Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dengue - Hospital Day 6

Hospital Day 6

Laura’s platelet count is going up! Even though her platelet count was low on Day 5, she got back a bit of her appetite. She was eating better and drinking more. Sounds like PT and Laura had a good day together too. It’s good to hear my little girl giggling and joking again. Her paed said she may be discharged tomorrow which is wonderful news!

Labels: ,

Dengue - Hospital Day 5

Hospital Day 5

Platelet count has taken another dip. Aiyo! Tried giving Laura the papaya leaves juice remedy a 2nd time without any honey. Ended up having to get the beddings changed. Nothing went into her. Alright, scrap that! Then we hear from friends that coconut water does the trick as well. PT brought some young coconuts yesterday. More palatable, so we’ll try that. Laura likes coconut water so maybe she’ll drink some. She hasn’t had any appetite, have to be forced to drink. The more she drink and get hydrated, the faster her platelet count will go up. She’s been very tired and listless since last weekend. Our heart ached to see our usual chirpy little girl being so quiet.

I’d gone back to decorate cakes. Adam was very happy to see me at home. In between his Wii games, he came to give me cuddles and kisses. PT stayed with Laura tonight. Sleep in my own bed! Nice…

Finished with cakes, patted myself on the back and hope the customers will be as pleased with the cakes as I was and went to bed. Ahh… I really like my own bed. Adam stirred, opened his eyes. “Mama!” and I got the tightest cuddle ever! Still with his arms around my neck, he fell asleep again.

Labels: ,

Dengue - Hospital Day 4

Hospital Day 4

There never seems to be enough time to do all I want to accomplish in a day. I’m probably just tired. Not getting enough sleep. Today was baking day, baking a couple of cakes to be decorated tomorrow. PT was at the hospital to be with Laura so I can go home to bake. First to collect a couple of dolls needed for cake orders.

I called up Toys R Us a couple of days ago to find out where I could find two dolls I needed. The customer service person, Kala, called me back the next day. She apologized she couldn’t call me the same day as they were checking stock throughout the Toys R Us in the country. She found the dolls I was looking for at Toys R Us in 1 Utama. Been a long time since I’ve experienced good customer service and I am impressed. My friend, Lia picked up the dolls for me. Just in case they sell out or something. I didn’t want to take a chance!

Driving back from Lia’s, I was running through my head what I needed to do. Suddenly I was stopped at a road block for speeding! WTF. I don’t need this! The police asked if I knew I was over the speed limit. “Oo… errr… I was?” The police then asked me “So, how now?” My reply: “If I’d done something wrong then I should be issued a summon.” Then I added “Oh gosh, my daughter is in hospital with dengue fever. I need to go see her” Sounding a little exasperated on purpose. Ok, buying time, trying my luck but I was telling the truth! I was prepared to get that summon anyway. Pause, the police looked at me, looked in the car and then he said “Ok, you can go”. I was like “Huh? Go? Go where?” The police said “Boleh pergi. Kamu sudah susah, tak mahu tambah susah” (You can go. You have enough to worry about – something like dat lah)

Earlier, picking up something from a McDonald’s Drive-thru, I’d forgotten to place order drove up straight to the cashier window. Yup, distracted again. I apologized to the cashier that I forgot to order. She told me I’ll have to go back into the queue. Then she took one look at me, asked me what I wanted. Then she told me she’ll make an exception this time and I got my order without having to get back in the queue!

Hmm… I must have looked really tired.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dengue - Hospital Day 3

Hospital Day 3

With the plugs up her nose, Laura breathes through her mouth which causes her to snore. She doesn’t sleep very well, tossing and turning throughout the night. Every time she opened her eyes, I gave her something to drink so her mouth won’t be dry. Man, can she snore! The difference between a paediatric ward and a regular ward is, the nurses are very gentle and considerate. They were in and out regularly in the night to check Laura’s temperature and also to check her blood pressure a couple of times in the night. We have slept through most of the time.

