How We Make Rx Strength Topical Pain Creams

Providing patient’s with choices to traditional treatments is a priority here at Medistat. We believe the best way to treat pain is to treat it where hurts n…
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Lean On, Over, and Around

March is Women’s History Month, if you didn’t know. I work in a strange profession, one that has changed quite solidly in demographics from its original incarnation to its current status, graduating classes of row after row of- well, men, mostly- now replaced, to an 80% extent, by women. I spend a lot of time talking about veterinary medicine, and I would say about 80% of the time I am talking about it with women (who’d have guessed?)

Does the changing demographic matter? Yes and no. I may be a little prejudiced here myself, but I think women are pretty badass and are doing a bangup job in veterinary medicine. Like their male counterparts, they’re practice owners, associates, specialists, leaders, and, you know, individual people with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Whenever I mention the idea of exploring that concept and what it had meant for the field, editors all run screaming. You can’t, they say. It’s too controversial. There have been some attempts, like this one from Dr. Don Smith at Cornell, but the conversation is by and large stagnant. Fortunately for me, I have no major sponsors to frighten here in my own little corner of the net, so let’s just go ahead and go there, shall we? It’s not like no one is talking about it, just not out loud.

tim

So we’ve all heard of Lean In, right? Sheryl Sandberg’s go get ‘em tome extolling women to jump on in and take the bull by the horns? Yes, that was very nice, and excellent advice for a particular target group who want to be Sheryl Sandbergs. All you gunners out there- you know who you are- read and take note. And for the rest of us, who maybe want a break from running at full throttle at career advancement for a little while in order to live life?

sheryl-sandberg-time-magazine-cover-2

Who said I hated her? I just have a different definition of success. Stop making us snipe at each other for goodness’ sake.

I’m here to tell you that it’ll be OK. And guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to use math, because I’m a woman who loves math AS WELL AS SHOES, and I also think more women should be saying out loud that you can like both. I write my own rules. You, by the way, should as well.

1. Logistical Growth Curve: Up, Up and Away

Let’s start with the typical career trajectory, as defined by the Sandbergs of the world, like a logistical growth curve:

logisticExcept instead of population growth, imagine perhaps income, or accolades, or whatever you want. Point is, you start slow, gain some momentum, then go out on top- ever moving upwards.

And in all the talk about women in the workplace, the one elephant in the room is always this: women sometimes choose to have babies. As do men, albeit in a less direct manner. And women sometimes want to take some time to stay home with their children. (Men do too, yes, but when we’re looking at a general trend here, I’m stretching to think of a single male veterinarian who left the field to be a stay at home dad.)

And in honor of Women’s History month, I am going to commit to words the experience I had, that my friends and I have all spoken about in hushed tones and felt we couldn’t discuss out loud because controversy and all. This was my experience. YMMV.

From the moment I set foot on campus, motherhood was presented in a subtle but unmistakable light as an either/or phenomenon when it came to veterinary medicine. Either you went all in or you went home. Women who took a year off to have a baby got eyebrow raises and sighs of “too bad she took the spot from someone who really wanted it,” as if pregnancy opened up a small but permanent hole in one’s brain through which all your knowledge dripped out, bit by bit, until all you were capable of is popping pacifiers in mouths and talking about Robeez. If you really wanted to be a vet, you would have not chosen to have a kid- especially in school.

This doesn’t end outside of school. I’ve been asked in interviews if I was pregnant (thanks for that, carb bloat I guess?) or planning to become pregnant, which is as illegal as you are thinking it is. I’m glad the guy asked it though, so that I knew where he stood on the topic. I’ve sat in meetings, 7 months pregnant and bloated from 12 hour emergency shifts, while the medical director’s best piece of advice to the interns was, “motherhood and medicine don’t mix. Mothers are terrible vets.” I’ve heard of a person who fired their veterinarian for having two maternity leaves, because she is ‘clearly not committed,’ because she wouldn’t give him her cell phone number while she was out on leave. The nerve.

tumblr_m4myx9MTNk1r09xl9o1_500

So what’s the message here to women who want to have a family? If you want to be a good vet, you come back to work two weeks later and find a good nanny. By the way, I completely support any woman who wants to do this. The key word here, though, is “want.” What about the women who don’t want to do that? Get out. You don’t deserve to be here.

