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Life is good -- checking in from WM Dolphin's Cove

rhonda

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Warning: Rambling, stream of consciousness. There is no real point in this post ... just needed to write.

What a year ... and what a week! Learned on Wednesday that my lame horse's x-rays had been reviewed by a world renowned equine arthroscopic surgeon and that she would be eligible for surgery. He offered a compassionate price for doing both forelegs at the same time and could get her in "this weekend." Wow - so fast!?! Can I nail down transport, lay-up, bloodwork and everything else in a few days?

Well ... it all came together perfectly! Not only is my mare well covered in this event but I was able to book the night I needed at Worldmark Dolphin's Cove, just 8 miles from the Equine Medical Center, on bonus time!

Saturday morning:
5:20a: Leave my house, scrape ice off my car windows and head to the barn. Ugh, it had rained heavily through the night and things were muddy, slippery and cold! Gather the horse and get her cleaned up and geared up for travel. (Warmed up my fingers with all that grooming. Feeling much better!)
7:20a: Transport rolls in and she loads easily. I ride up with the lovely couple who offered their services transporting. We had been under high-wind warning through the night and are fortunate for calm conditions today!
9:20a: Wow ... we are making great time. Traffic on both 15n and 91w is moving steadily. I'm very glad for the light traffic given the horse trailer.
10:02a: We pulled into the Equine Medical Services parking lot right on time for our drop-off window of 10-11a. Staff comes to greet us (very friendly, very professional -- very comforting!) and check-in takes only a few moments. Transport has another pick-up scheduled so we must roll out immediately.
10:30a: Transport drops me off in front of Dolphin's Cove. My room is ready! (Woot! That is so unrealistically early ... I am very grateful!)

So ... I got a whole day to enjoy a lovely 3BR unit all to myself. It is an upstairs unit with vaulted ceiling and everything is spotless. Really wonderful! I sat on the balcony munching the few foodstuffs I had packed (hardboiled egg, apple), connected my iPad to the free WiFi and let family know "all is well."

I figured I might walk down to Disney -- but then thought better after a long look in the mirror. (Recall, muddy morning with horse!) My husband would be coming up soon with my overnight bag.

So, I now sat down to do "nothing" but enjoy the room and the quiet. This was certainly the first downtime I'd had all week ... perhaps all month given work, Holiday prep and activities. Guilt set it. I had been in hyper-activity mode for a very long time and now had nothing to do but sit and wait. Wait for my DH to arrive, wait for news about the mare, etc. Worry began to creep in ... I had to block it out with something. I pulled out a big stack of mail from my backpack, paid bills and later turned to my iPad, launched the ABC Player and caught up on a recent episode of Once Upon a Time.

Hmm -- getting hungry! Gladly, this property offers a few goodies on the kitchen counter. The bag of microwave popcorn with a tall mug of hot cocoa really hit the spot. Thank you, D'Cove for this kindness! (BTW, I really love the oversized mugs at this property.)

DH arrives ahead of schedule. (This day is going so well!) After a quick change of clothing, we set out to check on the mare. Through a window, I caught a glimpse of the famous surgeon. Feeling a bit sheepish about being a nervous nelly, I was quite taken by the staff's gracious offer to let me visit the horse. Her forelegs were shaven in prep for the surgery. She was calm and welcomed a few scratches through the bars of her stall. We laughed a bit of her overall condition compared to the other horses in the center ... she is, gently put, not at racing weight. The Center, by and large, caters to race horses in their prime. My girl is ... a pet. Surgery is set for early Sunday morning and we can collect her at 1:30p. (Wow -- transport home same day as surgery?)

Feeling much assured, we left the Center and went looking for dinner. My DH's favorite in that area is Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. I called Disney Dining for reservations and the earliest available was 4.5 hours out. We took it ... but hoped for better as walk-up. Daring something "new" we parked at Downtown Disney instead of walking from Dolphin's Cove. We later figured this was a good choice: the parking was free with restaurant validation.

Showed up at the restaurant and were offered immediate seating at a high-top table near the bar. The high-top offered the same menu as regular seating so we took it. The restaurant staff were delightful - very helpful, cheerful and attentive. I asked for a few recommendations while navigating the menu and was completely happy with the outcome. Everything was perfect!

We shopped some, especially a favorite store for browsing that is now going out of business. We were lured in by posters throughout the store: "Everything must go! 50-75% off!" Try as we might, we again left empty handed. I don't understand how we can so enjoy browsing there but never end up buying anything? Overhearing whispers between fellow shoppers confirmed we were were not alone. (On more thought: the products are things you love to look at, things that stir thoughts of travel and adventure -- but not something you could possibly imagine displayed in your house. Know what I mean??)

We made a quick stop at a DVC Kiosk to gush about our stay at Aulani this past Sept. We were rewarded with a lovely print titled, "Makahiki," by Doug Tolentino. For those familiar with Aulani's villas, this is the artwork hanging above the living room couch of some unit types. Another kindness!

The suggestion of watching TV back at the resort called us away from Downtown Disney. I know this seems quite strange -- but since cutting cable TV at home we anticipate the opportunity to watch favorite channels when on travel. We spent the evening watching back-to-back episodes of the Chopping Block on the Food Network. Can't say how many we sat through -- but we were glued to the set! (So silly!)

So ... I'm up now Sunday morning and writing this rather long, journal-style post as therapy. Without this, I'd possibly be pacing and a perhaps little worried. (I doubt my downstairs neighbors would enjoy the pacing -- so my sitting on the couch typing is a much nicer option!)

