Back to Work Again

The school students return today. I have a faculty meeting at 9 AM and a meeting with a parent after lunch. Though I will try to fit in a ski to exercise the dogs and various small chores, vacation is over.

Knowing this was coming, my brain has waked me at 4 AM for the last two days. Go, go, go!

Of course I haven’t accomplished as much as I thought I would this week. I haven’t even accomplished everything I wrote on my second, edited list, which I had hopefully titled, REALISTIC WEEKEND PLAN.

It’s not that I dislike my job. I love teaching history. It is a daily joy, the ideal job for me. This year I had a t-shirt printed for my 8th graders.

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The parts of the job that chafe are the administrative ones I’ve been asked to take on this year. I’m chairman of the department and must organize my peers with tact (a tough assignment for someone tactless by nature). I have new daily writing duties that commandeer 60-90 minutes every weekday morning. I was also requested to write a school blog. While I can do all these things, the result has been to feel as if I have no spare brain cells and that my part-time job has taken over my life.

I will get through it this year, and then reevaluate. In the meantime, this morning I’m taking a deep breath before I plunge back in.

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My gander Andy is still drinking but not eating. I’ve been tube-feeding him 2-3 times a day since his accident. Tube-feeding an adult, biting goose is not easy. Picture me straddling him, 60 mL syringe clenched in my teeth like a mad pirate, and using my hands to thread a tube down his throat. I will know it is time to stop when he is strong enough to prevent me (or when I see him eat).

Yesterday Andy stood on one leg for the first time, and immediately began worrying at the splint. A goose’s beak is very strong. I hope he cannot get it off. As imperfect as it may be, the splint should be on for three weeks. I check the leg daily for circulation.

His foot remains limp. It is always hard to know if one is doing the right thing.

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The wild turkeys have grown bolder and bolder. Though they’ve been in the barnyard for weeks, scratching apart cow pies in search of undigested cracked corn, yesterday the flock braved the barn for the chicken feed! Eight turkeys flew out in a thundering rush when I arrived to muck stalls at mid-day, except this one hen which became confused and flew into the sheep stall with the geese before eventually making her way out the open door.

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6 Responses to Back to Work Again

  1. daisyhill says:

    I just wanted to share a word of hope about your goose. One of the Rouen duck hens belonging to my nephews and nieces had an accident of some sort, and had an obviously broken leg. Like you, we could not do surgery, and I thought perhaps it would be best just to put her down, but the children badly wanted to try and save her. Of course, a duck is much lighter than a goose, and I don’t know how similar the break was to yours, but she did heal. (She was always willing to eat, which helped). When she began trying to hop around, her foot was still dangling limply, and she seemed to be putting her weight on the front of the bent back foot. I was worried that it was paralyzed, or atrophied, and made a little “orthopedic boot” for her, which I carefully taped to each of her toes, spreading her foot into a proper position, and keeping it forward at a right angle to the leg. After only a few days of wearing this, she managed to get it off, but it seemed to have done the trick, and she healed so completely that we can’t tell which duck was injured now.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thanks very much for the encouragement. I’m not sure how well I set the break(s) and don’t want to take the splints off to check and potentially disturb any healing. Andy is stronger but he is still not eating. I have been tube-feeding him for ten days. I would feel a lot better about his prospects if he would start nibbling on his own.

  2. daisyhill says:

    Yes, I wouldn’t take the splints off either. I should clarify and say that I made the “boot” after she was putting weight on her leg of her own accord. For the first three weeks, we kept her confined in a little A-frame hut of chicken wire, in the duckyard so she wouldn’t be lonely, but alone so she wouldn’t be trampled on or try to walk too much too soon. When she began standing up again, and trying to walk on her leg, we made her the boot and let her out with her sisters. As they toddled around the yard together, the others would sweetly stop and wait every now and then for the crippled duck to catch up, quacking loud encouragement to her until she rejoined the group. It was probably another three weeks before she stopped limping, and another three before she was not noticeably the slowest of the group.

  3. daisyhill says:

    I was just thinking that it may seem a little peculiar to be receiving comments from a complete stranger–I ran across your blog because of “Keeping A Family Cow,” and when I had a sheep with cruels, I found your step by step description of treatment so helpful and encouraging. Thank you for taking the time to post it–I’m not sure I would have had the courage to lance the abscess without your example.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thank you! I learned a million things from the KFC board, and whenever I am faced with milk fever, I always go back to Roseanna’s step-by-step photo pictorial for a refresher. We’re all in this together! 🙂

  4. Sharon says:

    So very sorry about Andy…. You may be able to get advice from an avian vet here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/552851661524633/

    I’m with you… as long as they try, I try.

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