A Very Ill Bunny: Yellow poop!

Note: If your bunny has these symptoms get them to a vet ASAP!
Banacek is very ill. His poo is kind of looking like when you blow your nose – all yellow and glicky. At first I thought he had been sick, which was kinda unbelievable because rabbits are biologically totally incapable of vomiting (no gag reflex – also why you should NEVER get their faces underwater when washing them). He has been off his food all day and listless for about 3 days, he’s usually very active but he’s just been sitting in the same spot and not even moving to go to the litter tray. He smells like children do when they wet themselves – which is a different smell to normal bunny wee.
In a human, poo that yellow color means they’ve got coeliac disease or other gluten or wheat related problems, and I was very worried about this because the Christmas treats they received from a relative did contain wheat (despite it not being digestible by bunnies) but the vet said true coeliac is actually unheard of in rabbits. I hope she’s right.
I spent half an hour cleaning the carpet last night because he’d done bunny diarrhea.
There are many types of bunny poo, and bunny diarrhea isn’t the play-doh/plasticine type stuff (that’s slightly abnormal but not dangerous, just means he’s had too many vegetables and not enough hay), it’s more watery, like if you spill a thick, creamy hot chocolate over your carpet (only it smells MUCH worse than that). True bunny diarrhea means a very, very ill rabbit who needs a vet.
We took him to the vet this afternoon and he’s now on antibiotics and critical care because they aren’t sure what’s wrong with him except they said he’s clearly quite ill, they think it’s an upper GI infection because of the mucus poo.
We had to put him in his baby hutch so we could keep an eye on him, and he’s so ill, he’s not even resisting. Usually (and the reason we made him a bigger hutch) he tries to chew his way out and would be throwing all the contents of the hutch around, pooing everywhere and stomping to show us he was displeased. Instead he’s just sitting there, in his bunny bed, not really moving. We’ve given him his antibiotics and opened the hutch to put special water with electrolyte powder into his hutch, and he hasn’t tried to escape at all, which is unheard of in our fiestiest bunny.

banacek rabbit ill yellow poo
Poor baby bunny.

banacek rabbit ill yellow poo
I hope he’s going to be ok.

So we will be watching Banacek closely and feeding him fluids and critical care by syringe every 2 hours for our New Year’s Eve, but I hope the rest of you have a great evening.

Add photojournalist to the list.

In the peculiar way my life works, today I can add freelance photojournalist to my list of jobs.

I’ve sent some of my photos to one of the editorial (news) photo companies, and I’ve sent samples in to another, and one of them (Alamy) accepted and approved several of my photos of the York floods and they’re now available for news sources such as the BBC and worldwide national and local newspapers to use.

This isn’t the first time my photos have been in the news – I was at the scene of a very dramatic-looking car crash a couple of years ago (nobody was hurt though) and I took a photo on my phone. I wasn’t sure what to do with it though so I sent it to a local newspaper – at first, they used it without even crediting me, then they put my name to it but never paid me or informed me they were using my picture, which was annoying – I found out by searching their site for news of the crash. I think using a site like Alamy is a much better way to get into freelance photojournalism, although I’m not sure my creative pictures would cut the mustard because the standards are different.

There was a lot of faffing around to get the pictures ready and they don’t accept pictures older than 24 hours (so ;my pictures from Sunday; weren’t useable) for editorial work.  I had to edit the digital data (IPTC data) for the picture to add headline, caption, image owner etc – which it turns out you need professional picture editing software to do.    Well I had no idea what I was doing with that and all the tutorials seem to focus on what to do once you’ve got the menu in front of you, with no regard for those of us who don’t use Photoshop on all our pictures, and therefore don’t have any way of accessing that digital data.

Queue long downloads and frustration – first I downloaded a program called PhotoME which totally lied and can’t edit IPTC data if you use a Canon camera.  That was a HUGE waste of time when my images were close to timing out.  Luckily I found this 15 day free trial of something called BreezeBrowser Pro which enabled me to get the digital details in perfect order to make the pictures saleable without having to spend money on photo editing software.  It’ll at least last me until the floods and Storm Frank are over.

Those of you who have been following Invoke Delight for a while will probably remember that I’m generally against photo editing because it creates an unrealistic view of an event, and I am heavily fond of natural shots in photography (which means I resent having to own photo editing software since I prefer to get a good picture first time, every time).

