Once Again

Filed under: @ 6:18 pm

For the third time in four years I’m getting ready to subject myself to a week with only one hand.

My previous two hand surgeries have been carpal tunnel release surgeries. My wrists and fingers have been a LOT happier postop than they were before I had the procedures done.

This time it’s a little different. After 21 years of clinical medicine I’ve got some trapping of the extensor tendon of my right thumb (the one that lets you fold your thumb across your palm) and the flexor tendons of my middle and ring fingers (the ones that let you curl your fingers into a fist) on the same hand. Basically if I try to hold up three fingers on my right hand it ends up looking like this:

It isn’t quite Dupuytren’s Contracture but it’s close.

I am actually looking forward to this — despite the need to have my dominant hand out of commission for a week — because when you have an opposable thumb that doesn’t oppose, it’s irritating. To say nothing of ouchy!

Scheduling the surgical repair was kind of a last minute thing. I saw the hand specialist on the 12th expecting that he’d stab me in the tendons with additional steroids, like he did 6 months or so ago, and all would be good again (at least once I got over hating him for poking needles in the palm of my hand). But I seem to have found a rare specimen here. The hand specialist not only is a _very_ talented surgeon, but he is a congenial human being that seems to like treating his patients as human beings and (most importantly for me) treats me as a doctor. And on the 12th when I told him that I’d been having problems putting sutures into a cat’s skin the day before he went a little bug eyed and started talking about getting me in for surgery. Like, NOW!.
I was already scheduled to have this week off so he pushed his schedule around to fit me in. A great kindness on his part because I’d otherwise not have been able to schedule anything until after the first of the year.

So after Wednesday I’ll be stoned out of my gourd with a cast on my right hand and an absolutely BLISSFUL cat on my lap for a week. I’ve spent the last 3 1/2 days getting all of the heavy work in the garden done for the year and I’ve gotten a lot of the tasks, errands, and chaos that I had on my schedule for the next several weeks out of the way. I can spend a week stoned, watching silly movies with my cat and playing Candy Crush with an absolutely clear conscience.

If only I could teach Andrew how to braid hair…..


Birdbert 2.0

Filed under: @ 10:16 am

The last time we _know_ we saw the female Pine Siskin we fostered last spring, alias Birdbert, was at our Memorial Day party on the Sunday before Memorial Day. That was the last time we fed Birdbert (at least, that was the last time we fed Birdbert her bug butter) and, as I said, that was the last time that we _know_ we saw her.

Okay so there are a jillion little brown birds in and out of our garden in a six month period and approximately a grillion of those are female Pine Siskins.

Over the summer I’ve been in the habit of making the little chirpy noise that we used with Birdbert to let her know we were bringing her food any time I’ve been around a female Pine Siskin that seems more comfortable with people than most. And a couple of times I’ve gotten a response from the bird to whom I have aimed said chirpy noise.
So can I prove that Birdbert fledged into a mature Pine Siskin and then spent the summer being a mature Pine Siskin bopping in and out of her “home” garden? I cannot.

But I like to think so.

However in the last couple of rather chilly days Andrew and I have had experiences in the hot tub that make me think that Birdbert is still around.

Last Friday we were in the hot tub and a little brown tweedlebeep flew into the grape vines. Once I got my eyes focused I realized that said tweedlebeep was a Pine Siskin. I made the little chirpy noise and the Pine Siskin hopped further into the grape vines under the arbor and sat there looking at me. The bird hopped even closer in, then sat, presumably enjoying the increased ambient temperature that exists under the arbor when we have the hot tub open, and, for lack of a better term, hung out with us for about 10 minutes. Just looking around being a bird for the most part, but several times she responded when I made the little chirpy noise at her.
Still not proof however. Once could be a coincidence.

This morning though… Again we were in the hot tub. It was chilly last night and foggy this morning and the temperature under our glass-roofed grape arbor has got to be a good deal warmer than it is outside. Into the southwest corner bops a female Pine Siskin. Who then responds to my little chirpy noise (I’m sorry, when a critter turns towards you then turns her head sideways and hops closer it is an actual response to a stimulus not just a coincidence). The Pine Siskin found herself a comfortable perch in the upper vines just underneath the roof of the arbor, proceeded to give herself a good grooming and fluffing then stuck her head under her wing and took a 15 minute or so nap.

Once may be coincidence. Twice is something more than that. 😀

BirdBert 20150506-12

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