Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm outa here!

August 25, 2009: nearly seven weeks after being admitted to New Bolton Center, Suki was discharged. I was thrilled that she was well enough to leave the confines of ICU, but also terrified. We still had a long road ahead of us. While Suki was in the hospital, I knew that she was being well cared for and any complications would be handled immediately. Life on the outside would be different, and while Kelly would be handling most of the care, emergencies would require calling out a veterinarian. I knew that I could call the doctors at New Bolton any time I needed to, but the security of the past seven weeks was gone.

Several days before, I bought new leg wraps for Suki. In addition to almost losing my horse I had lost practically all of my equipment. Years and years of the accumulation of equipment and supplies, gone in the blink of a spark.

I was a bundle of nervous energy during the drive to Kennett Square. There just seemed to be so many loose ends and questions. I felt so unprepared for the next phase in her recovery, but also realized it was time for Suki to be a horse again.

My husband brought the trailer around close to the ICU building while I went to the front desk to complete the paperwork. I was handed several pages of instructions, several boxes of medicine and supplies, and a $17,000 vet bill. The receptionists were teary and there were hugs all around. They have seen so much in that office. Many people leave in tears when their beloved horses do not survive. I was one of the lucky ones. My story had a happy ending.

We decided to slightly tranquilize Suki for the trip, since we did not know how she would react to getting into a horse trailer. Legs wrapped and a little woozy, nurse X led Suki out of ICU and into the sunshine. At first it looked as if she might walk right onto the trailer.....but then changed her mind. When it became apparent that in spite of our patients and persistence Suki was NOT going to load, we called the behaviorist who had worked on trailer loading before. I like to refer to it as her "psych consult". Fifteen minutes later Suki was on the trailer.

An hour or so behind schedule, I called Kelly to tell her that we were finally on our way. The trip was smooth. Thank heaven for small favors! Kelly was there to greet us and to help get Suki settled in. She welcomed me with a hug....sometimes you just need that.

Suki unloaded easily and walked into her new stall. She has always settled in easily to new surroundings, but I was unsure of how traumatized she was by the fire. Apparently, as she had demonstrated all along, Suki is quite resilient. She made faces at the horse in the stall next to her, who cowered on the other side of his stall, then got down to the business of eating her hay.

Kelly had prepared a cheese, fruit and cracker platter for us. "I know how everyone always forgets to eat!" she said. We went through all of the instructions from New Bolton again, and I was pretty confident that Suki would be OK. There was nothing left for me to do but go home and get a good night's sleep. I was emotionally drained! Suki seemed fine!

November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving. A long day of cooking, but I went to see Suki this morning and snuck in an early morning ride on Nikki. That always makes me feel better. I added some photos to this post as an experiment....thoughts?