Friday, May 28, 2010

Recovering fast

He slept so well last night. He didn’t wake up at all! I’m amazed at the speed of his recovery. I’m so happy!

His runny nose is drying up. He’s sneezing a lot less today. His appetite is back to normal. I gave him only one dose of Promethazine this morning and no other medication. As a result he took a long 2 hour nap this afternoon, which I’m sure, helps the healing process. Tonight I gave him a drop of Afrin (to dry up his slight runny nose) and skipped the Promethazine. Btw, I rested along with him during his 2 hour nap! It was bliss : )

This would be his fastest rate of recovery from a cold ever! Thank you so much for praying for a speedy recovery!

Still, I would keep him home for the weekend just to be safe. He didn’t want to go out this evening, saying that he’s still sick (I was going to leave him in the car with my sister and helper while I popped into the restaurant to buy back dinner). That’s very unusual for him as he loves going out. Should I keep him away from school for the first few days next week too to give his immune system a break?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Down with a cold

He's sick again! I'm getting frustrated with all these viruses. I don't understand why he's getting sick so often recently.

The last two mornings, he had woken up with a slight amount of phlegm in his throat/nose. That cleared up easily with a strong cough and some warm water. No other symptoms after 15mins of waking up.

Last night, he had a stuffy nose which made him wake up numerous times in the night. So we didn't go to school today. Just as well cos this morning, he started sneezing quite a bit and his nose started running.

This morning I gave him some Promethazine for his runny nose and Afrin decongestion drops followed by Iladin nose drops this afternoon. His appetite is down and it takes a lot longer to feed him the same amount of milk.

The Promethazine must have taken effect cos he's now sleeping and it's only 2pm. He didn't do much today - some TV, picture books, drawing (with my assistance). If he does nap on a normal day, it's usually at 5pm after running around and doing stuff.

I'm going to nap with him cos I didnt get much sleep either. I too am showing some similar symptoms today - sneezing and a slight congestion. Perhaps I passed it to him. I was very tired on Sunday after doing groceries and some running around.

Yesterday in class, I noted that at least 2 kids were still having flu symptoms - green mucus in their noses and cough. One other kid was absent. Guess the flu season is still on.

It's the long weekend coming up so we'll try to rest more. Pls pray for a speedy complete recovery (and against needing the nebuliser).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Results show where attention goes

Tonight, I thought I’d take a break from making word lists and write on my blog. But I don’t know where to start cos I’ve not been updating it regularly the last two months or so.

So, what should I write about...

...Should I write about the books he’s read?

...The fine motor activities we’ve done?

...The progress in toilet training?

...The numeracy activities?

...The questions he’s been asking?

...The little stutter he’s developed?

...The Montessori Blue series word lists I’m making?

...His curiosity in our daily chores?

...The amount of time spent researching before buying an air filter?

...The amount of time spent researching on international schools (inc getting lost going there)?

...My wish for a caterer that cooks and delivers healthy food to relieve me from my cooking duties?

...My worry whether he can sit still for an hour to do an assessment that’s usually required of international schools before accepting your child?

...My wish that I could work to pay for his school fees at an exorbitant international school that’s nearer our home, instead of a much cheaper one that’s in Kajang?

...My wish to start hyperbaric oxygen therapy NOW but likely having to postpone it to year end school holidays cos he’s catching all kinds of viruses from school?

...My worry over whether his falling ill is my doing – is he not drinking enough water? Is he not sleeping enough? Is he not getting the right amount of and type of nutrition? Is he not washing his hands often enough?

Well, I feel I’m spreading myself a bit too thin. Is my attention on too many areas?

But he’s not even resumed his CST therapy or physiotherapy in his Neurosuit since he fell ill. I’ve not even resumed any outdoor gross motor activities (to build up his strength and stamina again). That would be another big area that requires a lot of time and energy.

