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Gemini's Story-a VERY Special Congo African Grey:)

CeddysMum

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I haven't read Gemini's story either but I can tell it is a very special story! Please do continue when you can, I feel privileged to read it. I can't wait for the next chapter, thank you so much for sharing!

Gemini is such a very special girl and you are very obviously an exceptional mummy! :hug8:
 

waterfaller1

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This is great, I'm ready for #4...:popcorn:
 
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Anne & Gang

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Bonnie every time I read this story I weep...you and your precious little fighter are in inspiration to the world.:hug8:
 

ncGreyBirdLady

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Thanks again Everyone:hug8:Lets move on with Chapter 4:)
Gemini’s Story-Chapter 4!

Gemini continues to amaze Me- There Have been SO Many life changes-I Lost My Father, a Brother, a Favorite Aunt and an Uncle and Got evicted from My apartment all with-in a years time! Gemini and the rest of the Fids actually Gave ME a Reason to get up every day! NOW I’m worried about Moving Gemini from the only home that she has ever known into a Bedroom at My Moms house. Thank The Lord My Mom had the space and Needed the Company,(the Breeders into another bedroom)I have also gotten a New Baby Grey-(GrizzleBird-He is a story of his own-I mean How many Fids do You Know that say” I LOVE ME”!!! Ya gotta Love the GRIZZ! WELL Yet again-The GRAND MADAM-Gemini proves to be the Trooper and is telling all the rest that

“ SHHH Its OK” Its OK” while the moving is going on and during the ride(her first-BUT NOT-Her Last) in the Van! Between ALL of this Jamie(My Daughter and I DO Get Her story written and Sent to Bird Talk-Gemini was7 to 8 Months old when we wrote it but the Story didn’t actually go to print until July 1993.I was very un-happy with their editing and some of the additions they made but what the hay-”Gemini was a STAR” OH By the way-I thought Gemini was a Boy ,I'm not quite sure when I changed My Mind about it!


OK-We get settled into our room, and Gemini-LOVES it-WHY? Because Mommy leaves her door open ALL the time(when Mommy is There) and she wanders around on the floor(coming to the edge of my bed asking “Wanna come Up?” OR She plays on top, takes baths in other cages-Lord knows she doesn’t want HER cage all wetJ

Now This Bed room is on the second floor of a VERY OLD House, and it did not take long before Gemini was freaking ME out with the sounds of creaking stairs-I actually had to get Up to SEE if somebody was coming Up the stairs!-Then she would chuckle(gotta Love Her)!Soon she realized that if she stood at the top of the stair-well That when she Talked-It Amplified--OH BOY She Had a whole NEW Past-time and That is when she REALLY Started to TALK!--OK-This is how it started and Progressed(Our little talking game) It took a few weeks of adding the new stuff-but I thought it was quite fun- - I would be down stairs-Gemini at the top--Gemini-”Hello” Me-”Whad-Ya Say“(hey I’m from NY)LOL-Gemini-”I Love You” Me-”I Love You TOO”-Gemini-“I Love You TOO” That went on for a week-Then One day I answered her with” I Love You so Much”-well I rekon I spoke to fast-cause she answered back with” I Love YOU SMUSH”--SO I then would say I----LOVE----YOU----SO----MUCH----Yep,sure enough Gemini said it Back just like that--ALL DRAWN OUT, She soon learned to start the whole thing with”Whad-Ya Say?”



I wonder what She would be capable of if Irene Pepperburg had found Her instead of Alex?-almost Scary! LOL

Moving right along(Ha-Ha) More Life Changes-My Daughter is Moving to NC and I’m going to help! Well everybody is more then willing to feed and care for ALL My Birds EXCEPT Gemini, Nobody wants to take a chanch on having anything happen to Her! I cant say as I blame them-I wouldn’t want to have to spend the rest of my life in prison either(Just kidding)LOL!Well I’m really going to leave you hanging by ending this Chapter now because the next is a doozey!Cause by now Gemini is almost a year old and OMG are My

Worst Fears coming True-seizures !

 

Parrotlove

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Waiting for chapter 5 Bonnie this story really gets me in the heart each time I read it.. Hug's to Gemini
 

jmfleish

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Oh, I'm so glad to see that Gemini's story is here! This is just such a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing Bonnie!
 

