Thursday, 18 February 2010

An allergy attack

We were at the beach with my in-laws.

Did I mention that I had been looking forward to a long, lazy weekend?

Soaking in the sun, sand and sea?

Well, I had been pregnant, had given birth and had been taking care of a newborn baby and a toddler?

I needed a break... 

Though he only told me later but Hubby started feeling unwell on Sunday. I noticed the itchy, reddish rash on his neck, which he dismissed as his sensitive skin's reaction to sun and sweat.

That evening, he said he felt feverish because he (a hot and sweaty man) felt cold while swimming in the pool with the boy. I couldn't feel a temperature but mother-in-law gave him 2 Panadols and a vitamin C tablet as he asked for them. He went to bed with the baby.

On Monday, we stayed indoors and tried not to go crazy with the super excited boy who will NOT follow mother-in-law to their connected room. I was busy with the baby and managed to put her to sleep (she's a very alert and active baby!!!)

Hubby said he'll be fine with her and dozed off.

I bundled everyone else in the car and hunted for lunch. Thank God for a nasi kandar restaurant so the boy could have his staples of rice, fish and eggs (He had a light, lousy dinner of mushroom soup and baked cheese rice).

We came back to see the baby in Hubby's arms - he'd just given her a formula feed :D (a huge achievement for a man who's antsy around his delicate little girl)

Hubby was ravenous and tucked into his chicken kurma, sotong curry and long beans. We actually went to bed after lunch though the girl kept me awake for a while...

Luckily, I could sleep at for an hour or I would have collapsed! (If you are a breastfeeding Mother with 2 young kids or more, you'll get the picture)

Since the boy insisted on going to the beach ("I want to dig sand! I want play sand toys!") and Hubby, who promised him a beach weekend took him down in the evening though he felt feverish.

We advised Hubby to stay away from the water.

Father and son enjoyed a nice hour on the beach while mother-in-law and I chatted with the girl snoozing soundly on my shoulder or lap :D

We decided to order room service again though Hubby wanted to take his parents out for a nice Chinese dinner but seeing his condition, we didn't think so!

After helping to dress the boy after his bath, cleaning up baby's poop, giving her a top-to-toe, breastfeeding, settling her down to sleep and packing up our stuff, the in-laws had finished dinner and I went out of the room to take mine. It was almost 10 pm!

On Tuesday, I know his rash is definitely NOT his sensitive skin's reaction (why are men and boys such obstinate creatures???) coz he looked like he has the measles. He piled all the luggage in the car, mother-in-law cradled the baby, the boy buckled up in the front seat and I drove as fast (and as safely) as I could to the airport i.e. 45 minutes away?

Dropping them off and promising my mother-in-law that I WILL call to give her updates and father-in-law that I WILL be a responsible wife, I then drove home to leave the baby with my mother.

We went to our regular clinic (closed!!!) but I remember seeing another one and was thankful they were open.

Be thankful that Malaysia has Indians, Malays, Chinese and other races who can work when we each go off on Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali, Vasakhi, Gawai and other cultural holidays.

The nice lady doctor gently advised Hubby about his blood pressure (of course, he thinks she's another nag...) and suggested that we go straight to the hospital. He was admitted immediately and given Dextrose drips.

The facilities and service in this hospital suck big time (pardon my lingo) but the nursing and support staff is nice and helpful.

Then, his IV drip DRIPPED and BLED. Instead of causing a scene with the staff nurse who had come to fix it the first time (and further agitating my husband), I went out to the nurses' station and insisted that they re-fix it.

I cannot stand surgical procedures so I told Hubby that I'll take the boy down to the cafeteria for lunch. When I got back, I saw that the IV was set up neatly on his other hand...

After leaving him with a bag of his clothes, toiletries and some water, the boy and I went home. I was in time to breastfeed the baby and then tried to make BOTH sleep so I could sleep too. No chance...

In the evening, after breastfeeding the girl, I took the boy to see his father. His temperature had cooled down and he was actually watching some TV.

On Wednesday, I had to bring the girl for her 3rd month check-up and second booster jab of Hib etc.

She is as brave as her brother - just a wail and she quietened down to sleep (since I'd breastfed her just before) after I ssssshhhhhhhed and kissed her :D

I gave her the 2.5 ml of paractemol since she developed a slight fever during the first jab. Managed to catch up on sleep while the two slept.

Thought I could breastfeed her again before taking the boy to the hospital but I was just too tired! (had just given the the boy and myself a bath)

Hubby's fever subsided and so did the rash on his arms. However, he had a stuffy nose and his face looked puffy. He'd requested for his laptop but I didn't think it's wise to leave the HEAVY equipment there.

I asked the nurses to give him a fresh set of bedsheets, which were stinky with sweat. Then, his fever started to rise and he asked for blankets. Dinner arrived and he finished only half his meal before popping the paracetamol again.

Though he wanted to sleep, I insisted that I give him a wipe down and helped him into a fresh new t-shirt and track pants. Not easy ok caring for a grouchy man!

After kissing him goodbye, I stopped at the nurses' station and told them he wanted some throat lozenges. They said they needed the doctor's permission - I asked if I could just get him Strepsils and they said that's OK. I told them he's demanded for them so they called the doctor immediately.

I asked them to look in on him since his fever is back and will call periodically to check on him. At home, I breastfed the baby and told Grandma she had to feed the boy his dinner as I was dead exhausted.

I updated mother-in-law that it's possibly dengue fever (blood tests still show NIL for dengue and chikungunya). She said that she'll drop father-in-law home first before flying in next week to support me. I felt that's best because we definitely can't take care of TWO men (the little man will be in the kindy)!!!

The worst isn't over because the nurses told me that the white platelets are monitored closely - if they drop drastically towards the end of the fever, bleeding/haemorraging may occur...

I can only boil cooling barley water for him, feed him fruits for vitamin C and give him a liquid multivitamin to boost his immune system. Since mother-in-law can only come by Wednesday (though they can both come ASAP), I hope that I'll be able to support him.

In the end, it was a major allergy attack so the man's been advised to avoid shellfish, eggs, oranges and other possible allergens.

I'm worried now about my boy because he has sensitive skin and is allergic to
- generic paracetamol (strange but true!)
- shellfish (esp clams which he love...)

And that's how we spent Chinese New Year...

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