Looks like I’ve not yet achieved that elusive balance: gross motor, fine motor, oral motor, speech, self care, life skills, literacy, numeracy, household duties, wifely duties(!). People in the workforce talk of achieving a work-life balance whilst I struggle even without being in paid employment! LOL.

Results show where attention goes. I remember reading that from a friend’s blog some time back (MH, is it copyrighted?!). With God’s blessings, I truly hope I see results soon!

As I write this, I’m honestly not stressed. I take pleasure from doing all those activities with him, tiring as they are. I was also happy to have cooked up a simple delicious dinner, especially when I received a “two thumbs up” rating from him! : D

But we will go back to school tomorrow. Past experience tells me that being his shadow aide and the crazy hot weather will drain all the energy from me by noon. I guess I’ll be reaching for a bottle of the chicken essence and a CoQ10 capsule tomorrow morning! LOL.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pattern - an early maths skill

I'd introduced patterns to him many months ago, if not a year ago. But I've not been regular or consistent in teaching it. He can now continue these various patterns when I present it to him in a "what comes next" manner:

A, B, A, B...
A, A, B, B, A, A, B, B....
A, A, B, A, A, B...
A, B, C, A, B, C.... (only if I make it obvious like grouping the A,B,C closely then give a big space before repeating the group A,B,C)

He likes to watch "Team Umizoomi" on Nick Jr, which teaches numeracy. It's very well thought out and presented and so cute too. These are some of the things they've covered:

Patterns through images, (kangaroo, basketball, frog, kangaroo, basketball, frog...)
Patterns through colours (the coloured lily pads)
Patterns through sounds (chirp chirp tweet tweet, chirp chirp tweet tweet...)
Patterns through numbers (1, 2, 1, 2....)
Skip counting (2,4,6,8 let's do the crazy shake. 10,20,30,40...)
Addition (how many more stamps do we need?)
Shapes (simple matching, using shapes to make something new like a submarine)
Matching (shapes, numbers)

I find it very creative and has helped him, which makes my work easier.

Today, I brought out the wooden ladybugs with the intention to teach him grouping. But, he was excited when he saw them and he quickly took them out of the box. I let him play with it instead of taking them back from him to start my planned activity.

I was pleasantly rewarded for that...cos he surprised me by making his own pattern! That was the first time ever that he made ANY pattern of his own will! No instruction or prompting given. He was very patient and careful in arranging them, which is truly unusual as he gets frustrated easily with his fine motor impairment.

Thanks to his music teacher for the ladybugs!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

HFM - a blessing in disguise?

I think he is slowly recovering from his HFM. The earliest spots seem to be slightly fading but he had many more new bigger and darker red spots/patches on his soles.

I'm so relieved that it's a mild case, with no ulcer or blister. His fever wasn't so high and it lasted only two days. He only vomited once. Appetite's good. God's merciful after what he went through recently! Please continue praying for a speedy and complete recovery especially since the school hols are round the corner.

I dare say that this HFM might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise instead. As it's so contagious, he's under quarantine (even though it's mild). That meant slowing down - no frustrations from kindergarten, no errands (there are, but it'll have to wait), no rushing, no stress from traffic jams, staying home in the air conditioning while there's a heat wave...bliss! He has his canky moments for sure, but all manageable when there's mininal stress.

We did various activities, some of which he liked - reading, writing (in a light hearted way), fine motor activities, numeracy. He got to play with his truck, to observe the backhoe loader (digger) next door, to smell his blanket more (!), play with his relaxed mummy. A happier boy overall and therefore a happier mama too ... and the happy cycle perpetuates itself : )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's Hand, Foot, Mouth

Oh my gosh. He's caught another contagious virus. This time it's the Hand Foot Mouth disease!

He didnt have any fever at all on Tuesday so I thought he's well enough to go back to school today. But yesterday afternoon, I noticed a few little red spots on the side of his right big toe....and later on 3 tiny spots on his face, almost like tiny pimples...later on two "pimples" on each corner of his mouth.

I noted them but didn't think much of it, until late evening. I knew that sometimes rashes appear after a fever. It's also been extremely hot lately, so it could also be heat rash, but it did look different from a heat rash.