Every morning, a nurse comes in to take some blood samples for testing. Laura’s fever was still high, hovering between 38 and 39 C throughout the night. According to the paed, that’s unusual as it’s already Day 5. He suspects she may have developed a secondary infection, possibly due to the plugs up her nose. He called for blood tests to check for infection as well as prescribed a course of antibiotics.

PT comes in to spend some time with Laura in the day, which is nice. We get to chat a bit. Something we’ve not had much chance to do with him being in Singapore a lot these past year and a half. When PT comes over, I get to go home to spend some time with Adam. It was good being home to be with Adam. We had dinner together and played a Wii game together. Then some cuddle time before he slept. Sometimes, when one child is ill in hospital, it’s so easy to neglect the other child/ren. Adam has been wonderful though. Very concerned about his sister. Wanted me to ask when his Ci Ci can be home and if she’ll be ok. He heard the public announcement on our local radio about a father losing his daughter to dengue. I think that scared him, thinking that he may lose his Ci Ci to dengue. PT had a chat with him to assure him that Laura will be ok.

Early yesterday morning was Michael Jackson’s memorial in LA. I was too tired to stay up but got up in time to see Shaheen Jafargholi sing. I enjoyed the messages that went back and forth on Facebook but the memorial itself was too OTT for my liking. I wondered how many people were there for their time on TV or for remembering MJ? We’ll never know. I liked some of MJ’s songs and I think he was very talented. He was definitely a showman. He was very messed up too. Thank you for the music, MJ but I hope the media let you rest now.

Labels: ,

Dengue - Hospital Day 2

Hospital Day 2

The symptoms Laura had were high fever, lethargy, nausea and tummy ache. She could not keep much food or liquid down.

Day 2 continued with being on the drip and forcing her to eat and drink. Her blood platelet count dropped to 120+ from 160+ from the day before. She was still complaining of stomachache, so couldn’t eat much. What she ate, drank, if she peed or pooped or threw up had to be recorded. Being hydrated enough was important for her body to fight the fever.

Poor girl did not sleep well with the plug up her nose. She woke up frequently complaining of stomachache, then she went back to sleep.

Several people had recommended a remedy made with papaya leaves. Pound two papaya leaves into pulp and squeeze out the juice. Drink the juice which will help increase the blood platelet level. We are ready to try anything. Papaya is edible, so the leaves should be ok too. A friend whose son had recently recovered from dengue was given the papaya leaves juice remedy too. She recommended adding honey so the juice is more palatable as the juice is extremely bitter. Laura drank down the 2 tablespoons given to her.

The nose plug had to be left on for another night. We didn’t have a choice. Her fever hovered between 38 and 39 C even though she was given paracetamol.

Another restless night but we were more rested. The first night we shared with another little boy who had his tonsils removed in a 4-bedded ward. He must have felt very uncomfortable as he was crying a lot that day. There wasn’t much space in between the beds. Fortunately, only 2 of the beds were occupied.

The nurse call alarm was right outside the room door. Most of the time the door to the room was opened, so every time someone alerted the nurses, the alarm sounded. When the door was opened, the alarm was extremely loud and annoying!

Carer can rent a lazy chair for RM5 a night for sleeping. I have not slept on a lazy chair for a looooooong time. Even so, I had previously slept on one for naps only. Different when sleeping on one for the night! The air con in the room could not be controlled as well as we were sharing with someone else. Man, it was one uncomfortable night.

Yesterday, the hospital didn’t have any single-bedded rooms to spare. There was one today, so we moved. Thank goodness for insurance! What a difference! We had the whole room to ourselves. Felt a bit decadent really. We have a tv with a beat-up remote control held together with sticky tapes. Fortunately, the room is very quiet. We can see Jalan Ampang from our window.
Laura was upbeat and cheerful earlier in the day but by evening, she was feeling lethargic and feverish again. At least she wasn’t complaining of tummy ache and could eat and drink more. We had a better night sleep than the first night.

