Sleepless in Setiawangsa – V

Tonight, the clouds above Bukit Setiawangsa hang low; a sure sign that rain will soon fall on this hill again. I could see from my balcony, sparks of fireworks flying off from the neighbouring Wangsa Maju. I thought to myself, what could they possibly be celerating in the middle of the week? As opposed to the people who are celebrating happy cause; I don’t have much to celebrate of late.

Luqman has been ill for the past month or so. He started off with the viral infection which led to febrile fits and the rest is just too painful to be recall. He was having fever again shortly after Hari Raya and we rushed him to Damansara Specialist on the fourth day of Raya. For the past one week his temperature reaches beyond 39 degree-celcius at night and I was a wreck for not having enough sleep. I don’t have enough space in my heart to worry anymore.

When we brought him to see Dr. Musa for the second time last month, the good old pediatrician didn’t hesitate for a second to send Luqman straight to the pediatric ward after his temperature soared to 40.7 degree Celcius. Luqman was, once again, subjected to various blood test and medications were forced down his throat. His little hand was bandaged to secure the IV. I rather die a thousand deaths than see him in such a terrible pain.

I never thought I would live to see the day the number of my child’s pediatrician would gain a spot on my hand phone’s speed-dial. The text messages went back and forth between me and the doctor. Not to mention the bizarre timing my messages hit his phone. But just like any other good doctors (you can be rest assured there are lousy doctors out there), Dr. Musa replies my messages without further ado.

Neither have the thoughts I’d be a “pseudo-doctor” knowledgeable in children’s illness and medication. Glancing around my collection of books on my messy bookshelves I was surprised that to my astonishment I have quite a lot of books on pregnancy and parenting. Before I became a mother, I would not even give a second glance at the parenting section in a bookshop. And now I bought a few? Amazing isn’t it?

Friends have labelled me a “kiasu” mother simply because I want the best for Luqman. I often wonder what I did with my friends before I got married. Now I don’t seem to be able to do the things I did when I was single and carefree. I used to spend hours with my friends at our favourite haunts. We talked a lot – about nothing – mostly to shamelessly “kutuk orang.”

A few of my friends are still single, some are trapped in their own everyday-routine of raising a family while some are juggling motherhood and demanding careers. As a result, we don’t get to hang around so much lately. I shudder at the thoughts of writing this next sentence but I will have to do it since it has being hanging around my head like an annoying pest: motherhood robbed me of my fun times.

One of my closest friends said this time and again: “friendship needs consistency.” I couldn’t agree more with her. I lack that consistency now. And now with the advent of Facebook, our friendship has been reduced to sending virtual gifts and playing scrabble online. Honestly, how sad can that be?

However, I do celebrate the presence of Luqman in my life, and always will be. He would be the only sparks in my life for years to come. InsyaAllah.

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22 thoughts on “Sleepless in Setiawangsa – V

  1. Whoa.. this one..this one is a gem. And I know it’s straight from the heart on something’s very dear to you. I hear you, Sis, loud and clear and I too pray that Luq will get better.

    I disagree, parenting has not robbed you of “fun” times. On the contrary, it’s fun of different kind, a more rewarding one.

    You said, ‘I don’t have enough space in my heart to worry anymore.’ It might feel like it, but rest assured there is plenty of space left. It’s the infinite capacity of a mother’s love, and you know it too, Sis.

    Die a thousand deaths? I couldn’t agree more. I just cannot bear to see a child in pain, and sit helplessly not able to ease the suffering. Trust Dr. Musa, and trust God, and truly accept. You’ve done your best. Insya’Allah one day, when Luqman grows up to a normal, healthy kid we can look back in wonder and smile. And as you look out the balcony, look up praise Allah S.W.T. ..there’s still plenty to celebrate, yet, God Willing.

    Yeah, I’m feelin’ kinda melancholy too… Cheer up Sis! :)

    Ah my brother MS…you always have the nicest thing to say to me even if I am not at my best (when have I ever anyway?). But as you said I believe in God and of course in Dr. Musa’s invaluable advice. Pain is just part and parcel of life isnt it my brother? May be that what makes it worth living. I m miles better now. Time, as they say, is the greatest healer…

  2. Luqman is God’s gift.
    Your life may have changed.. but it’s definitely for the better.
    You’ve had your worries when he was sick.. but you’ve learnt & grown to be a better mother & person from those experiences.

    I don’t have a Facebook or Friendster. Last week, a 24-yr-old overseas blogger friend contacted me. Normally we’ll be in touched through IM, Gchat or phone. Guess what? I’m gonna get a Christmas card from him. That really brought joy to me.. that there is still a youngster out there who believes in keeping personal touch, when most would have resort to sending me an E-card. :)

    Dearest Jemima,

    Luqman is more than a gift, he is a treasure for both Jefree and I and we thank you for your prayers. Please email me your address as I would want to add a personal xmas card to you friend. Like you, I am always overjoyed with real greeting cards. Merry Xmas in advance.