At dinner time, I noticed a few more light red spots were on his palms and soles of his feet. Was I imagining it? Could it be HFM? But there were no ulcers, no blisters. Rash wasn't confined to just the palms, soles and mouth. His appetite was good and he was active during the day.

I got on to the internet after he was asleep to find out more about childhood rashes and HFM. Since his fever stopped, rashes just started and his appetite was good, I let him sleep the night.

This morning, the doctor confirmed that it is HFM. Thankfully it's a mild one. Still no ulcers, no rash on his bum bum, no new ones on his palm or soles. He drank 8 ounces of milk for breakfast, and is still active and alert. New rashes appeared on his knee this morning but those on his face already seem to be fading a little.

Read that the coxsackievirus A16 and EV71 virus are the common culprits. Dr said his was probably the coxsackie, and he got it mild. But there are loads more enteroviruses that can cause HFM, so getting it once doesn't mean you wont get it again. You'll need to practice the usual hygiene procedures of handwashing, sneezing and cough manners etc, to minimise getting it.

I informed his kindergarten of his HFM. I guess they must be not too happy with my son for causing more hassles. I read from a govt website that if there were 2 or more cases within 7 days, they'd have to close the place for 7 days for a thorough disinfection!

By the way, the administrator informed me that there's a new case of H1N1 yesterday. It's highly unlikely that kid got it from my son as it was 15 days later that we went back to school (I took extra precaution). H1N1 clears in 7 days from onset of fever.

Thank you for your prayers. May he have a speedy recovery with minimal discomfort.

Monday, May 17, 2010

He's sick again

He started a fever on Sunday afternoon while we were out having lunch. It didnt help that Sunday was probably the hottest day ever...up to 39 Celcius at one point, according to the reading on my husband's equipment.

This time round, he managed to drink lots of water and we tried to keep him cool with cooler temp showers and kept him in air conditioned rooms. He responded well to paracetamol. There were no other symptoms like runny nose or phlegm or cough.

We stayed home from school today, and will do so for 3 days at least. I had made an appointment to visit an international school on Thursday. I'll have to see how he fares the next few days before deciding whether to postpone the visit, as it's rather far.

He was doing well today. His appetite was good - finished his entire tuna sandwich (minus the crust) and a bowl of mushroom soup, for lunch. He ate reasonably well for dinner too, slowly ate up his melted cheese tuna sandwich toastie, a little soup and a little milk. He was clearly sleepy and tired (he skipped his evening nap). He was also alert, doing various light activities with me - writing, pattern, numeracy, reading, helping to prepare his own dinner (!). But the highlight of the day for him must have been watching the crane, bucket truck, and men at work sawing branches off the huge tree right outside our house.

Tonight he woke up crying because he wa drenched in sweat and then vomited. Sigh. Vomitting when he has a fever is never a good sign.

To distract myself from worrying over him being sick again so soon after his hospitalisation, and over the search for a suitable school, I made new flashcards (BM, English, and numeracy skills) the past few days.

It's time to get back into focusing on developing him, not just cognitively, but I seem to be hampered each time I try to move forward.

If I could draw an analogy where life's a highway with a 100kmph speed limit, and kids are cars moving along the highway, I feel like my car keeps stalling when I want to keep on driving at a steady 60 or 80kmph. It's so frustrating to be forced to stop in the emergency lane or slow down and watch all the other "normally developing kids cars" zoom by.

However, I do know that there are "gems" to be found while in the emergency lane, or while merely plodding along. I was so happy to do the simple things with him today. I was happy that he was having fun during rough play - his laughter is priceless. I was happy to explain what the tree cutters were doing, and to see the awe in his face. I was happy to have the time to trim his nails, shower him, make his lunch and dinner... all usually done in a hurry. I was reminded by my sister-in-law recently that kids grow up fast. So today, I got to enjoy my son (even though he's sick)!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Priceless Mother's Day "gift" from my son

I had the best Mother’s Day ever last Sunday.