ncGreyBirdLady

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Gemini’s Story Chapter 5 :hug8:
Gemini is almost a year old now, Her vocabulary is astounding She will even ask “Why are YOU Upside Down?” I’m starting to relax just a bit and I’m NOT hovering over her like a Mother Hen quite as much(it was VERY Hard) as a Matter of Fact My Daughter had a Great big part in Helping to raise Gemini-If for some reason I couldn’t be there for a feeding Jamie would Jump at the chance , mainly because She was just as protective of her as I was! So all is going well, Gemini is as normal as a Bird can be with their Head on upside down! The starting plans are being made For Jamie’s Move to NC, Life is Good! Until one day, Gemini was doing her normal wandering around on the floor, I was on the bed reading(Bird-Talk of coarse) and all of a sudden Gemini starts screaming and growling and spinning around in circles-OMG I’m on the floor with her in a Heart-beat, trying to get her into my arms, looking for blood or anything that could be scaring her. I’m Trying to talk to Her to comfort her-SHE is NOT Hearing me, nor will she allow me to hold her, she just kept growling and flailing about. ALL I could do was to make sure that she did not hit anything that would injure her and try to keep myself calm. Finally after what seemed like forever-but was probably only minutes Gemini’s Seizure stopped and she weakly went under my bed. She still did not respond to my voice or to My out stretched hand of comfort. You just cannot imagine how heart sick I felt, Here was “Mommy’s Sweet Baby Grey” Not even knowing her Mommy. I Laid on the floor for 2 hours just talking to her and watching her slowly regain her strength. I could even SEE the recognition come into her face when it finally did! After she had I guess returned to Normal-she waddled out from under the bed-”Its OK Mommy-Its OK?” Lord have Mercy -I had NO Idea what I had just witnessed, how to prevent it from happening again-IF it would happen again! That was when I found out just How UN-Educated the Local Vets were when it came to Birds. My first call(after Gemini had climbed into her cage for something to eat and settled in for a nap) was to My Daughter-She would be up in a short while(Gemini was her Baby sister after all)Then I called every Vet in a 100 mile radius to try and find out what the Heck had happened!(Where OH Where was the Internet when I needed It)!Well I could have saved the time of calling the vets-They didn’t have a clue! SO I started pulling out every Bird book that I owned and I actually DID find a small mention of Calcium deficiency seizures! Gemini seemed OK now-she knew Me again was talking and playing when Jamie got there-----( Jamie and Gemini before the seizure)



Jamie of coarse went to pick her up and love on her like she always did! MY Heart Breaks Yet again - Gemini Acted like she did not know Jamie-she even bit her, Jamie was crushed! Their Bond was some how broken from the seizure and was never the same again! I don’t know what tore me up more-seeing My Gemini having the seizure or seeing Jamie’s reaction to Gemini not seeming to even know her anymore-a Very close call! After Jamie left, I made a big batch of Hand-food and fed Gemini as much as she would eat, I knew it could not hurt her and until I knew what was wrong, I was going to give her any extra nutrition etc that I could. I did not sleep much that night-beside the fact that I had to keep my eye on Her for a repeat-I had to read everything that I could get my hands on and try to find out what was wrong! Gemini slept peacefully through the night, I had found a wee bit more info and had found the names of some AVIAN Vets(from Bird Talk) so now I’m on a crusade to get as much info as possible! To be continued in the next Chapter!
Thanks again for everyone that’s taking the time to read this and for all of Your wonderful comments. Your Comments and encouragement
to continue are making it worth allowing myself to relive even those Darkest of Days in My life! Bonnie:hug8:


 

CeddysMum

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Again, Bonnie, thank you sooo much for sharing! I'm deeply moved and I can't wait to read the next chapter!:hug8:
 

ncGreyBirdLady

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Gemini’s Story- Chapter 6- Seizures!

Thank the Lord-Gemini did not have another seizure for the next couple of days. It gave me time to RESEARCH and make oodles of Phone calls! With the help of some “Avian Vets” across the country and My BIBLE at the time-CLINICAL AVIAN MEDICINE and SURGERY by Harrison and Harrison, Printed in 1986. I was able to Rule out some very scary things that could cause Her seizures. Because there were NO Respiratory symptoms I could rule OUT
Paramyxovirus and Chlamydia. Also due to the lack of other symptoms( Lethargy, depression, weakness, abnormal colored diarrhea(green or black), excessive thirst, and vomiting I could rule out Zinc or lead poisoning! That meant that Gemini could have a Tumor or lesions in or on the brain--OR-something that at that time there was NOT a lot of clinical studies on-Hypocalcaemia! In African Greys.

I had been Breeding birds and Hand-raising baby’s for quite a few years before Gemini came into My life. I thought that I was doing a pretty good job of Maintaining good health and nutrition with my Flock! I had studied nutrition in the past(in relation to diabetes’s- which both My Father and Brother suffered from). So I had been feeding My birds fruits/veggies/rice/beans(cooked 15 bean soup mix-no added seasoning packet) well cooked scrambled eggs etc-WAY before it was common to do so! I decided that before I subjected Gemini to being put under for radiograms, x-rays and ALL kinds of Life threatening -in themselves TESTS, That I would concentrate on what was wrong with HER Diet that Only She was effected, and How I could fix it!

I had read enough to know that high fat diets can make Calcium and iron unavailable to a birds system. I did not think that Her diet was High fat. I started giving her Hand-food at least once a day, and tried adding more dark yellow and green veggies more whole grains, different fruits, veggies, and even a good quality pelleted diet. Gemini would still have a small seizure every once in awhile-Thank God as far as I knew I was always home for them and they happened out side the cage. It would still take her at least an hour before she regained full recognition and strength after a seizure, BUT when she did waddle out from under the bed she would say “WHEW”! I hate to think what could have happened if she was closed up in her cage alone. I Really, Really, did NOT know what else to try, I did know that just giving her extra calcium could be just as dangerous as to little. I Also knew that there has to be a GOOD Balance of ANY Vitamins/Minerals that You give a bird for it to be beneficial.