2. Extinction Curve: Down and Out

I’ll ask for a raise of hands- and I’ll be the first to put mine up: who has been told in an interview “I don’t like hiring young women because they always have babies,” as if all women inevitably do this, and those that do should be ashamed of their lack of commitment. Slacker.

Cue the sad trombone. You, my female friends, are now an extinction curve. Even the possibility that you might one day want to do something so egregious as reproduce is enough to keep you from getting hired in some places. I can see how that might make the women who choose not to have kids potentially a little irritated with the women who do. This is really, really counterproductive. But it happens.

logistic success

The weight of a family is going to drag you right on out of there.

Being the troopers that they are, I’ve seen some amazing women fight tooth and nail to hold on to their professional commitments full bore despite the fact that it wasn’t exactly what they wanted to be doing at the moment, thinking that was their only option. Then they quit, never to be heard from again. They have been told that you are 100% in or you are a failure, and so they left.

And boy is that a shame. Wanting a personal life- whether that means kids, a hobby, a passion outside the field- is not only all right, it’s pretty darn important when it comes to retaining one’s sanity. I’m a big fan of that.

There is a reason we have one of the highest suicide and depression rates among professionals, and part of it is our own doing by having such distaste for those who strive to live a life outside the office. Martyr complexes only get you so far, and it’s become ingrained as part of the definition of what veterinarians do. I promise you this: I am so, so much better at what I do now than I was when I was stressed, overtaxed, and resentful. I am grateful once again to be a veterinarian.

3. Steady State: Fluctuating around a stable baseline

Now: let’s review what really happens out there in the world (no one will tell me my population biology course was a waste of time! Viva la diff eq!) Real life, messy, biological populations that are stable (though not necessarily stationary) enter what’s known as steady state, sometimes up, sometimes down, but maintaining height:

steady state

 

Who doesn’t want stability? Life- and the average vet- is tougher than we give it/her credit for. If populations can bounce back from plagues and droughts surely we can manage to have a kid, or vacation, or a marriage or divorce or whatever distraction that comes with being human without having to panic and toss away an entire career.

When I went back into general practice after two years of emergency medicine punctuated by two pregnancies, I hadn’t done a routine spay in a year and a half. I was freaking out. I was convinced it was as if I possessed virgin hands and somehow I would mess the entire thing up. I stood over the patient, my boss in the next room in case of mass emergency, and guess what? I did it as if I had been doing it just the day before. Muscle memory is an amazing thing, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You tune out to take care of things and come back better than ever. This is how leaders are born. By cutting out a huge percentage of our field from believing they have what it takes to succeed long term because they want a breather, we’re killing off our future leadership.

When the increasing numbers of women in the human medical field pushed this same sort of reckoning, asking for flexibility and balance, the end result was happier doctors and both women and men who benefitted from it. Maybe you don’t want kids, maybe you want time to pursue hiking the Appalachian trail or to take care of an aging parent or further dominate your field. You deserve that too. The old timers tut-tutting the up and comers when I was in school a decade ago may still be hand wringing and bemoaning the fact that the new generation doesn’t want to work 80 hours with one day of vacation a year, and guess what? They’re right. Nothing wrong with that. Not everyone can or needs to be a Sandberg.

What made sense back then may no longer hold true.

What made sense back then may no longer hold true.

Redefining Success

When I was in school, one of my best friends was a woman named Carrie. She is awesome. Like me, we both decided halfway through that we weren’t all that interested in being small animal veterinary practice owners, and by junior year our colleagues were taking bets on who was going to leave the profession first.

We both did, in our own way. But we did it on our own terms, and we both came back, which is more than I can say for some of my really amazing classmates who opted out under the weight of unrealistic expectations. I am a writer, and now, in a strange twist I never anticipated, I’m exploring a new subcategory of medicine in hospice care. Dr. Carrie is- get this- travelling to the world’s hotspots as a public health consultant. She just got back from Peru, Indonesia and Thailand. THAT IS SO COOL.

Obviously trying to cover gender issues in one post is like trying to sum up War and Peace in a paragraph, but someone needs to start the conversation. Success in the veterinary profession the way we define it now stacks the deck against a whole lot of people. So let’s redefine what it means to be a successful veterinarian. Find a steady state. Your steady state.

