I’m blogging from the hospital today. Alphonse and I will be here for a week, at least, so my posts will have to be short and sweet.
Last Saturday night, Alphonse suddenly developed a high grade fever. I had just gotten over a nasty bout with the flu so I thought I must have passed this virus to him. Monday, however, Alphonse seemed unusually lethargic and not at all his usual buoyant self. That morning, when his fever breached 104 degrees, we brought him to the hospital for a pediatric consult. Monday was a holiday so his regular pediatrician was not holding clinics and we were brought to Emergency services. At the ER, they looked him over and took blood for testing. Two hours later, when the labs came back, we found out he was postive for the Dengue antigen.
It took nine people to put his IV line in- five nurses and doctors, his dad, me, and his two nannies. Alphonse was combative and his instincts for self-preservation were on an all-time high. He felt very threatened and he fought us with every ounce of his strength. Even when sick, Alphonse is very strong and can easily push us away or remove our hold on him. In the end, he needed to be physically restrained so we can draw the blood and insert the line.
Three hours later, he managed to rip off this precious line. While we splinted both hands and covered them both with thick towels and tape, he was still able to get loose. Within seconds, he had freed both hands and ripped off his line with such violence that blood spattered the floor and walls of his room. He and I struggled but I was no match for his strength and conviction.
He didn’t sleep at all last night; we’ve been up close to 48 hours. Today, he distrusts us and is suspicious of everything around him. He has started biting again as he tries to rip everything he could grab with his teeth. His hands remain splinted, but I don’t know for how long.
It already feels like a long day and we’re not even halfway through the morning. As I write this, he roams the halls in a borrowed wheelchair. He wants to go home and sleep in his own bed, we’re sure of it, but we can’t wait this out at home. It’s just too risky.
Hospital confinements, even in the best and most comfortable accommodations, are always double-edged experiences for him, for even as we try to make him well, he becomes weary of the world around him. These experiences wound him deep; the scars linger long after he is home. I am worried about tomorrow but I can only afford to focus on today. So I hold my breath and keep the tears in check, if only for today, because tomorrow, well, tomorrow is still a day away.