Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Can I please have a boring day??? PLEASE?????????
This is Pepper, a male Congo African Grey, and the green bird is a severe macaw named Dudley. They were both obtained from a divorcing family and we living in dirty and dark and sad circumstances. We will probably rehab and rehome one or both of the birds.
Author's note to reader- I elected to do this work. I love what I do and so does my husband and my kids. But like any job, some days are worse than others. Every once in a while I have to rant and let you know that NO, I am not crazy, but YES, I have every reason to be. I would not trade any of this for another job, so I am just venting, not saying, " I HATE THIS." Everyone rants once in a while about their job, I think.
I don't know what is going on, or what phase of the moon we are in, but something is very wrong around here. Maybe I am just spoiled from the last six months of relative quiet and "non disasterousness" (yes, I made that up). Well the last few days have ended THAT little nice spell of quiet. Yesterday and today were great examples. Yesterday, I decided that the two newest big bird rescues, Pepper and Dudley needed their wings and beaks trimmed. That started the cosmic roll down the hill. I did Dudley- no problem. He's the severe macaw. I forgot his feet, but I got his wings and beak done well by myself. (For those of you non bird people, this is quite a feat to do with a NEW BIRD by yourself.) Then I got Pepper- I should have been clued in by the sheer STRENGTH of this bird that somehow something would go wrong. I mean, I have never felt a bird that strong and he's smaller than the macaw. He was SO ANGRY. So I started dremmeling his beak and he decided to eat the dremel head. Not safe. So I changed to a bigger barrel and coarser grit. I have used this on other birds with no problem, but not with a new angry bird. Not smart. I took too much off his beak and he began to bleed. (Mind you, I have never overdremmeled a bird before). I was running all over the house looking for the styptic powder (stops bleeding) and telling the kids, " HELP ME HELP ME!" (In a calm panicked voice as I didn't want to stress the bird out more.) That's an hard voice to do, by the way. So we got the bleeding stopped and put him in a sink and ran warm water over him to help his blood pressure come down and relax him. I put him in his cage, watched him for an hour and then went out with the kids for a nice "buy gifts for the triplets and the baby", eat lunch, relax outing. So we did, and had a great time. I dropped them off at the triplet's house to go to Adventure Landing and went home ALONE, thinking, "I'll read or watch TV or just sleep." I came in the door and I heard gurgling. More specifically, gurgling coming from Pepper's chest. For those non bird people, gurgling in a bird's chest could mean several things, most of them emergencies and only one that's "NO BIG DEAL." I take him out and towel him to make sure that is what I am really hearing and YES, it is GURGLING AND IT"S WORSE. I calmly get the bird carrier (I haven't even peed yet, from my shopping and lunch date by the way) and call my new vet who hasn't even seen me. I pray that she's on that day and that they'll see me. Betty comes on the phone and says, "Is it ok if she works you in?" I almost screamed and cried with joy, " YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!" So I go, beg to use their bathroom, and Dr.Curtis listens and says, " He's wheezing and you did a number on his beak." I said, " I know, and I swear I have never over dremmeled a beak before- I am NOT AN IDIOT!" I was not yelling but gosh, what a great first impression on an avian vet- "Duh, I am a moron and cut the heck out of my bird's beak." So, she said, " Let's rule out blah blah blah" ( I am so tired I can't remember- it's spread by bad peanuts and flares up during stress- it's a fungus...........dang, my brain is toast. 30 minutes later, I remember- aspergillosis. (My brother the bird expert and Becca my bird expert friend read this. ) So they draw blood and give him a nebulizer treatment, put him on antibiotics and send us home. As for the beak, she says, " He'll get over it, don't give him any more pain meds." (I medicated the poor dang bird as soon as I got the bleeding stopped.) "If this was water in his lungs from the shower, it will resolve by tomorrow." She sends me home with INJECTABLE antibiotics (twice a day thank you) and once a day antifungal. I get home at 7 to 17 frantic very hungry dogs ( I was supposed to feed them right after I peed when I walked in the door from shopping three hours prior, remember?.) Then I stayed up until MIDNIGHT sending out thank you notes to all the gracious souls who sent checksfor Pica's surgery by mail- I had thanked online donators with email thank yous. I normally go to bed at nine or ten, so I was PUSHING IT.
This morning I got up at seven, fed all 1,000 animals and medicated the ones who take it and then went back to bed until 11:30- I about died when I woke up and saw my watch. Honestly, my first thought was, " That has to be a TYPO!" (I know watches don't have typos, but that is what my befuddled brain thought.) Jon was home and he had gotten up around eight, so he woke up to no animals needing to be fed and he promptly ate, drank his coffee and cleaned the bird cages (do I love this man or WHAT?) and let me sleep until ELEVEN THIRTY. I so love him. So today, Bianca, who has pemphigus- (look it up) won't eat. This dog would eat your HAND if you aren't careful. I think, OH NO, PLEASE GOD, NO. So I take she and Quinn in to Dr. Rockefeller (one of my amazing vets at Augustine Loretto Animal Clinic) and she decides that Quinn's stitches on his absent toe aren't ready to come out yet, (damn- means another trip) and that Bianca needs antibiotics b/c she's on prednisone and is immunocomprised and calls in Amoxicillin to Publix b/c I can get it for FREE. ( I LOVE MY VETS). The visit cost me $30. MUCH less than the avian visit yesterday. So I get home and guess what? Pepper isn't wheezing. PRAISE THE LORD, I think. But we go ahead and give him his meds (Jon assisted greatly this time.) and leave him alone- he has this look on his face like, "Can I just have some time to be LEFT ALONE?? I am tired, my beak hurts, and I just want to sleep." And I sang " Jesus loves me" to him (his most comforting song, must have sang it 20 times to him at the vet) and said, " I know JUST how you feel buddy." EXACTLY. So tonight, my sister in law took my kids to spend the night it was SO her turn) :) and I took my sleeping meds, covered all the birds at 5:30 and said, " TONIGHT, we are ALL GETTING SOME SLEEP!" I need it- Pica's bandage comes off tomorrow,Samson our thirteen year old Greyhound has been carrying his left back leg for a few days and probably needs to be on arthritis medicine, and who knows what else will happen. Sigh. On the up side, this means that soon we should be due for another six months of quiet. ( I am still going to cross my fingers and knock on wood.)