|A favorite picture of Peter Timneh!|
This Thanksgiving Day morning, with the help of my sweet feathered child, I find there is a continuing story of love and thankfulness to share. These are the heart sounds of love between an African Grey parrot and his human Mom, that I have to share this Thanksgiving.
The two of us have gone through some long, sad days and nights together in the last year, after parting with our beloved "Daddy Bird".
Another Fight to Live - The Unthinkable Has Happened!
The setting today in our home is a familiar one. There is very special medication in the refrigerator, which must be given properly and on time, twice a day. Medication that is fighting a terrible infection.
In November 2017 we lost the fight with infection - sepsis and endocarditis - that parted us from our beloved "Daddy Bird". There was no more need for medication, nurses, and so many things that were part of that fight.
This year, the medication is for my beloved forever child, and I am the nurse. He is, of course, the most beautiful, intelligent, African Grey Timneh ever hatched into this world! Above all, he is the most loving creature on earth!
Those who do not experience it may find it difficult to understand the beautiful bond between an African Grey parrot and his human family. I can only tell you that no one could love more intensely - it is impossible. Perhaps we can aspire to equal it. In the wild, the bond between these bird pairs, as well as the greater flock behaviors that enable them to live and thrive, must be truly magnificent.
Peter Timneh came to live with us when he was almost two. His first home had become a disaster, and it took a long time, years, to undo the damage and completely trust each other. African Greys are highly intelligent and intuitive. They are not cuddly creatures, but we found our way to a deep and enduring bond of respect and love. I remember how thrilled I was when he snuggled his head into my hand the first time.
Another Fight with Infection
|State of the Art Avian Clinic|
Dr. Larry Nemetz
I was not at all prepared for what the doctor told me. X-rays showed severe pneumonia in those little lungs. Yes, another fight with infection. I was deeply shocked. I managed not to faint. The first dose of medicine was given by the doctor. We managed to drive home safely!
Love and Medicine
The medicine is given by a syringe into his mouth. The doctor showed me how to do it, restraining him in a towel! I had never ever held my beloved baby that way, having read he would never forgive me for such a terrible violation of his person! In the early years, I believe this would have been the case.
Now, we had no choice. Twice a day, twelve hours apart, the drug must be given. How much did we love and trust?!
One night his breathing was so labored, holding him in that towel, I feared he would die in my arms. It passed over and the medicine went in! His doctor has now told me that having survived more than two weeks from the diagnosis, he should do well.
We have learned together how to take this medicine because we discovered the secret - the most important part is love! Soft words of love and reassurance help us both be calm enough to take the medicine, despite that terrible towel! Then, once the medicine is down, the magic words "All Done" are said, the towel goes away, and the best reward of all, a kiss!
When birds are upset and emotional, they may bite out of fear. I do not suggest that anyone else do this with their feathered family member.
When I mentioned how we manage the medicine, the lovely woman who works at the Bird Clinic told me that most of the time she hears horror stories about trying to give parrots their medicine.... and so I know, we have a very special relationship.... I am comforted that he has a wonderful doctor, the medicine is working, and he loves me enough to forgive me for what I must do to him....
Parallels Between Parrots and BAVers
|Resigned to going back for a checkup!|
My feathered child has a doctor who understands this. He has told me more than once that a) this had been coming on for awhile, but not visible to me b) symptoms and behavior cannot be used to guide the treatment - xrays and testing must be used to understand the true condition! How I wish that more human physicians understood this about BAVers!
|Fear in the doctor's office!|
Visits to the doctor, even though he is very smart,
understands what is wrong and is saving my life,
are stressful! BAVers can relate!
|Safely home from my check up - get me inside fast!|
One thing we can and are doing is improving his diet. This is a good idea for us all! It gives us every advantage when the time comes to fight a disease. He cannot have any fruit at all or anything with sugar due to the infection. And long term he needs to give up seeds and nuts for specially formulated pellets! He is not enjoying this, but at his recent checkup, he has gained 20 grams!
Heart Sounds of Love
Above all, those who seem so strong and healthy and actually have something wrong need extra special love in their lives! It is my greatest wish for all with BAV and TAD - that their loved ones walk beside them, every step of the way, no matter where it leads. I have no doubt it will lengthen their lives!
|There is much more recovery ahead;|
we know that love will get us through it!