Thanks again for all your prayers and positive thoughts for me and my wee bun. I still haven't been able to bring myself to post a photo of him post-surgery, but I did want to give you an idea of the situation, so I've modified this little photo:So the red area is all shaved now, with some dried blood and such. (calming breaths) The little blue area is approximately where Dr. Scholz created a new opening to Niblet's inner ear. She had some difficulty, as normally she would've stitched the opening to his ear canal; however, as Niblet had no ear canal left, thanks to the infection, she couldn't do that. Still, the little hole is there, and we're due at Dr. Scholz's office on Thursday evening to get Niblet's stitches removed. At that point, I'm hoping to learn whether the infection is being minimized by the antibiotics and how Niblet's treatment will proceed.
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I don't know if there are any documented cases of sleeping sickness in Bellefonte PA, but I honestly believe I was bitten by a tsetse fly this weekend. I slept and slept, Niblet right beside me, and when I wasn't sleeping, I was obsessively making bird lists and thumbing through bird guides.
During the sleep-intensive weekend, Niblet and I aired out the house some, what with our temps being in the 50s. Niblet is back to his usual eating and drinking habits, which is a big relief. At first he wasn't too keen on the medicine smell in his pellets, but he's gotten used to it. He's eating his greens, accepting with relish the bits of strawberry I've taken to giving him, and nibbling up the small amount of pellets (with meds squirted on them) I give him in the morning and the evening. At night, when I get in bed and settle in to read or do a crossword, he jumps up there with me and that's when I squirt chloramphenicol ointment into his newly created ear hole. He's so brave, not even flinching when I do this. What a good little boy!
Meanwhile, Gretchen and I have decided to do our camping trip in Cape May instead of a state park in PA. Same price, and with the two of us splitting gas and costs, it'll be an affordable and fun way to get a great birding trip in before I leave for the West Coast!
All of my Flock friends will be in West Virginia, whooping it up with BT3 and Zick and Chet Baker -- which I will miss intensely! -- but this way, costs are kept down and I'm not away from Niblet for quite as long. The official dog of beginningtobird will be with us as well:
This is Domino wearing Laurie's winter hat. Gretchen and I have taken to calling this photo "Driving Miss Nommy." "That's not the way to the Piggly-Wiggly!"
I asked Niblet if he wanted to come camping with us, but he said there was no way we'd catch HIM camping out in a tent among the common cottontails and such. He has his standards. So his Auntie Anne will be coming over to take care of him while I'm gone.
When we weren't napping, Niblet and I were watching Buffy on DVD and making a list of potential lifers I'll have a good chance of seeing in Cape May. According to my Cape May checklist, there are 40 birds that are common or fairly common at that time of year that would also be lifers for me. It'll be harder to ID some of the peeps and such, without a real field trip leader with us, but I'm also going to be studying my copy of BT3's Identify Yourself to make sure I'm as prepared as possible to tell the difference between a Semipalmated Sandpiper and a Least Sandpiper or whatever.
Most of the birds on my list of 40 are peeps and other such shore and marsh birds. There are also a couple of warblers, some sparrows, and six or seven songbirds I'll be looking to see. I can't wait to go to my favorite spots on the cape--the Beanery, that marshy area owned by the Nature Conservancy? maybe? (I think it's called the Migratory Bird Refuge now), the big pond at Cape May Point, and of course the beaches at Cape May Point and Sunset Beach. We might also take the ferry over to Lewes and back for a "mini-pelagic," though I'm not sure we'll be able to squeeze that in. I wonder if Liz and Jeff Gordon will be home; I'll have to check. (How lucky am I to have gone to high school (and been in a children's theatre production of The Frog Prince) with Liz Gordon back when she was Liz Fleming? She played the wicked queen; I played a sprite named Spree. Ah, memories!)
Gretchen and her family used to go to Cape May every summer, so it'll be old home weekend for her too. We're both so excited about the prospect of doing some heavy-duty birding together, especially since she got a pair of Vortex binocs!