If I’m ever at the scene of an event in the future, I’ll be sure to take photos just in case they’re newsworthy.

In Pictures: York Floods Monday 28th December 2015

So I went out a little earlier today and found some even better pictures of the floods.

York floods inventive boat made of oil drums 2015 paddled with shovels spades shopping.
These two lads made this boat out of oil drums lashed together, and they are paddling with garden shovels and are on their way to the supermarket.
York floods inventive boat made of oil drums 2015 paddled with shovels spades shopping.
Another good picture of the boat made of oil drums.
York floods 2015 rescue team in action checking safety flooded underwater disaster pictures
Across the road, a rescue team is going door to door. Phone lines are down across the city, so elderly people are particularly vulnerable.
York floods 2015 rescue team in action checking safety flooded underwater disaster pictures
A much better, more in focus picture of the heroic rescuers, although this one makes it look like they’re on dry land rather than wading through 2 feet of water. They are dragging a boat around with them but I was struggling to get a good shot as I was about 100 feet away and my zoom lens was extended as far as it would go.
York 2015 floods people affected trolley baby possessions.
These people found an abandoned shopping trolley on the street and put their baby and possessions in it before walking past this trolley park of distinctly different trolleys. Still the family looks pretty happy. I guess you would if you spent ages walking around holding stuff then found a trolley.
York historic building damage rowntree wharf floods 2015
Rowntree Wharf, a historic 19th Century building, is underwater and the road has become a river.
York historic building damage York walls floods 2015
The water has travelled higher than the eathen mounds, which are remains of the Roman walls, and has reached York’s Medieval City Walls in places.
York historic building Red Tower damage York historic building floods 2015
This old building, called ‘Red Tower’ was built in 1490, and marks the end of the walls on this side of the city.

After yesterday’s trip around town, I was left worried about the rabbits in pets at home on Foss Islands Road because, while the water hadn’t reached them, it had cut off the whole shopping area from being accessed.
Today, I am pleased to report that the rabbits are all safe and snuggled, some brave members of staff went to Pets at Home today and opened up the shop, and I have photos showing they’re all warm and dry and well-fed:

pets at home safe buns york floods
The bunnies at Pets at Home are being looked after by staff members who braved the floods to ensure the pets all got fed.
york floods 2015 rabbits pets affected
The bunnies at Pets at Home look happy and relaxed in their warm, dry housing, thanks to the amazing effort staff made to travel to and open the store today.
York floods 2015 expensive looking car underwater
In other news, a very expensive looking car with the back window left open for some reason. I hope the council don’t enforce parking tickets until the waters recede.

Flash Gordon Failed, Then

This weekend, my town has been besieged by floods (literally, I can’t get in or out unless I get my kayak out); tomorrow “Storm Frank” hits Ireland, it’s predicted to move onto the UK afterwards, with wind gusts of up to 109kph (dunno what that is in “real” miles), with the strongest winds lasting until at least Thursday. In America, 20 different tornadoes hit last week and these tornadoes have left a trail of destruction. And in Nicaragua a volcano (Momotombo) has erupted for the first time in 100 years. I am sure there are other severe weather events going on as well.

There’s only one thing left to say:

COME ON FLASH GORDON WHY HAVEN’T YOU STOPPED MING THE MERCILESS’S WEATHER DEVICE YET???

In Pictures: The York Floods 2015, Sunday 27th December

I went around the town on Sunday 27th December (yeah it took me FOREVER to upload these to WP) and just took some photos of the damage and of the things I saw. We even saw some looters trying to get into some abandoned vehicles, but they ran away when they saw me taking photos of nearby things with a professional looking camera (pro-tip – don’t photograph the looters if they’ve noticed you; they’ll probably take your professional looking camera then resume looting).  Click all of these to enlarge if you want to see them up close.

