Monday, December 5, 2011

round penning

Once we recovered from the bumps in the road, Suki progressed nicely. Kelly did a phenomenal job with the treatments, and the new schedule for weaning Suki from the gabapentin seemed to be working. I worried daily about her recovery....not about how she was being treated or the quality of care, just that Suki could have a normal life. As the burned skin sloughed away the new skin under it was pink and sensitive. This new skin required constant attention and my worries increased as the weather grew colder. It would soon be time for Suki to start wearing sheets and blankets and I was unsure of how that would affect the sensitive skin.

Because no one ever really provided after care instructions other than medications and allowing the last patch of eschar on her back slough off gently and at its own pace, we were really at a loss as to how to continue. When I started to put sheets on Suki, the wound would weep a little and stick to the blanket. I don't know why it never occurred to us to bandage it. Probably because it is such a difficult area to bandage, and we were drilled in the importance of the wound drying out. The area still seemed to be healing, but it was a very slow process.

Part of Suki's training had been western round pen training, so she can basically lunge without a lunge line. To increase her exercise I started to "round pen" her in the paddock. It was fun to see her old spark and to watch in awe as she trotted around me. Suki had not forgotten her training. And I do believe she was smiling those first few times!! During those early sessions I began to close my eyes and feel that trot and canter in my mind. Suki's trot is is soft and floaty. I wanted so desperately to sit on her again, but was grateful that she was alive.

As the weeks progressed I noticed something else. Suki no longer smelled like fire! I hugged her daily, so this was quite the development. About that time her mane and tail also began to lose their "melted" appearance and grow in normally.

Kelly's students did a fine job of spoiling Suki and they really seemed to love her. Of course Suki was also enjoying her celebrity status and thrived on the extra attention!

Toward the end of September I was scheduled to attend a conference in Berlin. Just one more thing for me to worry about! I knew that Kelly would continue taking good care of Suki, but just as worried about being far from my son, I worried about being that far from Suki. I was scheduled to leave on a Friday night, and the Monday before Isaiah developed a fever. The next day he was fine, so I was less worried about leaving. That Wednesday I developed a fever, and by Friday AM it was clear that I would not be able to travel that night. We delayed my flight to Sunday PM, but by Saturday Michael and I were diagnosed with H1N1. My trip was ultimately cancelled and I was unable to see Suki for nearly two weeks. Kelly made a get well poster for me, and all of Suki's visitors signed it. Why was I worried??? : )

December 5, 2011
This weather is crazy! One night Suki is wearing a medium weight blanket, and tonight she is wearing a light sheet. By Wednesday night it looks like the cold weather will be here to stay for awhile. I leave for a conference on Thursday, so if the weather steadies Deb will not have as much to worry about for clothing for Suki! Now that the graft area is healed, the majority of Suki's daily care consists of exfoliation and moisturizing. The bandage is for padding to prevent bruising, so there is no more actual "wound care". A year ago I honestly thought I would never see that day!

I had very lovely rides on Nikki this weekend. Tomorrow she will get a blanket clip due to her VERY fuzzy coat. I think that she is going to be quite the star this spring!

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