  3. Dear Chele,

    I pray Luqman will grow up to be a much healthier and stronger boy and nothing can stop him from achieving his dreams!

    I agree with Mat Salo… parenting gives a different kind of ‘fun’, though I too miss my friends and sometimes I wonder, do I still have friends?? It’ll get depressing if you think too much about it, so I just refocus to my kids and those are the joy of my life, right in front of me. 2 superboys (and heavy too!) always clinging to me and the father is oustation quite often so my life is always around work and home with family.

    Just remember, friends come and go…. but your children, they just don’t go away.

    Dear Chal,

    Of course, as human we can’t help but look back at certain aspect of life. And I guess this posting just came straight from a very emotional heart at that time. I never regret motherhood for a second. Luqman is everything I never imagine I could have. Thanks for everything old friends…

  4. Ok i don’t know much about parenting but i truly believe to have a kid to call your own is, as you to put it, worth a thousand deaths.

    And friends who can’t understand his/her own friend’s situation as a loving parent to a lovely kid, that friend shall just remain as that, a mere friend.

    Brother,

    Some friends are more than that… thats my view but family is blood: nothing beats that

  5. Hi Elviza,

    I visit your blog sometimes but this is the first time I am posting a response. I was a mother of three when I first started practicing at 26. I got married during my studies, graduated overseas with a degree in law and got called to the bar when I was heavily pregnant at 8 months with my third… so you might be thinking, what is this lady’s point? The point is i never felt cheated of my fun times because, if i could do things differently all over again, I will still do what i did, and that was having my kids. Now they are all grown up and they become my friends, we have fun as a family. I am also able to keep up with my friends and we do ‘girls time out’ too once in a while. I guess, having kids at a young age like I did gave me delayed gratification. Just wanted you to know that having children does not make you lose your life, it only adds meaning to it.

    Dear Azlina,

    First, I thank you for reading my humble blog. The pleasure is all mine to have you here. You are very lucky to have everything that you have now at your age. When I was 26, I was just getting to know my husband :-)

    And no, I dont think I have lost my life, it/s just that I dont get to hang around with my friends as often anymore and hence the fun time was supposedly “robbeb” from me.

    But as examplary mother such as yourself would surely understand that it is important not to loose yourself to motherhood. Of course, I agree with you that motherhood adds meaning in my life.

  6. Dear Elviza,

    I totally agree with Azlina – having children means you gain so much more in life.

    Everybody goes through different phases in his or her life to grow physically, mentally and spiritually – that makes life experiences more meaningful. And what can be more meaningful and beautiful than going through life with the Gift(s) of God – your child(ren).

    And just remember – spending less time with friends do not make you a bad friend either. What’s more important is that you are there for them when they really need you.

    So chin up, dear.

    Let’s make do’a that Luqman gets better in no time, insya Allah.

    Dear Wanshana,

    Ah, the beaming mother of straight A’s daughter… are you still beaming my friend? We thank you for your prayers and concern…

  7. Salam Elviza,

    I pray Luqman will recover well.

    Just a thought: have you tried alternative medicine which is not contrary to modern medicine?

    Dear Cakapaje,

    Thank you for your kind prayer. Yes, we have tried that too, lets just hope it works shall we?

  8. Elviza,
    Lets pray for Luqman’s immediate recovery. At the same time we need to take parallel actions as advised by Pak Idrus. Anything at all that can help Luqman must be done. The carpet is the worst thing to have if you have persons suffering from asthma. More so if you have cats in the house. Dunno if it has any ill effect on Luqman since he is suffering from viral infection.
    Remember the family comes first before friends.

    Pak,

    Terima kaseh. And no, I dont have cats at home…

  9. Salam Sis,

    I knew something is not right when your writings became irregular and I suspected it must be Luke’s health condition.

    Luke, due to his febrile fits episodes will need keen eyes from you and Jeff for the next few years.I’m sure Dr Musa had that explained to you. And his frequent bouts of viral fever for the past months had in a way kept you on your toes and most probably causing your sleepless nights.
    It it made your heart ache when Luke is unwell.

    I cannot help but agree with bro MS, Azlina and wanshana. But I understand that there are times that we need some ‘freedom’ and let our hairs down with our friends.

    You are fortunate of having Dr Musa as Luke’s paeds. He is one great and helpful guy and I don’t think your messages is gonna bother him.

    I know you are so worried about Luke, but InsyaALLAH he’s gonna be fine. I know its gonna be difficult as he will be more ‘lasak’ by the day. Our doa for Luke’s health.

