Wednesday, October 31, 2007

not quite good...never quite good enough

no prizes for guessing the mood. Howled all over tdoc yesterday for no reason, and came straight home to the couch.

no gym today, but I did walk around a bit at the local dam catching an injured goose, so not quite bad either. And will repeat again tomorrow afternoon probably.

and after three nights of who let the dogs out on the alcohol, back to behaving for a few days. I really don't see that it makes anything worse, other than the one night out of probably 50 that I get morbid and tearful. So, with not drinking at all, I have at least two or three of those every week. Just speaking statistically it is probably better to drink. But hey, if it makes pdoc happy, I'll keep trying it.
And then he wants to know why I'm not being sociable.

ended up yesterday with 4 babies on hourly feeds - speckled mousebird from Fri (left the sparrow at the centre), and then accumulated 2 weavers and a white-eye. Added a teeniest redfaced mousebird today. Don't really want to keep them over next few days, but don't really want to hand them over either. Most of all don't want them to die, either with me, or at the centre (double helping of guilt then for not caring for them).

spring is not a good time of year for me anymore...

Monday, October 29, 2007

big babies

...of the 9 pigeons outside in the aviary, there are 4 that really don't think that they should a)be outside, b)be forced to eat on their own or c)do without a daily cuddle. And they are all hulking great birds already. When I put food down today, I ended up with one stuck between my toes, and three sitting on my head and shoulders while they shoved their beaks into every orifice they could find. Tried explaining to them that they couldn't be released until they stopped behaving like babies, but the explanation was cut short when one tried to put his entire head into my mouth. Gross.

And then it was off to the dentist for a checkup, where I was the big baby, and made ouch noises until he rolled his eyeballs and gave me gas. Which of course, was exactly why I was whining to begin with. I just love the stuff. I figure that he only gives me the absolute minimum, and not very often, and it's about the only nice drug that I ever get...heck, I just like feeling stoned! Only down side is that it makes me feel distinctly cuddly, especially seeing as he reminds me so much anyway of last b/f. When one starts perving at one's 63-year old grandfather of 5 dentist, it's obviously a sign that celibacy doesn't suit one. I knew that already actually..

Saturday, October 27, 2007

great achievement

for the month, never mind week or day....was getting myself to a shopping mall to buy gym sweatpants. Wow. Thanks to Aqua for the long-distance push. More of a mission than I thought, though. What I want is plain-coloured, Tshirty-material, elastic at ankles, baggy even though I am ginormous kind of pants. Only things available are skintight from the halfway down your ass waists to the knees, parachute material, not an elastic ankle in town, and most of all....not a hope in hell of me being comfortable in them, never mind them being baggy by design. Eventually lucked out and found one pair that is at least baggy - the rest of the criteria will have to wait. That's malls and me done until the week before Christmas.

So now I have one less excuse about gym. Over to you on the shopping, A!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

gray skies everywhere

which are more in keeping with the mood anyway, than the normal sunny summer. Been a week of driving back and forth again, fetching little birds all over. I said to my rehab boss that it was quite safe for me to get up in the morning with absolutely no plans for the day because by the time I got out of the bath our receptionist would have filled the day for me. All I want to do is just curl up on the couch anyway.

Still haven't made it to the gym, which is kind of embarrassing. First problem is that before I can go to the gym, I have to go shopping for some tracksuit pants, and I can't summon up the motivation to go anywhere near a mall. And I'm too fat to get them anywhere else.

Pdoc today looked at me and said 'I think we should swap'. When I looked blank, he clarified, 'moods. You can have my happy mood for a week and I'll take your miserable one and just stay at home with it.' Then he thought about it and said 'except that you'd probably run off with it and not give it back, so I'll just have to keep my good mood. And fix yours instead.'. Ha bloody ha....been trying that for nearly 3 years now. Then we had a nice discussion about bird flu - he and I both have a sneaking hope that when bird flu really gets going it will annihilate vast numbers of people too. Big difference between us though, is that he figures he would be excluded, while I wish that - thanks to cuddling birds of all kinds - I'd be one of the dead. Would save a whole lot of mental agonising, if I could just go kiss a duck and die...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

mazel tov

to the mynah babies who ate by themselves for the first time today. About time too, 3 of them are already making short flights. At least, I presume that they ate something from the bowl of food that was liberally distributed around the cage.....

