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Everything posted by katana600

  1. Thank you Katrina. Day by day it seems progress is slow. We are often amazed with her brilliance and wry sense of humor. The rare moment when she reaches out with affection are cause for celebration.
  2. This morning Miss Gilbert had a wonderful breakthrough and I immediately thought of everyone here who gave us advice to go slowly and give her time to get settled and choose her own path on grey time. We are on our tenth year together. We traveled by van to Texas and back three times this year.... a couple of weeks of packing, a week of whirlwind travel and a week of rest, unpacking and doing it again. Gil has been the best traveler. She just loves the smaller travel cage and even better, the back pack. But slowly slowly over time she has been letting me reach my hand in with food for her on the one perch she has designated as okay for approach. It is way back in the cage and up high where she definitely has the upper hand. But this morning.... I reached in to hand her an orange segment and she chortled. It was quiet, understated but it was definitely a chortle of delight and her face blushed pink. Folks this is a real sign of affection coming from her. She has been much more calm and predictable and will step in and out of her travel cage or her big cage to my hand with no drama. We still just love her and accept her but to have her show me a little love back was a huge cause for celebration. I just know someday that all these floor stands and perches and toys will someday be accepted and she will come out and join the family. Verbally from inside her comfort zone she is very much active in her own way. She is hilariously sarcastic and her timing is impeccable to lay out a reminder of her superiority and how we humans are never going to rise above her disdain. But then... on occasion she will summon me, make the one sweet sound of a request for a head scratch. When I am awake in the wee hours and can't sleep she makes a low sound of a foghorn she learned on the base in Biloxi. In the darkened room she lets me rub her head and neck, through the cage bars but ever more she is leaning in and closing her eyes and as long as I don't look straight at her or make any sound, she will rest gently on my hand. It is intoxicating. I love her so much. Sorry for my absence and sporadic check in on the forum. Life just makes me "pull in" and learn to slow down a little. But Gil Girl is living a good life and we are enjoying her so much.
  3. I'm not sure if we are having an uptick or that so many of us are in the baby boomer group that is accounting for more cases, but not an overall percentage increase in our age group. Also, our testing is become more and more precise and catching this much sooner, so there are a lot of check marks in the plus column. New test results have been released to the medical community in June 2018. The horizon looks a little brighter. Its really a very individual diagnosis and has so many factors to consider. Making informed decisions is better now to avoid over-treating. I'm going to finish radiation therapy by Christmas, stay home for a quiet holiday with just my husband. We did get a treadmill and a safety harness to connect myself to a guide wire in the basement ceiling joists so I can exercise when I am home alone. That's a huge improvement. We are still awaiting the set up of the treadmill. Moderate activity and healthy nutrition will go a long way toward rising to the better end of the statistics. Funny how getting Gil was the beginning of developing better eating habits. I eat like a bird. 😉
  4. Thanks Karen. I have navigated through surgery, was recommended for chemotherapy but opted for an oncotype genomic test of the tumor cells which indicated it would not be a significant benefit and I am in a very low risk group for distant recurrence or metastasis. I started radiation therapy and opted for the double dose for half the time and will only have three weeks of it. Gil has been a real sweetheart. She knows I am quieter and slower but apparently absence makes the heart grow fonder... well, that and some turkey soup I cooked up and put in the freezer. She hears me get some and gets all excited. I didn't put any spices in it and its mainly veggies, beans, turkey broth and pasta. When I heat mine up, I get a little martini glass and a tiny spoon and feed her a little bowl of soup while mine is heating. It is the most excited I have ever seen her to eat, ever. I pretend its because she is happy to see me out of my room. I love her little self just as much as the day she came home. She still finds a way to surprise me daily and I still have great hopes that she will relax and get out of her cage to follow me around the house.
