Bad Night

La Serpiente woke up crying and coughing and wheezing last night, about 10. We dosed her with medicine and she was down for another hour or so, and then up again, making piteous sounds as she struggled for breath. It was unlike any noise we’d ever heard from her before, like she was in the throes of an asthma attack or worse.
Now we began to worry. She’d had a swimming lesson on Tuesday and had swallowed quite a bit of water. The spectre of dry drowning began to present itself. (This is when you inhale some water, and it’s not enough to present as drowning instantly, but five or six hours later your lungs aren’t working properly any more.) Planning to leave her cough to sort itself out over the Vesak Day holiday evaporated and we started trying to figure out what to do.

While La Serpiente wept, sobbing that she was tired and just wanted to sleep, in between gulping for air, wheezing and groaning, we took her downstairs and my wife took her away to KK Women & Children’s Hospital while I went back to the flat to worry. At least her sister had ignored all of this and carried on sleeping.

One good thing about a child with a breathing disorder is that you don’t wait long to be attended to. She was triaged, seen by a doctor, had a blood test to check oxygen levels, x-rayed her chest to determine if it was full of fluid, and probably wondered what was wrong with us because by the time she’d got to the hospital, she was mostly recovered anyway. But better that than drowning in her bed.

We slept in late and then had to persuade our children to go out to Ronin for breakfast, a running battle we never really won. Even when we got there, they refused to eat anything apart from a chocolate brownie. At 10:30, we gave up and took them to the National Gallery to exercise them, which went well until it was time to take them home. Then, as a sop to Destroyer’s protests, I carried her on my shoulders to the MRT, and then totally misjudged the height of the doorways on the train carriages and walked her head straight into the doorframe. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

We got home, both children now howling at us, and only got a short nap before La Serpiente was up again, complaining that her ear hurt. Netflix heals at least some wounds, but what a trying day. At least I wasn’t at the office when all this went down.

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