21 February 2011, by Jaime Teo
On the third day of New Year, we had friends visiting and the entire day passed by in a blur. Renee spent most of the day in her room because she seemed fussy and irritable but we attributed it to lack of sleep and too many new faces.
At around midnight, we discovered that her temperature was at 38.6 (Celsius). According to our parent friends who were just leaving, that warrants a trip to the hospital because anything from 38.5 is considered a high fever.
We quickly headed for Mt Alvernia – the nearest hospital to our home. The nurses taught us how to bring down her temperature by putting a damp towel on her back to draw out the heat, and then washing the cloth when it gets hot. That got her crying even more but we had to do what had to be done. Dan filled a plastic bag with water and we continued with the sponging outside(the other sick people looked like they could do without a crying baby). We cajoled her, ‘walk walked’ her around the car park, and periodically took her temp (yes, we brought our thermometer along!).
After half an hour, the digital display read “39.8”. First time parents that we are, we panicked and went back into the hospital to ask if there was more we could do. The nurses asked if we would like to give her a suppository and of course we said yes. That was immediately administered and we went back outside to wait while continually sponging her down. Her crying has by this time gotten rather piteous sounding and both Dan and I put on our best happy faces to try to cheer her up despite being physically and mentally drained from the days’ activities. Plus 8.5kgs isn’t exactly lightweight to carry around. It always surprises me, that you can always find reserves of energy for your child that you never knew you had…
To shorten the story, it was 4 in the morning when we left the hospital. Other than the flu epidemic in Singapore that resulted in a long waiting time, Renee also did a blood test because her skin looked rather jaundiced. I Know that bleeding from the fingertips look a lot worse than they are, but when it’s your babys’ fingers bleeding, it’s hard to be objective.
I had hoped that she would be feeling better the day after soon, but no, this flu thing really dragged out. Her fever spiked again a few days later at 40.2 and we went to her regular PD. She was put on a course of antibiotics and it took almost another week AFTER finishing her meds for the runny nose and hacking cough to disappear.
In summary, the entire family (including my mother!) was sick for most of the Chinese New Year. We didn’t get to spend ‘chap gor meh’ (The last night of Chinese New Year) at a big dinner with the sisters and neices and nephews.
This isn’t the Chinese New Year I had envisioned for us and I was lamenting that fact to Dan.
My funnyman then said “Didn’t you want her to know that it’s about family? Well, at least she now knows that a family that falls sick together stays together *dramatic pause* because we have nowhere else to go”
Both of us cracked up and I am reminded why he is my mister =D Well, many times we can plan all we want, but when reality bites we just have to suck it up and make the most of it…. Together. As a family.