Saturday, February 24, 2007

i'm almost too embarrassed to post this

but i guess i will. i came down with some strange bug yesterday. thursday night, i went out to dinner with a friend. i had a glass of wine - but that's all. i felt vaguely queasy after dinner, but i chalked it up to the decadent italian food we ate. at any rate, i got up to go to class yesterday - but i actually left in the middle of oncology because i felt so nauseated. i came home and crashed in bed. and i stayed there until 9:30 this morning. i slept from 3:00pm to 9:30 the next morning. i feel icky today. my head is clouded, my stomach is still overly sensitive, i have a headache, etc. so i can say this mistake is totally due to my illness. i dragged myself out of bed to do my obligatory saturday clean. i was cleaning bird cages when my phone rang. it was the army recruiter with some additional information for me. now before ya'll start fretting and think i signed my life over to the army - fear not. i wasn't out of the room for 15 secs before i remembered that i had left epi out of her cage. as i ran toward the bird room, i heard a birdie screech - which i knew to be bad. i didn't know how bad until i scooped epi up and looked at her. last time, it was a small crack across the top of her beak, one that looked moderately bad but wasn't. this time - BAD. she has 3 beak fractures - full thickness through the beak in the case of 2. the other is a mandibular (jaw) fracture under the skin. at any rate, there was a big piece of loosely flapping beak. she didn't even scream when titus did it - the bird screech i'd heard was titus (she'd gotten him a bit on the chin). i'd never seen a beak fracture like this, so i had to speed over to school.

dr greenacre came in (after JUST having left for the morning) and put her under anesthesia. she then used a needle to bore two holes in the beak - one on either side of the fracture line. she threaded the holes with wire to close the beak back together. unfortunately, epi is tiny - and dr g couldn't find small enough wire, so the wire ripped through the holes and through the beak. then epi started to wake up from the gas, so we had to put her back under. she let out a little scream as she woke up, which made me feel terrible. at any rate, there wasn't any wire small enough, so - in the end - dr g used 2.0 PDS suture to close the fracture line. there is nothing to be done about the fracture under the skin. epi is too small for an IM pin or an external skeletal fixator. so, she's back home now - nestled up against her favorite toy - looking pathetic. the suture will have to stay in for at least 6 weeks until the beak heals, as well as the mandibular fracture. she has to eat soft food for the duration of that, until her beak is strong enough to take hard food. she also has to have daily metacam orally (an NSAID) to help with the pain. on the bright side, she attacked the peanut butter and applesauce that i put in her cage, so i know it hasn't put a dint in her appetite.

do i need to mention how absolutely STUPID i feel for this? it was completely and totally avoidable. but i was sick and tired and i wasn't thinking clearly...yada yada yada. it's just that epi has gotten really excessively aggressive lately. she wasn't always this territorial. but lately, she even bites me - which is unusual. i gave in when i got home and moved her cage into a different room. she now has her own window and a little bit of space. maybe that will calm her down some. i guess we'll see. if i have to take her in one more time, i'm going to SCREAM. plus, it was really scary having to put her under anesthesia. she was so pitiful...

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