Friday, September 24, 2004

Nature's balm

Well, Sarah's happily at home now, although I think she was just as happy in hospital, so thoroughly engrossed with the comings and goings in our little section that she got only half her usual amount of daily sleep. I personally think that really slowed down her recovery.

That's my one grouse about the whole hospitalisation thing actually, everything else was done so well. They just seem to have no regard for sleep at all - time for dose means must dose. You can imagine what that does when it's 2 or 3 hrly throughout the night. And 6:30 am means turn on all the lights and draw back all the cubicle curtains with a great flourish, even though it's still pitch dark outside. Just so the nurses can change shifts. I thought they were nuts.

Anyway, I'm just glad she's home. And I'm so thankful to be sleeping in my own bed again instead of the safari fold-out so thoughtfully provided in the kiddy wards.

Now we can look forward to our postponed zoo trip next week - Sarah hasn't been yet! And Matthew is saying he hasn't seen giraffes before, and I was wondering until someone confirmed that they've been moved to the night safari. So no giraffes in the day zoo. But the elephants do double duty and amble over to the night safari when the zoo closes - I find that so cute.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Retraction

Sarah's in hospital. She and Matt hadn't been well since last weekend, with the runny nose, slight cough, slight temperature - you know, the usual flu-zy symptoms. But as Matthew improved, our girl kept getting more congested, and on Monday (that's yesterday) we could hear her wheezing. What's more, her chest kept getting sucked in deeply everytime she took a laboured breath. Not good.

Lu took her to the clinic downstairs in the afternoon, where the doc prescribed oral ventolin, with the option of returning the next evening for a follow-up. By her bedtime though, it became obvious to us that we couldn't wait for the next evening. She was strangely hyper, yapping away with each successive breath, refusing to clam down. This is the same girl who usually strains towards her cot right after her prayers, thumb already in mouth.

We drove to KK Women's and Children's hospital, not knowing if we were being responsible and safe, or overly kiasu.

There's something unnerving about walking into a children's A&E area. Five years ago I would have stood there and nonchalantly viewed the patients as sick/injured children. Now as a parent, I can't help but get emotionally involved - they're someone's sick/injured child, and there's something unnatural about a young person who isn't whole. I saw it in the eyes of every mother and father I passed - that slightest hint of helplessness and disbelief, while trying to be strong for their kids.

The kids themselves were largely oblivious to this concern, when they weren't in an obvious state of discomfort. One boy was telling his mother the names of the dinosaurs on the large mural in the waiting room, while our little princess just kept on chattering non-stop.

Turns out she has something called bronchiolitis, and if that sounds like bronchitis, it's no coincidence. According to Dr Greene's website: "Bronchitis is inflammation of the large airways in the chest and pneumonia is inflammation of the lung. Bronchiolitis is inflammation of the smaller airways connecting the two."

Funnily enough, bronchiolitis is supposed to be more common in formula-fed males, which would make my breast-fed daughter seem very unlucky indeed. Unless you take into account the genetic factor, which puts the asthma-prone at high risk. Okay, I had asthma as a baby, and I guess my 'bad genes' got passed down. Would you consider that a sin of the father?

Anyway, I'm just glad that there's an explanation for the sharp concave shape her chest took on when she breathed, which by the way is known as a retraction. Of course I'm equally glad that the inhaler medication has all but gotten rid of that nasty symptom, a sure sign that her breathing's much better.

Sarah's interval between puffs (I know, it sounds drug-related. Waitaminit... duh... these are drugs we're talking about) has increased from two hours to three. But they can't discharge her until it gets to six hours, which is why she has to be warded for observation.

Lu and I are now taking turns being with her; she on the night shift and me during the day. Which explains why I'm sitting here typing this at home when I should be fast asleep. Unfortuantely I'm also downloading a ton of work stuff from my company's ftp site, so I guess I have no choice really. I also have to be up for a 7am conference call relating to this ftp nonsense, so there's a fat chance of getting sufficient rest.

You know, we were supposed to be on leave today, for a family zoo trip. Funny how these things turn out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Pot of Gold

The rainbow was a complete double arch over the Seletar Expressway. Sunlight was beaming in through the splattery drizzle and the seven colours showed up brilliantly in the patchy grey sky.

As the road gradually curved, we could see where the end of the rainbow came right down to ground. It slowly moved from the roadside shrubbery to land in front of our left headlight, and heralded our way as a glittery pillar of colour tracing the earth right before us. At one point it was actually keeping pace beside the front passenger window. Gladys could have wound down the window and touched it.

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I was running errands during yesterday's lunch break and bumped into an old church friend, a faithful volunteer. As we chatted casually at the street corner, it slowly came up that she has since left the church, gotten divorced, lost custody of the kids, gone back to work after ten years, and now lives alone in a rented room. This was all within the last two years.

When we saw the rainbow this morning I really wished she could have seen it too.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Woman

Oooo, new credit card!!! I've waited long for this - 2 whole weeks!! And what lovely discount vouchers! Quick, what shall I buy, what shall I buy??

Everywhere I look I see beautiful clothing and articles to further adorn myself with. The single and dating days were nothing compared to this. It's a somewhat startling phenomena, this newfound vanity. Another friend just emailed to say she's concerned with the age spots under her eyes. She too has two little ones, and is (or was) another one of those only moderately concerned about her appearance. Is it a thirties thing or what?

Mmmm... but I must say it's really rather nice to feel all womanly, and to revel in it, no excuses needed (coming from an EX-tomboy). Cos when you've plonked out two human beings from your body, in a variety of ways, you just can't escape the fact that you're a woman. Unless you're a seahorse.

Anyway. I'm also due for another hairdo :-) But that's four hours at the salon :-( Never mind, it's Sean's birthday and he'll be pleased, and so will I cos that'll mean a nice night out - fancy dinner, cosy restaurant, yay. And of course leading up to the inevitable. ;-)