To all you new grads and my old friends who are all emailing me saying they think they are ready to leave the field, I have this to say: leave if you need to. It’s OK. You can come back, you can. And if you don’t want to that’s ok too. If you want to single mindedly pursue dermatologic domination at an academic institution, you can do that too. This is a really, really cool field, and you are allowed to make your own path through it. You will always be a veterinarian no matter how you occupy your day, and don’t let anyone who chose a different path tell you otherwise.

14K feet up in Africa. Wouldn't have happened without my DVM.

14K feet up in Africa. Wouldn’t have happened without my DVM.

Stay. We need guides on all the paths up the hill.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Today retiring military dogs are heroes–not “obsolete equipment”

There was a hero’s welcome in Bloomington, Indiana for veteran J Jackson, a retiring war dog who was finally reunited with his first handler. The reunion was a long time coming. His handler, Harvey Holt, now a local sheriff’s deputy, was his partner for six months in Iraq. That was seven years ago. Holt promised Jackson that if he brought him back safe, he would give the dog a good home for the rest of…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Dec 15, Bacillus Subtilis and Lactobacillus acidophilus in dog food

Hi Barbara, I have 2 Labs that are a year old, starting to become overweight, and the male has a sensitive stomach. I have been researching different
Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide

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How To Get Rid of Fleas in The House – Indoor Flea Control Treatment

This video explains the proper way to get rid of fleas in your home in order to keep you, your children, and your pets safe. Transcript:Hi, I’m Amber with Do…

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“No Obamacare for dogs”: 5 things you should know about the vet ER

Another week, another veterinary ER under fire. This time, it’s the Southwest Michigan Animal Emergency Hospital, now receiving angry calls and even death threats after declining to perform emergency exploratory surgery on a young German Shepherd who developed complications after a spay at a different clinic earlier in the day. The issue was the owner’s inability to provide upfront payment. It almost always is.

There is no doubt that this is a terrible and sad outcome for the owners of the dog, and I am utterly sincere in saying my heart goes out to them. As a result of going to social media, both the heartbroken owners and what is, by all accounts, a good emergency clinic are receiving heated scrutiny they probably don’t deserve. Here’s 5 things I wish everyone knew about this sort of situation:

vet ER.jpg

1. This may be once in a lifetime for you, but it’s once in a shift for the ER.

Veterinary care, and emergency care in particular, is expensive. It’s not price gouging; it accurately reflects the increased cost of running an overnight facility with high overhead. Due to the nature of emergency work, there are a high number of large estimates, and a good number of people who say, “I can’t afford that.” Good people, and good pets. None of that changes the fact that the costs are fixed. Because they weren’t inflated with a “just because I feel like it” tax to begin with, there isn’t wiggle room to negotiate it down. If you do, you go out of business.

 

2. “I can’t” doesn’t mean “I don’t care.”

When the doctor in this story said “I’ll be fired if I don’t charge appropriately,” I’m sure she (or he) meant it. When I worked an ER shift as an employee, lowering cost equaled theft of services. If an audit found treatment in the medical record not on the bill, it was either added to the bill or came out of my paycheck. There are only three variables in this: the practice owner, the vet providing the estimate (who often is not the same as the owner), and the client. Someone pays that bill. There is no “make up for it through inflating insurance charges to the insured” option we see in human hospitals.

Saying no is really, really hard. People ask me to do things all the time that I cannot do. Just because I have to say no, doesn’t mean I don’t go home and cry about it sometimes. Don’t confuse lack of ability to give you something you want with lack of wishing I could. Vets talk about this struggle every day, and every day work on ways to ensure pets get the care they need without going under. That being said, there’s only so many times one can apologize for wanting to get a paycheck for doing work. Like most vets I know, I give away plenty of services and time, but no one gets to determine the how and why of that except me.

3. We don’t know why the dog died.

It could be a surgical error, yes. Spays are major abdominal surgeries. It could also be many other things having nothing to do with the surgeon. A genetic clotting disorder, for example, is something no one can predict and can absolutely cause death in a textbook perfect surgical procedure. Let’s say hypothetically that this were the case, that testing was done and it was something no one could have predicted or prevented. Then who would be responsible for the bill? Still the original vet? Do we need to know who is at fault before attempting treatment?