  5. Thanks for the welcome back. I think we just get into a rut where nothing seems to be changing in "grey time". It is in fact changing and Gil is thriving. She is trying new things albeit very very cautiously. She is starting to make yummy noises and acknowledging special treats. She kept her poker face for a LOT of years but is starting to show me some acceptance. As far as the breast cancer, my sister had it and other close family members. I was tuned in but annual tests were just "watching". I have been really tired and trying to sort that out for about three years. I went on Weight Watchers two years ago and was successful in losing about 70 pounds. I really thought that was going to increase my energy levels. I was walking upwards of five miles every day. I was stronger but not more energetic. When I felt a change in the monthly self exam, I made an appointment and they had me in for mammogram, sonogram, and core biopsy by the next day. I think the main thing I learned from my sister was to stick with annual exams because waiting is lethal. She found hers and talked herself out of exams for three years and was in stage IV at age 47 when she passed away. I had genetic testing and don't have any hereditary genetic mutations which would cause me to be predisposed to breast cancer even though we have a strong history in my family. It's just so important to have annual testing and to be vigilant. Yes... nag her, it helps. Catching it early changes everything.
  6. This is heart wrenching. Ollie is strong and resilient. He is very intelligent and will adapt to his recovery. I am so sorry for all of you going through this with him. You have done a great job adapting his environment for his best recovery. He is a handsome boy and in good hands.
  7. Just to add a thought here, we have a rehomed and reluctant Timneh African Grey and it seriously stresses her out to have nail trims. We have had great luck with a concrete perch from a breeder made with ground up seashells. It feels smooth to the touch and can be placed in her cage where it is not her night time top roost perch but she accesses it several times a day. We also have a newer type for travel that is smooth where it touches the pads of her talons and rough where her nails get the sharp tips worn down. The thing to remember here is to check her foot pads regularly to be sure she doesn't get pressure spots from these perches. We have had nail trims at the vet and it has been so much easier on her to keep the nails worn down naturally with a perch designed for the purpose. I definitely wouldn't agree to anesthesia for anything except an emergency.
  8. Since this is a first, it is tough to tell what the trigger may have been. A consult with your vet is the best recourse because they have dealt with it so much. We have a rehomed parrot. She came into our home with plucking issues and at the vet's suggestion we had good luck with the Bach Rescue Remedy, two drops in her fresh water daily. For a long time, any changes in her routine, any new objects in our home, any reminders of her idea of "abandonment", loud noises etc., she would go into a frenzy of feather plucking or barbering. It could be something as simple as your parrot being startled off his perch, playing rough or something and breaking a tail feather. Once it started he may not have been able to understand "what hurts" and he may have been trying to relieve his discomfort... which made it worse for him. So, yes a vet visit is your best bet to be sure there isn't a blood feather or underlying health issue involved.
  9. Continuity of care is important for Tico's well being. I remember feeling so inadequate for Miss Gilbert when she came to me nearly ten years ago. She had been passed from home to home and couldn't get relaxed and comfortable. She still prefers the security of her cage, but shows that she wants head scratches and she has warmed up particularly to my son-in-law and other friends and family members. What I had to do was to adjust my own expectations. She is never going to be the cuddly, affection sort in the way my red bellied parrot is with me. Java has bonded with me as a very young parrot and she loves to be cuddled and will share food with me and just be happy to be on my chest, kissing my face. It is endearing. However, she is not like that with anyone else. Grey time is a hard concept for us humans. It takes a lot of wondering if we are "enough" I have accepted that I will never be her "Jim". She still pines for him. The fact is, nobody will replace Tico's beloved, but you will be trusted, loved and rewarded in many unexpected ways. You are familiar with Tico and know what care he needs. You are privy to most of his memories and will be able to understand what he is telling you. For his well being, you can't measure it based on what you see as happiness from a human perspective. He is wise beyond belief and will know you love and care for him just the way he is.
  10. It has been a long time since I have been able to focus on this forum. What hasn't changed is my devotion to Miss Gilbert. She is with me always, she travels more miles than my entire hometown of people have accumulated in their lifetime. There have been days that I wondered if I am "enough" for her. I know for sure that bringing her into my life was the right thing to do and I haven't regretted it even when it turned out to be a longer adjustment than I expected.