I started the day with a simple quiet breakfast at the neighbourhood mamak. Doesn’t sound like a big deal right? Well, it is to me. I seldom get to have breakfast out, or a leisurely quiet peaceful breakfast for that matter. My son and sis were with me but that was fine. I was pleased that my son’s appetite has returned after his illness. He shared a thosai and roti telur, which is really good in terms of the amount he gobbled up!

My husband treated us (inc my sister) later that day to a scrumptious dim sum lunch. Now, the priceless bit was when my son fed himself porridge. He just kept on spooning it out from the plastic Ikea bowl into his mouth, all by himself! There was of course a lot of mess (on the table, his sweater, his pants etc) as this is his very first time he was feeding himself so much. In the past month of trying to get him to feed himself, it was just 2 or 3 spoonfuls and he’d stop. He polished off half a bowl of porridge and half a deep fried yam dumpling (“woo kok”).

He still needs a lot of practice feeding himself e.g. with sticky food stuff, with grains, with thin soups, with cutting into smaller pieces, with different shaped and sized cutlery and crockery etc etc. I was nonetheless incredibly happy – it’s one small step towards independence. My husband was very happy too and took a photo of him feeding himself! : )

By the way, we bring with us a plastic Munchkin fork and spoon whenever we eat out, and use the same set at home so that he gains confidence on exactly the same shape and size cutlery. It’s sold in a set of 8 differently coloured forks and spoons. It coincidentally matches the Ikea set of differently coloured plastic plates and bowls. The handle of the fork and spoon are thick (width wise) but are hollowed out so it’s not heavy, and has grooves on the bottom, which I believe all aid a young child’s grip and effort in feeding himself.

After lunch, it was off to the hairdresser’s with my sis. We both hadn’t had our hair cut since January! It’s messy and we weren’t planning on keeping it long. It’s just that with all that happened since the year started, I simply didn’t have time to have a haircut. Sunday was as good a day for it. I enjoyed the hair wash, head massage, neck and upper back massage that was thrown in! So good!

That was followed by dinner at an Italian restaurant (that doesn’t use MSG). It was perfect. The ambience was relaxed and casual – none of that stuffy fine dining. The food was good – the chef’s Italian – so good that many customers without reservations were turned away. I had checked it out on the internet before leaving the house, and my son indicated he wanted the house specialty pizza. He ate quite well too, finishing 1.5 pieces.

There were so many good moments during the day but the highlight of the day was when he fed himself porridge. It was simply a priceless Mother’s Day “gift” from him! I hope those mothers reading, also had a wonderful day, if not the best Mother's Day ever too!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Although he continues to recover well, his voice is still rather hoarse/raspy and he still has a cough. So, while he's still asleep this morning, I took the chance to find out more about croup, from the internet.


Croup is a common childhood viral illness that is easily recognized because of the distinctive characteristics that children have when they become infected. Like most viral illnesses, there is no cure for croup, but there are many symptomatic treatments that can help your child to feel better faster.

Croup, also called laryngotracheobronchitis, most commonly affects children between the ages of six months and three years, usually during the late fall, winter and early spring. Symptoms, which often include a runny nose and a brassy cough, develop about 2-6 days after being exposed to someone with croup.

One of the distinctive characteristics of croup is the abrupt or sudden onset of symptoms. Children will usually be well when they went to bed, and will then wake up in the middle of the night with a croupy cough and trouble breathing. The cough that children with croup have is also distinctive. Unlike other viral respiratory illnesses, which can cause a dry, wet, or deep cough, croup causes a cough that sounds like a barking seal.

Another common sign or symptom of croup is inspiratory stridor, which is a loud, high-pitched, harsh noise that children with croup often have when they are breathing in. Stridor is often confused with wheezing, but unlike wheezing, which is usually caused by inflammation in the lungs, stridor is caused by inflammation in the larger airways.