4. If you want to blame someone for vets not offering payment plans, blame the other people in the waiting area.

Most vets have toyed with offering payment plans at one time or another. Of course that would be preferable to turning someone away, if they worked. The pet gets treatment and the vet gets paid. If people followed through, payment plans would exist, plain and simple. Truth is, 80% of the fees are never recovered. It’s an unsecured loan to a stranger who, history has shown time and time again, is very unlikely to repay you. The more someone swears up and down that they are good for it, the less likely that is to be true.

CareCredit, the financing option many vets offer now, is admittedly a shaky proposition, though it’s often the best we got. It’s hard to qualify for and the interest rates are often over the top (26% after the introductory period in many cases.) I’m glad to see other options being tossed around- MedVetPay being one I’ve just recently heard about- but it’s not the vet’s obligation to provide financing. Still, we try. We want this to work for you, too.

5. Every pet owner needs an emergency plan.

“I didn’t know I needed $ 2,000 ready to go,” said the owner. Many people don’t. Know your clinic’s emergency policies. If you are living in a relatively urban area with an emergency facility, it is fair to assume your day vet may refer there after hours, and if you run into an emergency such as coyotes, cars, or sudden collapse, initial treatment and stabilization can easily cost four figures. Assume this. Assume the ER vet has to charge you upfront because people before you didn’t pay up later. So what is your plan if this happens?

  • Have a credit card with this much available balance on it
  • Have an untouched savings account with this socked away
  • Have ‘that one vet your sister mentioned who will totally do midnight emergency services for $ 0 down’ on speed dial.
  • Have friends and family willing to front you the money on sudden notice
  • Have pet insurance (though you still have to provide the money initially, you get reimbursed a percentage later, reducing the long term cost)
  • Know your financial limits and be willing to understand that economic euthanasia is an option
  • Go on a social media crusade after the pet dies, knowing you’re going to get hit just as hard as the target of your anger, harder than either of you deserve; solving nothing.

Your choice.

Edit: Obviously this is a touchy topic for many people, and I appreciate all the people who have chimed in. Comments are back on for now as long as it stays civil. From this point forward I will delete anything with profanity or name calling. Thanks!

 

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Duster – Topical Solution

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Gaia Conceptions Organic Dress Giveaway WINNER!

Gaia Conceptions Organic Dress Giveaway WINNER!

Thanks to all of you who entered the Organic Wrap Dress Giveaway for a chance to win an Organic Long Apron Wrap Dress in your choice of fabric and color from Andrea over at Gaia Conceptions!  The winner was chosen via random.org, and that lucky Bubby and Bean reader is…

Congratulations Meg A!  Please contact me at bubbyandbean (at) gmail.com with your address and fabric/color choice so that Andrea and her team can get started on your dress.  (Thanks again Andrea for offering Bubby and Bean readers the chance to win one of your beautiful designs!)

Oh, and there’s another pretty amazing giveaway (hint: cash!) happening here tomorrow, so be sure to check back in the morning!

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Help a Detroit Pet Food Bank (and a Giveaway!)

We all know what a terrible situation Detroit is facing with its homeless dog population right now. Shelters are fuller than full. Many dogs (guesses range from 3,000 to over 50,000) roam the streets…



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DogTipper: Tips for Dog Lovers

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Nice Skin Allergies photos

Some cool skin allergies images:

Bochnia, kopalnia soli
skin allergies

Image by Małopolski Instytut Kultury
fot. Marcin Klag

I Małopolskie Dni Dziedzictwa Kulturowego, 15-26 września 1999 r.

