Of all the days that my son's pedia will be out of town, why does it have to be when my son is sick? I asked myself this question silently, although with much resignation as I don't have any choice but to have my son checked by an alternate. Although the reliever-doctor is also a consultant and a specialist, I feel more comfortable with Dra. Palmero.
Anyway, he was examined by the doctor and his CT scan result was also reviewed. The doctor advised us to watch closely for further vomiting and to have him admitted in the hospital if he gets lethargic. We also need to watch out for signs of dehydration. We were not advised to have him confined yet, in fact, the doctor said, "OK naman sya" but feed him in small quantities as his tummy may still be upset.
I spent the whole day and night monitoring his fluid intake; I went to the extreme of forcing him to take ORS (oral rehydration solution) through medicine dropper. I didn't mind the painstaking effort of rehydrating him one milliliter at a time, if that's what it takes to improve my son's condition and save him from IV needles, then so be it. I even thought of juicing his food and feed him via dropper too.
I was all over my son round the clock - ignoring work, bills payable, emails, internet, TV, cellphones etc. He was my only focus. If there is a time when I will drop absolutely anything without second thoughts, it is when my child is sick.
By Saturday evening, despite all our efforts, his vomiting persisted and what's worse he started to have diarrhea and developed a fever. Although low grade, a fever indicates an infection of sorts so it made me worry even more. Because of these new conditions, we decided to take him to the hospital and have him admitted so he can be administered with fluids intravenously.
I called The Medical City and was told again they still don't have any rooms available. What the heck is happening? How can huge first class hospitals like Medical City ran out rooms?! Our next choice was Cardinal Santos Hospital but it was also running full and I could tell from the Telephone Operator who answered my call that their service must be pretty awful - close to a government facility perhaps. (She picked up the phone and said, “Admitting”. “Walang room, waiting kayo”. “Pangalawa kayo sa pila. Tawag ka ulit.” without any feelings. I swear R2-D2 could do a better job.)
Having no other recourse, we took my little boy to Manila East Medical Center which also has a lousy service. It's close to home (5 minutes) and my goal is to keep my son hydrated so I thought I could live with the small inefficiencies of the staff who all seemed like OJTs (like it took ages for them to start prepping my son for IV insertion, the waiting time to get a room despite the availability and the awful, awful, awful billing procedures). We were satisfied enough to know my son will get medical attention and will be on IV drip to address any possible symptoms of dehydration.
Albeit uncomfortable with the unfamiliar surrounding, my son slept soundly that night while I, lying next to him on the bed and curled up like a boiled shrimp, prayed quietly for his complete and immediate healing.