Mynahs always remind me of teenage hoodlums. Not only do they have extra-long legs that give them a bit of a bandy strut, but they also slouch most of the time. Added to which, they are incapable of quiet chat - it's always easy to find where the mynahs in the neighbourhood are sleeping, because from about 15 mins before sunset until full dark, they congregate in the chosen tree, and yell raucously at each other, and push and shove their neighbours. And of course, they often hang out on the side of roads, where, in spite of their propensity for jaywalking, they manage to avoid being hit by traffic most of the time. But when none of their friends are looking, they are still quite willing to cuddle up to mom!

Friday, October 19, 2007

still no idea

of whether the sore neck is the Manerix or the tick bite. Pdoc responded to mail on weds by telling me to cut back to 300mg on the Manerix until we talked on thu. On thu he didn't commit to either theory, but just said to stay down on the Manerix until the tick bite fever was either confirmed or past the window. Then announced happily that he'd never seen a bite that was basically on the spine before, and that he thought that might be interesting symptomatically. I kind of prefer interesting things that don't involve my neck.

Todays fun was collecting a snake of unknown parentage. Ended up meeting the finder in the parking area of a busy fast-food place on a main road, and then discovered that the snake was in a large box on the back of his bakkie. Given that he was really keen to ID it, he insisted that we open the box and move the snake to my container, which I did with tongs, and gave a tentative ID. Then he wanted a picture, so after he got his camera, I lifted the lid an inch. Snake, who is about 1.25m long and angry, bailed out of container at high speed and started exploring the loadbed looking for a way off. My tongs were already in their bag, so I grabbed the snake by the tail and tried to persuade him back into the box, which it didn't like at all. I think I was yelling something like ohshitshitshit at the time, until he got the tongs out for me and I could rebox it. And then I suggested that we not take photos anymore. He was so awed by the image of me as Medusa, clutching a writhing snake by one end that he agreed immediately. Turned out that my initial ID was right, and it was a mole snake. They are renowned for having one of the worst bites around in wound terms, as although they are non-venomous constrictors, they are very aggressive on initial contact, and use their powerful, thick bodies to tear tissue as they bite with their rows of sharp little teeth - wounds often need stitching. Boss lady rolled around laughing when I returned to the centre with him.
I don't know why I do snake catches, really - I am terrified by it, and I am so crap at IDing them, other than the common form of the top 3 most poisonous species. Number 2 on the list, of course, is the one that makes up about 80% of all my calls...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

waste of an entire f**ing year

just had a mail from my exceedingly feeble boss, telling me that the project I have put in huge hours and stress on for most of this year has now been shelved indefinitely. I am so pissed off, and so depressed about it too. Between the data centre management and the account management I am not sure which is the most useless bunch. I'm a tech support drone, and it's not up to me to convince clients - that's why I have multiple layers of management.

I know I should go and dig in the garden or something to vent, but my neck hurts too much already. Not sure if it is a Manerix s/e or impending tick bite fever (picked up a tick from the baby jackals last week, yecchh!) but my neck has been really sore since Monday, after going up on the Manerix in the morning. Will check with pdoc tomorrow, but meantime I really don't feel like ending up with sore shoulders as well.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

sad kitty stuff

Got a call last night about a kitten at the local squatter camp, from our insider lady. Someone had given a woman three tiny kittens, and last night she noticed that one of them couldn't walk. I collected him this morning, and took him to one of the local vets. As soon as I saw him, I had a bad feeling about the prognosis, which the vet confirmed. Total paralysis of the hindquarters, with absolutely no pain response, no anal tone, no movement. Whatever the cause, it was something that would almost definitely not be treatable in a kitten of about 4 weeks old. And so I held him - in one hand because he was so small - while the vet euthanased him....

