Thursday, August 29, 2013

Brown Recluse Bite, Joshua, Hospital

In case you did not know, Joshua, my fourteen year old son, was bitten by a brown recluse spider earlier this month. He had to be hospitalized because he had a rare, severe, systemic reaction to the toxin.

The bite was severe, but not the main concern.

 His fever was persistent and he was suffering from hemolytic anemia, which threatened to compromise his kidney function.

The first few days were miserable, and he was on morphine for the pain of the bite. When he finally started showing improvement, I was thanking God. For those first few days, I was planning a funeral and choking back my sorrow and terror. He was very very sick.
As he started improving, we snapped some photos. Shhhh, don't tell him. He would kill me if he knew I posted these pics of him all sick and hooked up to an i.v....

Joshua with my Chromebook. That stuffed dog has been to hell and back. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to sew his head back on or sew on his eyes. Josh has had that stuffed puppy since he was tiny.  Lately it sits by my serger, but when I packed up stuff for him, it caught my eye and I brought it with me. 

Joshua is stoned out of his mind here. Hurray for morphine! His nurse made him sit in a chair because his lungs were sounding a congested from all the fluids he was getting and him laying down for days.

My poor baby. He ate MAYBE one whole meal, total, out of all his meals put together. He was so sick and just kept getting worse.  Then like the parting of clouds after a storm, he suddenly turned the corner and when he started eating again and walking, I knew he was going to be ok. 

The doctors and staff in the pediatric unit of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City were THE BEST! Thanks to Dr.s Mayo, Banner, and Corbin, and all Joshua's wonderful nurses and aids, Kevin, Jessica, Elizabeth, Selena, and all the others whose names I regrettably cannot remember. 

God bless them, and WATCH OUT FOR SPIDERS.........!!!!!

...and speaking of spiders, here is a picture of Spider, our goofy cat that thinks he is a rabbit. I snapped this tonight as I was preparing supper. I am CONSTANTLY shooing his nosey self off the counters when I am in the kitchen!

Bug and Simon fighting over Rosy the Robot stuffed toy. She's my sweetie! I have not posted a pic of her or Simon lately, so I thought I would tonight! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

10% Off Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food With eCoupon Code!

I cannot believe how quick four adult rabbits will tear through a 19 pound container of Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food! I JUST got them a box, noticed it was dwindling pretty fast, and ordered another box a moment ago. Thank God shipping is cheap, less than five dollars for me via priority mail and it gets here super quick! That is FANTASTIC for a big ole 19 pound box of pellets.
What is funny is that when I switched to the SFNRF, my bunnies turned their noses up at it, and refused to eat. But now they just lose their little minds over these pellets.
The only problem I have now with feeding my bunnies is that they actually want the pellets over hay AND store bought greens. About the only thing they prefer to their pellets are oats and backyard harvested dandies and clover.
I ordered a fifty pound box of Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay at Pet Food Direct online and got free shipping. It didn't take too long for it to arrive, less than two weeks, which is NOT BAD for a huge box of hay via UPS and for free no less. I know this will last a while, but I think they miss their tim, so I will order a fifty pound box of Oxbow Timothy Hay, with free shipping.

Is Sherwood Forest paying me to talk them up and ooh and ahh over their rabbit food?
NO! I rave about these pellets because my bunnies are chunky, glossy, lushly-coated, bright eyed and their urine smells like hay, not ammonia.

Give them a try. You can order a free sample, and you can see for yourself how nutso the Rabbit Overlords go for these fragrant, soy-free pellets.

Oh, and perhaps one reason I needed another box of pellets so soon was because Spider, our dang ole goofy cat, kept knocking over the container, and Simon, our big lab, was EATING THEM!

