A mother's greatest pain

Friday, April 05, 2013

As a mother (or a father), what do you think will be your greatest pain?

Is it when you receive news that your child didn't get into the primary school of your choice? Is it when you see your child go astray due to bad values and influence? Or is it when you know your child is capable of achieving more, but he is just wasting his potential?

For me, it is seeing my child suffering in pain, and the possibility of losing her (or any one of them). 

Accompanying K in the hospital since Sunday afternoon, I saw how breathless she was even without doing anything, I saw how scared she was of the unfamiliar surrounding and people, I saw how angry she was when the life-saving oxygen mask was placed over her face. I saw how she slipped into a deep sleep because of the tiredness from all the struggling, only to be woken up by the body's reflex action to gasp for a mouth of air.

And now I see her lying on the bed in the pediatrics ICU ward, intubated so that the ventilator machine can help with her breathing, with so many other tubes into her body so that blood can be periodically drawn from her tiny blood vessels for tests and drugs (like ketamine, morphine, dopamine) injected to help her cope with her critical condition. I see the medical staff rushing into her room whenever her monitor beeps, indicating something in her is off balance and needs immediate attention. She is heavily sedated and paralysed so that her blood pressure and oxygen level will be stabilized. 

K is fighting against a pneumonia infection which is complicated due to her pre-existing medical conditions like pulmonary hypertension and a small atrial septal defect (ASD) of her heart. There could be others, which we have not surfaced at this point.

K's condition worsened from Sunday night. She was so critically ill that hubby had to grant permission for many procedures to be conducted on her. The medical staff also prepared us mentally that K may need to be put on the ECMO (heart-lung machine) to take over the functions of her heart and lungs if she did not respond positively to all the treatment given then. I was advised to stay in the hospital for the next few days. 

"I think you should stay around" was what the doctor advised. 

My heart cringed with pain and I cried. It felt like riding on an emotional roller coaster, and I had just rolled down to the lowest point of the roller coaster track. Coming up the roller coaster is difficult, and crying is one good way of helping me get back on the right path. Now, whenever I think about how fragile K's life is at this moment, I tear. I tear not because I am afraid of her dying, as I know she will then be able to end her physical suffering and have eternal rest and comfort. But seeing the tubes in her pains my heart. Also, there are many things which I have not done with her, places which we have not gone together, and the whole family has not seen enough of her cute face. It is these selfish thoughts that make me not want to let go of her. 

Hubby and I prayed. We pray a lot for her recovery, and depend on God for strength and mercy. I know he is as sad as I am, but he chooses to remain strong so that I can cry. Many friends feel how I feel too, and are praying for K too. Her older siblings miss her so much, and I am glad they have found their individual ways to cope well, while daddy and mommy shuttle between home and hospital for these few days.

Ch bought these two ribbons from her school bookshop-
one for her to give K, and the other for L to give K. 

Today is Friday, Day 6 at the pediatrics ICU. I am stronger now. Many friends, colleagues and relatives have helped too. Every SMS and FB message, as well as all the hospital visits, bring comfort and strength to us. Thank you everyone for bringing gifts like herbal drink, snacks, fruits, chicken essence to remind hubby and I that we need to take care of ourselves in order to care of K and our two older ones. Thank you for offering to bring Ch and L out too. We appreciate all the kindness and love showered on us. 

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  1. Get well soon K! And big big HUGS to mama!

  2. Tears in my eyes! We love you guys so much and are praying daily for K's recovery.

  3. Praying along with you for K's recovery and discharge from ICU...keep us posted ya. {Hugs}

  4. I wept as I read your post. My prayers with your family. Glad that you are stronger now. Fear not to cry when need.

  5. My heart is so heavy as I read this. Be strong, mummy.. Praying for a miracle!

  6. Stay strong M, and I hope that K will be on the road to recovery and she will be well soon. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  7. Praying that she survives this episode. Take care.

  8. my heart goes to u and your family... keeping u in my prayers . take care!

  9. I first saw her when we r practising the cup song. She looked like an angel .. so sweet that I didnt know she is also a warrior

  10. I was touched n my heart felt heavy when reading your blog... brave mummy. K, you are a strong warrior.. you will be blessed...


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