Just the week after I launched this site, Mia got sick. She was vomiting and we didn’t know why. Her face was thinning and she was losing the pounds we worked hard to gain. And I found myself eating a bag of potato chips (in hiding) everyday while dealing with it.
Yes, I’m a stress eater and I find comfort in food. Salty food. Okay, unhealthy salty food. Tsktsk.
I didn’t expect that seeing a sick child and figuring out what’s causing it would be more stressful than the previous jobs I had! Having worked for the media industry, I would like to think that my threshold for stress is quite high. But an ill baby, ughh, this breaks me. And we’re not even in the hospital yet.
Like most first time moms, I used to be very worrisome at the onset of cough, colds, and fevers. But the numerous check-ups over the past years taught me to brush them off for as long as I still see her playing, singing, and dancing around. I have learned that their behavior and energy are better gauges of how sick they actually are. So if she’s still all over the place and I still see toys scattered everywhere, I don’t worry as much anymore.
But when she suddenly turned mum, that switched my worried button back on. The once talkative, overly expressive, and entertaining kid during check-ups and vaccine days was totally down. I was rattled.
Was it something she ate in school? Did we not wash the veggies well before cooking? Did she accidentally swallow bath water? Did we forget to sterilize her bottles?
All these questions…
Our pediatrician said we should not give food nor fluids 1-2 hours after vomiting. Sounded simple.
So what do I do when our child cries and begs, “Water.. Water..”?
Haven’t we all been trained to immediately respond to their cries from the time they were born? I believe the past years have programmed me to do that. Now we need to unlearn it.
Do NOT give water to the crying child.
Arrrgggh. Waiting for an hour was such an agony.
So without looking at the time, I gave her a little to relieve her thirst. And in just a few minutes after taking it in, she expelled it.
I was making things worse.
Not long after, she would constantly beg for water again. I know I shouldn’t. I have learned my lesson. So I told her, “We have to wait for an hour before you drink again because your tummy is upset and we need to let it rest.
Water. Water. I need Waterrrrrrrrr…
Oh God, did she say the word NEED?
And off went Mommy to fetch some water!
And out went the water from her mouth again 5 minutes later.
This happened about 5x on the first day.
Our whole house smelled like puke. All our beds had puke too. Happy puke day to us.
Milk. I want milk please.
Oh my, did she say PLEASE? Huhuhu.
Milk Mommy. I want milk. Can I have milk?
She was still asking calmly. And I knew that in just a few minutes, this would escalate and turn into rage.
“I’m sorry Mia… I know you want milk and I want to give you milk too. But I’m scared it might make you vomit again..”
And the tears started to show…
Remember: Do NOT give milk or water to the crying child.
I want milk……..
“Hey, you want to play? Let’s play dress-up dolls!”
No Mommy, I need milk.
She said the word NEED again. 🙁
I went to make half the amount that she usually drinks. And prayed she won’t vomit it out.
Who am I kidding?? Of course, she’ll vomit it out.
But God must have heard me.
She didn’t. (Thank you!)
Is it time yet?
She was waiting to have the other half.
“Not yet honey, we have to wait.”
That was how we were for 3 days. Milk in small amounts and spoonfuls of electrolyte solution every 15 minutes. We had to entertain her in between feedings to divert her attention off of her hunger. All she was eating were wheat crackers and yogurt, in very small amounts, and in intervals too.
My world kind of stopped. I’m not sure for you, but for me, every time the little one gets sick, it does. It stops. Tasks get pushed aside, much awaited events and gatherings are missed, chores are postponed, everything. And even if I have a few minutes of peace when she’s asleep, I still can’t work and focus because my mind is busy figuring out the what, where, when, and how so we can avoid the same sickness next time around. My whole being zooms in to the sick child at hand whom I desperately want to get well.
We’re lucky when the pedia’s first guess (or should I say diagnosis) is correct. Because sometimes, it is trial and error and there are no clear answers. It could be reflux, gastroenteritis, or indigestion. Could also be triggered by asthma or allergic cough. Could also be something in the food she ate. They all have similar symptoms and there are so many possible causes. So which one is it? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
We missed her Halloween event in school (it would have been her first..sigh..) and 2 other birthday parties that we promised to attend.
She only got better after 5 days. And boy was I rejoicing. Hooray for being well! I could finally sit on my desk and blog again, I thought.
Well, not so fast.
In just a week of being in school, she suddenly got sick again. Oh my goodness, what is it this time….
Are they not washing their hands well before eating snacks or after using the toilet? Is there always a sick classmate spreading a virus? Are the toys and materials they’re sharing not sanitized? Could it be viral?
I was munching on chips again. I know.. Please, spare me. Some of you resort to wine, others indulge in chocolates, they all have their negative yet “positive” effects.
I began asking friends with older kids if it was like this when their kids started school. I was expecting No (and that we’re an isolated case) but to my surprise, most of them said Yes. Kids pass sicknesses to each other in daycares and preschools they all answered. The good news, however, is almost all of them also said things got better when their kids reached 5 or 6 because they have already developed a stronger immune system. The bad news – that’s 2 or 3 more years from now. Waaaaaa.
I brought Mia back to the pedia after 3 days of fever, coughing, runny nose, loose poop, and stomach pains.
Fearing dengue, we had her urine and blood tested. Thank goodness they all came out fine. So the doctor’s next guess on what was causing the temperature and the stomach pains was a bacterial infection. We tried treating for that and true enough, she got better. After a week of antibiotics, she was back to her bubbly self. Her poop was better too. Hooray for solid poop! Never thought I would cheer for these kinds of things. haha
I can finally breathe. Thank you Lord.
And though we didn’t know what bacteria it was and where she got it, we at least made it to another one of her firsts – being a flower girl.
She got well just in time for the wedding of a very close family friend of ours and I’m so glad we didn’t miss it. As the couple danced and celebrated their love, we celebrated good health. The beaming smiles and contagious energy are thankfully back.
And though I thought this post wouldn’t come with cheese, I can’t help but share what dawned on me as I watched everyone have a good time. I realized that indeed, health is wealth. We only appreciate it when sicknesses strike. But all this beauty, all the wonderful people and surroundings, and all the great occasions, would really be pointless without it. Things just wouldn’t be as beautiful. And so without love.