Saturday, October 13, 2007

falling asleep on my feet

after another few hours at a natural sciences exhibition where the rehab centre had a stand (I was there yesterday as well). We get invited to a lot of shows, most of which entail standing around answering questions about the centre, telling them what we do, and in my case at least, feeding baby birds that can't stay home on their own. This one also involved a lot of schools who had to fill in a workbook, so it was also answering the same 14 questions over and over. And over again. Although I did think it kind of defeated the purpose of having questions at all and made me feel very old, because I kept thinking that back in the dark ages when I was at school we would have been expected to go home or to the library and learn something by actually looking up the answers.
In books, never mind having internet access to all the info you could ever want about anything. Make that old and crotchety....

For light relief though, I picked up a fledgling spotted eagle owl (pic is of a nestling) at dusk yesterday in a local park - had been seen on the ground by dogwalkers who were absolutely sure it had a broken wing. I couldn't feel a break, but wanted to make certain, so I brought it home to get a second opinion from another volunteer. When we were both happy that there were no breaks, and the reason it wasn't flying was just because it doesn't know how to yet, the centre manager asked that it be returned either to the park if possible, or to one of the adjacent houses. So this afternoon, I took it back, found a safe and well-camouflaged spot for it close to one of the adults and released him. Before I left, I had the satisfaction of seeing a parent flying down to him. A feel-good rescue all round.

And now, at a ridiculous hour for a Saturday night, I'm off to bed. There are nine little beaks who will be waiting eagerly from sunrise on to be filled - as well as a whole lot more who really don't believe that they are big enough to eat by themselves yet and will add their plaintive cries to the mix. No wonder birds have short maturation periods; if they took as long as most mammals do, the parents would die of exhaustion before they ever raised any young to the self-feeding age....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

thursday already

and I have done just about nothing this week. Apart from seeing tdoc on Tue and today, and pdoc this morning, all I've really done is fetch animals and birds from all over. Including 3 baby black backed jackals of about 3 weeks from somewhere 2.5 hours out of town on Tue, a whole bunch of birds yesterday, a bunch more today including my first baby mynahs of the season. Four little guys that look to be between 10 and 15 days old - been waiting weeks for them to start being found out of the nests, and now four at once. Needless to say, I have a waiting list for them already. While I wouldn't normally encourage people to keep wild birds as pets, mynahs thrive on human interaction and many of the ones I know are never caged or clipped - they stay by their choice, and, probably, because they enjoy having a tame human to serve them. Also, I figure that the more people see of them as pets, the more they will be regarded with some degree of fondness and in the long term it might become less acceptable to kill them in the wild.

Good to have tdoc back again. I know that most of what she does is just 'supportive' therapy, but she does also prod me into looking at things differently sometimes. I spend most of my life trying to pretend everything is ok, and at least I can talk to her about anything. I kind of feel she is the only person who knows everything about me and doesn't reject me for the worst bits. Yeah, I know it's a paid-for relationship...but sometimes it's still the only totally honest one I have. Even pdoc doesn't know a lot of what she does, partly because he doesn't really want to get into the really emotional stuff and partly because I adore him too much to tell him what a totally useless bitch I am a lot of the time. We do talk, and he can be really astute sometimes, but there will always be stuff I'd rather not discuss.

He was in great form today, and we ended up talking about all sorts of weird stuff. Including another one of his slightly off-colour stories - started off with the strange things little old ladies do sometimes, so he reckons one of the strangest he'd had was at a very busy hospital where most of the ambulance calls were taken to. A member of staff was brought in to ER with a bunch of flowers stuck in her genitals, so the junior resident on duty comes running to call him and tells him this in a very wide-eyed shocked tone. 'oh' says pdoc calmly, 'she probably just couldn't find a vase anywhere'! And shrinks wonder why they have a reputation for being a bit strange themselves....

So it's up again on the Aurorix again, to 750mg. And wait. He says no way to even thinking about methadone, which is probably my choice as well. I'm way too much of an addictive personality anyway, and the opiates are still something I find a bit scary. At the same time though, I'm running out of patience - and out of meds that we haven't tried. I've lost count of how many it's been just in the past three years, almost all of them without any effect at all. Getting to the point again where I just think it's been too long already, and it doesn't seem to be anything left to hope for.

No gym yet. But no vodka either.

