I wish that I could report a miraculous recovery. But it is not so. There remains the agonizing uncertainty and he has a long way to go before the eyes clear up.
I had remained in Nairobi at the Cockar’s house on Sunday morning and this allowed Drs Barry Cockar, Dan Gardin and Nonee Magre to check on him. Putting the eye drops and drugs into his eyes was easy. What was noticeable was the extensive cloudiness of the cornea and general disruption of the anterior portion of the eye (That which is forward of the Iris). His eye pressure was slightly high in one eye and twice as high as it should be in the other. Unpredictably the eye that took nearly three times longer than the eye in which the Phaco was used was the better one.
The drive home was not that bad as it was a Sunday. Nevertheless a good portion of it is off road driving behind very dusty trucks. Rosy hung onto the front seat and did his best to stay upright. But the experience is not good for a sick patient with very sensitive eyes. I hate this road, as it has not helped in getting animals to and from treatment for the last 4 years. We arrived home and he had a quite warm day being left out on his perch. He is surrounded by familiar sounds and evidently this settled him. That night, he did react to a hand being moved in front of him. He was able to track me as I walked by him a meter away. I was euphoric.
On the Monday, I had hoped he would be better, but he was much the same. I stayed with him most of the day. Giving drugs to him now was a different story. Although quiet on his perch, the moment I start to attempt to apply a greasy ointment his head jerked back, and it all went across his face….not on his eye. Worse the process was in danger of injuring him. So I had to ask for Mwanzia and Jonathan to assist. The brute force way is very upsetting to him, and I have to weigh up the benefits as opposed to the trauma sustained in the struggle. I wish there was an easier way. Applying the drugs 8-10 times a day makes pulling the sheds down and sending the materials for construction at Naivasha a tough task. Sarah Higgins, the new “owner” of Rosy and Girl desperately needs to know the outcome of Rosy’s progress, as the cost of building the new breeding shed is a huge factor to us. If Rosy cannot see, then there is no point in building the new shed and Girl his wife should be released, despite her age. Rosy would then spend the rest of his life in a smaller shed. His life would not be that bad, but it would be a sad thing to accept after all this effort.
Concurrent to this, I am moving all my furniture and equipment, closing down the house, releasing Tim the Lanner, working on setting up a Lammergeyer release, getting car log books sorted, getting a visa, fixing a broken car, and outfitting for a year safari around Africa. All must be near complete by the end of this week!!
Email and communication via the cell phone came to a halt on Monday. Nonee was driving all the way out from Nairobi to check on his eye pressure, and so I stayed at home. It turned out that her car too broke down, and she had to post-pone the appointment to Tuesday. I was so overwhelmed on Monday that I gave up on all else and focused only on Rosy. I think I am trying to do too much.
On Monday, he was uninterested in a dead rabbit I gave him. Even if totally blind he would happily eat a rabbit, but not now. As it was attracting flies I took it away and force fed him by pushing food down his throat. He was very angry.
In the afternoon he was able to feed on the rabbit alone. But a measure of just how blind he is was gained by looking at the pair of cheeky Slender tail mongooses that live in the rock pile in the garden. They came out and fed on the rabbit within 2 feet of him. Had he seen them, or even registered a blur, he would have done something about it.
I resorted to using the camera to take pictures of what looks like a protruding transparent globe that is emerging from the pupil. The photograph clearly shows this to be true in his right eye. The mass seems to distort the pupil too. The other eye there is a cloudy mass that lies just forward of the pupil. The distinct boundary of the “bubble” in that eye is not so clear. The cornea itself seems to be less cloudy. The eye diameter seems larger, and it looks like it is bulging slightly. The intraocular pressure could explain this although I am giving the special eye drops to reduce this pressure. Nevertheless the protrusion is not as bad as it was. I feel that there is post operative reaction in the eye, with a confusion of anterior and posterior eye pressure, and perhaps some damage to the retina following high intraocular pressure.
Dan phoned me on Monday and felt confident that this globular protrusion was fairly normal, but he would like to see it for himself. I include the picture here so that I can refer the doctors and specialist such as Dr Dan Gradin to it. (Another use for this blog!)
Today (Tuesday) Nonee drove all the way out to take his eye pressure. It is within limits. But she too noticed this strange protrusion and after conferring with Drs Dan Gradin and Barry Cockar, believed it was likely to be a result of fibrin coagulating. There are drugs that will help lessen this, which I shall get tomorrow. But Nonee was also disappointed in the lack of vision. We went over the procedure again and lamented the lack of equipment that would have allowed us to get a perfect dimension of the lens. But right now the lens is not the issue, it is the material that is being produced by the eye that is disturbing the visual pathway. Time will tell.
Laila and Paula have both asked that I keep the news updates going each day. I suspect Rosy’s progress will be slow, and I cannot think of too much to say. Paula said that I should be brave in asking for donations to continue. While we are all very grateful for the donation money received to cover the cost of the surgery, there are still outstanding settlements to cover costs of equipment and services. In addition comes the reality that Rosy’s post operative care and the building of their new shed will amount to at least some $3-4000, of which I would greatly appreciate any help. It was precisely these sorts of costs incurred during my latter tenure as a raptor rehabilitator that I failed to meet and obliged me to close down.