Monday, May 31, 2010

Bullet Point Update

It's been a busy two weeks in these parts and so much has happened that bullet points seems to be the best way to get this done. So here goes...     
  • It took a while but we are all much better. Thanks for your concern and good wishes.
  • Ayaan's cough took ages to subside and it still makes an appearance when he has a tantrum but after a month of antibiotics, vitamin syrups and cough medicine, I can finally switch off the phone alarms that reminded me that a dose was due.
  • Tarana's cough and cold made a reappearance along with a couple of days of low-grade fever but she too is finally in the clear.
  • We made it to the family wedding in Delhi after all. And my extended family appears to have equipped themselves with some newly acquired diplomacy because I did not have to field a single comment or question about their skinniness. 
  • The wedding was fun but exhausting with the hyperactive brat and the sleep-deprived girl but we all survived.
  • Ayaan got to be the sarbala and was perched on the horse in front of the bridegroom for the duration of the baraat. Given that I am the only cousin in the extended family on both sides to have produced a boy, he has had quite an extended stint as wedding VIP, having been both page boy and sarbala twice each. A little trip down memory lane…
  • Tarana looked very cute in the pattu pavadai Indu Aunty sent for her. For the functions other than the wedding itself, she was dressed in frocks since most of the kiddie stores I visited stock ethnic wear only for girls of ages one and above. The ones that did have infant sizes had stuff that looked very uncomfortable so I decided to prioritise comfort over style.
  • The kids were quite a hit with the relatives. This is the first time that Ayaan grew out of his clinginess and interacted with people. He chattered away non-stop to anyone who would listen and almost gave me a heart attack by going off with my Chacha without telling me – for five horrible minutes, I thought he had got lost! Tarana was popular simply because she was the youngest person present though she chose to favour only male family members, happy to rest her head on their shoulders while the female aunts and cousins had to contend with a violently bawling baby every time they attempted to take her.
  • There was an AWESOME chaat counter at the wedding buffet with some amazing pani puri. I ate EIGHTEEN! And survived without so much as an upset tummy despite my mom's dire predictions.
  •  We stayed at the Saket Sheraton. This was Ayaan's first experience of a five-star hotel. (We did stay at one in Goa a few years ago but he was too young to have any memory of it). And he LOVED it - the bathtub, the toiletries, room service, breakfast buffet, jam and sauce in little bottles, and every little aspect of our stay there. To start with, he could not get his head around the concept of a hotel - he kept referring to the room as 'our house' and at once point got a look of pure bliss on his face as he proclaimed, 'Mama, I want to stay in this house forever and ever'!
  • In the midst of the wedding festivities, I managed to squeeze in a trip to the Mad House. There was such a strong sense of deja vu that descended on me, having seen so much of the house in pictures on her blog. The Brat and the Bean were welcoming to extent of wanting Ayaan to share the juice that they happened to be drinking when we entered. And the Bean was very upset when Ayaan did not let her help him pick up the chips he had dropped on the floor. The Brat and Ayaan compared and contrasted their mothers' iPhones. Sadly, it was a very short visit and was over before it began but I am glad I managed to make it.
  • After the wedding, I headed to Jaipur. This had not been the initial plan but one of my maids was on her annual vacation and the other one asked for a few days off since her daughter-in-law needed some emergency surgery. Not relishing the thought of holding down the fort on my ownsome lonesome, I headed momwards. 
  • Like last year, we celebrated his birthday there. We invited the kids he knows over there and my mom got her back garden decked up with balloons and Disney cut-outs and arranged for a magician to provide entertainment. The boy wanted a flower-shaped cake but then chose a star-shaped cake at the shop.
  • He behaved like an angel at his party. He was quick with the P&Qs. He insisted on being the one to serve the cake to everyone so he waited for my mom to put the pieces on plates before taking them off and ensuring that no one went without cake. And towards the end of the party, he took it upon himself to help in clearing away the used plates and napkins. I beamed with pride as everyone praised my well-behaved son. Of course, the next day he burst my bubble by having a string of really nasty tantrums.
  • Another adorable development has been the evolution of Ayaan’s relationship with his great-grandmothers. As a younger and much more hyperactive baby, he didn’t have much time to spare for them since at 85 and 90 years old respectively, they couldn’t quite keep up with him. But of late, he seems to have realised that their limited mobility has its advantages. Without the need or ability to move around too much or have much to do, they form the perfect captive audience. My paternal granny was made to play endless games of Snakes and Ladders with him and my maternal granny was put to work reading to him. He has also become very caring and considerate with them – holding their hand to ‘help’ them walk, serving and feeding them, counting out their medicines. Very cute :)
  • We got back to Mumbai on Thursday and tomorrow we leave for Bangalore to spend some time with Jai's parents. And after that, I would be quite happy to grow roots in Mumbai for a while, having had more than my fill of packing, unpacking, airport lounges, messed up routines and what not

Sunday, May 09, 2010

It Ain't Over

I know this is getting old but sickness still reigns in these parts. When it rains, it pours, as the cliche goes. And before I had time to breathe a sigh of relief at Ayaan's fever-free state, I was struck down myself.

It started on Monday morning when I woke up to a sore throat. By nighttime, I had a body ache and relatively high fever. And just in case that was not enough, somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, I developed an excruciating ache in my upper left wisdom tooth. Bad enough you say? How about you add to this the fact that all this came to be on the morning that my mom left and Tarana added to the merry mix by waking through the night at an hourly frequency... and believe me, this is just the half of it so read on.

Tuesday passed by in a feverish blur. The toothache was easily sorted with a quick visit to the dentist and a temporary filling, but the fever continued to rise and soon, the mercury levels were well established between 102 and 103. My sore throat also escalated to levels where it was painful to swallow and it felt like someone had been at work in there with some industrial strength sandpaper. Not wanting to subject Tarana to strong medication, I took periodic doses of Crocin and planned to wait out the infection.

By Wednesday, I felt no better and a lot worse and was ready to call in the big meds but before I could think of dragging my sorry self to the doctor, Tarana was found to have a temperature of 101. So, of course, the only doctor we visited that day was the paediatrician. I was told to dose her with Crocin and come back if the fever persisted after 48 hours.


On Thursday, my mom found herself on a flight headed back to Mumbai, having left just three days ago. Jai also took most of the week off. I don't know what I would have done without them. I finally managed to get to the doctor and was finally given some antibiotics, which I also cross-checked with my paediatrician for compatibility with breastfeeding.

Tarana showed no signs of improvement and by Thursday night, her fever spikes were in the high 102s. So we went back to the paediatrician on Friday morning and guess what, she is on antibiotics too and we are all hopefully limping our way back to normalcy.

Oh wait. That's still not all of it. We were told to repeat Ayaan's x-ray again to see if the infection had cleared up. Well, he's still coughing and the x-ray still doesn't look clear in spite of a 10-day dose of antibiotics. So now we have been prescribed some further tests to investigate the issue.

Yeah, I think that covers it all (except Tarana's mild diarrhoea thanks to the cocktail of meds she is imbibing directly and through my breast milk). At least for now but who knows what tomorrow shall bring - along with Ayaan's test results amongst other things...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Aftermath

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