I sincerely hope that this will NOT become an annual thing. But, yes...Maia was hospitalized again this year. Just last month.
Her fever started at dawn on August 29, with body temperature starting from 37.9deg.C and going higher at 39.5deg.C. Then it would go up, down and up from time to time. I was getting really paranoid because, at the time, the Health Department had practically declared a dengue epidemic in the country. Both public and private hospitals were busy, busy, busy with dengue cases, left and right.
Poor Maia. She looked like this on her 1st day with fever :(
Our pediatrician advised us to observe Maia first and simply manage her fever by administering paracetamol and making her drink more fluids. She told us too that if the fever does not go away after 48 hours, then we should take Maia to see her.
48 hours passed and Maia's fever seemed to have left her. The whole morning, afternoon and evening...her fever was a no-show. Cupid and I decided to go out later that night to watch his brother perform at Ciento. When we arrived home at 1am, our yaya reported that Maia's fever was back. I didn't want to wait for our pediatrician's office to open later that morning, and so we immediately took Maia to the ER of The Medical City.
2 a.m., ER, The Medical City (Day 3 of fever) - That's Maia and her very concerned Yaya Ann. Maia is seen here holding her favorite stuffed-toy, Alfred the Pug.
The hallway at TMC's ER-Pedia section seemed empty at 2 in the morning. A nurse took her weight and body temperature (which was above 39deg.C). Another approached us to ask details. A resident checked her tonsils, ears, heartbeat and breathing. A medical technologist pricked her finger and took some blood for testing. It was during the last one when she really protested and cried so loud. After that, she didn't want anyone else to be holding her but me. Then we waited a full hour for the results. While waiting, we saw about 2 other kids accompanied by their obviously-worried families there. But I was told later on that if you enter further into the ward, there were already some kids that are about to be admitted and are only waiting for rooms to become available.
I just want my mommy! :(
The ER resident informed us that Maia's white blood cells were low and her platelets are at borderline levels. Meaning, it still cannot be considered dengue. We were told to go home, to continue monitoring Maia and giving her fever medication. But we were also advised to return 12 hours later for another test to confirm whether or not Maia does have dengue. By the time we returned to the hospital for testing, Maia's fever had already disappeared. Still, they needed to extract blood from her. And so, again, Maia cried so loudly. I felt so bad for her. We paid for the results to be rushed this time, for I was getting a little anxious about everything.
When we returned to the ER, I was surprised to see that the hallway (that was almost empty at dawn earlier that day) was now filled with other parents and their sick kids. The ER resident approached me with the lab results and said that Maia's platelet and WBC levels have dropped even lower. They advised that Maia be admitted for observation. That they will be the ones to coordinate with our pediatrician. My mind went blank. I couldn't hear anything else. Couldn't process anything else that the doctor and my hubby were talking about. I just cried, then and there. The more I held it in, the more I cried. I remember seeing the faces of some of the parents who were just within ear-shot of us. I saw and could feel their paranoia, their fears. Each and every child there exhibited the same symptoms. But, I'm pretty sure that not one parent in the ER that night wanted to be told that their child possibly has dengue.
Yours truly trying to hold it together by letting Maia doodle and draw on the envelope containing her lab results...anything to keep her from being bored and restless.
So, we were taken further into the ER-pedia section, where we waited a good 6 hours for a room to become available. You read it right...6 hours! We decided to wait it out and not transfer hospitals because (1) Maia already had a dextrose connected to her, and (2) other hospitals were already full (this is true...Cupid called and checked). Our pedia arrived and further checked on Maia. And though she believed, even then, that Maia does not have dengue, she went along with the recommendation for admission to be on the "safe side". Because we learned that some cases of dengue still appeared even after the child was dismissed and discharged from the hospital which ended tragically. We didn't want to take that risk.
None of us had a decent sleep that night because the nurses came in hourly to check on Maia's body temperature. And Maia, perhaps because she was sooo traumatized by all the pricking, poking and probing, has become very scared and cried whenever doctors, nurses and other "strangers" approached her. She also didn't like the tube from the dextrose, not one bit! And was consistently pleading and gesturing for us to remove the "diaper-bandage" on her hand that kept her dextrose in place.
Maia's eyes were so puffy due to lack of sleep and because of all the crying she had been making the day before :(
Then Ninong-Tito Dennis came to visit. Maia, as always, is delighted to see her Ninong but always plays "hard-to-get". Lolo Ver and La Mimi also visited earlier that morning (unfortunately, we forgot to take out our camera).
I forgot to mention that some rashes started to appear on Maia's face in the ER, while we were waiting for a room. The morning after, the were some more on her shoulders, then her lower back. Then even more appeared on her groin and thighs still the day after that. It was ruled that Maia didn't have dengue, and that what she has was the roseola virus. Her WBCs and platelet levels were picking up again. Her appetite was returning, and she didn't get too "weak" considering all that she went through. So, after 2 nights and 3 days in the hospital, we were finally allowed to go home!
I LOVE it everytime Maia looks at me with adoring eyes!
Maia was sooo bored! She couldn't go anywhere, and rested and sat on Mommy all day like she was her personal sofa! Good thing, Daddy remembered to bring his laptop and Maia's favorite movie DVD, "Annie", for her entertainment.
Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! That's our body's way of recovering from sickness. Good thing Maia took this afternoon nap for it allowed us to pack up for home!
Back home, Maia didn't waste any time...she sequestered our room and played with all her favorite toys! What fun! :)
It's hard for any parent to see their child sick and in pain. It's even harder when it's a baby or a toddler who still can't fully express what he or she is feeling. As a stay-at-home (and first-time) mom, you also often feel really guilty when things like this happen. You often believe that everything is your fault. The reason why you are a stay-at-home-mother, in the first place, is to take very good care of your children and make sure that things like this do not happen to them. But like my mom and mother-in-law always tell me, these things are inevitable. That Maia is growing up. That sickness, viruses and diseases are a fact of life. In the same way that pain, suffering, misery, disappointments, sadness, and the like are a part of growing up. That I cannot possibly lock Maia all her life, and shelter her from all the negative, so that nothing bad ever happens to her.
I know all that already. I also know that all I can do as a mother is teach Maia the basics; to practice and show her how to love and respect others; to teach her values; to make her as healthy as possible (in mind, body and spirit); to teach her how to be more empowered; to pray for her; and then to hope for the best. Still, it is sooooo hard because you want to hover and be like a "mother bear" all the time. (Sigh!)
To my mom, dad, mother-in-law and father-in-law, my siblings, brother- and sister-in-law, cousins, nephews, nieces, yayas, and all our loved ones who prayed for Maia...thank you so much from the bottom of my heart! Take care please! I love you all! Godspeed!