Faith spent a few days in KK, after fighting a 40-degree fever and a throat and lung infection. We tried dealing with it with the GP's help, but even the nebulizer Dr Lo loaned us did not help relieve Faith's condition.
She must have been in a lot of pain, because she was whimpering and crying a lot despite being hypo-sensitive and having a high tolerance for pain. When autistic kids who cannot talk get sick, it is tougher because we have to guess what is ailing them, since they cannot articulate it. All you know is that they hurt. It is a very unpleasant thing but as a parent, you learn to guess. I guessed it was her throat that was giving her problems eating and drinking, the GP told us later her lung congestion also added to her discomfort.
When she stopped eating and drinking, and vomiting her meds, food and water, and her fevers hit 40, we had no choice but to ward her.
The wife took command, since I was not in town. And she told me later that it took four grown-ups — 2 nurses, a doctor and herself — to restrain Faith while they inserted the needle for the drip. Faith struggled very hard, and was screaming because she did not understand what was going on, and neither could we explain what was going on to her.
The first time, she yanked the needle out with her right hand. They tried again, and this time they tied her hands down.
The second time, she yanked it out with her teeth, like a little she-Rambo.
Mommy told me she couldn't help herself, seeing Faith go through this, and cried while holding on to her for the doctor and her team to complete the drip insertion.
Faith screamed and cried the first night, for hours. An auntie from the next bed peeped in to find out why we could not control our sick kid. Mommy was furious to hear the tsk's from next door. But I told her people didn't know Faith's condition, and would not understand why we could not console her. Crying and screaming were the only language she knew in this pain she was feeling.
By the second morning, Faith stopped the crying, and just looked miserable. Grandpa bought her an Elmo balloon to cheer her up. Mommy read her favourite Lulu books to her.
Faith's ward and bed number came out for 4D on the same day she was warded, second prize AND consolation prize. Nobody had time to buy the number, because we were so busy tending to her, and we all laughed at this. The last time she was warded years ago, her bed number came out too. Strange but true.
We all took turns to stay with her, and to sleep overnight at the B2 ward. Bed for the overnight shift was a folding bed. I took my turn on Friday night, after work. My helpers, mommy, and grandma, all took turns when I was outstation.
Every time she saw one of us, she would raise her right hand, her way of asking us to remove the string. We could not risk her pulling off her drip needle, so we had to leave it on for a while. In the end, Grandma decided that she was sufficiently used to the drip, and freed her right hand. She was a most happy camper. And by then, she was also starting to eat and drink.
The nurse came over on Saturday and said she had to remove the drip because her left hand was swollen. This always happens with drips. To our relief, they did not put it back in via the right hand, because she was eating and drinking a little again, and the risk of dehydration was much lower.
The wife and I took Faith down to the Delifrance for dinner. Faith went dressed in her KK hospital blue pajamas. Mommy ordered a plate of spaghetti and although Faith had taken a whole bowl of watery porridge for dinner already, Faith gestured at her spaghetti. We were more than pleased to comply.
She downed a whole mini-bowl of spaghetti. Just before we had our desserts, Mommy smelled something.
Yep, the big bomb. So it was off to the toilet at the ward upstairs to be changed and washed.
Mommy told me later that it was a big dump. It was strangely a welcome sight, she said. Because it meant she had eaten enough to poo.
Seeing your child eat and drink, and yes, even poo, after being on a drip for days, is the second most beautiful thing in the world.
After our dinner date at Delifrance, we went back to the bed, and Faith knocked out. The wife and I spent the next three hours watching TV shows on my Maxian portable player. I perched the Maxian on a box of tissues on Faith's bed, and plugged a headphone splitter in so that we could use both listen via our own headphones. Then at 11pm, Ning came for the night shift and the wife and I went home to the other two kids.
On Sunday, the doctor told us the she just needed one more blood test to be sure, and she could discharge my little girl. We left on Sunday afternoon, and spent the rest of the day just hanging out with the three kids. I made sure Mommy got some time to get a haircut. I think she needed some personal time, having dealt with the kids while I was away. We even took Isaac out in the evening, to make up for having to spend time with Faith at the hospital.
It was good to be home.