The pattern of croup symptoms is also characteristic. In addition to beginning in the middle of the night, symptoms, which are often better during the day, worsen at night, although they are usually less intense each night. Symptoms also become worse if your child becomes anxious or agitated.

The symptoms of croup are caused by inflammation, swelling and the buildup of mucus in the larynx, trachea (windpipe) and bronchial tubes. Since younger infants and children have smaller airways, it makes sense that they are the ones most affected by croup. In contrast, older children will often just develop cold symptoms when they are infected by the same virus.

Children with croup will usually also have a hoarse voice, decreased appetite and a fever, which is usually low grade, but may rise up to 104 degrees F.

Croup Assessment

Because of the characteristic signs and symptoms of croup, this diagnosis is usually fairly easy to make. You can often tell a child has croup while they are still in the waiting room or before you enter the exam room, therefore, testing is usually not necessary.

Specifically, an xray is usually not required, and is usually only done to rule out other disorders, such as ingestion of a foreign body. When an xray is done, it will usually show a characteristic 'steeple sign,' which shows a narrowing of the trachea.

When assessing a child with croup, it is important to determine if he is having trouble breathing. Fortunately, most children have mild croup and have no trouble breathing, or they may only have stridor when they are crying or agitated. Children with moderate or severe croup will have rapid breathing and retractions, which is a sign of increased work of breathing. They may also have stridor when they are resting.

The croup score is an easy and standardized way to figure out if a child has mild, moderate or severe croup, which can help to dictate what treatments are necessary. The croup score is based on a child's color, level of alertness, degree of stridor, air movement, and degree of retractions, with 0 points given if these findings are normal or not present, and up to 3 points given for more severe symptoms. (I've removed the portion about how to rate the croup as I feel it shd be done by the dr. For those details, go to the link at the bottom of this article)

Croup Treatments

Although, like most viral infections, there is no cure for croup, there are many treatments that can help improve the symptoms and make your child feel better.

Mild croup symptoms can usually be safely treated at home. Common treatments include using humidified air, which can be delivered by a cool mist humidifier. Using a hot steam vaporizer is usually discouraged because of the risk of your child getting burned if he touches it. Instead, warm steam can be delivered by turning on all of the hot water in the bathroom, including from the shower and sink, close the bathroom door and holding your child as he breathes in the steamy, humidified air.

On cool nights, exposure to the cool nighttime air may also help symptoms, and this phenomenon is responsible for another characteristic finding of croup, the fact that children often get better on the way to the emergency room. To take advantage of this, it may help to bundle your child up and walk around outside for several minutes. It is probably not a good idea to keep his window open though, as you don't want him to get too cold.

Other treatments can include using a fever reducer (acetaminophen or ibuprofen containing products) and/or a non-narcotic cough syrup (although they probably won't suppress the cough of croup) if your child is over two to four years old.

Since symptoms worsen if your child is crying and agitated, trying to keep your child calm may also improve his symptoms.

Children with moderate or severe croup, or who aren't quickly responding to home treatments, will need medical attention for further treatments, which usually includes administering a steroid to help decrease swelling and inflammation and improve breathing. An injection of dexamethasone has been the standard way of administering this steroid, but new studies have shown that an oral steroid (Prelone, Orapred, etc) or steroid delivered by a nebulizer (Pulmicort) may also be effective.

For children with severe respiratory distress, treatment, in a hospital setting may include a breathing treatment with racemic epinephrine. Because there is a risk of a 'rebound' and worsening breathing, children are usually observed for 2-4 hours after receiving racemic epinephrine. Children who continue to have difficulty breathing, or who require more than one treatment, are usually hospitalized.

A mist or oxygen tent has long been used to treat children who are hospitalized, but there use has been decreased because it makes it harder for the hospital staff to observe the child and notice if he is getting worse. Instead, blow by oxygen or cool mist may be used.

A newer treatment that is being researched is the use of a helium-oxygen mixture for children with severe croup.

Common Questions:

Can my child get croup more than once?