Bochnia
Kopalnia soli

Bochnia od początku swego istnienia była związana z solą. Pierwsza historyczna wzmianka, pochodząca z 1198 r., dotyczy uposażenia klasztoru bożogrobców w Miechowie w sól bocheńską. Przywilej lokacyjny nadający Bochni prawo magdeburskie został wydany przez księcia Bolesława Wstydliwego w 1253 r.
Złoża bocheńskiej soli pochodzą sprzed ok. dwudziestu milionów lat. Zalegają one na głębokości od pięćdziesięciu do pięciuset metrów, a rozciągają się na długość ok. czterech kilometrów. Najstarsze szyby zostały zlokalizowane prawdopodobnie w dolinie potoku Babica, gdzie pokłady soli zalegały płytko. Nie były one jednak zbyt obfite, więc drążono kolejne, głębsze szyby. Tak powstała najstarsza, wschodnia część kopalni z szybami Sutoris (Szewczy) i Gazaris (Wieżny lub Wodny). Kopalnia rozwijała się w kierunku pionowym i na zachód. Część zachodnią nazywano Nowymi Górami, a tworzyły ją trzy szyby: Regis, Bochneris i Campi. W latach 80. XX w. kopalnia osiągnęła maksymalne rozmiary: cztery i pół kilometra długości i 468 metrów głębokości.
Główny szyb kopalni to Campi (Polny), wydrążony w latach 1556-1566. Największą głębokość (408 m) osiągnął w 1898 r. Jest on połączony z Sutoris – najstarszym istniejącym szybem kopalni, trzykilometrową Podłużnią August, której pierwszy odcinek powstał w latach 1723-1743. Wydrążony już w połowie XIII w. szyb Sutoris stał się w XIV i XV w. jednym z głównych szybów wydobywczych.
W bocheńskiej kopalni znajduje się wiele kaplic. Największą z nich jest powstała po 1747 r. kaplica św. Kingi, gdzie w prezbiterium znajdują się wykute w soli ołtarze św. Kingi i św. Barbary, ambona i figury świętych: Kingi, Jana Nepomucena, Wojciecha i Tomasza z Akwinu.
Według legendy, król Węgier Bela IV podarował córce Kindze jako wiano kopalnię soli w Siedmiogrodzie. Odbierając ją, zgodnie z ówczesnym zwyczajem, wrzuciła do niej pierścień. Po przybyciu do Polski odwiedziła Bochnię, a tutaj w pierwszej wydobytej bryle soli górnicy znaleźli pierścień Kingi, wrzucony do kopalni w Siedmiogrodzie.
Kopalnia w Bochni jest najstarszym ośrodkiem wydobywczym soli w Polsce. Działa bez przerwy od średniowiecza, już prawie 750 lat. W ostatnich latach, z powodu znacznego wyczerpania się zasobów, wstrzymano eksploatację złóż soli. Część wyrobisk udostępniono do zwiedzania jako trasę turystyczną, a w największej z zachowanych komór urządzono sanatorium. Panujący tu mikroklimat ma właściwości lecznicze, szczególnie dla cierpiących na schorzenia alergiczne dróg oddechowych i skóry.

Bochnia
Salt Mine

Since the very beginning of its existence, Bochnia had been associated with salt. The first historical document dating from 1198 confirms this, mentioning the provision of Bochnian salt to the Friars of the Holy Sepulchre. The population of the settlement must have been fairly large as Bochnia lay along a trade route connecting the East and the West of Europe. A charter bestowing Bochnia with the Magdeburg Law was granted by Prince Bolesław Wstydliwy (Boleslaus the Modest) in 1253.
The salt deposits under Bochnia were formed approximately 20 million years ago. They are located between 50 and 500 meters underground, and are approximately 4 km long. The oldest shafts were probably located in the valley of the Babica Stream, where the deposits were relatively shallow and therefore easily accessible. As these ran out, new, deeper shafts were dug, giving rise to the oldest, eastern part of the mine with the Sutoris and Gazaris shafts. The mine then developed further down and to the west. The western part, called the New Mountains (Nowe Góry), was composed of three shafts: Regis, Bochneris and Campi. In 1980s, the mine reached its maximum dimensions: 4.5 km in length and 468 meters in depth.
The Campi shaft, bored in 1556-1566, is the main shaft of the mine. In 1898 it reached its maximum depth of 408 meters. It is connected to Sutoris by the oldest existing corridor in the mine, the 3-kilometer August Passage, the first section of which was dug in 1723-1743. Drilled as early as mid-the 13th century, in the 14th and 15th centuries the Sutoris became one of the main excavation shafts.
The Bochnia mine contains many chapels. In the chancel of the largest chapel of Saint Kinga, carved after 1747, we find salt-sculpted altars of Saint Kinga and Saint Barbara, the pulpit, and salty statues of saints: St Kinga, St John Nepomucene, St Adalbert, and St Thomas Aquinas.
According to a legend, the Hungarian King Bela IV gave his daughter a salt mine in Transylvania. When Kinga succeeded to possession of the mine, she threw her ring down the shaft according to the mediaeval fashion. Later, when she came to Poland with her husband prince Bolesław, she visited Bochnia. In the first lump of salt that was excavated, the miners found Kinga’s ring, the same ring that she had cast into her Transylvanian mine.
The Bochnia Mine is the oldest salt mining site in Poland. It has been active continually since the Middle Ages, i.e. for nearly 750 years. Recently, due to the exhaustion of the deposits, salt mining was suspended. Part of the mine was opened to visitors, a sightseeing route was organised, and a health resort was fitted out in the largest of the underground chambers. The microclimate of the mine has healing properties, and is particularly beneficial for persons suffering from respiratory tract and skin allergies.

