Dr. Killvorkian


It was a freezing cold day in February about 30 days after we first arrived in Lamesa, Texas.

It was a freezing cold day in February about 30 days after we first arrived in Lamesa, Texas.

I still didn't really know a person in town when Ricky pulled into the clinic with his father-in-law's prolapsed cow. She was in bad shape. Her uterus was hanging out and torn in several places. She was down in the trailer and could not get up.

Bo Brock

Ricky came walking up with that smile that makes his eyes disappear and stated, "My name is Ricky and I have a problem with this cow. Think you can fix her?"

Things didn't look too good, but I was young and eager to please. Since the cow couldn't get up, I went to work on her in the floor of the trailer. I was deep in thought and deeper into the cow when suddenly the trailer started moving. I looked up and could not see Ricky anywhere.

'What in the world is this guy doing?' raced through my mind as we started driving around the clinic. I was about to decide he was going to drive off to run a few errands while I worked on his cow. His route took us around the clinic and back to the drive that leads to the garage door. The next thing I knew, we were backed into the clinic.

"I thought you looked a little cold and wet out there, so I pulled her in." This statement was followed by another eye-squinting grin accompanied by a jolly, "yuk, yuk, yuk" kind of laugh.

I was working like a sled dog-pushing, poking, tucking, sliding-but nothing was working. The artery in the uterus had ruptured and it was filled with blood. This made it larger and more difficult to get back in. It also made the cow a bit "shocky."

About the time I was going to get up and tell Ricky that things were not looking too good, he said, "I think she quit breathing." I bounded out of the trailer and got the epinephrine. After giving the shot, I jumped up and down on her chest for a while. I got the special mask and filled her lungs with oxygen. It was paying off. The cow began breathing again on her own.

When she looked stable, I began the arduous task of replacing the uterus again. By now I was covered by blood, freezing to death and running out of patience. Ricky just stood there and watched. I figured he was sizing up the new doctor and as far as I could tell, I was not doing too good.

Task resumes

The more I pushed, the bigger the thing became. I would get one side in and the other would pop out. I would push the middle in and the sides would come back at me. It was the "uterus that ate Manhattan" and, of course, it would have to happen the first time I met a new client.

Now my sweat was mixed with her blood. I laid back to take a breath and Ricky whispered, "I think she's dead again." Once again I hopped up and sprinted into the clinic. I came out again with the same set of ER meds and went through the same dramatic actions. Once gain we were able to pull her from the clutches of death.

It was about an hour and a half into the ordeal when I laid back down and started trying to get the giant uterus back in its home. By now, the thing was nearly as big as the cow. It was not looking too good. Ricky continued to watch with the eyes of a skeptic as I pushed and grunted. Once again he whispered, "She's dead again."

I jumped up and headed for the medicine. This time, all the pumping and oxygen did no good. She was down for the count.

I was very disappointed and felt like a total failure. My face must have given away feelings because Ricky walked up and patted me on the back.

"Don't worry. If you don't have 'em, you can't lose 'em," were the words he chose to attempt to cheer me.

"Thanks. I guess you were sizing me up as I laid there and killed your cow. What did you come up with?" came rolling out of my mouth as we ambled into the clinic to warm up.

"Well, you are, in some ways, the same and some ways different than the last vet that was here. You both kill every cow I bring ya. The difference is, it just takes you longer."

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