Friday, August 2, 2013

RAVS Trip Day Four

I figure a picture tells it all.

On the third day of clinics I started becoming delirious. I was reminded of my internship the first year out of vet school. At that time, a normal day was 9 hours long, but 2-3 days of the 6 day work week were 13 hours long. And every 6 weeks, I rotated into the emergency shift, which was a six day, 99 hour week. Or, when I was at home with newborn twins. Or newborn twins coupled with toddler twins. But I was much younger back then.

Back to the present. I was able to function and I didn't make any big mistakes, but I feel like I was a bit slow on the uptake and maybe even slurring my words on occasion. During the times between surgeries I would sometimes just sit there with my eyes closed. I did try to do some teaching rounds with the students and they seemed SO eager to learn. But that was challenging because many times we would get called away to do a surgery just as the discussion was getting good!

Every time we moved the clinic, it was a 2 hour process to pack up and another 2 hour process to set it up again. It was good to be in one place for 3 straight days - the community center at Eagle Butte, the largest town on the reservation (and only a 5 minute drive from our dorms!). But today we had to get there early in order to set up. The day started at around 6 am and ended with rounds at 10 pm - they let us off early so we could get some sleep!

I will take this paragraph to talk about some of my mishaps. There was the matted dog from day one who bled like crazy! She was in heat and probably had some tick-borne disease that affected her clotting ability. Then there was a Chihuahua spay the next day where, when I broke down the ovarian suspensory ligament, I also tore through a large vessel. Then there was a cat on the third day (today), who was bleeding from some unknown region (I think it ended up being from where we tied off the uterus), so I had to dink around trying to find the source. Oh, and the worst was the first clinical day when they had me neuter 2 cats and I didn't really know how to do the figure 8 self-tie! (I use suture material in my practice.) They would have been better off having a student doing them! In fact, after that I pretty much let every student do the entire cat neuter if we were assigned one.

So basically my days went like this - drink some pop, do a surgery, sit with my eyes closed, have a snack, drink some more pop, do a surgery....