Posted by: yogavet | December 20, 2009

my bones hurt

I remember when a big snow storm was a reason to celebrate – maybe you got the day off school, you could spend the day sledding and drinking hot chocolate and waiting for it all to melt. I grew up in the Northeast, so we knew how to handle snow. Within half a day of the snow stopping, the roads would be pretty much clear. Enough people had plows or snow blowers that you didn’t worry about getting out of your driving. Life went on, pretty darn quick.

But those days are long gone. Nowadays, I live in Virginia, where any appreciable amount of snow is enough to shut the state down for a week (I kid you not). Which is all well and good, if you’re a schoolkid or have a job where it doesn’t matter if you stay home for a week. If, however, you are like me and have a job were actually (horsey) lives may depend on you getting to work or not, things get a little more stressful. To make things more fun and interesting, it is policy at work that during any “emergency” shut down of the clinic, the intern or clinician in charge of whatever cases are in the hospital are responsible for their care. What this translates to, generally, is the intern(s) camping out at the clinic for the duration of the storm. Last year, in March, we had a big snowstorm that dumped 6-9″ of snow (no school for a week for these kids! In CT we would have gone back the next day. Sheesh.) Now, March is prime foaling time, so naturally we had mares at the clinic, ready to have their babies. So the interns all took turns staying at the clinic, watching these mares. Fun times!

For this little storm (which has dumped at least 12″ as far as I can tell), I am the only intern available. There is only one patient at the clinic, and he is fairly stable, but he requires oral meds at least three times a day. Since I’m only one person, I made the executive decision that I was *not* living at the clinic for 72 hours straight. (There’s nowhere really to sleep, at the clinic, other than the surgery table or recovery mats. I’ve done it, not so cool. Also, no shower, no real kitchen… tough to live there) So, I’ve been making the trek back and forth from my house a few miles down the road. Last night, at midnight, the snow was falling so hard I couldn’t even see the road at times. There are some serious ditches off the sides of these roads, so a mistake means you are really stuck. But I got there, and the little horsey got his meds, and all was well. This morning, I was the only one who even made it to the clinic, so I took care of not only my patient, but also the two resident mares. Then, of course, my patient started looking a little “off” (he’s a mystery, I have no idea what is wrong with him… more on that later, perhaps), so I stayed for a while watching him, and finally deciding on a new treatment, etc… On the way home, I managed to get my truck lodge in the ditch on the side of my driveway. Fortunately, my lovely neighbor was driving by just at that moment, and helped me shovel out. I owe her one.

Aaand the day has kind of gone on like that. Drive to the clinic, slipping and sliding and being tailgated by asshole VA drivers that think they should be driving the speed limit on these totally snow covered roads…. get to the clinic, trudge around in the snow, lug water buckets, feed horses, give meds, watch my patient for a while, fret about said patient, decide to pull bloodwork, run the bloodwork, fret some more because the bloodwork tells me NOTHING…. ugh. Then through in some serious housework (Matt’s coming home tomorrow, and the house was kiiiind of destroyed. It happens), and shoveling the walkway and the end of the driveway. Wait, you say… why do you have a snow shovel, you live in VA and almost never get snow. ‘Tis true… I have a flat metal gardening shovel that does *almost* as good a job in twice the time, and four times the weight of a normal snow shovel! 😀 So, I’m slightly exhausted. Not to mention that driving home after midnight treatments ampts me up sufficiently that I’m not tired to go to bed for another hour or so… and have to be back at the clinic at 8am. Weee! Gotta love it.

So, I came home and ate some cheese and crackers (driving in also makes me hungry… who knows. stress?) and had a beer to try and unwind. Time to snuggle in bed with Felix, and head back to the clinic tomorrow morning for more fun in the snow.

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