Saturday, December 31, 2011

Suki meets another burn survivor

The summer continued with concerns about Suki sweating under her fly sheet and rolling on the wound on her back. The daily maintenance was a lot of work, and while days would go by with healing and improvement, one hearty roll would rub the scab off. Each day the wound was cleaned with saline and dressed with ointment to prevent infection and decrease any itchiness. The itchies were truly the enemy. The ointments needed to be alternated, because while the steroid helped with the itchiness, it prevented epithelialization (new cell/skin growth).

The bandage consisted of non-stick gauze pads and 3 strips of Elasticon. Elastikon is VERY expensive when you are using it at that rate. Various generic brands were tried with little success. The burn never became infected, it would just open and bleed. We (Lori and I ) would debride it regularly, but it was just going to take time. Lori continued to be a tremendous help with the daily regimen. It would have been difficult to maintain such a schedule without help.

The highpoint of the summer was when Suki met Bill, an adult burn survivor. Because Lori was so active in burn survivor support, she often met and worked with people who were struggling with recovery. So when she asked me if Bill could come to the barn to meet Bill, I was thrilled. In addition to burns on his face and arms, Bill had lost most of his fingers in a fire by his camper. He was a little tentative when he met Suki, concerned taht he would not be able to feed her treats properly. But an offering of nicely chopped apples had Suki snuffling Bill and accepting his offering. He also wanted to try his hand at grooming Suki. Because the oval body brush has a leather handle, Bill was able to slip his hand through the loop and brush Suki's itchy spots. He spoke to her softly the entire time, and Suki leaned into him for snuggles and grooming. The interaction was heart warming, and their connection was apparent.

Bill spoke to us about his accident and injuries and expressed concern about Suki's recovery. I assured him that her pain had been managed well, and she was comfortable and happy.

At burn support group later that day, Lori said that Bill spoke about Suki and her injuries, comparing them to his own experience. It was the first time that he had opened up to the group about his own ordeal. The magic of animals and their power to heal......truly remarkable!

December 31, 2011
The last day of 2011. Another amazing year with many milestones. My son turned 5, Suki received a skin graft (you'll read about that in future posts as the story continues!!)
Nikki finally had her shoe fixed, and I had a lovely ride. I am hopeful that 2012 will bring continued health and happiness, but I guess we shall have to wait and see. I will try to handle whatever is thrown at me with positive energy, making the most of life. That is one thing that I have learned: do not take life for granted. Live every day to the fullest. Happy New Year everyone! By the time some of you read this the New Year celebration will be old news!

Traffic jam on the way to the barn!

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