I’m glad I took the time to write a post last night celebrating Ace’s health, because today she can barely walk.
The day began like most, with Ace snoozing in bed until I returned from my shower.
But then she wouldn’t hop out of bed, even with encouragement. She puked unceremoniously on the living room carpet. She wouldn’t walk down the stairs; I had to carry her to the pavement outside. And then she wouldn’t potty. She wouldn’t move. She just stood there pathetically, gazing up at me and licking her lips. It was obvious she was in pain. I carried her back upstairs. Papa Jefe decided to save the day and work from home with the little guy.
It seems she’s having some pain related to her immunizations yesterday. The vet warned us she might experience lethargy, nausea, vomiting, and discomfort, but I didn’t think it would take her down like that. While I was worrying about her at work today, I realized she has rarely experienced pain of any kind in her short life, so this must be pretty frightening. No wonder she didn’t want to move — like people with pain, we stay put if we’re aching, fearful of making it worse.
When I returned from work, she surprised us both by jumping off the couch to greet me. I carried her down stairs and placed her in a tree well, where she took the longest pee ever into the disgusting soil. I walked her a few houses down, liberally encouraging her and giving her little bits of treat. Her walk was stiff and limping, slow and effortful; I was reminded of walking next to my grandmother while she uses her walker.
I thought about how Ace will age past me in her brief life, and how, if everything goes as planned, I will walk with her like this as I progress through my own middle age. The trusting, loving looks she threw at me as she struggled to move forward, not knowing why I was asking her to do so, or why it hurt so much, or if it would ever get better, were humbling and rewarding, heartbreaking and fulfilling. I hate to see her in pain, but I am thankful that taking care of her reminds me of our bond, and how lucky I am to have this little family.