Friday, August 3, 2012

Q Fever & the lounge lizard. Merrilyn Part 26

I lost two weeks of my life and then struggled for several more weeks to regain my health.  Oh I recall some parts of it, but mostly I was in a dream. Totally delirious for several days and then struggling to be human for the rest of it.    Sadly it was down to George.  When I'd put my hands beneath the sheets to say goodbye, I'd been covered in his bodily fluids.  Though I'd immediately washed, it was too late.  I had been infected with Q Fever.

I'd heard of it, but had no idea that I might become infected.  It took several weeks to be properly diagnosed because, despite our suggestion that it might be Q Fever, two doctors refused to consider it and treated me for other things.  At last I was able to see my own doctor who trusted my judgement and ran the test and finally proper treatment was started. The delayed diagnosis meant a longer recovery time and higher risks.  It can be simply like a mild flu but the worst cases see liver and heart damage and some people have died.  Thankfully I made a complete recovery, though I felt weakened for quite some time.

People who take on wildlife care often have no idea of the dangers.  You certainly think of being bitten or scratched but not that you could gain a disease that can be extremely debilitating.  Would it have stopped me if I'd known more about it?  Probably not.  Though whenever I have an opportunity I ensure potential and existing carers know the dangers.  Immunisation is available and you cannot work as a vet or a worker in an abattoir without it here in Australia and anyone who has had it goes on the register of notifiable diseases.

Meanwhile the mob continued to flourish and Merrilyn learned a new trick.  Though free to go wherever she pleased, she continued to see our house as her domain, as well as the bush.  We had an old cane sofa out on the patio and we were totally amazed to look through the window and see this sight one day. Somehow Merrilyn had made her way onto the couch!

I took the first shot through the window as I thought she would get down and go when I went outside.  Not a bit of it.

She was comfortable and wasn't moving for anyone.  I was also a bit miffed to notice she had dropped a pellet (hmm maybe I should just call it what it is - poo) as she had got up.  You can see it bottom left sitting like a round ball of .... near the edge of the sofa.
I'd like to think she was looking a bit sheepish, but I rather think she was simply wondering what I was doing.  She had never been on furniture before, not even when she was a small joey.

Though we discouraged her by leaving various objects on the seats, Merrilyn mostly found her way around them.  For an animal with large back legs that are used for hopping, not climbing, she was amazingly agile. On one occasion she even made it onto a single chair, even though we'd left the beach umbrella across it.

17 months after arriving in our lives, it became very clear that even though she was totally free to go, this particular kangaroo quite liked the comforts of a human home.


  1. Well, couch sounds so similar to "pouch" I bet she was just confused! That is the cutest thing. I've never heard of Qfever and it sounds really harsh but I'm glad you recovered nicely. Why do Doctors always think they know everything more than us? I know they have training and skills we don't, but please...I work with them and really know that they don't have all the answers. When my husband graduated Chiro college one speaker said the smartest thing I ever heard a Doctor say. He told the new Docs :"Doctors, listen to your patients"..he even repeated it to them..and I don't think Jack ever forgot it.

  2. My gosh I have only ever heard of Q fever once before. Glad you are the road to recovery.
    Love the pictures of Merrilyn - nothing like a good afternoon in relaxation mode on the verandah. Thank you for sharing

  3. I can honestly say I've never heard of that particular disease either but from the sound of it, it isn't the greatest o.O

    Trust me when I say I know how you feel. It took me over 100 doctors and 5 years before I was CLINICALLY diagnosed with Lyme Disease here in the US.

    By that time, it was chronic. So I understand how timing is critical in instances like these!

  4. So glad to hear you are okay. I have never heard of this one. Love that expression on her face...what's the problem ????

  5. Merrilyn's conquest of the couch is priceless and to the chair even funnier. Umbrellas, no problem, we've got lots of room here for my little self; thanks, she seems to say.

    Really good to hear that you are mending; weeks can take months to recuperate from.

    1. Linda what's your blog name? I'd love to visit.

  6. That Merrilyn is something else. She reminds me very much of a cat in this post. I'm glad you made a full recovery from your illness, and wonder if that was the only time your caring for these creatures has made you ill.

  7. Wow, that illness sounds nasty. Glad you got over it without too many lasting effects. Merilyn is so cute. I'm with Yaya on the pouch/couch connection.

  8. Hi all and thanks for all the good wishes. Can't believe how long I'm going between posts - life etc... Deb certainly the Q Fever has been the big one, but general exhaustion and emotional fatigue go hand in hand at times. Onwards to the next post!


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