It seems my week was just as crazy as the last. But, hey... I am not complaining. I love what I do, and part of what I do is to heal. Myself, others, or any old thing that I think I can infuse positive energy into. My outlook has been on positive-mode.
First, my little one inch "pumpkin" at 12 o'clock on my breast. Has not grown, and appears to be benign. Same day I went for the scan, which was yesterday... two ducks down. Not down for good (hopefully) but down.
The first, was my own doing. I rushed outside before coffee (bad move) to let everybody out because I had my appointment. As I opened the barn door, there was resistance, which happens quite often, hay piles up or somebody knocks something over. So I gave a little shove, at the same time glancing down to see a duck leg under the door. One of my silver runners. She sped off to the corner on one foot. I grabbed her up and ran in the house, mud tracking all the way upstairs (every-other) and woke up Rusty. He awoken to me, throwing the door open (again) and saying "Can you help me with this duck?" I felt like the worst duck Mom in the world at that moment. Of course it was an accident, but I broke my ducks leg. Broke it. Rusty is a biologist, which means he is good at looking at things scientifically, while I look at things more on a spiritual and intuitive level. So I held my girl, and Rusty got busy on the internet. He pulled up diagrams of a duck leg bones, and was able to take in all the data into his computer brain, then said, "OK, We will splint the leg, and sling the duck." Sling as in not throwing, sling as in hang her in a sling, where she has to be still. Sort of like traction in a hammock. He showed me photos of Wildlife Rescue's rescues, and I agreed, that would be the plan.
I still didn't know which girl it was. I though maybe it was Olive, Sly's girlfriend. She is the same color, silver, but when I went out to see everybody else, Olive was there next to Sly. She is younger than the other silver girls, so not as tall as the others yet. So I broke Rain. Rain the silver runner. I broke her in the femur. Which is about an inch above the knee. Not cracked, broke.
I put her in a small box, kept my plan in my head, tried to breathe, then raced off to the radiologist. That went about as good as one can expect. On the way home, we stopped at the pharmacy picked up supplies. A finger splint kit and two kinds of wrap. Fortunately, I have the antibiotics/pain meds on hand from my last duckaster, as well as the multivitamins and niacin. The niacin is a must for duck care. It is what they get from insects. In the winter there is not as many and you can get a "lame duck" from a niacin deficiency. How can you tell it is that? You can't. It is hit or miss. So listening to your gut and just plain old experience factor in... or borrowing other people's experience.
Back in the day when everybody farmed to some extent, you could learn these tips from your parents, your neighbor, or your community. Neighboring farmers would come over and help you doctor your livestock. Now we have the internet. If I could have a community of all you fellow farmers out there, and we could gather and be old-timey neighborly, it would be grand. But at least I have access to some of the same unity, some of the like-minded... to learn from, or to teach.
So my sweet Rain went through surgery of sorts. I held her stroking her neck and beak as we clipped away feathers and down. The area was extremely difficult to brace. The femur is up where the leg connects with the body. We set the bone and wrapped. Then added two splints on each side. Finger splints worked great in this situation. then more wrap over the splints. Lastly a wrap over her whole torso to keep her immobilized as much as possible. Then she got her injection into the muscle. We have very tiny needles for our birds. Next, vitamin water with niacin and some grower crumbles. We put her in a 3 part rabbit carrier cage with a pan underneath. This way she stays clean, and has no room to pivot. All that fits in with her is two cups, one for food, one for crumbles. She settled in and took a drink and nibbled on her food.
I took a big sigh of relief. Maybe I was an ok Duck Mom. But it will be a very long road for her. There are tendons, and circulatory issues, anything can happen. I heard something about 50/50 chance for her. At best.
But that is when magic comes in handy. Call it the power of prayer, positive thinking, quantum physics, God's grace... or call it magic. It is all the same to me. I just "do it" in the way that I can best relate to the Divine forces.
It had started to snow heavily, so I thought I might get everybody settled in for the night a tad early. I went out and began my duties. This is when it gets loud. At sunrise and at sunset. The animals know when they are to be fed, and they all want to be fed at once... or first. I start filling feed buckets, when I hear Bear, (the new Great Pyrenees rescue) barking and going absolutely nuts.
I look, and there is Lady Gaga (the pig) with my special needs runner duck, Squint in her mouth. All I see is a mud shaped duck on the ground. "WTF?" I say.
To be continued... (soon)