Well tonight Ted ate his first meal.
Ted’s been with us now 3 days or 72 hours and counting…
Tonight Ted ate and the jubilation that occurred at the precise moment we managed to finally get his mouth open long enough to get his fresh cricket mash into his mouth is to date one of our happiest memories. I say ours as in me and Miguel’s. And that’s saying a lot because we’ve had some really great times and some really hellacious times too if the truth be told…
Actually it was Miguel who was the meistro at getting Ted’s mouth open and synronizing the insertion of his mash. Ted’s a handful and I wanted the task of restraining him leaving Miguel to do the hardest part of the job:
Gently separate Ted’s mouth open enough to get Ted to open it all the way long enough to place his cricket mash on top of his tongue in the halfway point on his tongue; all this before Ted would slam it shut in protest.
I had more faith in Miguel’s nerves of steel, patience & gentleness handling this part of the 2 part teamwork process of feeding Ted than I could plus I’ve learned during this process of discovery that it’s easy to dislocate a frog and toads arms if you don’t hold them down properly and or squash them to death during it as they are soft, squishy and rather delicate. That coupled with the first hand experience that Ted’s rather feisty & a mover and a shaker.
Ted also successfully swallowed his food which is a must and an area that had me worried in my new found role as a surrogate Toad Mum.
I had shared with my medical assistant in training Miguel that my research told me that in order for toads to swallow they use their eyes.
Toads don’t chew instead in order to get their food down into their stomach their eyeballs recede into their heads which pushes the food down into their throat and belly in rhythmic motions.
So as I was focused on safely holding Ted Miguel excitedly exclaimed:
“He’s swallowing! His eyes are doing that ‘thing'”!!!
It can be a rather alarming ‘thing’ to witness as it looks like they are having a bit of a seizure as their eyes sort of close and sink into their head but Ted swallowed! WHOOHOOT!
I also want to note early on that any pics of Ted in which his eyes appear to be cloudy is due entirely to my poor slowly dying iPhone; the flash has gone completely mad and ruins pics by doing all sorta of strange things.
Ted’s eyes are as clear & perfect as they should be.
This time last evening I was drowning in a sea of darkness. Overcome with insurmountable odds and had failed miserably at getting Ted the toad to eat.
Guilt and fear of failing him only furthered my decent into the black pit of despair last evening…
It was really a terrible night.
Today wasn’t much better as I had trouble sleeping last night after I fell asleep on the couch verses in our bed.
I can’t recall the last time I fell asleep on the couch that late at night. I always retire to the bedroom once I feel tired enough to sleep as with the insomnia that has been with me for the past several months and for the first time in my existence the effortless sleep I took for granted my entire life has vanished now replaced with sleep being a struggle.
The emotional roller coaster of nursing Ted back to health coupled with the depression and flare ups of anxiety and PTSD deflated and thoroughly exhausted me.
As I awoke from 4 hours of sleep last night and as soon as my eyes opened I was immediately reminded of Ted’s need to eat today and jumped out of bed.
Looking back I should have stayed on the couch last night when I woke up at 4am as I was finally sleeping so peacefully; first time in months but I forced myself to bed and continued to toss and turn the remainder of the morning until 7am.
Ran out to greet him this morning yet also aware on my way to him that the stress we placed him under last night may have depleted what little reserves he had and that he may have crossed over during the night.
As I lifted the warm towel from the top of his screened in atrium Ted looked up at me and I could breathe again.
He made it through the night!
Then he began to stretch out & up towards me from inside his temporary home. In all honesty it was him trying to climb out of his rehab home. He was moving and rather energetically and that’s all that mattered.
It was beautiful!
Today I was exhausted. Mentally, physically and emotionally. I still am actually however something happened at the precise moment we successfully placed Ted’s food into his mouth.
Joy and celebration. I imagine what we must have looked like to any neighbor who may have caught a glimpse of us both sitting on the concrete under our covered patio, on a bed of sprawled out clean towels, hovering over a concealed subject cooing and cheering him on.
At the end of it I lost control of myself at the sheer appreciation for my husbands support, patience, gentle nature and affection he show’s Ted.
I became so over joyed at Ted’s first meal that I mauled the hell out of my husband as he gently held Ted who comfortably melted in the warm palm of my mans gloved hands covering his face with kisses, hugs, verbal accolades and genuine appreciation.
All while Ted relaxed against the warmth of Miguel’s hand and finally his bare hairy man leg. I had to take pictures as I couldn’t believe how calm Ted is with Miguel.
Also my body temp runs low so I’m always cold especially my feet and hands whereas Miguel is very warm blooded.
I’ve learned a misconception of amphibians since having Ted with us is that they love the cold. They really don’t; they can just survive in it to a certain extent and are categorized as cold-blooded creatures.
Why do you think snakes get ran over and killed in the middle of hot asphalt roads in the summer and cooler months. Because they are seeking the warmth.
Ted is digging warmer temps.
Ted is never this calm when he’s with me and I’m handling him. It’s the energy.
Every living and not so living creation possesses energy. It cannot be destroyed it just changes form; energy just is.
I think Ted felt the moment his surrogate parents had as he relaxed in his dads hands and didn’t try to wriggle away like he does with me.
Ted can feel Miguel’s calm Libra energy and when he does he just melts into him; its fascinating really.
Ted, hopped, crawled then snuggled up to Miguel after the feeding and rested for nearly 15 minutes while I puttered around and cleaned up the treatment area.
Ted with me moves constantly and becomes more energized. I am hyperactive by nature and these days riddled with anxiety which only exacerbates my natural energy making it a very uncomfortable place to dwell.
I can barely stand the energy bubbling over within myself so I can only imagine what it’s like for others…
Miguel on the other hand is naturally calm, soothing and relaxed. Ted needs a combination of us both however after this evenings feeding extravaganza Ted needed calm, relaxing, warm energy and he knew where to get it. Amazing survival skills from a tiny creature no? I think so.
Later tonight after we put Ted to bed for the evening I headed out into my outdoor ‘office’ to have a fresh air tobacco break when a large black garden beetle crossed my path.
Normally I’d side step it allowing it to go on its merry way however tonight a new thought immediately came to me:
“I wonder if Ted would enjoy that bug?” I called Miguel out as he’s the beetle expert in the family and after he confirmed it was indeed a garden beetle and not a cockroach I scooped it up and have him safely reserved for tomorrows snack.
We: Ted, me an Miguel had an amazing moment tonight. A priceless moment that I will not soon forget.
I desperately need these moments anymore…
Tomorrow is a new day and there’s no way of telling how it will start and end but for this moment here; I’m grateful to be out of the pit of despair even if for just a few hours.
I also want to thank my new WordPress friends for your unexpected yet deeply appreciated support and words of encouragement last evening…
It means more than I can ever possibly express; thank you Jonathan & Steve 😉