Whew! What a week!
I apologize for not having blogged in the last few days (believe me, it has been on my mind), but being back in Manila after almost two years of being away, during the Christmas season no less, and combating jetlag, has actually kept me away from my computer. The last couple of days have been a whirlwind of activities and I have yet to wrap my mind around a lot of what has happened. I cannot believe the backlog that I have on this machine as well.
There are a few reasons as to why this post is entitled as such. The first reason is because I have been eating so much that I am stuffed to my eyebrows. Eating and no exercise — not the best combination in the world. The second reason is because our social life is in full swing. It being the holidays and all, of course there are parties, dinners, get-togethers and what we call “happenings” left, right, up and down. We haven’t been home in two years and it is Jamie’s first trip over, so there are a lot of people to meet and catch up with.
The third (and main reason as to why I’ve stopped and taken the time to literally breathe) was because I almost stopped breathing yesterday… because Sam almost “stopped breathing”. Let’s just say that the jetlag, the excitement, the fatigue, the erratic weather and the topsy turvy schedule all contributed to her fever yesterday. To make a long story short, she was congested, tired, and sick, and I had caught her at the point where she was having a hard time breathing. So much so, that she was turning blue in the face and was quite unresponsive. My husband and brother-in-law rushed her to the hospital (after I woke up the entire town with my panic), and after a battery of tests, the results showed that she had an upper respiratory tract infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics. The main “prescription” if you will, was rest and taking it easy for the next couple of days.
I tell you, that is not something I want to relive! I keep replaying the moment in my head over and over again, and while it may seem a fraction of a time for some, it really just felt like ages to me. I even ask myself if I may have just imagined it all, and I asked my sister, who was beside me at the time if I did; but she said no, that Sam had actually turned pale.
The doctor in the emergency room told me that when a child’s temperature starts to go up, their heart rate slows down, causing them to breathe more slowly. And then as their temperature spikes, the body compensates and they start to breathe much faster as if they’re gasping for air. So she supposes that I had caught Sam at that exact point when her heart rate was slowing down. That, coupled with her congestion and her sleep-deprived self, may have contributed to why I thought she was about to stop breathing. I figure this information might be useful to you so as to help you just in case (knock on wood that it doesn’t! It’s too scary!)
Now that my breathing is almost back to normal, I figure I’d share with you some thoughts about traveling into a different timezone with infants and toddlers. Consider it my lesson from yesterday’s ordeal!
1. Give a lot of leeway for downtime. It is hard coming back home into the thick of the Christmas season because by nature it is the busiest season of all. The kids will want to be a part of it no doubt, and will definitely not listen to the needs of their body. That, and the jetlag will definitely hit them (you) hard. So the next time we travel into a different timezone, I figure that I will hibernate with the girls for a week before telling everyone that we have arrived, and keep our activities and commitments to a minimum. It is definitely not ideal in terms of schedules, but it might be the only way to avoid a trip to the emergency room in the future.
2. Have a doctor on standby. Thankfully my sister-in-law introduced us to their pedia years ago when we first took Sam home, and he met my girls a couple of days before when we went in for a check-up. So yesterday in the madness, with my sister-in-law’s help, he was able to endorse us to the E.R. and help give some form of a background.
3. Bring the medicine cabinet. I used to think that I didn’t need to bring in the girls’ emergency meds because I could easily get some back here, but then I realized that the medicines that we give Sam (and Jamie) are very different in both countries, and a little of it has to do with the actual environment. For instance, Sam came in with a cough and some insect bites, and I showed the pedia the meds that we normally give her to treat them with in Chapel Hill. He said they were all well and good but given the heightened pollution here and the fact that her body is not used to the weather and all, he felt better prescribing something else. True enough, it turned out to be more effective for Sam in this particular environment.
And so here we are, 36 hours later, and the girls are finally getting some semblance of a routine and Sam’s 1st trip to the hospital / emergency room under our belt. She seems to be back to her self sans the fever, which is always a good sign. We weren’t able to go on the company outing as a result, which left us with a free day at home with nothing planned. That might have been just the thing the girls needed though amidst this bustling busy December.