Bochnia, kopalnia soli
skin allergies

Image by Małopolski Instytut Kultury
fot. Marcin Klag

I Małopolskie Dni Dziedzictwa Kulturowego, 15-26 września 1999 r.

Bochnia
Kopalnia soli

Bochnia od początku swego istnienia była związana z solą. Pierwsza historyczna wzmianka, pochodząca z 1198 r., dotyczy uposażenia klasztoru bożogrobców w Miechowie w sól bocheńską. Przywilej lokacyjny nadający Bochni prawo magdeburskie został wydany przez księcia Bolesława Wstydliwego w 1253 r.
Złoża bocheńskiej soli pochodzą sprzed ok. dwudziestu milionów lat. Zalegają one na głębokości od pięćdziesięciu do pięciuset metrów, a rozciągają się na długość ok. czterech kilometrów. Najstarsze szyby zostały zlokalizowane prawdopodobnie w dolinie potoku Babica, gdzie pokłady soli zalegały płytko. Nie były one jednak zbyt obfite, więc drążono kolejne, głębsze szyby. Tak powstała najstarsza, wschodnia część kopalni z szybami Sutoris (Szewczy) i Gazaris (Wieżny lub Wodny). Kopalnia rozwijała się w kierunku pionowym i na zachód. Część zachodnią nazywano Nowymi Górami, a tworzyły ją trzy szyby: Regis, Bochneris i Campi. W latach 80. XX w. kopalnia osiągnęła maksymalne rozmiary: cztery i pół kilometra długości i 468 metrów głębokości.
Główny szyb kopalni to Campi (Polny), wydrążony w latach 1556-1566. Największą głębokość (408 m) osiągnął w 1898 r. Jest on połączony z Sutoris – najstarszym istniejącym szybem kopalni, trzykilometrową Podłużnią August, której pierwszy odcinek powstał w latach 1723-1743. Wydrążony już w połowie XIII w. szyb Sutoris stał się w XIV i XV w. jednym z głównych szybów wydobywczych.
W bocheńskiej kopalni znajduje się wiele kaplic. Największą z nich jest powstała po 1747 r. kaplica św. Kingi, gdzie w prezbiterium znajdują się wykute w soli ołtarze św. Kingi i św. Barbary, ambona i figury świętych: Kingi, Jana Nepomucena, Wojciecha i Tomasza z Akwinu.
Według legendy, król Węgier Bela IV podarował córce Kindze jako wiano kopalnię soli w Siedmiogrodzie. Odbierając ją, zgodnie z ówczesnym zwyczajem, wrzuciła do niej pierścień. Po przybyciu do Polski odwiedziła Bochnię, a tutaj w pierwszej wydobytej bryle soli górnicy znaleźli pierścień Kingi, wrzucony do kopalni w Siedmiogrodzie.
Kopalnia w Bochni jest najstarszym ośrodkiem wydobywczym soli w Polsce. Działa bez przerwy od średniowiecza, już prawie 750 lat. W ostatnich latach, z powodu znacznego wyczerpania się zasobów, wstrzymano eksploatację złóż soli. Część wyrobisk udostępniono do zwiedzania jako trasę turystyczną, a w największej z zachowanych komór urządzono sanatorium. Panujący tu mikroklimat ma właściwości lecznicze, szczególnie dla cierpiących na schorzenia alergiczne dróg oddechowych i skóry.