**************OF NOTE***************

You may notice that their poop is darker, almost black, and feels a bit oily to the touch. When broken open, the insides are dry, fibrous, and a dark green, the same color as the pellets. Some people will tell you that this is not right, that rabbits should have brown, easily crumbled poops with hay fibers.
Well, my bunnies do not eat anything brown, and their poops are very fibrous and easy to break apart.
Let me tell you about Myra D. She is the gorgeous bunny I found hopping around outside, living feral last spring. Her diet consisted of 100% fresh green grass and other herbs from living "wild". Her poops were black, oily, and dark all the way through, with no hay fibers when broken apart. Of course, she was not eating hay at all, so it would be strange to find hay fibers in her poops.
All four of the bunnies have poops that are black, a tiny bit oily and smooth to the touch, BUT AGAIN, are broken apart easily, dry on the inside, and with abundant fibers, and again, are green as the forest on this insides. Now this is a state of poopage that is closer to what Myra was putting out while she was living like a wild rabbit.
So if your babies start pooping thus, do not panic. They are fine. My babies poop like someone is paying them for each doot. I could fill an empty warehouse in a year with their poops. Quantity is often a sign of quality where rabbit poops are concerned.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Maddy Bunny, Please Pray for Her and Mom Megan!!

This is the prayer sent to me by Jane in Austin when my own Meany Girl was sick with pretty much this same thing that Maddy Bunny is suffering through right now. Please pray with us for Maddy's healing, and to calm Megan's anxiety and take away her guilt, for she did nothing to make this happen.  But like all moms, when a baby gets sick, guilt comes to call. 

Hail Mary full of grace. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners and for those who do not sin, especially Maddy and all bunnies, now, in the hour of their need, and at the hour of their death. Queen of Angels, come to Maddy's aid. Queen of heaven and earth, come to Maddy's aid. Oh, thou to whom the Angel Gabriel brought the glorious and holy glad tidings, intercede for Maddy. Spouse of the Holy Spirit, intercede for Maddy. Mother, given to us all at the foot of the cross, intercede for Maddy. As we meditate on the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation given by our Lord Jesus Christ, we ask also of him his unfailing mercy and blessing on Maddy and all the livingness of this world. Love is the glory of God and let his favor rest on the loving heart of Megan now as she nurses Maddy and always. Amen

Please pray for Megan and her baby bunny Maddy. Maddy has a mass in her tummy that the vet suspects is liquid. Look at the x-ray. How painful that must be for such a tiny tum! 

Megan and Maddy

Beautiful Mz. Maddy Bunneh. Look at those ears and those teeny weency little feetsies.  

Friday Flash Fiction 55 - Stereotyping With Scissors

"Have you seen my big expensive fabric scissors?"
"Here." The boy hands them to mom.
"What did you cut with these?" Mom screeches.
"Cardboard", he says. "Why do you need so many scissors anyway? You have a million pair."
Dad shouts from the other room "She's Mexican! She loves knives and all sharp stabby things!"

You have heard of gun collectors taking "family portraits" of their babies (guns). Well, I have a weakness for scissors. I love love love scissors. This is my collection of professional scissors. This represents a lot of moolah! And these are just PART of my collection. I have been known to buy a pair just because the handles were pretty! I also have various knives and other cheapie scissors that I use around the house. Nothing will piss me off faster than someone taking my good scissors and using them for unauthorized, inappropriate purposes. LIKE CUTTING PAPER AND CARDBOARD!!!!! 
My love of knives started when my dad gave me a folding knife with a six inch blade and a beautiful wooden handle for my sixteenth birthday. It was his, but he told me to keep it on me at all times and to the cut any MoFo who tried to hurt me. That knife saved me at least once. Of course, I was drunk, got into a fight with a friend, stomped off in a hissy fit and ended up pulling it on some Mexican guy who didn't speak English. He kept following me asking if I wanted company, and I finally pulled that knife and told him I was going to gut him and leave him to rot in that ditch if he did not F@*$ off and leave me alone. I was a MEAN drunk as a teenager and full of piss and vinegar. He could have easily overpowered me and used that knife against me, but I think I just shocked the hell out of him when I went at him like a wildcat. I do believe, if memory serves, that I actually growled at him. Both of our guardian angels were with us that night!

