One of the toughest year in my life was 2011. My mind, body and faith was stretched like never before. Some background setting:
First, financially, this was a year which all THREE kids were in pre-school. No one told me this part when I was deciding about having children. Pre-school education is expensive in Singapore. (S$700-S$1,200 per month, per kid for a full day programme) Multiply this for three kids, and for twelve months. (You can imagine the cost!)
Second, Edmund was in his final year doing his Masters in Theology. The house was plastered with Greek words, journal articles and thick thick reference books. He was working full-time as he studied full-time (actually, this post would mean more to him than to me!)
Third, the Food Poisoning case hit a few pre-schools in Singapore. And, my three kids were hit by the bug. Nadine was first, she was vomiting and having bad diarrhea non-stop, with a high fever. Her little 3 yr old body was dehydrating rapidly. On the second day of the food poisoning, we went to the hospital and she was hospitalised for food poisoning and dehydration.
It was heart breaking. She was so tired from the puking and her ass was so red from the purging that when she had to lie still for the doctor to put the needle through for the drip, she fell asleep! Zzzzzzz! I stayed in the hospital with her, while Nathan and Nicole were at home with Daddy. They were down with vomiting at varying degree too.
Day 3: Nathan started dehydrating. He had no appetite, couldn’t hold his food or water. We had no choice but to hospitalise him. So imagine a two-bedded room—Nathan on the left, Nicole on the right. And the totally unkempt and very tired mummy in the centre. (I was too tired to take any more photos here!)
We stayed in the hospital for 5 days. Through it all, Nicole was running a fever, had mild food poisoning. You can be sure, we really don’t want to ever try the food from this caterer ever.
That was mid May.
Fast forward two weeks…
Fourth, On 27 May, Edmund suddenly developed a high fever. And I was having one too. We were due to go for a holiday on 30 May. So I made an executive decision to get both of us hospitalised and put us on a drip. I know a drip is the fastest way to bring down a temperature, so off we went to Parkway East. It was 11 p.m.
Well, I was hospitalised for an ordinary cold. He was as well, except it wasn’t a cold. It was Dengue Fever. Round 2. (he had it once in 2009) His platelet count was falling. The next day, I was well enough to be discharged. He couldn’t. Platelet count dropping and blood pressure was falling. I made another executive decision, I transferred him to Mt Elizabeth hospital to see a Haematologist, a blood specialist.
All this while, the platelet count continued to drop. Blood pressure was falling as well. His fever was constant at 39-40 degrees Celsius. Pastor came by to pray, many church staff came as well to pray and support. Edmund was covered in prayer. I was close to breaking down with worry.
Finally after five days, the platelets stopped dropping, his temperature fell. We thought we could go home. But no. not yet. His blood pressure was very low—92/54 instead of the normal 120/80. The cardiologist came and did tests on the heart. The neurologist came to check if the nerves were ok. He passed all the tests, the doctors concluded it was an issue with the Dengue virus attacking the blood pressure.
He stayed in the hospital for a full two weeks. You can read about it here. During that time, I’m so grateful for all the prayers, for my parents who helped ferry the kids to school and to hospital to visit, for the very good insurance coverage we had. Most importantly, I thank God sustaining us through.
Fast forward to August.
Fifth, Nicole was down with with high fever an entire week. There were no other symptoms—no cough, no runny nose, no wheezing. So after one week of fever, we went to back to the PD, and lo and behold, it was Pneumonia—FULL BLOWN. She had to go through a massive meltdown when they tried to draw blood for the blood test, insert the needle for the drip. In any case, she was hospitalised for 4 days and mummy stayed in as well.
So 2011 was a year my entire family had a go at being hospitalised. It was quite an experience. But we learnt that friends and family play a big part in every trial we go through. We received love in various shapes and sizes during this season—daily visits, soups, toys, goodies, books, SMSes, etc. They are all etched in my heart. And this was the year I knew that I knew that I knew God never fails. Things happen but He reigns always.