Monday, May 21, 2012

On Nells and the Fragility of Life

I can hardly put into words what this weekend has been like for me/us. So I will just dive right in.

As you know Nells has not been himself for weeks. And also that Nells is like a second child to me.

 Here he is starting to act peculiar and scared in the yard about 5 days ago.

He had three separate trips to the Vet, and each time they told me something different. The first time, they said it was allergies, the second time they told me it was behavioral or possibly a pulled muscle in his neck, (because he yelped and cried when we touch him there), and the third time they told me it was either a herniated disc in his neck or a tumor.

A few days after his last Vet visit, Nells declined rapidly and I mean rapidly. He went paralyzed on his left side, wasn't eating, drinking or going potty on his own. It was devastating to say the least to experience and to witness.

These two pictures are him really starting to decline; he couldn't walk, started to not be interested in anything, and on a lot of meds to help keep him comfortable. 

We took him into the U of M because they are one of the best in the country, and they too believed it was a herniated disc in his neck that Nells needed emergency surgery. He is only 6, and his prognosis was good--85% chance he'll walk again and make it through surgery fine!

After much time of crying, screaming and trying to figure it all out, we went ahead with the CT scan which INDEED showed a herniated disc in his neck. This was the best news we could get. If it was a tumor, there is nothing they could have done since it was on his spinal cord. Nells was declining so fast that they were afraid of him losing air supply because of where the disc was pressing. This was all figured out in a matter of hours, what a living nightmare. It was like he was walking one day, and completely crippled the next.

Then, the next scare was getting him through surgery and I am please to say that he made it through just fine! It was risky because of how the disc was slanted, but it was a success and we should be able to pick Nells up on Wednesday! He was being moved out of ICU today!

What this did to my heart and emotions I don't think I can describe, but for now I rejoice in the fact that he is OK, even though he might not walk again--and I give all the glory to God and prayer! I honestly feel unworthy of this good news, isn't that sad? I still have such issues there.

On top of all this going on with Nells, it was Madelynn's Junior Prom the same day! I had to hold myself together as best as I could but at any given moment tears came from my eyes like water.

She was an absolute beauty and just radiant, here see for yourself!

Pretty amazing, huh? It was right after all this excitement that we found ourselves thinking we were gonna lose our dog.

When life goes on day by day, sure we might think or actually appreciate the things and people around us. Sort of like how my blog is dedicated to seeing beauty and noticing it. 

But if I'm honest with myself, I do take things for granted. 

There are things all around us that everyday mundane life steals from us: kissing our spouses on the lips everyday, thanking people specifically and telling them that you appreciate them, (such as all the support I've gotten on FB and IG, and my blog, I want and need to thank everyone personally, no matter what), seeing a Robin perched on the peak of a house, holding your dog or cat or other animal close to you and just gently stopping to thank God for their health, telling your kids' friends that they are special and that you enjoy having them around, making meal time important by having it together as a family as much as possible and soaking in the conversation, for the grass being so darn green, for coca-cola, for freedom in our country and freedom in condemnation from our God, for other blogs, the cashier checking you out, for the food you were able to purchase today, for being able to eat dairy because pizza is amazing, for being able to drink wine or champagne at special events (I know people who can not), for traveling, for being able to walk, and have your senses, I mean I could write all night here people! 

I guess I'm trying to say that life is fragile, whether something traumatic is happening right now in your life or not, eventually it will. It will come. But so will reward, so will goodness, so will strength, so will lesson, so will blessing. I promise you. Nells being able to come through on a good note is proof that there is goodness in suffering and pain. Your suffering is your story, and oops, now I'm going on a different tangent!!!

So I'll say this: do what I do- ask---when you are down, or things are rough, or you are experiencing loss or possible loss or trauma, what can you see in this? What can you learn? What can you take away from it? Not why, because we do know why, it is a fallen, messed up messy world. But how about what and how and when and where? Because that is how you will get through this fragile life and by drawing strength from God because in our weakness, He is strong! You will gain faith, new insight, and new perspectives like crazy if you seek. If you are willing, God is able.

