I’m living with my mother since May 2007, a few months after we relocated in Dubai. She’s been a great help for me – taking care of my daughter after school, cooking when I’m sick, just being there to me. I am so grateful.
But there are times when my mom forgets one very important thing: that Pristine is my daughter and not hers.
Last Friday (weekend in the UAE and our dayoff), Pristine had fever. It was the first for this year and probably the worst. She had been complaining of throat pain, having difficulty to swallow thus wasn’t able to eat properly and had a very high fever to the tune of 39C (102.2F). My mom left for church as she always does on a Friday and told me Pristine had Paracetamol at 7am. Later, Pristine wasn’t showing any symptoms, she was as usual perky, chatty, nothing sicky about her at all. We even baked cookies.
At noon time, she was starting to have temperature again so I gave her Paracetamol. We read books in bed and took a nap. Moments later, I was awakened by a jerking motion – she had febrile convulsion attack.
Febrile convulsion happens when a child’s temperature rapidly increases in a short time*. It was so scary to see and although I have seen it a few times before (first when she was 18 months that I had to call an ambulance in Japan), I was still terrified to see my daughter stiff, unconcious and lips turning blue. Thank God the seizure stopped after 20 seconds and color came back to her face.
* The child’s risk of febrile convulsion rises if they are genetically predisposed to it i.e., if a parent or both parents suffered febrile convulsions as a child.
After that, I wasn’t able to do anything except watch her closely. The last time she had febrile convulsion was when she was 2 and a half years old and doctors say it would stop occurring usually once the child reaches five. Pristine turned six last December 2009. Febrile convulsion can be prevented with a medicine called Diazepam but this is classified as a controlled drug in the UAE and not readily available (they refuse to prescribe it), unlike in Japan. So whenever Pristine has fever, we can only rely on Paracetamol, Voltaren, cold pads and lots and lots of prayers.
My mother came home at 7 pm. I told her about my ordeal (I had to deal with it alone because M went out to buy something) and how scared I was. You know what I got? SCOLDING. I was already feeling small and inadequate and the last time I would want to hear was scolding and blaming – “you didn’t take care of her properly!” or “why didn’t you give her Paracetamol immediately even before she had fever! (huh?)” or the extremely uber emotional, “this would not have happened if I was the one at home taking care of her!”
I wanted to cry right there. Ok, maybe she just loved Pristine so much as a grandma but still.
She forgets that of all the people in the world who wants the best for my daughter, looks after her best welfare is me, her mother. What kind of mother would want her child to suffer? Sometimes I feel that my own mother belittles me just because I have only one child and she has six. That I’m less of a mother than her because of that.
It’s been two days but I’m still hurt and while wrapping up this post, I realize…this is such an inappropriate post for Mother’s Day.