It was probably about 20 year ago when I last did a cartwheel.
I was tempted to do another one about 5 minutes ago. Why? Why indeed my little fluffy animal loving friends.
Sorry, the rest of this blog post will be a bit silly because I feel like being a bit silly. Infact I feel about 14 years old again.
I feel like running...............ok driving, to the top of the nearest hill and belting out at full volume 'The Hills are Alive with the sound of music", I actually really feel like wearing a big blowy Julie Andrews dress when I sing at the top of my voice and completely nail those big high notes.
The reason for my unbridled happiness? The reason why I feel like a boy again? Well the reason concerns my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world.
I know I have wittered on about Lily periodically over the past few months. I took phone calls and e-mails offering advice about how she should be treated all of which were appreciated hugely.
I won't name names, you know who you are, I shall always remember your concern, you will always be welcome to quaff and feed at the mighty Patou dining table, always.
Anyway today we got the results of Lily's final blood test. And it was a bit of a doozie!
A quick recap for the benefit of new readers:
Lily (our first ever female cria and our favourite alpaca in the whole etc etc) had a series of unfortunate situations befall her. Firstly, last year she developed a jaw abscess which we treated twice with long courses of anti-biotics. As it continued to reoccur we eventually had it operated on in November. The operation a success, Lily went on another long course of antibiotics.
In January she lost part of a toe in a trailer door accident. My fault entirely. We have not used the trailer since and I kick it when I pass it sometimes, it makes me feel better. I hate that bloody trailer.
The snow came and we struggled to keep the dressing dry. In stepped our good friends Ivan and Gill and Lily moved into their barn with a couple of chums. The dressing was changed every three days for a month or so but Lily was losing weight. We thought she would improve once the toe had healed. The toe did heal and Lily came out of the barn but when we visited she had stopped eating, was very thin and was frothing at the mouth. We called the vet immediately. He immediately diagnosed severe anaemia and said that she had given up on life and that we would lose her, there was little we could do he said. He took blood. There were tears folks, a lot of tears.
That day marked the first day of 'Lily, Operation fightback'. She may have given up but we hadn't. Lily came home. Lola, Lily's sister, barged past me to get to Lily as I opened the trailer door. Do not ever underestimate the fact that alpacas know and care for their family members. It saved Lily's life, no doubt. Lola and Lily's cria, Amelie, knew who she was and she knew who they were, they stuck together from then on.
The blood results were dreadful. Packed Cell Volume (PCV) of 10. Haemoglobin (Hb) level of 4.
We started her on a regime of medication and supplements. It was like a military operation, we were relentless. Lily perked up. Further blood tests showed improvements. She changed from having given up to actually quite liking being alive. She got caught up in some herd pronking one evening. Seeing her run with little faltering steps was a memorable moment for me. She continued to improve. Nothing got in the way of our course of treatment, nothing.
Anyway that brings me around nicely to this evening. Louise our vet phoned up with the results of the last blood test. 10 weeks after the initial blood test. Read these numbers dudes, read them and weep.
PCV - 24 NORMAL
Red blood cell count - 10.5 NORMAL
Haemoglobin - 8.9 JUST ABOUT NORMAL
Everything else - PRETTY BLOODY NORMAL
Lily's condition - PERFECT!
Anyway, that cartwheel.........................I think not.........................but then............ another glass of wine?
I might just give it a go.
Bon nuit mes amies.