I felt I had such lack of faith this weekend where Nells was concerned, but everyone around me showed tremendous faith; believing and knowing that Nells was going to get through this! They had faith for me I guess. I just wasn't strong enough, so I let others and God hold me, and I am speechlessly thankful.

I am so dearly sorry that I have not yet responded to your comments from my Mother's Day post, but life has obviously happened, but I will do it, I am planning on it. Thank you all for your caring for me, my family and for Nells since I've had this lil ol' blog, you are all a huge blessing in my life, please know that.

I will let you know when Nells is home and I will have some pictures, (unless they are too sad)!


P.S. Gosh, sometimes as a blogger I feel so selfish, so I'd love to know how you are, would you tell me?


Jean said...

madelynn's dress is so cinderella, like you said. i love it, and i love the bedazzles!

so glad nells is ok.

Rebecca Palm* Gallimaufry Photography* said...

The beginning of this post scared me- I am soooo glad Nells is ok. What a horrible expreience. I am sorry you had to go through that. On a happy note, your daughter looked so beautiful and I LOVE her dress--pure magic :-)

Elisha(: said...

your daughter is GORGEOUS!!! she looks just like you! ;) both pretty. <3 and you KNOW I'll be praying for Nells.. allllllllllll the time!!


Kelly said...

still praying for nells!
i love your girls bright blue shoes. LOVE!
hang in there friend. sending you lots and lots of hugs OOO!!!
love you.

Desiree said...

I love Maddys dress (may I call her that?)! It's ABSOLUTELY stunning on her! It's full of such whimsy & fairytale! She is absolutely beautiful.

Oh my heart goes out to you for Nells! But I praise God that he let him pull through! I've had dogs all my life -- and I've experienced much loss. My most recent was my Australian Shepard about 2 years ago. He laid down one day & never got back up.. We force fed him baby food & pedialyte.. We eventually (my parents and I) had to make the decision to let him cross the rainbow bridge., absolute worst heartbreak ever.. Because he was MINE.

Desiree said...

I love Maddys dress (may I call her that?)! It's ABSOLUTELY stunning on her! It's full of such whimsy & fairytale! She is absolutely beautiful.

Oh my heart goes out to you for Nells! But I praise God that he let him pull through! I've had dogs all my life -- and I've experienced much loss. My most recent was my Australian Shepard about 2 years ago. He laid down one day & never got back up.. We force fed him baby food & pedialyte.. We eventually (my parents and I) had to make the decision to let him cross the rainbow bridge., absolute worst heartbreak ever.. Because he was MINE.

Stephanie said...

Oh my goodness, what beautiful pictures! So many happy memories!

I am so glad to hear that Nells is ok...I can't imagine losing our dog, she is one of the family!

Lauren said...

I'm ok :) Bit stressed at the moment, trying to take some time out for me. LIke i'm doing right now with blog reading and rocky road ice cream!

Mad looked BEAUTIFUL. That Dress! Those Shoes!!! perfect combination. What a stunning daughter you have!

Also, so glad to hear Nells is ok. I have a puppy who's sick at the moment (she's quite old) and my family is so devasted by it. So sad when one of our furry children isn't well.

Have a great week G!


Hespyhesp said...

Your daughter looks like something of a fairytale!

I am so glad Nells is okay. I was tearing up reading your story and crossing my fingers that he would be alright.

Your writing at the end was just what I needed to hear... today and most everyday. Thank you!

Shane said...

It's never easy watching a pet who is like a member of the family struggle. I am a huge animal lover so feel your pain! Such a beautiful outlook at the end of this post. And your daughter looks stunning as always!! Just like her mama!

xo Shane

Laura said...

Such good news about your dog! That story is really amazing that I told everyone and the fact that he is okay is incredible!

Krista said...

I'm so relieved to find out that Nells is OK and on the mend. Praying for his continued healing :)

Your daughter is so lovely, but it's easy to see where she gets it ;) What a special night for her and she indeed looked radiant. Love her cobalt blue heels!

Hope you are feeling well and that you continue to have a blessed week Gina!

Rachel said...

