Monday, November 7, 2011

Restless Night

I arrived home from New Bolton and picked up Isaiah from preschool. A toddler forces you to wear a brave face and act normal. It felt wonderful to wrap my arms around him!

Michael returned home later that evening, so I was finally able to just collapse. It's funny, though. I never asked him to try to get home early, and sometimes get angry that he didn't just think to do that! Maybe I didn't act hysterical on the phone or make it seem as bad as it actually was....I still don't know.

As anyone can imagine, my sleep was not restful. I tossed and turned for a good part of the night, willing the phone not to ring. Thankfully, it never did. The first thing I did when I opened my eyes Saturday morning was cry. I was probably expecting to wake up and realize that the fire and Suki's injuries were just a terrible nightmare. But cruel reality set in. I called the hospital and spoke to Dr. Michele Harris, the resident working on the case. Suki was stable overnight, but she warned me that while this was a very good sign, we were far from certain survival.

Five minutes later I was on my way to New Bolton again. One of Suki's favorite treats is gummy bears, so I was sure to bring them along. This time when I entered reception, X immediately smiled and said "Wait until you see her! She looks so much better today!" I breathed a sigh of relief! ICU was alerted of my arrival "Suki's mom is here," said X. That is when you know that you are at a place where everyone REALLY understands how you feel about your horse!

When I entered ICU, Suki nickered and rushed to the front of her stall when she heard my voice. X was right. Suki DID look better. She was brighter, and the swelling on her face had reduced enough to see tiny slits of her eyes. Once again she hungrily accepted her treats....the gummy bears!

The team was pleased with Suki's condition over night and were able to perform an eye exam due to the reduction in swelling. As suspected, both eyes had been badly burned and were ulcerated. This would require eye ointment 4 times a day. Not an easy task on a 17.2h horse who was unable to wear a regular halter! They had fashioned a halter from rope padded with gauze and adhesive tape, but because of the extent of the burns on her head Suki could not be fully restrained. Her doctors did not like the idea of sedating her 4 times a day, but that eye ointment needed to be applied if we were going to save her vision.

Suki's appetite was good, and she happily accepted her hay and grain. A few times during the night her pain medication had been adjusted, signalled by changes in her vital signs. Overall, she was in suprisingly good spirits, banging her stall for more treats and behaving like the diva that she was. Her nickname of "super model" was well earned! Because she couldn't see, Suki would swing her head around in response to voices. That certainly quickens the reflexes!

My good friend Beth met me at New Bolton that second day. Again, the emotional support was greatly appreciated.

Those first days, most of my visit was spent just standing in Suki's stall and talking to her. In my mind, she needed to know that I was with her 100% of the way. My frequent tributes, according to veterinarians, made a tremendous impact on her recovery. I always found it difficult to leave, reassuring Suki that I would return the next day.

November 7, 2011
The bruising looks better today, so I am continuing with the extra padding. Suki's coat is a beautiful shiny copper.....she exudes good health!

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