Baby Diego had to be confined at the hospital once more last week. It was his second this year after spending the first chilly sunrises of February with an elastic tube inserted down his forearm. It was the day after his second birthday. He suddenly showed symptoms that were unusual for two-year old boys. After his body temperature shot above 40, and when the food, that barely went down his tummy got expelled every time he had to be forced-fed, we brought him to the emergency room only to emerge in top form days later after taking antibiotics, and going through batteries of medical tests.
The cause of his sickness remains a mystery to this very day. His pediatrician said it was a stomach ailment, and yet he had cough and flu. Whatever the malady was, we were relieved that it was all over; that it was one of those infrequent struggles we had to endure as a family. Now two months later, after spending a day submerged in an inflatable tub at the in-laws place in the highlands, baby Diego returned to the city with cough and fever.
The paracetamol didn't work this time, and after waking up with violent chills one weekend, he had to be rushed to the hospital again.
The unplanned stay-ins at the pediatrics ward are already part of Baby Diego's growing up pains. After all, long we have accepted that he will have to spend a lifetime with a disability brought by his congenital disorder. We still feel anxious from time to time - especially in the absence of a diagnosis, and without the doctor grand aunt who personally speaks to the medical experts attending to my nephew, life will be hell to both my sister and my brother-in-law.
Words and deeds are not enough to show how grateful we are to her presence.
Also, there is my mom, whose is always ready to lend a hand to Lenin's parents. In their absence, she becomes Lenin's (Diego's big brother) surrogate mother. She also serves as the House's nerve center when attendants had to be dispatched to the hospital and deliver the family's personal effects. God knows the money she had to give up because of my sister's lack of resources - and the matriarch hardly complained of her dwindling wealth. I don't know what goes inside her head, given that she never visits when her grandson gets confined. What I do know is that she turns to piety. It is during these difficult times, the thoughts of the Creator keep her fears at bay.
One week. Three delivery runs at the hospital. Two personal pleads of intercession to the Almighty in behalf of the beloved kid, and one enduring daydream that one day, I'd still be the best uncle to our two boys, and things went well. The medical tests revealed that the toddler has Pneumonia and Primary Complex - a type of tuberculosis that affects children. The hospital bill, which was sourced from loans will take time before Diego's parents would be able to pay in full. But we are all relieved that its over. That we can resume our waking days with peace of mind, and respite from unseen troubles luring us into sleeplessness.