So glad your little Nells is doing better. It is so heart wrenching when pets are not themselves due to illness. I nearly teared up several times reading that and thinking about how I would feel if it were me and my little stinky beagle Charlie. We're nuts about him! So glad I stopped by your blog, I am officially a contemplating beauty fan! :)

Jasmine of ❤AdamAlexMommy❤ said...

oh, gina! so sorry you went through all the heartache with your dog.... but glad that the docs detected what was wrong and he is recuping ok now! what a scare.... my thoughts are with your dog and your family!

madelynn looks stunning in her dress! gorgeous face like her mama, and i absolutely adore the photos of her with her date and her peers.

hope you have a great week, g!

Mary said...

SO glad to hear about the improvement with Nells.
God is so good!!! :)
and your daughter....oh my! gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!
like her mama. ;)
you really NEED to frame that pic of you and her! priceless.
and your dress is so stinkin cute! where is it from?
hope this week finds you basking in God's peace that passeth all understanding and blanketed in His grace.
the best place to be. :)

SymbioticLife said...

I'm really glad it's worked out for Nell. I'm not talented at dealing with those moments. I know you mentioned that you lacked faith during the experience. I suppose I'm a lot like that. I expect the worst, I suppose, in order to protect myself. It's so great to watch Nells recover so well. I'm looking forward to watching her progress.

I hope Madelynn had a great evening. She looked amazing.

I've been sick for the past two weeks which has left me disturbingly weak. Doing the normal basic stuff I do on a daily basis has left me feeling like I've run some sort of marathon. The weather and I are on the up and up though and that's exciting.

Liza said...

Oh poor Nells, but thank the LORD that they figured out what was wrong and he made it through surgery. I'll keep praying for him. Hopefully he makes a quick recovery!

Madelynn looks beautiful. I just love her dress! I hope she had a wonderful time at prom.

Life around here is pretty boring at the moment. Evelyn had her first "cold", but it was mostly just an occasional cough so nothing too bad. Now we're just trying to get everything ready to drive up to my sister's in Michigan thursday night. My oldest niece and nephew are graduating high school. I'm pretty excited to go, but kind of dreading/worrying about the drive there and back. We're not sure how Evelyn will do. At least on the way there she should sleep the whole time, because we're driving through the night. So you could be praying for my hubby and I to be able to stay up for that long!

I'll be anxiously awaiting more news on Nells!

Michelle said...

I'm SO so glad Nells is doing better!! I hope he recovers 100%! I know how scary it is to have something unexpectedly happen to a pet. I've lost too many that way! I've been praying for him this whole time.

Your daughter looked GORGEOUS! Wow!

Jean said...

Brasa is so delicious. Brady and I did their Pork Lunch special 11a-2p for $10. Very reasonable prices for quality of food!!

ruthy ann said...

first, I'm SO happy to see updates of Nells. Second, holy smokes, your daughter is gorgeous!! third, I was struggling with similar emotions when Gus disappeared. Trying to trust in God, to cast my fears and anxieties on him, and know no matter what, his plan was good. but oh, it's so hard in the midst of it all.

Stela said...

Oh my god, my heart is breaking for you! I'm so happy you were able to find out what was wrong and help Nells! That must have been soooo hard. I can't even imagine.
And your daughter looks so lovely! Hope she had an amazing time at prom.

Elisha(: said...

I just caaaaannttt stop looking at these pictures!! you, your daughter, anddd your doggie are all sooo photogenic!!!


Heather said...

oh my gosh.... poooooooor Nells. Reading this pulled at my heart strings. I am SO glad to hear everything went well with the surgery! What a blessing!

And your daughter is simply stunning. what wonderful moments were captured in those pics. beauty!

Julie Marie said...

Gina! I cant get over how young you look next to your daughter... amazing.. she looks perfect though too. how is nells doing these days, i know this post was a few days back...
and i loved the end of your post about the what how when and where... so true.. we already know why... but how can life someone be a lesson learned or better, because of the why...
man i learned this lesson a million times over, yet i still keep learning, and God still keeps proving his faithfulness...
love you..

Chrissy said...

Gina, your daughter looks flawless - so beautiful! And you do, too! Such wonderful photos to remember such an important event!
I am so glad that Nells is on his way of recovery! You are such a strong women! xxx

today i said...

wow that dress is gorgeous.