Bochnia
Salt Mine

Since the very beginning of its existence, Bochnia had been associated with salt. The first historical document dating from 1198 confirms this, mentioning the provision of Bochnian salt to the Friars of the Holy Sepulchre. The population of the settlement must have been fairly large as Bochnia lay along a trade route connecting the East and the West of Europe. A charter bestowing Bochnia with the Magdeburg Law was granted by Prince Bolesław Wstydliwy (Boleslaus the Modest) in 1253.
The salt deposits under Bochnia were formed approximately 20 million years ago. They are located between 50 and 500 meters underground, and are approximately 4 km long. The oldest shafts were probably located in the valley of the Babica Stream, where the deposits were relatively shallow and therefore easily accessible. As these ran out, new, deeper shafts were dug, giving rise to the oldest, eastern part of the mine with the Sutoris and Gazaris shafts. The mine then developed further down and to the west. The western part, called the New Mountains (Nowe Góry), was composed of three shafts: Regis, Bochneris and Campi. In 1980s, the mine reached its maximum dimensions: 4.5 km in length and 468 meters in depth.
The Campi shaft, bored in 1556-1566, is the main shaft of the mine. In 1898 it reached its maximum depth of 408 meters. It is connected to Sutoris by the oldest existing corridor in the mine, the 3-kilometer August Passage, the first section of which was dug in 1723-1743. Drilled as early as mid-the 13th century, in the 14th and 15th centuries the Sutoris became one of the main excavation shafts.
The Bochnia mine contains many chapels. In the chancel of the largest chapel of Saint Kinga, carved after 1747, we find salt-sculpted altars of Saint Kinga and Saint Barbara, the pulpit, and salty statues of saints: St Kinga, St John Nepomucene, St Adalbert, and St Thomas Aquinas.
According to a legend, the Hungarian King Bela IV gave his daughter a salt mine in Transylvania. When Kinga succeeded to possession of the mine, she threw her ring down the shaft according to the mediaeval fashion. Later, when she came to Poland with her husband prince Bolesław, she visited Bochnia. In the first lump of salt that was excavated, the miners found Kinga’s ring, the same ring that she had cast into her Transylvanian mine.
The Bochnia Mine is the oldest salt mining site in Poland. It has been active continually since the Middle Ages, i.e. for nearly 750 years. Recently, due to the exhaustion of the deposits, salt mining was suspended. Part of the mine was opened to visitors, a sightseeing route was organised, and a health resort was fitted out in the largest of the underground chambers. The microclimate of the mine has healing properties, and is particularly beneficial for persons suffering from respiratory tract and skin allergies.

Bochnia, kopalnia soli
skin allergies

Image by Małopolski Instytut Kultury
fot. Marcin Klag

I Małopolskie Dni Dziedzictwa Kulturowego, 15-26 września 1999 r.