  11. It is so hard to know how to help in these situations. When we brought Miss Gilbert into our home, she completely changed the dynamics. I love her dearly and she still finds a way to make me laugh with her brilliant sarcasm every day, but Java's life has never been the same. I would love to add to my own flock but am too well aware of my limitations. Still it is absolutely heartbreaking to know there are these precious souls out there in need of just the right home.
  12. Thank goodness that was spam I was reading. I haven't been online in a while and thought my brain was scrambled because I could not make heads nor tails of that rambling. 😋 Thank you to everyone working on keeping this forum going. There is a lot of work behind the scenes and you all have busy lives too.
  13. I'm just getting back online and trying to catch up. It's a terrible choice to have to make, having you by his side has to be of great comfort. Hoping they can help relieve his suffering and he will know we are all thinking and caring for you both.
  14. We are back on home turf. One of the things that reminded me to get back online and check in was to hear Miss Gilbert call out last night "Night night Gil girl." Life has changed and gotten real quiet here after a flurry of non stop activity. Still having seizures and unrelated but relevant, was diagnosed with early stage I breast cancer. I did have surgery about three weeks ago and still in testing I will definitely have radiation and likely have chemo first depending on a few more tests. No worries, it is not life threatening, a blip on the radar to make sure I remember what is important in life. David has been taking care of the parrots and his work has been exceptionally gracious to allow him time off as necessary. This weekend, I did all the prep work for grocery shopping, meal prepping, getting supplies for birds and dogs. It is the longest I have been away from the house since September. Gil kind of likes me home all the time. She expressed her great displeasure of change by biting David when he cleaned her cage. Then Java bit him too. He is a good sport about it, as my standard response is... if you can't read their clear parrot posture language you have to keep out of reach of the beak. Parrots have rules. If you just follow the rules, life is good for all of us. I'm still on probation as far as Gil is concerned. I have learned everything I need to know about endurance and grey time from her. I will try to catch up on my reading and time with everyone here as I get reacquainted with the forum.
  15. A friend sliced a pool noodle to fit the top of her doors to prevent them closing on little fingers, I wonder if this is something you could put on the top of open cupboard doors for a landing place and your grey could chew on that perhaps. Also, Home Depot carries a vinyl flooring called Allure which could be fitted over the plywood to make cleanup a little easier and it has a really hard backing on it which might withstand attempts to chew it. It comes in 6 inch strips and is easy to handle.
  16. I've missed a lot online in the past year. I'm so sorry you have to bear witness to seeing the man you love decline. He is in good hands as you take care of him and his flock Maggie. Love and prayers to your family.
  17. Thank you Karen. It takes me a lot longer to do regular things and I tire easily but just as Gilbert's progress has been slow and is a game of two steps forward, one backward, onward and upward we trend! I love that you are a grandma of a 2 month old. This week I have been getting antsy waiting for our little one. We are living with our daughter in the Dallas area awaiting the new arrival. I've been here 7 weeks and expect to stay through August. I have to say... since my husband can work from the Dallas office and he is "home" two hours earlier than usual because of the time zone and the easier commute, this wouldn't be a bad place to hang out for a while. Miss Gilbert adapted well and is generally tolerated but has a love/hate relationship with my son-in-law. She has not brought out the heavy artillery yet, she will just make shrieking siren sounds and if he answers back, it is game on! Hahahaha.... He is a pretty smart fella and I have warned him not to start a game he can't win against a parrot because it will end with humiliation and being beat by a parrot.
  18. I've missed some of your earlier videos. He looks relaxed even though his vocalizations seem a little loud. Your low soothing voice and consistent behavior will be the key to helping him adapt to your affection. My companion Miss Gilbert came from a sketchy background with many new homes and I made a decision to meet her on her own terms. It is amazing how intelligent they are and it does take time. It has been seven years for us and while I long to have her think of me as her friend, I accept that she is not going to be a hand's on "buddy". I accept her terms and accept her "grey time" and it is worth the patience and time we have invested in each other.
