Way, way back when I was much younger I received some fantastic advice from a dear family friend regarding choice of future occupation. He said that his job was one that routinely challenged him no matter how good he got at it and that every day at work was different than the day before. These two elements (for him) ensured that he was never bored and was never a “clock watcher” during his career. When I was considering pursuing a career, it seemed to me that veterinary medicine almost exactly filled the bill in these regards. So it was decided; I was all in on this career adventure.
Now some 21 years of full time employment after graduating as a veterinarian, I have been somewhat out of commission with an injury sustained after being hit by a car in May of 2014. The injuries sustained were pretty ugly and they prevented me from being able to perform any of my work related duties for several months. Even now, despite a lot of healing and some 11 months following the ordeal, I find myself operating a less than full capacity. I realize now how much I really do love and miss doing my job to my utmost. In the early months of recovery from the broken bones and a severe concussion I was relegated to lying around and waiting for my body to heal. This was some dead boring stuff. To add insult to injury, I wasn’t even allowed to read medicine textbooks or journals as this might have exacerbated my concussion healing. So where every day for me in my occupation as a veterinarian was filled with the split second high-energy decision making typical of emergency situations, the exacting motor skills and judgment required for high tech surgery and the delicate balance required to deftly cope with the high emotions of life and death, during those early months my life was filled with napping and planning what to have for lunch. Friends would say, “Enjoy the break because it will end soon enough.” I would say, “I would much rather be in the daily fray at Valley Veterinary Services any day.”
My broken bones are healing well with rehab helping tremendously to add function every week and month. In addition my brain is acting much less offended by the effects of concussion. I am beginning to see light at the end of this very dark tunnel. I am raring for the day when I can, without reservation, pick up my stethoscope and step back up to the helm at our animal hospital with the long hours and the high stress of day to day life. Then I will be able to get back to doing the job that I love where I will be able (together with my awesome staff) to save lives, help ensure good health for animals and assist their faithful owners when life deals their creatures a nasty turn.
Submitted by: Dr. Mark Steinebach