Well, I apologize, I am long overdue for an update on the divine Simon’s condition. It has been a long cold winter; Corinne and I have been making weekly trips to Cornell for progress checks and bandage changes. Dr Tarbert, Simon’s favorite vet is very particular when it comes to Simon’s curative figure-8 wing wrap. As she gently manipulates the cotton and vet wrap around Simon’s injured wing, she explains to the 3rd and 4th year vet students assigned to her rotation that it is a very challenging operation to perform correctly. Too tight, and the wing is pinched, compromising healing and causing unnecessary discomfort. Too loose, and it will pop off at the least provocation. Dr. Tarbert is so persnickety about this technique that she hesitates to even allow her experienced rehabilitators to do the procedure. We appreciate her perfectionism.

The first bandage Dr. Tarbert and Amanda attached to Simon was red, it look very nice against the white of her feathers. The following week Dr. Tarbert did a purple vet wrap, Amanda fashioned a lovely little heart. Simon ate it.

Simon has been making steady progress, suffering a slight set back last week. Simon was doing so well, we had hoped that her final visit might be last week. On Simon’s third visit we saw a different Veterinarian, Dr Morrisey, another fantastic faculty member specializing in avian patients. Dr Morrisey is a true bird lover, regaling us with his stories of the guinea hens he keeps. I have to confess, I was intrigued and thought of adding some to our menagerie. Corinne, who was at Mackenzie-Childs when there were guinea hens, said, “NO, absolutely Not!”.

Simon liked Dr. Morissey’s dashing silver hair, so much like hers. Simon considered that maybe he could try the pouf look so they could be twins.


Dr. Morissey conducts a thorough examination of Simon’s injured wing. Third year Vet student, Kate assists.

However, if Dr. Morrisey and Dr. Tarbert were to have a figure-8 wrap-off, Dr. Tarbert would win. In Dr. Morrisey’s defense, Simon was probably feeling much better by the time he wrapped her and was definitely attempting to do much more yoga and wing flapping than she had been when she first injured her wing. Anyway, within 24 hours of our visit, Simon had stretched and slipped off the very attractive light blue (to match her eyes) bandage Dr. Morrisey had placed on her wing. We hauled her back to Cornell (two trips in two days, and the roads are so BUMPY!) and Dr, Morrisey applied another bandage (Spring green-we can always hope). he sent us home with the instructions that, “if the fluffy little minx slips this off, just wait and bring her back in for her regular appointment next Wednesday.” The next day-ZING! Off pops the bandage. I emailed Dr. Morrisey who admitted defeat and told us she likely would be discharged the following week anyway.

We got all excited. Ordered her a new pool. Do you know how hard it is to get a hard plastic kiddie pool in February? Finding it is easy, they are inexpensive, too. Shipping, on the other hand… We found a source that had free shipping to the local hardware store. Todd, at the tour center, was planning to dig his palm out of storage. I made a cake. I brought in  little drinky umbrellas (no alcohol, this is work).

See how the beautiful blue bandage matches Simon’s eyes and nicely coordinates with her feathers.

Then, last Monday, Simon was following Corinne around waiting for her special breakfast of baby lettuce and arugula (we were soooo fussy when we first injured our wing and developed quite the special diet preferences) and she maybe got excited and whacked her wing on a door-frame. We were so afraid she had re-broke her wing. She was holding it like she had when she first injured it. She was subdued and she and Corinne looked like they were in pain. We were able to sneak some pain management medicine in a spinach leaf (for Simon, Corinne just had to suck it up) and called Cornell to see if we could move up her appointment. Dr. Tarbert (our hero!) said she could fit us in the next day.

We trundled off to Cornell last Tuesday fearing the worst and ready for a long period in the waiting room while they x-rayed and bandaged her. Corinne was in a state, worried that this time there would be surgery. Dr Tarbert carefully felt her wing and checked the area of the break. She pronounced, “No, Simon did not re-break her wing” and it was continuing to heal. She re-bandaged her and sent us home for another week.

This time we sported a very feminine pink. Dr. Tarbert took some extra precautions with the “Escape Artist” and added a bit of sticky tape. Simon thought it marred the elegant lines of the pink glove–as she began to think of it–but realized beauty at times must bend to function.

Well, yesterday was our scheduled visit to the Exotic Animals Clinic at Cornell. Behavior-wise, Simon was much her old self. Perhaps the most since her injury since she was much more vocal as we sat in the waiting room. The waiting area was very busy, full of dogs (Simon does not like dogs) and ferrets and their associated owners. Our new vet student, Caitlyn, ushered us into the separate waiting room. Simon spent a bit of time telling Caitlyn why she should keep her distance until they got to know each other better. Dr. Tarbert came in and examined Simon, removing the bandage and carefully feeling her wing in the damaged area. She determined there was no instability and decided not to re-bandage her wing. Because her wing had been bandaged so long, she was fearful that if we kept the bandage on longer the muscles would atrophy and her healing would be affected. Dr. Tarbert discharged Simon with instructions to safeguard her as much as possible from whacking her wing on things and that yes, she could have her pool back.

We are healed and clean again. Life is good.

Corinne and Simon were overjoyed. We hurried back home where Corinne filled up her leaky pool (the new one is not in yet) and Simon spent her allotted 15 minutes SWIMMING! Oh, the joy! Finally a bath! Pool party next week!

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