Yesterday I had to make the decision to either take my scheduled Christmas vacation, which I was looking forward to more than life or to work through my vacation so that I would be out early enough to celebrate with family in Florida. Although the break in December would be a blessing by giving me some time to rest and get emotionally restored before I complete the last half of my clinical year, I think this was a good sacrifice as I can now enjoy my graduation with my family and be back in Florida FOR GOOD!!!!!
   I can barely discuss my own sacrifices as my family sacrifices so much in my behalf. This last week I have had ongoing pep talks from my family members encouraging me and lifting me up for my big test on Monday. I have also gotten cards from them that truly touched my heart. Particularly my Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Ronnie and my Nana and Papa, who sent "gifts" to help me pay for my hotel room, gas and food for this weekend when I head down to Oklahoma City to take the test. I honestly don't know where I would be in life without the undying support from my family. I honestly feel like the most blessed person to have such a family. They are always their for one another and ALWAYS their for me. I am at a loss for the words of gratitude I feel for them as they have carried me through all my struggles as I continue to work to make my childhood dreams come true. I want to end today with one of my favorite passages that reminds me of my family... This hung in my Nana Waters' house and I remember reading it as a child and have never forgotten how it made me feel...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 68-72 Study Study Study

    Sorry ya'll for the lack of post lately, but I have been having panic attacks daily! My upcoming board exam is in only 7 days and I couldn't be more scared! But, as my family keeps telling me, this is not the end of the world. And it doesn't matter if I pass or fail because regardless of which, life will go on. I can always take it again and this may just be what I have to do! However, I am still avoiding everyone, studying away the days and trying to not think about it!
    This is my last week on Equine Medicine and as always I am sad to see this rotation come to an end. I have grown very fond of my rotation mates as well as the residents and clinicians. This week was slow but I did get to do my first equine dental or in the horse world a "floating" this week. A horse chews in a circular motion and the way the teeth and jaw are shaped this chewing motion creates points in their teeth. When the points get big it prevents them from making the circular grinding motion and they start dropping their feed and eventually loose weight. To fix this condition their teeth must be floated! This is where we grind down the points on the teeth so the rows of teeth are all level making a good environment for the grinding motions.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 67- Skill Building

   One of the most nerve racking things about nearing graduation is the annoying voice in the back of your mind constantly telling you that you can't do it, or you don't know how. Knowing that in less than a year we will be doing these things on our own, possibly with no assistance from a well trained tech, or a seasoned clinician looking over your shoulder. Knowing that in just a short period of time no one will be checking our work, or backing up our diagnosis is nerve racking to say the least. We will be out in the world alone and have to know how to do things we possibly have never done. We graduate reading about how to do surgeries and procedures and hope that we will get to practice these things in our final year. But the reality is that we may get a chance to do these things once, but maybe not at all. We will be out in the world very soon will no instructions and no help, and be expected to know how to do things we have never done and only read about! Talk about pressure people!!!
     A good thing about our lack of appointments yesterday was we got some time to practice some of these skills. Yesterday I put in an IV catheter in a horse as well as performed an abdominal centesis. This is where you carefully insert a needle into the abdomen to get some of the fluid surrounding the intestines. This procedure is a fine art as there are many organs to avoid hitting with the needle as well as the miles of intestines to fill the abdominal cavity. Adding to the difficulty level of this procedure is the the positioning, your basically crawled up under the horse stabbing it in the gut with a needle, and if he did decides to kick, well as the old saying goes..."off with your head."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 66- Slooooowwww Days

    We had no appointments in the Equine Medicine barn today which made the day go slow and gave me way too much time to worry about my upcoming test. My first of three board exams is in two weeks and I couldn't be more terrified. This could be a life changing test, and although not the end of the world, if I don't pass I would not only be heartbroken but I would not be able to get my license for more than 6 months after graduation. I keep telling myself not to think of that and the pressures surrounding the test, but I have found this feat near impossible. I constantly worry to the point of making myself sick. So please start praying now! I will take all the prayers I can get!