Unfortunately, our latest happenings have not been the brightest. If you pray or believe in the power of positivity, please send a few thoughts our way.
Eloise had her 15-month vaccinations last Wednesday. That evening, she lost total function of both of her legs and was inconsolable. The best we have been able to deduce is that she may have flexed the new, strong, walking muscles of her legs after the first poke and therefore experienced extreme pain and soreness at the injection site of the next two. The pain sent her body into shock, and she passed out on the changing table that night after all four limbs tremored and monster tears rolled down her cheeks between sobs. I have never felt so helpless or scared in my life seeing her little body in such a panic and then go limp like it did. I spent the majority of the night watching her breathe and checking her temperature. Over the next few days she spiked fevers as high as 104.4 degrees and refused to eat. I did take her in on Saturday to be examined, but the only thing they noted were swollen tonsils without any definitive cause (strep test was negative). She has been fever free for about 48 hours now and is surviving on applesauce and yogurt, but her sweet, easy going personality has yet to reappear.
Those of you who know Eloise know she is always happy and eats anything you put in front of her. Her only illness to date was two brief incidences of a runny nose and cough, but her spirits remained high. She has been the definition of healthy. Poor girl has cried and spit food out more in the past six days than she has in her entire life. Fussy baby and picky eater parents out there, I feel your pain and kudos to you. I am exhausted and so beyond ready to have my sunshine back.
On top of all this, my Grandpa Emery's health is rapidly declining. He is 92-years-old and has lived a long and very happy life, but nothing prepares you for this. I am so fortunate to have had all four of my grandparents attend our wedding in good health and to introduce their first great-grandchild to each and every one of them. I think the worst part of this for me is seeing my Dad hurting. Just as I have never experienced the loss of a grandparent, my parents have never lost any of their own parents. The days or weeks to come will be new for us all. I am thankful we have each other to lean on.
In high school, my Grandpa would approach anyone wearing a Lakeshore sweatshirt and ask if they knew my sister or me. It would totally mortify us, especially if said person happened to be someone from the popular crowd, but that is just the kind of guy he is. He loves his community, he is proud of his family, and he has one of the kindest hearts I know. I admire his ability to strike up a conversation with anyone and make a new friend anywhere. Every time I get a craving for a slice of cheddar cheese or a donut on a Sunday morning, I will smile and think of my Grandpa Emery.
As the icing on the cake, I have been the recipient of dreaded radio silence myself from my husband. He is at training at Fort Polk for a month, but we are in the midst of a few weeks of zero communication. It is never easy, but the combination of Eloise's emergency and my Grandpa's fragile state makes me long to hear his voice even more. The absence of his comfort during this time has renewed my appreciation for the way he loves me. I am the luckiest. Even though times may still be tough, there will be a huge weight lifted when a call comes in from Louisiana this weekend.
On a few positive notes, my mom came down to Tennessee in the middle of all of this mess to help me spring clean and pack up for a visit to Michigan. She graciously tended to our girl while I snuck off for a little fun.
A group of Army wife friends and I attended All for the Hall, a concert hosted by Keith Urban and Vince Gill benefitting the Country Music Hall of Fame. The star studded lineup included Luke Bryan, Peter Frampton, Florida Georgia Line, Emmylou Harris, Sam Hunt, Jason Isbell, Maddie & Tae, and Maren Morris. They each sang two songs, one of their own and one cover of another country legend, with Keith and Vince on guitar behind them. We all left on a Nashville high feeling so lucky the Army has brought us to this amazing city. We all vowed to take better advantage of the abundance of live music opportunities right in our backyard before we are off to our next post.
A few days later I got to visit my friend Caitlin, her husband Chris, and their new baby Halle in the hospital. I never take a trip to the mother-baby unit for granted; it is very special to me to be invited to share those brand new moments with dear friends. This particular newborn snuggle fest was made even more memorable when Caitlin noted I was Halle's first ever visitor! Not to mention it is baby fever central over here after holding that precious girl.
One more bright spot in my gloomy week was successfully reuniting a lost dog with his owner. A sweet boxer boy with a collar on but no tags ran right up to me in my driveway and refused to leave my side. I have to admit, I did a big internal groan considering everything I was already juggling, but my animal loving heart could never just walk away. I spent all day working to solve the mystery and finally found his picture on a local animal shelter's Facebook page stating he had been adopted in March. The shelter was able to track down the owners. Social media can seem frivolous sometimes, but it really was the key to helping Teddy find his way back home. You can bet I did not let him out of my arms without giving his mom a less-than-gentle nudge to get him some tags made. One more tally added to my always growing list of rescued fur friends!