A Scare with Audrey — and Ava’s Strange Nap

We had a terrible scare yesterday. Katrina called me about noon and told me the doctor was very concerned about one of our two-year-old twin grandaughters, Audrey. The blood work indicated a bacterial infection they couldn’t identify. Her fever was frighteningly high, her blood counts out of whack, and she was anemic, dehydrated, and lethargic. Grace had taken her again that morning to the doctor’s office, and he had taken blood. Now the blood work was back and was alarming. The doctor said to take her at once to the Emergency Room at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. I rushed to their house to find Josh standing with Audrey, stroking her hair and crying. Grace was throwing a few things in the diaper bag. I kept Ava while they left. We were all scared to death. When Victoria came to keep Ava, I went on down to the hospital and was there as the doctors came and went. They suspected that her system is being attacked by unknown bacteria, her white blood count was elevated, her red blood count was dropping. They were probably going to put her in ICU. Once the doctor said, “Often in cases like this we think of leukemia or meningitis, but this doesn’t seem to the case here.” Those are frightening words to hear. I left about supper to come home for awhile, and was just getting ready to go back down to Vandy when Joshua called with good news at last. A spot on a chest X-ray indicated the culprit might be a pneumonia that “had been hiding from” them. The doctors seemed much relieved; they know how to treat that. I’ve never been so glad to learn that a grandchild has pneumonia.

Meanwhile as I was keeping Ava in the early afternoon, she wanted to swing on the large glider in the backyard. She showed me just where to put my hands to push her, and she put her hands on the little bars in front of her. She wanted to go pretty high, so I was swinging her for ten or fifteen minutes, but all the time I was distracted with anxiety about Audrey and trying to ward off a panic attack. Finally I looked down to find Ava sound asleep! She was still holding on to the bars and still flying back and forth fast and high without a belt or harness. She’d been lulled to sleep by the rhythmic motion of the swing. She was dead to the world, yet somehow holding on and had not flown off the thing. Feeling like an idiot, I halted the swing and got her in my arms and she was as limp as a washrag and breathing in those deep snoring tones.

I thought it must be sort of like going asleep in church, lulled by the cadence of the preacher’s voice. How do people keep from falling off the pews?

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