Some where and with My CRS disease- I just do-not remember where-I had read about Chicken bones(WELL COOKED) being very good source’s of natural vitamins and minerals. I Had to at least TRY it before I gave up in defeat and Took Gemini 100 miles away for the test’s! OMG- Gemini not only LOVED eating the Marrow out of (well boiled ,cooled and stripped of meat drum sticks) But God as My Witness She Has Never had another seizure since I started giving her the Chicken bone once and sometimes twice a week!!!!!! This is when Gemini started saying “Yum YUM YEMMINI”as soon as she knew she was getting a bone with her supper.

I will go into more detail about what has been learned about the Calcium problem in African Grey’s in the next chapter. At least I’m not leaving You Hanging this time LOL ! OH I almost Forgot-Through-out all my research about the seizures I did find out that Gemini’s condition is called Torticollis, which means curvature of the neck, much like scoliosis or curvature of the spine in human’s. And it was probably caused by vitamin/mineral mal nutrition in the parent birds. Here is an x-ray of it-its NOT Gemini but it well could have been!





 

ncGreyBirdLady

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Now Up to Chapter 7 Gemini's Story-a VERY Special Congo African Grey:)

Gemini’s Story-Chapter 7-
OK now, It seems that Gemini’s seizures are under control. I’m not real sure if it was the combination of the addition of more fresh fruits and veggies and the Chicken bones, or just the chicken bones, I guess it doesn’t matter cause it worked and has been working for 16 years! Gemini , My Daughter and Myself-did not quite make it through the Seizure period totally unscathed. As I mentioned before the bond between My daughter and Gemini seemed to have gotten broken-it was really as if Gemini just did not know her anymore(so very SAD)! Gemini also seemed to out-grow her need for closeness with Me(even sadder)! Because of her-different’ ness-I had never forced any kind
of step-up/step-down etc training on her, She was always allowed Her free will-If She wanted Up-She got it-if She wanted down she got it(I know shame on me)WHY do I say that?-Because there is a VERY BIG difference between having a Bird Bond with You and having a Bird Imprint with YOU! I’m sure that Gemini Loves me as Dearly as I Love HER-BUT after the seizures it became quite obvious that she was Not bonded to me-She saw ME as another Bird or flock member and for the past 15 years, I have been More then Happy to be her slave(LOL).The Only time she will allow-anyone to handle her is if she gets spooked and ends up on the floor-then anyone can help her up. I do have to admit though that I truly miss the cuddle sessions that Her and I had(Pre-seizures) when she had learned to say “Mommy scratch Your head-Feels SOOO GOOD!”

Going back to the Diet - It took a lot of research, but I did learn that the Balance of vitamins and minerals is VERY IMPORTANT. I found out that A lot of African Grays that were having seizures could actually show normal levels of calcium(so adding more calcium to the diet can do more harm then good)WHAT the Real problem is-African Grays bodies cannot properly metabolize Calcium with-out proper levels of Vitamin D3(NATURALLY AVALIABLE FROM SUNLIGHT),and proper levels of all the other necessary vitamins and minerals. It is darn near impossible to know just what the correct levels are for each bird-SO I just give ALL the Fids the same diet(including chicken bones(leg for big birds thigh for littler birds)AND-The other Very important factor -especially for African Grays-is the Use of Proper lighting! Full spectrum lighting that has UVA and
UVB is almost as important as the diet! I’m SO Happy to say that I Personally Have Never again had any problems with any of MY Fids having Seizures!

OK now-Life is going on-Gemini continues to add to her vocabulary and her personality(lord I don’t know how many times she had me running for the answering machine-She could mimic the actual mechanics of the darn thing!)My Hand raised birds are selling like crazy, and word of what I have accomplished with Gemini is really getting around! SO Much so That I have become known as The Bird lady (I have been called worse)-LOL.
One Day, I get a call from a Guy that has spent
hundreds of dollars with Vet’s because his Gray is having seizures, He had heard about Me-Through a Friend and wanted to know IF I could Help Him! OMG-What do I tell him-I’m NOT a VET-I did take an at home Vet Tech coarse and its different when its Your Own-BUT HE was SO Desperate. His bird was having at least one if not more seizures a day, even though the last Vet has him on valium(Lord have Mercy)After making SURE that HE Knew that I was NOT a VET and that I could NOT be held responsible if I could NOT help his Bird, My Heart made me say Bring him Up! OK Folks-That’s it for Today-To be continued with the Next Chapter which will be- The Stanley Challenge! Thanks again for taking the time to Read Gemini's story and to comment on it:hug8:
Sorry it came out underlined:(
 

Djuna

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Thank you for sharing Gemini's amazing and touching story with us Bonnie. You are a wonderful parront :hug8:
 

itzmered

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Oh Bonnie I just love Gemini's story and am enjoying reading through it again!!
 

rockoko

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I'm re-reading too!!! :dance4:
 
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