Friday, August 19, 2011

The Pneumonia Blessing

For the first two years after we had moved back to Kampar, our kids were plagued with serious illnesses. Joseph at 3 years old was diagnosed with viral pneumonia despite having just had vaccinations against bacteria pneumonia just six months before. (Apparently, I was later informed that the probability of him getting this was a mere 33%).

Barely a year later, Clarissa was down with suspected H1N1. On both occasions, I was immensely blessed with a very experienced and sympathetic pediatrician. However, at the point when they were being treated, I felt that she could have been more confident, at least towards me as I could tell that she had reservations that made me feel insecure and nervous. For one thing, I was under the impression that Dr J would always assume the worse!

Just two weeks before Priscilla was born, I had a false alarm and was rushed to the emergency unit for immediate admission. Much to my surprise, I saw Dr J at the registration counter. Co-incidentally, she had transferred her clinic to the same hospital to where I was due to deliver. At that very moment, I felt a strong sense that God was speaking to me: “I know that you have been wanting to switch to a new pediatrician for Priscilla. But let me remind you that Dr J had treated Joseph and Clarissa in their most critical moment. Her track record is more important than how you feel towards her.”

As much as I had wanted to do otherwise, I felt that I should obey this inner voice, which had never fail me. Therefore, when Priscilla was born, Dr J was extremely pleased to see me in her new work place and gladly gave me her hand phone number for any emergency.

Now, on retrospect, I know why God has spoken. Just one week ago, Clarissa was down with high fever. Sensing that she might be down with something serious, I brought her to see Dr J. In fact, I was in tears when Dr J told me that Clarissa had pneumonia as my heart was laden with guilt, self-reproach, worry and fear. After staying up for 3 nights in a row to monitor Clarissa, I was at the verge of a breakdown. I thought I had made a difference to her condition but in reality, I didn’t. Instead of relying on God and seeking Him, I was busy doing what I thought was best.

In the days that followed, I had never been more grateful to a doctor than I had with Dr J. Fearing that the germs had spread to other members of the family, which it had, Priscilla was instantly put on strong medication. Dr J took the extra step of discussing with our family doctor in Kampar so that the right medication could be given to my elderly parents. I wasn’t spared either but the bad news given to me was: I had to stop breastfeeding for 5 days completely! For a split second, I thought my world had collapsed on me (again)! “My milk supply will surely stop and poor Priscilla would have a hard time adapting!” I pleaded to our local doctor. “There is no choice but to stop” he insisted.

Although breastfeeding may not mean much to a man or even to a mother, to me it meant taking away what was best for Priscilla. I begged for an alternative medication but there was none. On the way back from the local clinic, my mum, upon sensing my despair suggested “Why don’t you call Dr J now? Ask her for her opinion?” It was almost 6.30pm. Dr J would have left her clinic and I would be infringing on her private time by calling her hand phone. Much to my surprise, she answered my call. I could tell that she was with her kids. Quickly, I told her my dilemma and my lack of alternative. “Tell me what medication are you given?” she asked, without a hint of annoyance. As soon as I told her the name of my medicine, she gave me the most reassuring answer that I had ever hoped for! “Its safe for Priscilla. Don’t worry, you could continue to breastfeed!” Hope that had gone was instantly restored!     

Now, I am sitting in my room, marveling at the swift recovery that Clarissa is experiencing in the hospital; enjoying the thought that I could continue to breastfeed Priscilla; thanking God that He had seen what was to come. He was working behind the scene, bringing Dr J to the hospital to where i was due to deliver, renewing our doctor-patient relationship and even granting me extra favour by her giving me her hand phone number with no hesitation whatsoever. I couldn't imagine any other doctor who would do the same. He is our Great God indeed, seeing what was to come and preparing me for it. He cared my children more than I could ever fathom. I can’t imagine a life without Him.

Joseph restoring joy to a friend

We were at a family retreat at Cameron Highlands. Children were having a fun time playing frisbees when one child, Ashton, threw the frisbee...