The Vet Space Journal

Spring 2021 The Ups & Downs

Hazell Mullins | April 1st, 2021

Well look at that in a blink of an eye it’s April, I honestly can’t believe another spring is coming to an end for me here in Cork. I know I have another slow 6 weeks ahead, but I feel like the worst is behind me now.

It’s been a spring of mixed emotions, one sick day, lots of tears, a couple missed dinners, but the adrenaline rush is hard to beat. As always in my practice spring begins with a bang in the middle of January with early calving cows, middle of the night C-sections, E-coli mastitis cases and of course this year’s most popular call the “down cow” with milk fever. The thought was that cows are well fed years increasing overall BSC and the silage is high in K which antagonises magnesium which is never good for milk fever prevention. Lots of my farmers had to supplement minerals with extra Magnesium to stop the unfolding milk fever disaster on farm. The calcium bottle and I have become very well acquainted in February whilst at the same time my bed and I became very distant friends.

It was tough for the weeks of February I won’t lie, I was utterly exhausted as I was on every second weekend for 6 weeks (just the way the rota fell). I was on call every Thursday night also which meant my weekends were always 4 nights in a row which can be torture. I was absolutely fine until I did 2 full 10-hour days of blooding cows for the new BVD screening program with Animal health Ireland, that was the nail in the coffin. I woke up on the Wednesday morning with the worst migraine of my life, I told Michelle it was like I had the worst hangover without the great night out. I was hitting rock bottom and my body couldn’t keep going, I remember ringing the practice that morning in tears and I felt like I was leaving everyone down on a busy spring day, but I couldn’t move a muscle. I retreated to my dark bedroom and sobbed. This was my first sick day in 2 years, so I am very lucky with my overall health, but I need to be more mindful of my body and the rest it needs.

I then had 3 weekends off in a row in March and I was a new woman. I started a little hashtag on the Vet Space stories “metimemarch”, I needed to take back control of my life but also continue to get though the springtime madness. I tried to get out for a walk or a cycle every day, see my dogs, talk to my friends more and just have a little me time. What helped with all of this which I forgot to mention was that my Cert module was over so the stress of trying to study between c-sections was gone. I wouldn’t recommend trying to study in the peak of spring is at all avoidable, as we are only one person and time is something we just don’t have during spring.

I would recommend to anyone who is struggling with exhaustion and feels like they are losing who they are as a person to try and take a step back, breath and make a plan. I know plans and spring don’t go well but my little changes like getting out for a walk before calls, popping in home for a dog cuddle at lunch, grabbing a posh coffee (loving all the pop-up coffee shops) and having chats with friends in the van have really changed my mindset.

For those with a later starting spring, best of luck and the end is near. I have enjoyed the buzz of the calvings and I am still waiting on that twisted uterus to use my snazzy new gyn stick J (maybe I should be careful what I wish for)..



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