Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Two ways to do this

We were away on vacation last week. It was pretty awesome family time for the three of us. I am sure glad that there was no TV (or internet or phone service, for that matter) because I really think we managed to chill out a lot thanks to that. (We did watch a movie on the ipad, I admit. Mounaraagam, was nice).

I woke up (inside the mosquito net) one night - the second night we spent there - and found that the monster was burning hot. I promptly did what any self-respecting adult would - woke up everyone else. The father of the burning hot monster said 'mmm looks feverish' and rolled over. The monster said 'appa, amma is just stark raving mad. i am just warm because of wearing this fat blanket thing not in the least bit sick'. Of course, I am mad & crazy no doubt, but I am not wrong about these things.

Of course I have my emergency pack of anti-pyretic. Except that it didn't seem to work too well. Calmly, composedly, we went to the reception desk and told them we need to see a doctor, the next morning. We bumped over to the Primary Health Care Center. Sarkari hospital? Oh my goodness. I took a book and sat there and read it. The monster curled up in the chair and slept. The aunties in their multi-coloured saris gave me glares at first, and kind smiles later. Calm. Very Calm. The doctor spent about an hour and half on the phone (after arriving about an hour late). All fifty of us in the line waited, patiently. I  read a bit more, and breathed deep. And tried to ignore the rampant paan-spitting occurring around me.

A generic anti-biotic was named on a scratchy piece of paper. There was no consultation fee. The pharmacy lady said 'Do you know hindi?' and gave me the meds, also free. I stared at the tablets. First time for the monster. My girl has grown up out of liquid syrup medicine land. She loves to drink them. She used to be able to list all the various kinds of cough, cold meds Dr. Guruji used to prescribe for her in Mumbai, even in the lispy, just started to talk stage. Eons ago. The white pills stared back at me. Calmly we bumped back to the resort, talking to her about how eating food is critical when on anti-biotics.

The tablet ritual was not pleasant, mainly because of a yelling father. But we managed to persevere, and hopefully she has now learnt to swallow the damn thing and will do it without fuss when in future she needs to. Yeah, the things a mother has to teach her daughter. Its dreadful.

In January when we went to the Maldives, they made us jump off a boat and told use we could snorkel. I thought I was going to die, covered in salty sea water. I made them take me back on the boat and breathed in huge lungfuls of air. The monster blithely took off with the boat boy helping her out. And claimed she saw a fish that looked like a man praying. Among other things. In the intervening months I have convinced my mind to not freak out or imagine a watery grave. We had a couple of great snorkeling sessions, all three of us, last week. The monster is still way more comfortable than I am in the water, but, we progress.

So yes, I have a tendency to completely freak out. When the monster gets sick. Or when I am in the middle of a large body of water (seemingly endless). The rational part of the brain, the one that can recognise the symptoms of a cough/throat infection, the part that can see that the floating ring is just there if required, these things tend to bury themselves and hide. Its a matter of finding them. And letting go of obsessive worrying. Even as one is swallowing salty sea water (whats the big deal, spit it out Kenny, here come on, come up and spit it out). Or waking up every 15 mins to touch a hot forehead (Oh Kenny. Turn here. Sleep now. She'll be fine). Yep. There are two roads. I have the choice. 

4 comments:

Airspy said...

how do you manage to read, in the said circumstances i wonder.

dipali said...

Unwell kid in a strange place can be most unnerving:(
The monster sounds like a complete water baby:)

kbpm said...

airspy it was a most ridiculous book too, sitting in the health center.
dipali its the thing that scares me the most. it was strange that i was brave about it. last time, in sri lanka, she fell down and fractured her collar bone. i cried quietly when i thought no one was looking and generally blamed myself a lot. this time, not so much. mommy guilt can be over-powering, right? i want to try diluting it down for the sake of my own sanity!

dipali said...

Poor you, Kenny. Mommy guilt is such a bitch:(