Thanks, as ALWAYS, to the G-Man, for hosting FFF55!!! XOXO!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Cottontails Have It

Chances are that if a cottontail rabbit can eat something, our domestic bunnehs can eat it, too. Here are some foraging choices for your rabbit masters, and perhaps a couple for you as well!

The Common Dandelion
English Plantain
Smooth Crabgrass
Smooth Sumac
Devil's Beggar-tick
Bull Thistle
Bushy Aster

Did you know that cottontails even eat poison ivy? I do NOT encourage harvesting this nommable. Rabbits also love the bark of some trees, seeds, flowers, and nuts. I have a paper-shell pecan tree in my yard, and for a treat, I like to sprinkle some pecan halves into their breakfast or supper now and again.
Definitely be careful when wild-harvesting for you and your bunnies. Stick with easily identifiable herbs, grasses, and plants.
Remember that rabbits love the seed heads of grasses!  And nearly all wild grasses are edible for rabbits. Some are tender and juicy, some are rough, and some are just plain strange looking, like they shot out of the ground as hay already.

Happy (and above all SAFE) harvesting!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bad Poetry Contest - Ode To KB

My entry for The Bad Poetry Contest at Oz The Terrier's Blog! 

This poem was written by me originally in the comments section for KB (Kitty Boy) at The (Venerable) House of Rabbits Blog!

THE Princess...Thank you very much..

KILL THE SQUIRREL!!! An Ode to KB's Hunting Skills. He puts the KILL in SKILL...or, I HATE SQUIRRELS! A (bad) Poem for KB (Kitty Boy)...

Them dang ole squirrely squirrels
With their squirrely tails
Balancing on fence and rails

The ADHD squirrely squirrels
That ADHD tree rat
With the chock-full-o-nuts scat

The spastic squirrely squirrels
They watch while I bend
And scoop pecans at Autumn's end

Those mighty tasty squirrely squirrels
Just skin 'em alive
And for dessert, howz about a slice of (blackberry) pie???....

KB Kitty Boy

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ken Burns: The Dustbowl

Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

This is a preview on  Youtube, but I encourage everyone to watch this wonderful and bittersweet documentary on the Dust Bowl years. Forget what you read in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, this documentary will show you how truth trumps fiction in interviews with the people who were there. 

You can view the miniseries instantly right now on NETFLIX. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oklahoma Wildcrafting

Foraging in Oklahoma for edibles can be dangerous. I forage for my rabbits all the time, and although I know my backyard and neighborhood parks, I often wonder what I can find in the woods and around creek beds. Having had a lot of rain lately, I noticed quite a bit of mushrooms coming up. They usually pop up in the same areas season after season. I found the following website after googling EDIBLE MUSHROOMS IN OKLAHOMA. Who knew how much nature offered by way of edible plants! The following are just a couple of examples of edible plants that can be found all over the Great State of Oklahoma!




Prickly Pear - My favorite!

What edibles can be found in YOUR  back yard?????

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Finally Home and Ellie May Clampett

We are finally home. He did turn the corner yesterday after he had gone 24 hours or so without the morphine for pain. I think once he was not a zombie, he started to perk up, started to get an appetite and started being his usual snarky self.
He had also gone 24 hours as of this morning without a fever. So they let him come home. The only thing he is taking for pain now is acetaminophen.
After exactly one week of misery, and five days in the hospital, I can hardly believe he is home and doing so well, almost as if it did not happen.
My house is a bit of a mess, and the bunny pens need cleaning. But all that can wait while I enjoy my own bed, fan, house, family, Bug, Spider...just being home!
Thank you all for everything!

