Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Biggest Fear

The plan was to spend Sunday afternoon enjoying dim-sum with some of my girlfriends with whom I haven’t met up with in ages. My daughter, Ellil, who is four years old now, loves to come out with me so she came along for a girls afternoon out. The one thing she liked on the table was the fried octopus, which I thought was squid. She asked for it. I gave her a piece. She really enjoyed it and asked for more. She ate 4 pieces. About half an hour into the lunch, Ellil starts to tug on my sleeve. I look over and she is trying to tell me that she doesn’t feel good. Her voice is scratchy and I can tell she’s gagging. "I don't feel good." She somehow managed to get out. I shuttled her to the washroom and we made it just in time before she threw up a whole lot of mucous, water and fried octopus. By the time I cleaned her up and walked back to the table her face had started to swell up including her lips and her tongue.

My heart fell into my stomach. The only reason I didn’t have a panic attack is because Ellil would’ve freaked out if she saw me freak out. So, we left the restaurant and we walked to the nearest pharmacy, about a block north. I spoke with the pharmacist and I gave her some Benadryl. My husband and son were hanging out with my younger brother so after I gave her the medicine we jumped in a cab and headed towards my brother’s place. In the cab, as I was talking to my older brother about what to do regarding her reaction, and whether or not I should take her to the hospital, she threw up again. A lot more mucous and watery liquid and the rest of the bloody tentacles!

The wonderful cab driver gave me Kleenex and a bottle of water to clean up. After the second round of vomiting she started to look much better. The swelling came down and she was feeling better. So much so that once we got into my brother’s place and I changed her she wanted to eat a happy meal! It was nice to have her back.

Needless to say that was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. To outlive a parent is painful, but natural. My husband lived through this less than a month ago when my father-in-law passed away, so I am unfortunately familiar with this experience, somewhat. But, staring your child in the face while she is swelling up and having trouble breathing, and having to possibly contemplate the fatality of the situation...well, that’s an entirely new and too scary a predicament to want to get familiar with.

Call it 'luck being a lady'. Call it 'amazing grace'. Call it God. I am blessed that she is ok and things didn’t spiral downwards.

I AM OFF dim-sum for the next little while. Maybe forever.