It got worse before it started to get better. We went back to the doctor on Friday morning and all seemed well. But things went downhill once we got back home.
His coughing fits, as predicted by the doctor, worsened but were often accompanied by vomiting, causing him to eject the precious little nutrition we had managed to shovel down his gullet. This made him so weak that he just lay in his bed listlessly and would create a massive fuss to sit up and have even a sip of water. And then the fever started climbing again and touched 101. We called the doctor and he called us back so we went across for the second time that day.
Of course, since messing with my head is the brat’s favourite pastime, he was full of beans the minute we got into the car and by the time we were at the doctor’s office, there was no sign of the lethargic boy from just an hour ago. The doctor checked his vital signs and said he was well enough to go back home. He asked us to feed him frequent, mini-meals of whatever he liked. In fact, he asked Ayaan what was his favourite thing to drink or eat was, and the brat’s eyes sparkled for the first time in days and he grinned mischievously and said, ‘Sprite’. Anyway, Sprite was duly purchased and the course of antibiotics was extended by three days.
Friday night and Saturday were still tough since Ayaan had absolutely no appetite so we tempted him with caramel custard, applesauce and rice-curds-honey, and he condescended to have 5-6 spoons at a time of whatever was on offer. I actually woke him up twice during the night to make him eat a few bites and plagued him to drink sips of water almost every 10 minutes.
Today has, touch wood, been much better. He has been fever-free for 48 hours now. The coughing is less violent and he has not thrown up anything all day today. And while his total food intake today is probably still a quarter of his regular diet, it is huge progress compared to what he has been able to eat and retain in the preceding week. So I hope I am not speaking too soon when I say he seems to have turned a corner.
But such a virulent and drawn-out infection (fever for 9 days) has left its mark. I cannot find the words to adequately describe the amount of weight he has lost but let me try... The circumference of his upper arm now easily fits into the circle made when my thumb and forefinger touch at their tips. His knees and elbows look abnormally big and stick out from his skinny legs and arms. I can count his ribs. And it breaks my heart to carry him because I can climb a flight of stairs without breaking a sweat, a nearly impossible feat a week ago. I actually have to hold back tears every time I look at him. And it does not help that we are headed for a family wedding in a couple of weeks, where I will be subjected to a million comments about how thin he has become
We cancelled our Bangalore trip. Ayaan still had fever on Friday so it just did not make sense to travel the very next day. Both the strain of travel and the exposure to germs seemed highly avoidable. Plus, it would have all been a bit pointless. This illness has made him very clingy and he wants nothing to do with anyone but me. So it is unlikely that he would have been very friendly to the rest of the family. Hopefully, we can go towards the end of his summer holidays.
Hopefully this is the end of this subject and I won’t find myself writing another post on this. A big thanks to everyone who wished Ayaan well in the comments on the last post