Labels: ,

Dengue - Hospital Day 1

Hospital Day 1 (6 July 2009)

I took Laura to see the paediatrician this morning as she had high fever in the weekend. H1N1 was ruled out as she didn’t have flu-like symptoms. She had high fever and was feeling lethargic which usually comes with high fever. Volren suppository brought the fever down. The paed took a look at Laura and asked for a dengue blood test to be done. He called this afternoon to confirm she had dengue and will need to be hospitalized.

Before leaving for the hospital, Laura had nose bleed. It’s the norm with her as she tends to get nose bleed quite often. Her paed had explained that thinner skin in the nose with some children make them prone to getting nose bleed. I paraphrase as I can’t remember the exact term used.

Being unwell and tired, Laura was not her usual trooper self. Two years ago, Laura fell during sports practice. The fall broke her elbow bone. She was very brave throughout the process of getting her elbow fixed and when taking out the pin that was holding the elbow whilst it healed. The orthopedic surgeon and his nurses were most impressed with her. This time around, she wasn’t quite as brave. I understand as she must be so scared, not knowing what’s happening to her as well as feeling tired and sickly. Her paed has been very good and understanding.

In the evening her nose bled again. The nurses came in to get the bleeding to stop. One nurse whom I could see genuinely likes children, managed to stop the bleeding and there was reprise for about an hour. Then her nose bled again. This time, another nurse was around. I must say she pinched Laura’s nose pretty hard. I felt so sorry for my little girl. Her paed came in to see her. He decided it was something he’ll need to refer to an ENT doctor. The ENT doctor was to come by in an hour to see Laura. Something about a plug for the nose was mentioned.

Poor Laura was so tired. She’s been good the whole day. By the evening, she was feeling better, got her appetite back and was feeling in good spirit. We decided to wash up and get some sleep even though the ENT doctor was expected. Soon after falling asleep, the ENT doctor came by and our ordeal began!

My poor baby was woken up from her sleep, surrounded by strangers and the ENT doctor wanted to start what he planning to do straight away. My poor daughter was traumatized. Even though it’s the paediatric ward, the nurses who were attending with the ENT doctor didn’t have a clue how to deal with children. The ENT doctor offered Laura an ice cream after the procedure. Laura was not interested in the ice cream at all. PT and I have always involved our children by explaining to them what’s to be done so they’re not afraid if they need an injection or needed to take yucky tasting medicine that will help make them better. The ENT doctor and nursing staff did not take that into consideration. It was very obvious that the ENT doctor isn’t very patient with children and do not take the time to make a child comfortable before doing what he needed to do. The nurses were ever ready to hold my child down for the ENT doctor to force what he needed to do. I shouted and put my foot down. Asked for a minute to explain to Laura what needed to be done. Poor girl was so scared. Wouldn’t you be if you were waken up from sleep, be surrounded by strangers who were holding up syringes, unknown liquids and such? I would! I knew he wanted to insert something up Laura’s nose, which will act like a sponge to stop the bleeding. I tried to explain that to Laura as calmly as I could. The whole time I glanced at the ENT doctor who showed his impatience. Obviously he didn’t believe in explaining to children. She resisted but at least she calmed down. Even though she still protested when the ENT doctor flushed out her nostrils with the liquid (which I didn’t have a chance to see what it was), applied a thick coating of gel up her nostril and then inserted a plug, she had stopped screaming or resisting. Only after the ordeal did he explain that the plug was necessary to prevent more nose bleed. As Laura’s platelet count go down, the natural ability for the blood to clot will go down as well. Since Laura is prone to nose bleed, that can pose a problem as she’ll be getting nose bleed more. Now if the ENT doctor had explained that first when he first got into the room, he could have gotten all that he needed to do without traumatizing a 9-year-old intelligent little girl and her mom! In probably less time too!

Laura is asleep now. Trying her best to be comfortable. That is tough to do as she needs to breath through her mouth with the plug up her nose. I can’t look at her sleeping without breaking into tears. Looking at my daughter with two plugs up her nose brings back horrible memories. The last time I saw someone with plugs up his nose was at my father’s funeral. That was after he was gone. I can’t do it. I can’t look at my daughter without crying. I’m glad she’s asleep so she won’t see me cry.

Labels: ,