Yes. There are many viruses that can cause croup, including parainfluenza, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza (the flu virus), and there are multiple subtypes of each virus, so your child can get croup multiple times as he gets infected with each of these viruses.

However, if your child is getting croup very often, then he may have spasmodic croup (acute spasmodic laryngitis), which can be triggered by viruses, allergies or reflux. Although they may have trouble breathing, children with spasmodic croup often don't have a fever, and get better quickly after several hours.

Is there a cure for croup?

No. Like most viral respiratory tract infections in children, there is no cure.

Will antibiotics help children with croup?

No. Unless your child has a secondary bacterial infection, such as an ear infection, antibiotics will not be effective against the viruses that cause croup.

How long does croup last?

The main symptoms of croup typically last only 2-5 days, but more rarely, they can last several weeks. Once the barking cough and difficulty breathing improve, your child may continue to have cold symptoms for 7-10 days.

How can I prevent my child from getting croup?

Although there is no vaccine (except for the flu vaccine) or medication that can prevent your child from getting croup, you can probably decrease the chance that your child will get croup by decreasing his exposure to other people that are sick. Also, strict hand washing and avoiding sharing foods and drinks can help to lessen your child's chances of getting sick.

Link to original article:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

His H1N1 episode

Day 1 – Saturday 24 April 2010

He started the day with a very slight cough, like a ticklish cough. By 9am, his fever started. Thankfully, I decided against attending a seminar on Handwriting skills, to monitor him. He vomited a few times during the day. His cough worsened during the night.

Day 2 – Sunday 25 April 2010

His coughing increased, to the extent it interrupted his sleep. It sounded different from the coughs he normally has – it was dry. I brought him for nebuliser at the hospital in the early hours, but didn’t see the medical officer there.

We brought him to the GP in the morning. GP listened to his chest, looked in his mouth, took his temperature. He said it was the flu; his throat was not sore; his lungs were clear. He prescribed Voltaren (a fever reducing suppository), Bisolvon (to dissolve the phlegm), Azithromycin (antibiotic – just to prevent secondary infections, cos he understood our concerns). He didn’t think it was H1N1.

Btw, he also suggested migrating to NZ where the air is so much cleaner than in KL, as that would probably help my son.

A few more incidents of vomiting during the day and night. Cough turned quite bad during the night. We had interrupted sleep. I was worried. He was coughing a lot more and very strongly. He was suffering.

Fever came down after I inserted the Voltaren, but went up again when it wore off. That was the case for the next few days until Wednesday. No point giving him Paracetamol as he was vomiting quite a bit.

Day 3 – Monday 26 April 2010

In the wee hours of the morning, I brought him to A&E, for nebuliser, and to see the medical officer there. I explained his history in order for the doctor to take his case more seriously. His tonsils were swollen. Listening to his lungs, he thought it was bronchitis (but no wheezing). If there was wheezing, it’d be pneumonia. I asked if it was H1N1 (because it turned bad faster than normal and it sounded different), but he didn’t think it was. Thankfully, the doctor took my concerns seriously and took a nasal swab for testing. After his nebuliser the doctor said that it sounded better.

I was still worried. Instincts and past experiences told me that this is episode was different from the rest. One lesson I learnt after he was taken seriously ill when he was 1 month old, was to trust my instincts on medical matters relating to my son, no matter what anyone else thinks.

So, I brought him to see his paediatrician when the clinic opened. His Dr heard him coughing just before we entered his room. He immediately said that my son has croup. It’s caused by a virus, and it swells up the trachea and bronchial. It sounds like a dry barking cough. He didn’t hear any phlegm. He didn’t think it was H1N1. He was asked to do 3x nebuliser daily. He said I could stop the antibiotic as my son started a slight diarrhoea. My son’s tummy is a bit sensitive to antibiotics.

His vomiting continued. He didn’t drink much milk. He was off solids. He wasn’t drinking much water either. I started to worry about dehydration. I started packing a bag of his stuff, just in case he had to be admitted.

