Mar. 25, 2017

The Cows Came Home

I’ve always preferred the evening shift to day shift nursing. Mostly it’s because I don’t like a lot of people around me. During the evening there are enough to keep me awake and on my toes. Plus, let’s not forget, I am not a morning person in any sense of the word, unless it’s early morning and I’ve been up all night.

When I had to spend two weeks working day shift I tolerated it because I was promised evening shift, and relief. I really thought it would be okay. Since I had to drive 45 miles to Conway every morning, I felt the drive would be enough to wake me up and I’d be alert enough by the time I got to work.

Coming into Conway from Georgetown, there were several pastures along the way that held farm animals. I would pass by one every morning where there were different breeds of cows. The farmer had Angus cows (black ones), Heifer cows (red and brown), as well as the Dairy cows (white and spotted).

They were the most sickliest of cows I’d ever seen. These cows, that were supposed to be round and robust, were emaciated looking beasts. They were clearly starving to death. It took me a week of driving past them in the morning for it to begin to register; there is something seriously wrong here. The cows were always put up on my way home so I was pretty sure they must have some disease as most cows are usually left out all day.

During the second week of morning shift (and thankfully, my last week of torture), I started to become more than concerned. I was becoming angry. I kept telling myself that on the way home, I was going to stop by and speak to the farmer. I wanted to know why these cows were being starved to death. However, on the way home, I often forgot because, as I said, they were always put back into the barn. At one point, I was going to call the Humane Society once I got to work and report them. I told myself that twice and both times, forgot about it by the time I got to work and into the grind of things.

The week I started working evening shift, I didn’t see them on my way to work. As I said, they were usually put up by that time. I often thought of them, those sickly, emaciated animals. In spite of the fact I tried to adopt the attitude it wasn’t my problem, I still found the matter quite upsetting.

One morning, I was asked to come in early around noon and work until 8 p.m. I agreed. On the way to work I passed the pasture and realized, much to my great relief, all of the sick looking cows I saw on morning shift had turned into very healthy and beautiful horses. I still crack up every time I think of that or pass by a pasture somewhere. Here I am a nurse and couldn’t tell the difference between a sick cow and a healthy horse. Don’t laugh though; I could be your nurse one day!