York flood 2015 cars underwater
Your typical flood photo of some decent cars submerged in water.
York flood 2015 recycling bins underwater
Nobody will be recycling their glass bottles for a while – unless they can throw them really far.
York flood 2015 Melrosegate road underwater sewer bubbling up water.
This was around the corner from my house – the water here has flooded even worse than it would have done from the stream, because the sewers are overwhelmed and it’s bubbling up (front centre).
York 2015 floods lols stupid flood people salt bags ASDA.
This is hilarious – apparently nobody told the manager of this ASDA store (Wal-Mart) that salt will dissolve when it is mixed with an excess of water. He would have been better off using bags of gravel.
York floods 2015 james st gypsy site caravans trailers washed away by floodwaters
But it’s hard to see the funny side when your home has literally been washed away. This is the gypsy site (trailer park for gypsies) which is usually crammed end to end with mobile homes (trailers).
York Floods 2015 December police line
A somewhat redundant sign urging people not to venture beyond this arbitrary line. I did hear that North Yorkshire Police ran out of “Road Closed” signs.
York floods 2015 car stranded water level rising december
Another stranded vehicle outside a car showroom. They moved the rest of their cars over the road. Guess this one was from the bargain bucket and deemed not worth saving. The silent tragedy of being an older, reliable motorcar is that you will be sacrificed at the first sign of trouble.
York floods 2015 drama ambulance lost roads closed
An ambulance races to hospital with a patient on-board. Trouble is, it’s heading straight for flooded roads, delaying lifesaving treatment.
York floods 2015 ambulance lost stranded danger death
The same ambulance, several minutes later, has turned around and is racing to find another route to the hospital – this is the REALLY long way round. It puts the siren on, but that’s not going to part the unrelenting water.
Nobody is going out for ice-cream today, as the island of safety surrounding Frankie and Benny's diminishes.
Nobody is going out for ice-cream today, as the island of safety surrounding Frankie and Benny’s diminishes.
York floods december 2015 foss islands road
This is Foss Islands Road, one of the main roads in York, usually gridlocked at this time of day, I don’t even think pedestrians could safely get across.
York flood december 2015 boat river rescue water mooring bridge foss islands road
To the left of the bridge, the River Rescue boat is listing because it’s been moored too tightly and cannot rise with the water levels. The bridge itself being pretty superfluous given that it currently crosses from one river to another. Given the amount of people who have been evacuated, you’d think they’d retrieve all the boats they could get so they could rescue people instead of leaving them to get damaged like this.
York flood december 2015 stupid driving road
There are a lot of vans and campervans on the road, and many people driving round and round looking for a way out of the city. I think some people have used the flood as an excuse to bug out rather than because they really need to risk life and limb making journeys on flooded roads. They’ve missed the fact that the rest of the county is underwater too. There is a lot of reckless driving going on today – like this converted campervan who is doing a U turn but doesn’t slow down enough, ending up in a car park then having to back it up.
York flood december 2015 stupid driving road campervan
Suitably stuck, now they have to back that “campervan” up like a Tonka Truck.

So some laughs, some drama, but most of all, I’m just very glad that my house isn’t flooded at the moment, and I hope to goodness it stays that way.  I think this has justified the expenditure on my 40mm prime (non-zoom) lens for my camera – it’s performance in low light is absolutely stunning – these pictures are actually a little brighter than my eyes were able to see these scenes, because it was going dark as we left the house. If I go out photographing again tomorrow, I need to try and overcome my fear of photographing people because I saw some fantastic human-interest scenes today such as a family pushing their salvaged possessions in a shopping trolley, and some others standing outside a supermarket in their pyjamas waiting for friends to meet them and take them to somewhere dry, and the aforementioned looters although I wasn’t going to snap them in a million years, they were paying too much attention to my camera (although I couldn’t have photographed people very well as I didn’t have my zoom lens with me because I didn’t want it to get wet since it’s bloody expensive – I took my standard kit lens but it was just shockingly crap in the light levels so it captured NOTHING).  I always worry that I’m imposing on others’ private emotional dramas by photographing them; I guess that’s why I’m not a “proper” journalist/photojournalist yet.

It’s flooded.

So some of you might remember a little while ago I said I was worried about being unprepared for floods, since there were some not very far from where I live, which had been going on for a while.

Yeah so over the Christmas weekend the whole city flooded. Today, there’s been rescue helicopters going by every twenty minutes or so, and the pictures of the rest of the city are fairly grim.

