Theriogenology is my area of expertise. Therio is Greek for “beast,” gen is Greek for “beginning,” and ology means “the study of,” so I am an expert in the beginning of the beast. Sounds a bit medieval or fantastical. Like I should be wearing wizarding robes instead of scrubs or coveralls. But basically I’m a veterinary OB/GYN/Urologist. Though I come from a rural background and grew up around livestock, my childhood and adolescent dreams of my future veterinary life certainly didn’t involve specializing in obstetrics. That shift happened in vet school as we studied each individual body system.
The body is a miracle. We live in our bodies and around the bodies of other humans and animals every day and almost never think about everything these bodies do. What machines! In veterinary school we study the cell types that make up the many organs and how different organs work together within body systems to perform important functions like digestion, breathing, thinking, motor control, sight, waste filtration and removal, blood circulation, infection control, and…reproduction. We frequently take a step back from the wonder of each system to remind ourselves how all these systems integrate and work in concert to form an independent, individual animal. It’s truly an awesome consideration, the body.
As cliché as it sounds, it really was the wonder and awesomeness of life that inspired me to follow the professional path of theriogenology and become a reproduction specialist. Each and every body system was incredible to study from the cellular level up. But then considering how two autonomous individuals, male and female, come together and donate ONE CELL EACH and the result is a different, independent, autonomous individual, with all the functional organ systems working and its own personality…that was truly something to absorb. The process from beginning to end is anything but simple. We totally take it for granted because it seems to just…happen. The most natural thing in the world. It may be natural, but it is anything but simple. And sometimes something in that vast milieu of complicated processes doesn’t go as it should and this most natural of all things doesn’t work.
That’s where I come in.
It was during my veterinary course in theriogenology that I felt, “Here is where I want to dwell. This is what I want to understand. This is the superpower I want to harness.”
Our tagline at Kokopelli is “Sometimes the miracle of life needs a little help.” This blog will focus on the miracle that is life. We will talk about the normal and the abnormal, the successes and the failures. I hope that my passion for life, how it even exists, how it is maintained, and how it’s passed on will find a familial connection with you. I hope these posts will make you take a step back from the seemingly mundane and remind you that we are all miracles and we are surrounded by the miracles of others.