  19. Little Miss Gilbert has been with us for seven years now. Things are going right along as usual with her. Once again we are traveling. We are in Texas patiently awaiting the birth of our second grandchild. She should make her grand entrance within the week. For a little bird who can not fly, she sure has a lot of miles under her feathered little tail. Today she totally shocked me, and here I thought I was a jaded cynic. LOL. I asked her to "come see me" and she held up her little foot and let me reach right into her cage to pick her up. The wonders continued when I had her on my hand at eye level and she leaned right over and gently touched my lip with her the upper curve of her beak. I did not expect this and since she has been gracious enough to let me kiss the top of her head after a scritch session, head massage, through the bars only, I was breathlessly still to allow her to reach out to me. I was fully aware she might choose to remove a chunk from my lip but was pleasantly surprised at her gentle touch. She has come a long way, yet still has far to go. Actually, she is right where she needs to be, I have learned great patience from Gil girl. Her timing is impeccable. She knows there is a baby coming, she whistles a tune that sounds like "rock a bye baby" or "lullaby and goodnight" and she makes the sound of an infant crying. Even though a great amount of time passes with no change, she will still come up with new and amazing things for me. My shoulder is doing well, I can "high-five" with the best of them and have 100% range of motion. My brain is about the same and I am still having occasional seizures and have been bruised but haven't had any injuries. It has been more than 8 1/2 months since I have driven. A small sense of defiance inside me is delighted that the last vehicle I operated was a little red motorcycle. Ha! And I will ride it again when the time is right. Gil and I are doing quite well in the scheme of things. She is a delightful little friend.
  20. Our 20 month old grandson is apparently Gilbert's number one nemesis. He was getting out of the bath and getting dressed on my bed when he pointed at the bird cage and said "The bird". Gil responded with "Shut up you idiot!"(That little piece of baggage has been long kept in storage... LOL) The baby gave her a little finger wagging hand gesture admonishment and said "No BIRD No!" I thought it was delightful. Miss Gilbert found no humor in it whatsoever. She grumbled for a half hour. My son-in-law has a great relationship with Gil. He can reach his hand into he cage and she will step up and let him carry her around the house. I have a fantasy of handing over the parrot along with the Ducati when the time comes for me to part with them. LOL Seriously though, my goal is for my grandson to become friends with Gilbert. The good news is I have had no seizures in weeks but I still fall. I have been relegated to staying inside and will get a treadmill with a tether so I can exercise a little at a time every day. My surgical repair of my AC joint went well, but now my ball and socket joint have an issue the doctor called a "frozen shoulder". I am in the "hot" phase of pain which will decrease ROM until the frozen stage and then a thaw. Each part of the process will take months. I am doing all my stretches every day and hope the duration is limited. The surgeon says six months minimum to two years is expected but with the shoulder trauma, I can expect to have surgery to unlock scar tissue and then start all over again with physical therapy. It just doesn't seem real and I am fighting it every inch of the way. I just seem to have hit a snowball rolling downhill for a short time and then I will be back on my feet. Gil is the recipient of my extra time being "fragile". She is much happier in my room where I am spending most of the day. She has had some feather barbering with changes and extra people in the house... I kind of feel the same. I am going to move her cage right up close to where I spend the most time and maybe she will start coming out of her cage for me again. She gets really interested in Java being out and she is very interested in my touch on her head, but still through the bars.
  21. Wouldn't you just know he would be a stinker when you have someone else in the house? Actually it sounds like he has released some old baggage and is settling in just fine with you after all these years together. I love that he is becoming more confident although it is more challenging for you. On Murphchick's post I saw that you struggle with bipolar and I for one am so grateful for that 5 percent that keeps you going when things are dark. I will never forget the comfort of hearing your voice as you sang the words "just breathe" after I lost Juno. It may seem sometimes that you are alone, but the fact is you send ripples of encouragement and gentle spirit of goodness out and it makes a difference in the lives of others. I do understand about being alone, being in pain and its a hard road, with no easy answers. I would love for a new development to allow you to be carefree, full of the best life has to offer and with no pain. I have no doubt Dorian loves you just the way you are. I feel that way about my friends too.