But my house is on one of the few streets that’s totally dry. That didn’t stop us having to bail out the back garden yesterday because the rainwater had pooled at a depth of 8 inches (due to all the concrete) and was threatening our bunnies.
You will (probably) be relieved to know that our buns are all safe and dry, although their sheds are slightly damp of floor and walls and their rabbit runs are completely waterlogged. Poor buns. We debated bringing them indoors but decided they’ve got more room outside for the time being but if it gets into their sheds they’re coming in. It hasn’t stopped them from going outside and splashing around in the puddles.

We filled the bath with water in case we lose water, and we are trying to get through our laundry in case we lose water/electricity as this obviously didn’t happen on a day when we had any towels in the cupboard. Our electrical substation is next to one of the most severely flooding waterways so it could go at any minute.

We are extending an open invitation to anyone in York who is affected by flooding to come to our house and stay as long as you need; we are now dry and currently have electricity and running water, if you don’t have my address email me for it. No axe (or other blunt instrument) murderers please, and if you generally feel the need to spread the word about some God or other, please keep it to yourself while you’re in my home.

Posting may be erratic if we lose electricity.

Dumbass of the week: How Did I End Up Here?

You know those times when you’re browsing the internet, minding your own beeswax, when suddenly you end up (through some series of clicks) on a website that is just plain bizarre, and you think to yourself, ‘how did I end up here??’
Well, say hello to “AntiDep[ressant]Aware” It’s this week’s dumbass website of the week. This is a website that collates all known deaths of people with mental health problems and blames the medications (but only if those medications are either ‘antidepressants’ (no differentiation between the different types) or ‘psychiatric meds’ (unspecified). So antipsychotics and sedatives of every flavour are apparently harmless.
http://antidepaware.co.uk/
Now I’m sure that most of my readers know how I feel about medication… my bipolar meds give me back my cognitive function and ability to sleep, and I think they’re a very important tool in the (rather small) arsenal of things we can use to try and snatch back parts of our lives from Hurricane Bipolar.
However, I am very wary of antidepressants because of something called a Paradox Reaction. This (happens a lot in bipolar folks) is where the antidepressant sends you into bipolar mania with no thought for whether you actually wanted to be manic or not. This happened to my mother. I have an additional problem with Diazepam (a benzodiazepine, not an antidepressant) in that it makes me psychotic.
So when last year my doctor wanted to prescribe me (without bothering to properly assess me) antidepressants, I had to really fight to avoid them. Despite my saying repeatedly that there was a family history of psychosis.
I think they are given out far too easily.
But they are a lifeline for some people, and I think (as a mental health patient) you have to educate yourself about what the pros and cons of any course of action are, then go ahead with what you think is best. Websites that totally malign a whole branch of pharmaceuticals don’t add anything to the process of educating yourself because they don’t specifically carry out empirical studies looking for weaknesses in the mechanism of action of the drug. If you think it’s best to take antidepressants when you have bipolar, and your doctor agrees, then that might be the right choice for you. We don’t get a lot of choice with mental health matters, but uneducated blanket calls to ban antidepressants are stupid, correlation does NOT imply causality (I mean, look at those people who thought AIDS was caused by gay sex when it was really UNPROTECTED sex) and blaming antidepressants for the deaths of people known to Mental Health services is as idiotic as blaming antibiotics when people die of infection.
Or blaming chemotherapy when people die of cancer.
Yeah, you heard me. I’m pro naturopathy for the things that naturopathy can help with, but not at the exclusion of allopathic medicine, and blaming modern medicine because it hasn’t performed miracles is bullshit and it makes me so mad when people come out with this crap. But people like that should just go back to drinking their green-coloured liquids and believing it’ll cure their cancer. It saves the NHS hundreds of thousands when these people don’t get cancer treatment. I agree that Big Pharma has a lot of explaining to do with some things, but in other cases, it is literally saving people’s lives and telling the public not to take their meds is just scaremongering at its very worst, especially since some of us can be very paranoid and might believe this shit on a bad day.
There’s nothing anywhere on the website explaining why this person or persons have taken it upon themselves to chat shit about antidepressants, but I would be curious to know why anyone would make it their life’s mission to slate medications that save people’s lives. All I can think of is the person lacks insight and doesn’t genuinely believe in mental illness as a real and debilitating thing, and they think they can just imagine away their illness.
Also happy Christmas Eve, if anyone’s feeling shit due to the time of year please please talk to someone.