Saturday, September 18, 2010

Holding On To Faith, Hanging On To Life

I went home that Sunday evening after spending sleepless nights in the hospital where my son was confined. My husband and I decided to have our child admitted in the hospital at the initial onset of his fever for fear of the deadly dengue. Dengue is a life-threatening disease transmitted by Aedes Aegypti mosquito. At that time, there already were 69,594 dengue cases wherein 501 deaths had already been noted by the Department of Health. We had been in the hospital since Thursday when my son developed high grade fever ranging from 39-42 degrees centigrade with accompanying whooping cough. The doctor’s initial diagnosis was pneumonia based on his radiological consultation but he also had skin rashes, was vomiting and was complaining of stomachache. The fever subsided on Saturday and he looked well the following day.

That Sunday we thought that my son was already out of danger after his fever subsided so my husband decided to send me home so I may be able to look after my little girl who was also having slight fever. I was thinking that by Tuesday, we would be released from the hospital but little did I know that the nightmare was far from over. By the time I reached the house of my in-laws where I left my two girls, my husband’s brother broke to me the bad news that he received a message from my husband and that my son was taken to the intensive care unit of the hospital. My son was positive for dengue, the hematology report indicated a drop in his platelet count from 330X10 9/L on September 9 to only 62X10 9/L at 6PM that Sunday. On hearing the sad news, I was trying hard to search for my inner strength but fear engulfed me. I wanted to go back to the hospital, I was in a state of denial when I told them that he was okay when I left the hospital and even assured them the same words that my son told me that he was doing well. My mother-in-law told me to just stay behind and to be calm while she and my brother in law hurriedly went to the hospital. While looking after my other sick child that night, I was praying hard for a miracle that they all get well. I hardly slept that night and I found myself sending text messages to friends requesting for a plant that others testified to help cure dengue patients. I was too desperate to try anything to cure my sick child.

At the break of dawn, I found myself phoning a friend in the office to ensure that I would have that plant before I go back to the hospital. I was able to serve that herbal tea to my son during lunch but it was such a struggle to convince him to take it, as he reasoned out that there was no scientific evidence and no approval from the Department of Health that the plant really had cured dengue patients. He only had four spoonfuls of rice with soup for his dinner and then told me that he just wanted to take a rest still complaining of his bad tummy and ruptured vein in the intravenous insertions. I was holding back my tears that time since I did not want him to feel as helpless as I was. When my sisters visited him that night, they were all alarmed that my son was too pale, his body too weak and dehydrated despite being administered with an intravenous solution on both hands and he had edema that his face, feet and arms were all bloated due to fluid retention. I went out of the ICU to talk to my sisters and to my mom who was also there. My mom insisted to the resident doctor to give us the true details of my son’s condition. We were faced with more problems when we had the last hematology report at 6PM wherein his platelet count further dropped to 42X10 9/L while his hematocrit had an elevated reading at 0.53 above the normal range of 0.42-0.48. I was totally disoriented and it felt like hope was fast fading away, I just sat there crying and nothing was coming to my head. I just heard my mommy talking to the doctor and all my sisters in disagreement of what option the doctor had told them. My sister-in-law and I was wide awake the whole night as if that could alleviate the suffering that my son was going through, waiting for each moment and praying for my son's improvement. The result of his blood test of 12NN revealed further drop in his platelet count to 36X10 9/L and it felt like our world was falling apart. When the doctor told us that the life of our son is not in her hands and that we must pray harder, no words could comfort me at that time and fear was written all over me. I wanted to convince myself that everything would be fine, my husband and I were holding on to faith while my son was hanging on to his dear life. That time between sobs, I was trying to remember the parable from the bible wherein a man's great faith had helped cured his servant. (I just want to share it with all of you)

Mat 8: 5-10
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, “Lord, my servant lie at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented”.

Jesus said unto him, “I will come and heal him”.

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that thou should come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it”.

When Jesus heard it he marveled and said to them that followed, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel”.

Mat 8:13
And Jesus said unto the centurion, “Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee”. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

I knew that the story somehow helped me find again my strength and faith and to believe that miracles do happen through prayers. After nine long days in the hospital (four days in the ICU), my son is now on the road to recovery. I thank God that my son survived from dengue hemorrhagic fever and pneumonia. I also thank all the people who prayed with us and visited my son in the hospital, and thanks to our relatives who helped us emotionally, financially and spiritually along the way

Psa 94:17 Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 27 is FaMEALy Day 2010

I arrived home tonight some minutes past seven and just like the other nights, I missed again a very precious dinner time with my kids. Traffic and bad weather prevents me from getting home earlier and I really regret that. I too grew up with working parents and I remember how I always look forward to each dinner time because that is our chance to gather around at a table and exchange stories and views of how our day was. It was always a very enriching conversation and a memorable moment indeed. My mother always make it a point that we eat together when she arrives from work and to make each weekend a special mealtime together. At least I always have good memories of those despite the busy schedule of my working mom.

My daughter in 6th grade approached me to hand me a letter that sort of reminding me how important shared meal time is. It was given in their school and I need to sign on the letter as a pledge to celebrate the National FaMEALy day. Then my daughter told me, “Mommy don’t forget to sign on that and don’t forget that day.” As I read through the brochure that was attached to the letter, it was the advocacy being advertised on TV by a noodle product named "Lucky Me". Lucky me indeed for receiving this kind of invitation that encourages parents like me to put best effort to practice regular family meals despite being a working parent.

I want to quote these words from their brochure "frequent family dinners are associated with lower rates of smoking, drinking and illegal drug use." and "what parents don't realize is the importance of their presence at the dinner table, that spending time with their children during mealtimes can affect the rest of their lives."

So let's mark it on our calendar to celebrate September 27 or every 4th Monday of September a FaMEALy day or better yet, let's make it EVERYDAY.

For more info or to see the information included in the brochure, just visit