Nothing hurts more than to see your own child being sick or in pain. The past few weeks had not been easy for both Eric and I. But even more so for our daughter, Cheryl who endured more than a week of fluctuating fever, more than 2 weeks of consuming medicine after medicine, braving countless needle pricks for blood tests, IV infusions and all sorts of procedures and tests.
First, her paediatrician thought it was a regular viral fever. Then when the fever lasted longer than it should have, we brought her to a night clinic and another paediatrician said it was a secondary infection and shockingly gave her an overdose of voltaren suppository when we told her the amount we gave didn’t work at suppressing the fever. The next day we went back to our family paediatrician and he started Cheryl on oral antibiotics. After a few days, the fever kept getting worse to the point that paracetamol and voltaren wasn’t really working anymore.
We brought her in to be admitted late that night and the hospital took her blood to test for dengue fever and to check her blood composition levels. Results came back negative for dengue fever and indicated the platelet count was only 99,000 (minimum normal level is 150,000 μl-1). Her doctor then suspected it was chikungunya, another type of illness caused by a different mosquito bite. Unfortunately, chikungunya could only be confirmed through blood test 2 weeks after the first symptom. So in the meantime, there was not much we can do. Her doctor started her on another new oral antibiotics. That night, Cheryl’s fever went up to around 39.5°C. She didn’t respond to both the ibuprofen and paracetamol that they gave her so the whole night, Daddy and the nurses had to keep sponging her head and body to prevent the fever from getting dangerously high.
The morning after the ordeal, her doctor told us he will run several tests. First one was another blood test to check on Cheryl’s platelet level and thankfully it shot up to 199,000. So chikungunya was more or less ruled out. Next, he ordered for an x-ray test as well as an influenza swab test. Influenza test was negative. Our heart sank when her x-ray results showed that she had pneumonia but at the same time, we were also relieved to finally know what was wrong so that the right treatment can be given to her. The doctor said this was quite unusual because typically the platelet count of a person with pneumonia should remain normal while the white blood count would increase. But for Cheryl, her white blood count was normal and her platelet count dropped.
Immediately, Cheryl was started on intravenous antibiotics for the next 5 days, 3 times daily. Thankfully, she was already on IV drips so the antibiotics can be administered through the infusion without any additional pricking. Her doctor reassured us that we should be seeing improvements in her condition after 48 hours. After just 1 day, we could see her temperature was stabilizing around a low-grade fever.
However, into her 2nd day of IV antibiotics, things suddenly took a turn and the fever came back. Not long after that, Cheryl started vomiting. And then she complained that her back was very hot and painful. This happened on a Sunday (not a working day for the hospital) so her doctor was out. As parents, we started to worry especially when Cheryl started to cry in pain. She has always been very brave and is able to withstand quite a lot of pain. Even the nurses all said that Cheryl’s threshold of pain is very high for her age. So when she started crying, everyone knew that the pain must be really so great. We felt so helpless. All we could do was to keep praying for her and to ask everyone else to pray along with us. Cheryl drifted in and out of sleep. When she was asleep, it was a little breath of relief for her but we knew it was just temporal and that when she woke up, she’d be crying again. We couldn’t hold back our own tears when we saw how much pain she was in. We asked the nurses to call her doctor again to come in quickly but he could only come in hours later. A medical officer was sent to us in the meantime but no one could really tell what was wrong. Cheryl was given Ponstan, a type of painkiller but it didn’t work. After a few hours of drifting in and out of sleep, Cheryl suddenly woke up in tremendous pain and purged. Then we realized what pain she meant and that she was having food poisoning. She was given an injection to ease the pain. That night, she purged a few more times. Poor girl and Daddy who took care of her that night, wasn’t able to get a good rest but when morning came, all the purging stopped. God really answered all our prayers. From then on, we praise God that her condition continued to improve. The fever was completely gone, Cheryl responded well to the antibiotics and slowly, her appetite started to come back. Cheryl was finally allowed to be discharged from the hospital on Oct 1st, exactly a week from the date of admission.
After going through all this, we can’t help but be thankful for so many things……
- Firstly, our God is an amazing God. He is our pillar of strength and comfort in the midst of a storm. Without Him in our lives, we would be left hopeless but with Him in our lives, we always have hope and reassurance that He is holding our hands and walking through the storm with us. God never fails. All glory be to Him!
- Secondly, we thank God for the wonderful angel He has placed in our lives….my mom who took care of Darren and cooked for us. She has been a very present help, a person we can always depend on at any time of the day. Despite her age and health conditions, my mom has always offered help in any way she can. All it takes is just a phone call, and she will drop all her plans and come to our rescue. And because of that, today, our children simply adore their Ah Ma. We thank God for her each day.
- Our family and friends who prayed unceasingly for Cheryl. We thank each one of you for standing in prayer with us. Our relatives, cell group family Petra, co-cell group Jethra, and my mom’s cell group Pearl of Joy for visiting, praying for Cheryl, bringing craft work and toys to keep her occupied and even loaning therapeutic essential oil products to us; our senior pastor, Pr Sam for engaging the church to pray. We are ever so grateful. May our Lord bless each of you abundantly.
- And last but not least, our wonderful, courageous and beautiful daughter, Cheryl who had gone through so much lately. You amaze us….though you are only 5 years old, you have displayed maturity, strength and endurance beyond your age. Even the nurses who cared for you can testify to that and you seem to have found favour in their eyes. You make us proud to be your parents. We thank God for the gift of you in our lives. Just as your name means “Beloved”, you are indeed Daddy & Mummy’s beloved and your Heavenly Father’s beloved child.