Bochnia
Kopalnia soli

Bochnia od początku swego istnienia była związana z solą. Pierwsza historyczna wzmianka, pochodząca z 1198 r., dotyczy uposażenia klasztoru bożogrobców w Miechowie w sól bocheńską. Przywilej lokacyjny nadający Bochni prawo magdeburskie został wydany przez księcia Bolesława Wstydliwego w 1253 r.
Złoża bocheńskiej soli pochodzą sprzed ok. dwudziestu milionów lat. Zalegają one na głębokości od pięćdziesięciu do pięciuset metrów, a rozciągają się na długość ok. czterech kilometrów. Najstarsze szyby zostały zlokalizowane prawdopodobnie w dolinie potoku Babica, gdzie pokłady soli zalegały płytko. Nie były one jednak zbyt obfite, więc drążono kolejne, głębsze szyby. Tak powstała najstarsza, wschodnia część kopalni z szybami Sutoris (Szewczy) i Gazaris (Wieżny lub Wodny). Kopalnia rozwijała się w kierunku pionowym i na zachód. Część zachodnią nazywano Nowymi Górami, a tworzyły ją trzy szyby: Regis, Bochneris i Campi. W latach 80. XX w. kopalnia osiągnęła maksymalne rozmiary: cztery i pół kilometra długości i 468 metrów głębokości.
Główny szyb kopalni to Campi (Polny), wydrążony w latach 1556-1566. Największą głębokość (408 m) osiągnął w 1898 r. Jest on połączony z Sutoris – najstarszym istniejącym szybem kopalni, trzykilometrową Podłużnią August, której pierwszy odcinek powstał w latach 1723-1743. Wydrążony już w połowie XIII w. szyb Sutoris stał się w XIV i XV w. jednym z głównych szybów wydobywczych.
W bocheńskiej kopalni znajduje się wiele kaplic. Największą z nich jest powstała po 1747 r. kaplica św. Kingi, gdzie w prezbiterium znajdują się wykute w soli ołtarze św. Kingi i św. Barbary, ambona i figury świętych: Kingi, Jana Nepomucena, Wojciecha i Tomasza z Akwinu.
Według legendy, król Węgier Bela IV podarował córce Kindze jako wiano kopalnię soli w Siedmiogrodzie. Odbierając ją, zgodnie z ówczesnym zwyczajem, wrzuciła do niej pierścień. Po przybyciu do Polski odwiedziła Bochnię, a tutaj w pierwszej wydobytej bryle soli górnicy znaleźli pierścień Kingi, wrzucony do kopalni w Siedmiogrodzie.
Kopalnia w Bochni jest najstarszym ośrodkiem wydobywczym soli w Polsce. Działa bez przerwy od średniowiecza, już prawie 750 lat. W ostatnich latach, z powodu znacznego wyczerpania się zasobów, wstrzymano eksploatację złóż soli. Część wyrobisk udostępniono do zwiedzania jako trasę turystyczną, a w największej z zachowanych komór urządzono sanatorium. Panujący tu mikroklimat ma właściwości lecznicze, szczególnie dla cierpiących na schorzenia alergiczne dróg oddechowych i skóry.

Bochnia
Salt Mine

Since the very beginning of its existence, Bochnia had been associated with salt. The first historical document dating from 1198 confirms this, mentioning the provision of Bochnian salt to the Friars of the Holy Sepulchre. The population of the settlement must have been fairly large as Bochnia lay along a trade route connecting the East and the West of Europe. A charter bestowing Bochnia with the Magdeburg Law was granted by Prince Bolesław Wstydliwy (Boleslaus the Modest) in 1253.
The salt deposits under Bochnia were formed approximately 20 million years ago. They are located between 50 and 500 meters underground, and are approximately 4 km long. The oldest shafts were probably located in the valley of the Babica Stream, where the deposits were relatively shallow and therefore easily accessible. As these ran out, new, deeper shafts were dug, giving rise to the oldest, eastern part of the mine with the Sutoris and Gazaris shafts. The mine then developed further down and to the west. The western part, called the New Mountains (Nowe Góry), was composed of three shafts: Regis, Bochneris and Campi. In 1980s, the mine reached its maximum dimensions: 4.5 km in length and 468 meters in depth.
The Campi shaft, bored in 1556-1566, is the main shaft of the mine. In 1898 it reached its maximum depth of 408 meters. It is connected to Sutoris by the oldest existing corridor in the mine, the 3-kilometer August Passage, the first section of which was dug in 1723-1743. Drilled as early as mid-the 13th century, in the 14th and 15th centuries the Sutoris became one of the main excavation shafts.
The Bochnia mine contains many chapels. In the chancel of the largest chapel of Saint Kinga, carved after 1747, we find salt-sculpted altars of Saint Kinga and Saint Barbara, the pulpit, and salty statues of saints: St Kinga, St John Nepomucene, St Adalbert, and St Thomas Aquinas.
According to a legend, the Hungarian King Bela IV gave his daughter a salt mine in Transylvania. When Kinga succeeded to possession of the mine, she threw her ring down the shaft according to the mediaeval fashion. Later, when she came to Poland with her husband prince Bolesław, she visited Bochnia. In the first lump of salt that was excavated, the miners found Kinga’s ring, the same ring that she had cast into her Transylvanian mine.
The Bochnia Mine is the oldest salt mining site in Poland. It has been active continually since the Middle Ages, i.e. for nearly 750 years. Recently, due to the exhaustion of the deposits, salt mining was suspended. Part of the mine was opened to visitors, a sightseeing route was organised, and a health resort was fitted out in the largest of the underground chambers. The microclimate of the mine has healing properties, and is particularly beneficial for persons suffering from respiratory tract and skin allergies.

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