Monday, October 8, 2007

three good things

tdoc is back from honeymoon and I get to see her tomorrow

I stuck to the no vodka decision, even if I didn't get to gym (I didn't actually have time, between bird calls)

I collected a really sweet bird this morning. He's a fledgling Pied Crow, who was found sitting alone in the middle of the road, and when I fetched him, he made it very clear that he hadn't been given breakfast. Took him to the centre, where he made such a noise in the clinic that the receptionist came running to see what was wrong, so took him to the kitchen where he ate 90% of a cut up dead chick before burping (no...not really) and settling down on my arm. Went back to the clinic to process him, and showed him to the boss. She looked at him, thought about it, and said she was going to hack him out away from the centre 'before he turns into a great big cuddly chicken'. Then she looks at him again, and at me, and says 'if its not too late for that already' - I looked down, and he was leaning against my chest with his eyes closed, fast asleep in a very uncrow-like way. Yep...cuddly chicken.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

and again...

Entire day was spent semi-comatose, first in bed, then the bath, and then on the couch for most of the day. It was dark and drizzly for most of it, and all the babes are on 3 hourly feeds, so I basically fed and then curled under the '70s sleeping bag with a book in hand. And started at 5 o'clock on what I've determined will be my last alcoholic evening for a while. It's not going to make me feel any better; most of the time, drinking stops the real demons from roosting - and when they do, stops me from doing anything fatal. Will please pdoc immensely though. Might as well make one of us happy...

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Been raining just about solidly for the last six days. I have a room full of little birds who ended up wet and on the ground. I've cried myself ugly over the last three books I've read - every time anything bad happens, every time anything good happens.
Supposed to stay on 450mg Aurorix for another three days still, but seeing as I have no side effects anyway, and pdoc reckons that he wants to get up to 750mg before he expects anything, I went up this morning to 600mg. No result by Thur, I'll go up again, and he can yell at me when I see him. He wants to do the hospital bit anyway, which I declined on the grounds of having too many birdlings. Wouldn't go anyway, even if the house was empty. But it's just too close - never mind being near the edge... I'm sitting there with my legs dangling over, ready to lean forward and just take the dive..

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Saw pdoc today. Didn't tell him how totally crap this week has been, although he can kind of guess by how much time I spend fiddling with the coaster on his desk and not talking, and by how much eye contact I can handle.

So, for the first time in two and a half years, he didn't ask about gym. And this is when I have something to tell him on said subject for the only time in just as long. Eventually I said to him that he'd missed a question. Which one, he asks. Gym, I say. His eyebrows go up and he asks 'and?', so I say that I signed up for one. He expresses great joy, shakes my hand, writes it in his notes, underlines it in red, gets even more overjoyed and circles it in red with exclamation marks. And tells me not to overdo it for the first week - 'don't go more than 6 times' he says. Ha bloody ha...little does he know the family history I can claim in my defence. My sister once became a member and stayed one for 3 years at a particular gym, without ever setting foot through the doors after signing up. Besides, six times in a month would probably be pushing it. I didn't want to admit that I had to stop and breathe heavily halfway up the stairs so that I didn't collapse at the entrance.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

the rehab bit

Aqua asked about doing more of the nice side of things. I do, I get way more than my share of them. I'm lucky in that the boss trusts me with doing a lot of the catching, and a lot of releasing as well. Actually, in all honesty, it's not so much skill - it's more that because I contract from home most of the time for the paying job, I'm available and I don't mind going places. And I'm not too scared of being bitten, which is a huge advantage.

I stopped doing shifts at the centre every day because I'd come home just about every day and cry about losing birds or animals. A lot of the catching does involve injured or trapped animals, and very often I need to make the call on whether they go straight to the nearest vet for euthanasing. And of course, the babies I treat at home are entirely my responsibility. Some of them will go through to the centre as soon as I can get them there, but most are feral pigeons and mynahs, and the centre doesn't treat them because they aren't indigenous. And crap as I might be sometimes, at least I'm giving them some chance.

Boss lady says that we don't know either how many of the littlest ones would make it with their parents, that in the wild a percentage would die anyway. Also, the ones that we get have often been traumatised in some way already - by falling out of the nest, being caught by cats or dogs, being cold and hungry etc.

But it's still heartbreaking to lose them, especially when it's a babe that you've been feeding two drops to every half hour for a few days. Don't think I'll ever get used to that...just that some days it hurts a bit, and some days it feels like a bit of me dying too....