Living on a farm often furnishes us with valuable life lessons. Yesterday as I was checking the maternity group (pen where cows within 3 weeks of calving are kept) I discovered an old cow that couldn't get up. She was obviously very close to calving but because of milk fever (low blood calcium) she not only was not able to get up but could not initiate parturition.
So I went to the dairy office and got some calcium solution. We administer this intravenously in the jugular vein. This requires restraining the head (usually with nose tongs fastened to a hind leg) and inserting a large 14 gauge needle into the jugular vein. Usually 500 ml (about 1/2 a quart) of 23% calcium solution is given over a period of a few minutes.
Even though this therapy was critical not only for the calf but for the cow's life, she wanted no part of it. Even though weakened by the hypocalcemia she fought me every inch of the way. When I tried to introduce the nose tongs she forcefully emptied her nasal passages of assorted mucopolysaccharide secretions (snot) all over my shirt. Supplemented by loud bellows she swung her head and attempted to rearrange my rib cage. I finally succeeded in getting her head secured to her back leg. However, even restrained like this, when I tried to pop the needle in her vein she bowed her neck and tried to commit mayhem on my person.
I finally was able to get the calcium solution into the cow and released her head. I left her alone while she continued to say uncomplimentary things about me and my family. Not long after she was able to stand and then a few hours later successfully delivered a healthy bull calf. Both she and the calf would have died without my intervention but she was not grateful.
Many times we shake our fist at God and denounce his methods and his ways as harmful and dangerous to us. We are convinced he doesn't know what he is doing and fight everything that life throws at us. Later when the storm settles down we usually fail to see that what God administered was just what we needed and what the situation demanded. As the late Brad Scott was so fond of saying, "God is smarter than us."
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