Friday, July 03, 2009

Nothing Worse than a Health Scare

Health maintenance and prevention are like cost-savings from company efficiencies that turn incoming cash flow into profits.

A week ago, Zaki started having slight fever but nothing Paracetamol didn't cool down. She also had been suffering from a minor case of colds even before that and based on past experiences, we simply brushed it aside as one of those normal 'sick' days she's having. Besides, she's still as strong as an ox, mind you.

With no other unusual signs associated with H-fever or any infection (even aH1N1), Zaki enjoyed a fever-free day last Saturday and was her usual whirling dervish self - dancing and singing to the songs we were playing at full volume, a regular weekend activity. It seems that everything's good. Boy, if only we knew what was coming!

By Sunday morning, I was holding Zaki in my arms, feverish and with uncontrollable chills, having vomited about 4 times already. Giving oral medicines was out of the question so I just had to make do with giving her a sponge bath to cool her down, something difficult to comprehend when holding someone who's like freezing to death. Fortunately, it worked.

All the while, wifey had been preparing things we need for confinement only to find out at the
hospital that there were no rooms available so we were forced to spend a whole morning inside the ER with other parent with their sick kids. With all the health threats inside the ER, staying in there is like attracting more problems so as soon as Zaki's condition stabilized, we signed a waiver that we're leaving. Lab results were inconclusive that Zaki wasn't even prescribed antibiotics but which I decided to give by myself anyway.

At home, it's obvious that Zaki was feeling a bit weak but still pretty normal if compared to other kids. She still has that good appetite for anything she can think of which we promptly give her. But by this time, we knew we had to be on guard for any warning signs.

That night, her temperature began to shoot up again that by midnight we were again busy preparing our things to go to any hospital the second time, albeit to a different one and hoping to find an available decent room. We were fortunate to find one in a general hospital not so far from our place. After the lab tests came in, there wasn't any doubt about an infection.

Despite the lack of any clinical signs of pulmonary congestion, except for colds and even confirmatory lab tests the previous morning, it turns out that Zaki was in serious condition.

The diagnosis: Pneumonia.

We spent 2 days at the hospital at the only room we can get, a shared one where there's no TV, which Zaki, as a regular hospital vacationer, noticed immediately. (Wifey and I were not complaining though, even if shared, it's quite big and adequately separated. No TV means less noise and besides, she's a remote-hog!)

We're now in the last few doses of antibiotics which we continued at home. We've tried not to fall too much behind with office work but coming from that kind of experience just puts a toll on you both physically and mentally. As much as I'd hate to admit, I'm throwing creativity for a while and just try to survive for the next few days. There's no time out from being a parent especially to one who has to take some medicines daily for her entire lifetime and exacerbating that condition with other health threats can just leave you feeling spent.

But then, I'm not one to mope and as a popular Pinoy saying goes, 'I've been worried most of my life that I can't worry further anymore.'

Special thanks to the hospital staff for the exemplary care given us round-the-clock (that robs you of continuous sleep :) and to family, friends and Twitter acquaintances who have kept Zaki in their prayers and also to a few who went out of their way to surprise us with a visit. We feel blessed. Amen.

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