So I leave you all with recent photos of Ellie May, the baby possum who is so ugly she is cute.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

One Step Forward...Ten Steps Back

We were gearing up to take Josh home today, but that sonofabitch fever came back and a brand new rash came to torment him. The nurse said that he will be here for at least another 48 hours til either something grows, or does not grow in the various cultures they have collected. Funny, but the one place they have not taken a culture is from the wound itself. Actually, the bite is area is bad, but the real issue is the toxicity in his system still causing havoc.
I am feeling demoralized as hell and between this stuff and my awful PMS hormones making me a raging pissed off asshole, I am such an emotional mess.
I wish I could have my Myra Daffodil Bunny here with me. She usually hates being held like a baby, but I hold her and cry into her neck and ears, she is so sweet and lets me get it all out.
I should not complain. My boy only has a wicked spider bite. Someone somewhere in this world will find out their baby has cancer.
God have mercy.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Still In The Hospital

Science is fascinated with spider web, especially for military applications. What the military needs to be fascinated with instead is spider venom. Brown recluse spider venom is a wicked summummabitch.
Joshua is here at least til Sunday. My worry is being able to control his pain at home, since the bite is getting worse and worse even as he gets systemically better. He cannot put pressure on that leg and we might be looking at physical therapy.

Here are some pictures from today for comparison. I had to snap them when Wound Care came to change his dressing.

That IS all dead tissue. I am hoping (HE is DEFINITELY hoping) that it does not spread too close to his scrotum.  lol????

Again, thank you all for the well wishes and prayers.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Once Bitten, sick...

What you see is bruising, not necrosis. At least not yet. 

What you all cannot see is the dayglow watermelon rash all over his body that is getting darker.  When the hemolytic anemia sets in, he might need a transfusion of blood products.  I know they are pretty much expecting his kidney function to be compromised within the next few days. 
I stay calm and pray on. 
His fever comes and goes at will, giving way only to it's own whims and not medications. One hour is chipper, hungry and feeling good. The next few hours he burns with fever and his heart rate soars.  A CT scan shows only surface damage to the bite area; there is no abscess or boil even though the leg is swollen. Antibiotics, which were administered IV in the ER, have been discontinued. There is no indication of infection to justify antibiotic therapy and it could just make things worse. 
Thank the Sweet Lord for morphine. 

Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. It is humbling to me and I can feel your concern and kindness in comments and emails. 
Rabbit people rock!

The Itsy Bitsy (Brown Recluse) Spider....

I will not bore you all with all the gory details of several trips to the emergency room, trying to convince more educated people than myself that my son's symptoms were all related to the spider bite on his leg.
I will say that he is now admitted to the hospital, and an expert on vector bites has confirmed that he has a classic brown recluse spider bite and toxicity. He will continue to get worse, until he gets better. In the meantime,  they are monitoring his kidney function via blood-work and urinalysis and urine output.
Poor Josh looks like a tomato and is getting redder and redder and that bite is getting deader and deader.
We are here in the pediatric unit of Integris Baptist Hospital for a bit.
It DOES such being right all the time, especially in this instance.
Mr. Bubbles is home from work today waging jihad against all arachnids. I feel bad for the daddy long legs!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Faker O'Roadkill

The other night found me in the kitchen looking for antacid.  Spider immediately jumps up trying to look innocent. Suddenly, I see what I thought to be a rat by the sink. As I go into "kill" mode (I love pet rats and have had quite a few, but sewer rats are just not my cup of tea), I wake up a bit more and notice the long snout of a face "only a mother could love".

Remember Spy vs Spy? I was trying to remember what her little face reminded me of, when suddenly it came to me:
If those faces are not inspired by the mug of an O'Possum, then I am a monkey's uncle. 

I picked her up and she started trying to go all "roadkill" on me; laying on her side, faking rigor mortis, drooling and POOPING. While I gave her a bath, I was noticing a butt-ton of fleas on her. Poor little thing. I got her completely free of fleas and wrapped her up. 

This was a few days ago. I have no idea if she came in on her own, somehow finding a way into the house, or if Spider drug her in like a trophy. I should let her go (definitely a girl), but she and I are bonding and I am worried that she will end up some creature's supper. She is enjoying her scratches and pets now and has stopped "playing possum" so much.  She is so ugly, she's cute. And since she is just a wee baby, it is possible to keep her as a pet, although not recommended. 

Right now she is sitting on my shoulder after eating a juicy sweet chunk of pluot.