Saturday, July 9, 2016

WHEN THEY CAN'T TELL YOU IT HURTS

Twenty Days.

Twelve Holes.

Two Hospitals.

A rare picture of rest


Humblet hospitalised. The full story below.




What's this contraption on my arm?

June was going to be a very exciting month for us as a family. We had a bunch of stuff planned out, including church camp, a tiny friend's one year old birthday party, one little weekend family getaway and a trip to the zoo. It was meant to be a month of happy firsts, which morphed into a month of horrific firsts instead. But certainly no less memorable.

Fellow mum friends assured me our little girl was simply running a fever because she was teething and that it would soon be over. Day one passed pretty uneventfully. At midnight of day two, the thermometer read a shocking 40.1 but I went back to sleep remembering a doctor friend tell me babies are prone to high fevers. That morning, imagine my surprise to find the reading even higher than the night before. We immediately made our way to the nearest children's clinic, still a twenty minute drive from our place.

The doctor wanted to allay our fears, as we were going overseas the next day, and so put little humblet through a series of tests. The mucus sample had a negative result, meaning it wasn't H1N1, neither was it Flu A or Flu B. Half an hour later, the urine test also came back with a similar result, it wasn't UTI either. We drove home that afternoon pretty confident that she would recover soon with basic dose of paracetamol, but we also let the doctor prescribe a whole bag of other medications for us to bring along on our trip.

Throughout the four days at Nusajaya, things seemed pretty promising. She was active and cheerful in the day, and slept pretty well throughout the night, considering it was an unfamiliar environment. She got along with her peers and played as though nothing was wrong. Although, her fever did reappear around the same time every evening, we did not think much of it because her activity level was meant to be a better gauge of her well-being.

Day six of her fever saga was the day we returned home. Now that she's home, the fever ought to disappear, was our optimistic thinking. Then day seven, and day eight passed, but the fever persisted. We called the clinic to make another appointment, but they were full and so referred us to their partner clinic in Hospital A instead. After hearing that this fever had gone on for nine days, the doctor immediately insisted that she needed to be warded.

Woah, new arm bands

Laughing over library books with her dad


So day nine, ten, eleven, twelve went by in a blur of blood tests, mucus extraction and pneumonia treatment. She screamed herself hoarse each time she saw a nurse, a syringe or the oxygen masks. Nights were no different from days since we were 'disturbed' every two hours for various temperature and blood pressure tests, plus the four hourly nebuliser treatment. Apart from phlegm in her lungs, the hospital could not detect any other possible cause for fever. When day thirteen came and the doctor told us we could go home, we were more than ready to leave the place. Humblet herself could sense our happiness and waved her goodbyes enthusiastically, smiling at the surprised nurses for the first time since she had been admitted.


Ready to run home!

Day fourteen went really well. We were all happy to be home. Hot baths, tasty meals and a good night's sleep were sorely missed.

Day fifteen began with a low fever. It was a Sunday, so J.G. went to work as per usual, whilst humblet and I stayed home. We didn't want to risk her falling sick again. But within a short few hours in the morning, her fever rose above forty once again. I called her father urgently, whilst I fought her arms and legs to administer the stronger medication, Ibuprofen.

At the A&E, the doctor called for an Orthodontist to examine humblet, who had already started her fretful sobbing seeing once again the throngs of people in medical garb, masks and stethoscopes. The specialist told us what we were most unwilling to hear, she would have to be warded again. And worse still, she would have to undergo a minor procedure.

Sidenote: on day nine, we had noticed a tiny red dot on her right index finger. The ballooned into an angry dark coloured pus-filled blister. They extracted the pus and applied antibiotics at Hospital A, but the wound did not get better.

Imagine our shock when they told us humblet had to undergo GA so they could conduct the procedure, worse still they would have to remove her entire nail in order to clean the area. My child had not even celebrated her first birthday, but had to undergo an operation? Even I never underwent GA until that fateful first trimester crisis.

J.G. braced himself and stoically went into the operating theatre with her, there was no way I could handle holding my daughter down whilst they put her to sleep. After a grueling forty-five minutes, the operation was over but the worse was far from done for baby humblet.

As I breastfed her in the recovery room, I noticed little plasters all over her hands and feet. Asking the anesthetist what happened, she explained that they were unable to locate the vein to insert the IV tube and so they made twelve attempts. TWELVE attempts. To my horror, as she was relating this to me, I could see the end of the current cannula slipping out of its plaster. A doctor was sent running, and both medical staff proceeded to try and re-insert the tube while humblet was alert and awake. Those few seconds of screaming were insane. I held my breath as I saw a whole syringe filling up with blood from her tiny body. They were unsuccessful and the entire affair abandoned. When they asked if they could try again on her other leg, I had no more strength to hold it in. Firmly and with as much self-control as I could muster, I simply said please stop, we will take the medication orally.

Day sixteen went by, no fever. The doctors were confident and told us to take her home. This time we were apprehensive and asked as many questions as we could think of. But to no avail, they were certain the infection was cleared and the fever would not be returning.

After four days of faithfully administering medication, keeping her at home and washing her wound diligently. We were assured that she was finally on the road to recovery.

What was the worst thing about this whole ordeal? The fact that Mya could not communicate what was wrong, when she cried out in pain but could not tell me where she was hurting.

--

Despite all the horrors we witnessed and all the heartache, there's still so much we are grateful for.

We are grateful that so many friends and loved ones rallied together to pray for our little girl. Family members visited as often as they could, entertaining her and doing all they could to keep her spirits up. Even more grateful for our PD friend, who came all the way after her thirty-six hour shift to personally have a look at humblet.

We are so blessed that we had a car during those two and a half intense weeks to make those trips to the clinics and subsequently the hospital.

And truly, we were also grateful for each and every doctor, nurse and medical personnel who cared for Mya. Without their help and expertise, we would be completely helpless and lost.

Most of all, we are grateful for little humblet, who was so braved and cheerful for the most part. For sleeping whenever she could, for eating like a champion and playing with every visitor. Thank you for recovering and fighting this fever so valiantly young lady! We love you!

Hey, my balloon! Humblet and her uncle.
More than grateful,
Amy

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