Day 4 – Tuesday 27 April 2010

He was coughing even more. So, again in the wee hours, I rushed to the hospital for another round of nebuliser.

Later in the morning, a nurse called my husband to say that the results came back positive. My son has H1N1! I panicked. I didn’t know what to do, what to think. A good friend from the PSG happened to call just minutes after I received news of the results. She prayed for us over the phone, and was so kind to offer support of bringing us lunch etc.

I dropped by the paediatrician’s clinic for him to check my son and to get the anti-viral medicine (Flu Halt). He said that so long as I was able to nurse him at home, there was no need for him to be admitted. He increased the nebuliser to 4 hourly and that was physically hard on me, having to drive him there, find parking, carry him from the car to A&E cos I was already drained from carrying him so much and being sleep deprived the past few days.

Since the early hours of Sunday, I would ask the nurses if there were single bed rooms, just in case. The answer every day, was that there was none (but there were 2 bedded rooms). I think that, the car park being quite full even at 5am was testament that there were a lot of sick patients.

His cough was better after his first dose of Flu Halt, during the day. Then it got worse again when it wore off. His second dose at night, didn’t seem to have much effect. He was coughing badly again and we didn’t sleep much. He was suffering badly.

Day 5 – Wednesday 28 April 2010

Husband and I brought him to see his paediatrician in the morning because he wasn’t really improving. Husband was given a few days off because of my son’s H1N1. The doctor seemed worried and asked that he be admitted.

Thankfully, we did get a single bedded isolation room, otherwise we might have had to go to other hospitals like HKL or Hospital Sungai Buloh. Being on the Premier floor, it was more expensive than the normal ones, but it was very nicely done up. It felt like a nice hotel room, and nothing like the hospital rooms he was in before. That also played an important role in his recovery. In the past, he would refuse to stay in the normal rooms, crying badly, and wanting to go out ALL the time. This time round, he said he wanted to go home only a few times, and that was when he was feeling much better.

He continued to cough with the same intensity but less frequently. He continued to have interrupted sleep due to his cough. He was on the nebuliser 4 hourly.

Days 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – Thursday to Monday 3 May 2010

He slowly improved with the anti-viral, antibiotics and nebuliser...and lots and lots of prayer support! Friday night was the first night he slept right through, and that was when I knew for sure that he was improving. When the doctor did his round on Saturday, he was happy to discharge him the next day. But we wanted to play it safe, so I requested to be discharged on Monday instead.

I got to catch up on my sleep on Friday and Saturday nights and during his day time naps. By Saturday night, I was on my laptop searching for information on suitable schools for my son.

We’ll be staying away from school this week. He is still coughing and is still weak.

Lessons learnt

- Continue to trust my instincts (perhaps not just on medical matters) coupled with lots of prayer of course. If I hadn’t emphasised his weak lungs and history, or had my H1N1 concern addressed, he wouldn’t have gotten the right medicine. Note that all 3 doctors didn’t think it was H1N1.

- H1N1 is prevalent in our society. Most of the time, if the individual is normal and otherwise healthy (not a high risk category), he would have recovered with rest and simple medicines to treat the flu like symptoms.

- It’s really hard to get a child to drink milk and water when he absolutely refuses to! Forcing him didn’t work. Explaining it to him didn’t work. Getting angry with him didn’t work. In the end using the “carrot” instead of the “stick” approach worked, as did distraction using the TV.

Thanksgiving items

- To God, for my son’s recovery without major complications despite him being in the high risk category. Also for protecting us from catching the virus despite my son repeatedly coughing into my face and everywhere else!

- To my husband for his support. He stayed with us every day for a few hours, bought meals for the maid in the hospital and my sister at home, brought clothes etc to the hospital when needed, ferried my helper to and from the hospital, etc.

- To all those who supported us through prayer every day. You know who you are! That definitely eased my mental stress.

- For not needing to worry about the side effects of the H1N1 vaccine, as he no longer needs it.