  22. We have a master on the main, so we moved Gil's cage in there. She is quite annoyed by us watching television after her 8:30 bedtime. At least when the little one arrives in four days, she, Java and the dogs will have a safe haven with a door that locks. She only has a week to deal with different time schedules. Thanks for the tips and hints. I will try them. I really think the Keppra is giving me brain freeze. At least I am chill about anything that comes my way. Last week, I was having so much trouble at PT, my doctor ordered an MRI for a potential tear in the rotator cuff or the muscles she reattached to my collarbone. She also ordered a neck x-ray and wondered why one hasn't been done sooner. A little chunk of bone was pulled off a vertebra by a ligament. She said there is nothing they can do about it and it will eventually tether with scar tissue and may take months and months and will hurt until that time. So. I feel a little validated about complaining about my neck. She pointed out that my first cervical vertebra failed to do something prior to birth. I think she said failure to segment. She said that is associated with neurological defects so once I am back on my feet, I will check into it. Again I feel validated because I have mentioned to 7 different neurologists since 2002 that when I lift my arms and turn my head, or turn my head to the right for an extended period of time that is when I have seizures. They have each given me a wave of dismissal. It is just the position I was in for about six minutes waiting for a traffic light and for David to take a right turn when the first injury happened in July. In all this recovery and discovery, I have come to appreciate Miss Gilbert even more than ever. She has the funniest, crankiest disposition of anyone since the cartoon Maxine. When David works from home he has to go outside because she hears his voice and screams for help and says "Nooooo" and they are becoming more certain that it's me shouting rather than the parrot.
  23. Oh gosh, so much has happened and really... nothing at all. Since I couldn't be alone with our grandson for a trip we had promised so our kids could go on their first vacation, David flew to Houston, fetched the little beast and brought him to our house for ten days. I kid about him being a beast, he is adorable, but on his feet, into mischief and all boy. David O was just over eighteen months when he got here. He was a wild little beast. I moved Gil and Java to the stacked "breeder" style cage so Gilbert was out of reach of little fingers. David O ran from the kitchen up to the cage and smacked it so hard Gil fell off her perch. Then I heard a word our three year old neighbor called my husband when he was home last year and bothered our daily fun. I was in the dining room when I heard the commotion and then I heard Gilbert say "Butt HOLE!" We said nothing. The baby was surprised enough he didn't fuss with the cage again and hopefully he did not pick up Gilbert's language. I'm half way through recovery and in theory I should expect to be able to use my arm again next month. I have had a few setbacks, a couple of seizures and falls so I am proceeding slowly. I do all my physical therapy stretches and weight training and sometimes it takes me all day. I don't have the same brain power, I feel like I used to have 24 cylinders and now I have only one. Hubby says this is the optimal time for him to challenge me to a game of Scrabble but he is afraid I might win and he would be humiliated. I miss my mind a little. Hopefully we can reduce the seizure meds at the next visit. But all in all, things are looking up from last month. My family is gathering here at our house for Thanksgiving and my son in law has offered to do all the cooking. I trust him and it will be fun.
  24. I am so sorry to have missed getting to know Rhea while I was having my own wing clipped. I will catch up on my reading. It is a sad day to lose any of our friends, formerly feathered or otherwise.
  25. Miss Gilbert is a tough study and has taken as long as Dorian to get settled, let go of some baggage and start making mischief with just a little more confidence. For Dorian on this issue I would go get elbow pads like the kids use for rollerblading. Or maybe even use an elastic bandage for sprained joints. Put that under your shirt and see if it protects your elbow and discourages his interest. I have more luck making Gil's objectives less fruitful rather than trying to redirect, distract or move her. She is a tough case. Dorian has really come around in his due time.
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