Posted in Health, Parenting

Parenting is a lot of paying attention to that gut feel

After a year of hospital and doctor visits, I’d had enough. At the start of 2015, I willed my daughter not to get so sick again. I prayed to the Universe to save us the agony of more ER visits and watch the poor baby suffering.

The year started off somewhat well. A couple of weeks later, she had her first cold of the year and we had to take her to the ER with breathing trouble. I felt defeated. The disappointment dragged me down like a ton of lead.

There we go again“, I thought, “The Universe doesn’t care“.

Her oxygen saturation levels were low and she needed a couple of doses of the nebulizer but we came back home that night. There was no wheezing in her chest. That meant no blood tests, no annoying swabs and no hospital admission. I was awash with relief. The Universe was listening… and cares!

As an act of desperation, we’d started her on some Ayurvedic immunity boosters at the beginning of the year. I didn’t know how we could tell whether they worked but I figured we’d just know. Gut feel is a real thing. That first time she had a cold, we had started her on a course of Redipred, as per her asthma plan. It was too early for the traditional medicines to have worked and we weren’t brave enough to take a chance. She ended up in the ER anyway. The second time she had a cold, it was a week after the first and we had to hold off giving her Redipred as it was too soon to repeat. She pulled through just fine. Feeling a little braver than before, we decided to test her resistance the next time.

So, when she came home with a stuffy nose last week, we skipped the prednisolone to see how she would hold up. She suffered an incredibly frustrating blocked nose and hit high temperatures of upto 39.5 degree Celsius. She held up pretty well. No breathing trouble and no wheezing, just general frustration at being unable to breathe easy. Yay! Win!

Then came the email from her daycare about a child being diagnosed with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. A day after that email, her dad started watching her closely. He’d check her palms and feet a dozen times during the day. When tiny pink rashes broke out around her mouth, he freaked out. I insisted that it was just from drooling.

“She must be teething”, I said nonchalantly.

A day later, he was proved right. The name is scary but the Internet assures me that it is quite harmless. There is also some mention of rare exceptions. Of course, there always has to be one of those nasty disclaimers.

Sure enough, this is day 3 and there are a number of pink spots at the top of her feet. I can’t say for sure if there are spots on her palms because they are so pale. She has been refusing to eat and keeps pointing to the inside of her mouth, saying it hurts. It looks like she has an ulcer and isn’t really teething. Thankfully, the temperature is back to normal. She is going about her day as if nothing’s wrong, except the irksome ulcer on her tongue.

All the pictures on the internet show rashes on the sole of her feet but hers are on the top of the feet. The sole is clear. We’re beginning to have second thoughts as to whether it really is HFMD. She seems fine. Does she need to see a doctor? Is she safe to go to the daycare? Are the other children at the daycare safe, if we send her?

I suppose being a parent means there’s always a health issue to worry about. I just don’t want the trauma of those numerous ER visits and hospital admissions again. I will try to deal with the rest of the more normal stuff like other parents do.



I used to wonder whether I could ever be a parent. Then I became one. I was handed a delicate little bundle that I was terrified of bringing home. I didn't know how to be a parent and I was sure 'winging it' was not the right way to do it. Little did I know at the time that there is no right way. The baby knew what she wanted and all I had to do was figure it out along the way. As she grows up, she helps me learn what I need to know... I just need to pay attention to her.

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