Thank you for reading ... I hope to update later today with an equally happy tale of surgery results, easy transport home and speedy recovery!
 

klpca

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It's always good to focus on the positives in life.:)
 

ronparise

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Im inspired

sick horse, lots to do , so little time, icy rain and now muddy, high winds,hungry
bills to pay

with all this going on your post could have take a much different tone. Instead you focused on all the good stuff, and made my day..Thanks

be sure and come back to update us on the surgery
 

rickandcindy23

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Rhonda, your narrative was a fun read.

Hope everything goes well with the horse's surgery and recovery.

Disney "cast" is great, I do agree. Very nice of them to give you a free print. I would bet Disneyland is very beautiful right now. I would love to see it at Christmas.
 

rhonda

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While I'm waiting for check-out, a few words about the 3BR unit:
  • Master BR: King bed, ensuite bath, TV, dresser , closet and night stands. Plenty of outlets on both sides of the bed for electronics.
  • Second BR: Queen bed, closet and night stands. No TV or dresser. Wall outlets on both sides of the bed.
  • Third BR: Twin beds, upright dresser, TV, closet and single night stand. Wall outlets on one side only.
  • Second bath located between 2nd and 3rd bedrooms.
  • Full kitchen with all you would expect including kitchen scissors.
  • Living room had two couches, one being a queen bed pullout, with entertainment center, drawers, stereo, VHS/DVD combo, TV, etc
  • Dining table was round with chairs for six. There were two stools at the breakfast bar that might also fit around the table. They might be a bit tall for adults but great for kids?
Loved the textured gold carpet. (Yes, really.)

Heading out now to pick up a few thank you cards and then the horse!
 

heathpack

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That story rocks!

So awesome that everything came together!

H
 

rhonda

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We're home! Thanks so much for your kind words!

Another day of things working perfectly! My husband and I arrived at the Medical Center just moments before the transport rolled in. The horse apparently did well through her procedure but looked a bit wrung out. She was also a bit dazed and clearly still enjoying some good drugs. (Gives a new meaning to, "Get off your high horse.") She loaded quietly. I was given her post-op care instructions and a large bag of meds, bandaging, etc.

One interesting note from this discussion: her stall bedding should be straw not wood shavings. (Wood shavings find their way into the bandaging and are more likely to cause infection.) Uh-oh ... I know her stall at "home" would be waiting with wood shavings. I phoned the equestrian manager and learned they don't have straw as they have no means for disposal. (If I need straw I'll need to bring it, clean it and remove it myself.)

I rode down with transport to continue the conversations from Saturday. It was much fun picking the brains of this couple for horsemanship experience and hearing their many accumulated horse stories. (Today's conversation was also extended to include a few great dog tales.) We stopped along the way for those straw bales.

By the time we reached the barn, the mare's drugs were wearing off and she was very hungry. The couple helped me swap out the wood shavings for straw and get her into her stall. (Note: The stall had been lovingly set up by the equestrian staff. It looked great and was filled with feed. I felt really sorry to have to re-do the bedding.) We eventually got her settled, administered the evening meds and put everything away.

Another wildly successful day! :)

PS: Yes, Cindy -- the decorations at Downtown Disney were lovely. I very much enjoyed them.
 

DeniseM

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We like Dolphin's cove - it is spacious and comfy and within walking distance to Disneyland. It is also right on the ART route if you don't want to walk. It is a re-purposed condo property, so it doesn't have fancy amenities, but it's great for a trip to Disney. It does have a pretty big pool for a condo. There is a Denny's right next door and we like to fill up on a big breakfast before heading for the park.
 

rhonda

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DeniseM - I agree! and 'Comfy' is a perfect word to describe it. I felt very at home and safe while I was there alone.

---
Changed the horse's bandaging this morning all by myself. Sure hope the legs remained wrapped all day/night! We'll know tomorrow if I was successful. Her surgical site looked great -- everything clean and no swelling.

She was in great spirits this morning and trying to tell everyone around that she found being confined to a stall really annoying. She wanted O-U-T to explore! Ah, baby -- you are confined in that stall for two weeks ... then we can start handwalking for 5 minutes each day. (This ought to be fun ... she is a high-energy horse.)
 

LLW

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Rhonda, thanks for sharing, and best wishes for a happy and smooth recovery for your baby! :p :whoopie:
 
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rhonda

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Quick update on Easter Lady, the horse

Nice story, hope everything continues to work out well. Let us know how your horse is.!! shaggy
Just checking in with an update on my horse, Easter Lady. She is doing great with her recovery and training. We've had a few rounds of forward/backward steps to address some swelling, fluid held in joint sac, etc. Her local vet has been a excellent resource. Her most recent x-rays look great.

I've started riding her for short periods in an arena and have several successes to report:
  • She stands nicely at the mounting block.
  • She is beginning to understand that a gentle squeeze from my leg is a request to move forward.
  • She understands 'stop' and will turn her body when at a stop. (We don't yet have "turn-while-moving.')
As an interesting side note, Holy Candy, a 3yo Thoroughbred Colt owned by Jenny Craig, Drew Brees and Alex Solis Jr., recently underwent arthroscopic bone-chip removal performed by the same surgeon who cared for Easter Lady back in December.

Holy Candy's story: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jul/22/holy-candy-have-ankle-surgery-out-90-days/
 
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