Bonus 3 | Unintended Hiatus: What Really Happened to The Joyful DVM Podcast

The Joyful DVM Podcast experienced an unplanned hiatus in the summer of 2021. In this episode, host Dr. Cari Wise shared exactly what happened that halted production, and valuable lessons she learned about slowing down, and letting go, along the way.

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The truth about unexpected circumstances and events.



Hi, everybody. Welcome to this bonus episode of the Joyful DVM podcast. And this episode, I'm going to share just exactly what happened over the last few months and why you haven't seen a new episode released since July. It's been a crazy few weeks. So back in July, I noticed that I wasn't feeling very good. And as I started paying attention to that, what I recognized was that I actually had an arrhythmia. Now, the purpose of me telling you this story is not to get sympathy. Trust me, I'm doing fine right now, but it's more about how, if we don't slow down and take care of ourselves, it's interesting how the world will provide an opportunity to make sure that we do just that.

So what the heck happened back in April and may I received my COVID vaccines and I'm still happy to this day that I did that. Unfortunately, I was part of that population that ended up with a side effect that was cardiac related. Now the good news is here a few months later, after having gone through all of these different doctor's appointments and a stress test and an echocardiogram, the good news is that my heart itself is fine. At this point. My valves are completely fine, but what I do have is this lingering Pesci, a arrhythmia. And that's what I started noticing toward the end of June and early July. The way that that impacted me was that it made me really tired. And at first I didn't really connect the dots as I was going through the series of appointments to figure out what the heck was going on.

And of course, being a veterinarian, I had to try to diagnose it all myself. I ordered the handheld ECG machine from Amazon. I was checking my own rhythm. I could absolutely identify ventricular by Gemini. And actually that gave me a lot of peace because at least then I knew what the heck I was feeling, but that didn't make me feel any more energetic and my body just needed to rest.

So during that period of time, I really scaled back and just did day to day. What I felt capable of doing. I know many of you don't have the luxury of being able to slow down and step back to that extent. But what I want you to hear is that when you are physically unable to continue moving forward, you need to take that time off your body's trying to tell you something in this time of the world, with everything that's going on in the high degree of uncertainty, for me, this was that opportunity to explore how uncertainty was impacting my own life. Sure. I have a lot of skills in my tool belt on how to handle stress and anxiety, which I utilize every single day because anxiety of my friends is still always hanging around in my world. 

But thiS arrhythmia, this thing I totally couldn't control took it to an entirely different level. I don't mean to be overly dramatic here, but when you're starting to have weird heart stuff going on, feeling uncomfortable pain, chest pressure, those types of things, you really can start to feel a little bit scared. The obviousness of my mortality was right there. And I know that sounds overly dramatic and I wasn't afraid of dying, but I was very acutely aware of how lucky I was to be living and how little I controlled in the world. So it was just another layer of identifying that for me. 

So over those few months, during the summer, I really took the time to rest, to take care of myself. And I have to tell you, there was a lot of mind drama that came up for me during that time, because running in the background was the constant loop of all the things that I should be doing. I know that you guys experienced this too. 

I know that you get home from your work, from your jobs. You're exhausted, you're stressed out. You've had a long day, and there's a whole list of other things that are demanding your attention, things that are important to you, things that you really care about and day in and day out, you have to pick and choose which ones are going to get your time and attention. I experienced that exactly myself over those few months and every day. It was a challenge for me to allow myself to just rest, to just step back and just do a little bit of nothing if you will.

And if you know me very well, you know that I'm a doer, I'm an action taker. There's a whole list of things on my to-do list at any given time. So for me to have to admit that I just couldn't do it right now was really hard. It was much harder than I expected it to be, but that's what I had to do.

So over that period of a few months, I rested more. I made sure that I kind of triaged day in and day out. And I don't want to say that the podcast intentionally fell off the list because it never did. It was always right there on the list. It was always the thing that I was going to do tomorrow, but then tomorrow would come and I just would be tired.

And I would only have a limited amount of energy and it just didn't happen. I could beat myself up about that and believe me, I did spend quite a bit of time beating myself up about not getting out a new podcast episode, but the longer that it went, I started to forgive myself to learn how to forgive myself for not following through on this one thing that in and of itself was a beautiful gift because we're not perfect, no matter how hard we try, no matter how many skills we learn, we're still going to mess up from time to time. We're still going to have things that don't go the way that we expect them to go. And this summer was the perfect example of that for me, that no matter how much I try to control everything that happens in the world, I just don't control much at all. And that's okay. It was still a wonderful summer. I'll be at different than I had anticipated. It was still was a great time of year for me. So here we are now getting into the fall. I'm feeling much better, still have this very interesting heart rhythm, but you know what? I'm just going to roll with it.

If it's the new normal, it's the new normal and people will ask me, Carrie, do you regret getting your COVID vaccinations? And my answer continues to be, no, I think it's an individual choice. I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. I want you to do what's right for you. But for me and for my family situation, getting the COVID vaccine made sense. And I just happened to be one of those people who ended up with an adverse reaction it's okay. I am equipped to handle that. It was always going to happen that way. I just didn't know it. And so if I can go through that and I can have an abnormal reaction and I can tell my story of it, I think that that's probably going to help somebody else. Now, will I get the booster vaccine? Probably not. At this point, it's not really encouraged by my doctor, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't have done the first one. What many of us would conclude at this point is that we never should have gotten the vaccination in the first place.

And we do this in all areas of our lives. I want you to just consider that going down that route of thought is never going to be useful. I don't care what it is. So for me to say, I never should have gotten the vaccination because if I wouldn't have that, I wouldn't be having these cardiac issues. That seems very logical.

It's a very left-brain strategic kind of analytical conclusion, but it's not based. In fact, the fact is that we don't know what would happen. Had I not gotten the vaccine. We don't know if an arrhythmia would have developed from some other means. We really don't know. We can't predict the future. We always want to find a very binary cause and effect relationship so that we can create more certainty in our lives.

But when we knew that what happens is it leads us down a path of regret of our prior decisions, which has never, ever useful for us, just like in veterinary medicine, in every area of life, we can only make the best decisions we can with the information and resources available at the time. And that's exactly what I did when I decided to get my cover vaccinations.

Would I do it again? A hundred percent? Yes. Because I never got to be able to go back with information from today and make a decision over again. And so if I go back to that moment in time with all the information that I had available to me, I absolutely would make that decision again. And I would make it again without any kind of regrets.

Sure. It's been a really interesting few months here. I've been a forced, if you will, to take more time off than what I typically would, but that's had its own benefits as well. And the upside to all of these diagnostic tests and doctor's appointments that I've gone through. I now have really great baseline information information that will probably be very useful as I continue to grow older because there's a lot of heart disease in my family.

So even though it has been scary, and even though it had, did disrupt my plans that I had for the summer and everything that we were going to be doing over here at Joyful DVM, it's still all good. It was always going to happen this way. I just didn't know it. So here we are back with a bonus episode describing what the heck happened over the summer to the Joyful DVM podcast.

And we're kicking up getting, going again on exciting things that are coming here in the future. So keep an eye out. We have some really Exciting episodes coming up, including an interview with Dr. Cindy Trice from, and really forever keep an eye out for that episode. It'll be coming up very soon. And as for me, I'm doing fine.

Don't you worry a bit. It's all good. Everything happens for a reason. I firmly believe that. And this is included in that as well. All right, my friends, that's going to wrap it up for this bonus episode on what the heck happened to the podcast over the summer of 2021. I hope you are all doing well and I'll see you soon.

Bye for now.