    Take care,sis.

    Brother,

    You know I could go on about Dr. Musa until the cows come home right? Personally, I think it is important for every mother to have a pead like him. His no-nonsense approach, the “bismillah” everytime he starts treatment, the “insyaAllah” that grace his lips are comforting. Of couse, his sound medical advice is just priceless. Jefree and I thank you for your prayers and concern for Luqman. We hope to see you in person one day…

  10. Just about to do my usual ‘treatment room’ talk…but I guess I better not. But if you find yourself talking abt this few more times, have a good cry…just about everything that is making you sad and after that, laugh or smile about anything that can possibly make you happy. Then you decide, which one you rather have, the one that you cried about or the one that you laugh about.

    (isk..mestilah things that you laughed abt kan? Sewel la aku ni)

    Esah,

    Hik hik hik hik… there you go, I laugh. Good isnt it this advice of yours?

  11. Hi Elviza

    I pray Luqman gets better soon.

    I agree with you that friendship needs consistency. Being so far away from true friends, I have to rely on modern technology (telephone, texting, email, etc.) to keep the friendships going. If that means playing scrabble online with someone more than 10,000 miles away, so be it. ;) (enjoying it by the way).

    Anyway, I find nothing wrong with your opinion that motherhood has robbed you of your fun times. You entitled to feeling that way, just like the next mother who dare not say it. :)
    I have no children, so I cannot speak from experience rather from observations of girlfriends who have hinted what you wrote i.e. no more fun times. They say motherhood presents one with a different kind of fun (as Mat Salo said). Family fun times that will be etched in your memories as you watch your child grow.

    Dear J.T.,

    I read this comment of yours, I smiled to myself and said “she’s darn right, she is!”

  12. You know what Mish,
    Kak Long and I will just call you one of this days, and come bundling (with our troop) to your place for a visit… Provided that you’re up for it.

    Hearing about the heart wrenching news about your friend’s child health complications is one thing, being unable to do a single darn thing is another sort of frustration altogether. Work, responsibilities and daily routines… When will we have time? Well, now I’m kicking everything else to the roadside to make way for friends. It’s a temporary measure true, but to me, critical just the same, until we establish a more standardise informal ways to be closer and have a much-“at hand”-presence whenever situation permits or demands it.

    Problems upon problem, faced by our friends, and why oh why there’s always things like work, weddings, car servicing etc. came tolling our time and attention, which to me suppose to be sporadically spent with and for our friends who were in need. Marriage and family life IS one of the most important aspect in one’s life, true… But honestly, my marriage… I owe it a lot to the ties of friendship and friends… and YOU!! Enough said, Kak Long and I WILL do something soon.

    Luqman and your family, and our other friends will always be in our prayers… May Allah dawns His silhouette of Rahmah to every one of us.

    Yus,

    Just a thought; how do we establish a more standardise informal ways to be closer to each other? Perhaps by buying a house next to each other? :-)

    Anyway, dont worry, we are fine…. and our home welcomes you anytime

  13. Elviza,
    I hope Luqman will get well soon. At the same time, take a good care of yourself.

    I guess I know how a mom would go haywired watching her son in pain. I used to ‘do’ that to my mom and dad when I was attcked by the very serious asthma.

    Take care.

    Akmal,

    Thank you, thank you…

  14. Sis, I thought you were busy in the office when you were quiet for a while or at least out-station ke… I pray that Luqman will gain his good health back and put your worries behind…

    Ah! They all already said that with parenting you sure gonnafind a kinda fun things too… It’s challenging, yes. Especially when we are tested with dgn anak-anak yang asyik jatuh sakit. Rasanya biarlah kita yang sakit. Itulah doa kita. I understand you and hear you. Sebak and pilunya Tuhan sahaja yang tahu. But itulah dugaan kita untuk menguatkan isi iman kita. Have faith padaNya. Pada yang arif Dr Musa (payah nak cari Dr macam dia, I betcha!)

    And most imporatntly, you. Take care too. Luqman needs to gain strength from your cheerful face and smile…

    Sisterly yours.

    Dear Darling,

    Sisterly yours? How sweet… :-)

    I ll see you in two weeks time and thank you for everything…

  15. Iya jugak Mish ek… how do we establish a more standardise informal ways to be closer to each other? Buying houses next to each other is not such a bad idea… but I guess, it only happens in the Utopian world.

    Well, tu le soalan cepu emas… Ada le a few ideas… Let me first, spar ‘em up with my better side.

  16. Dear Elviza,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. It is hard having a child that is sick and I can really empathize with you on that point… but guess what? God gives mothers extra extra strength to deal with life’s hardships, even more when it concerns our children. So I hope your baby Luqman gets real better soon and hang in there!

    Regards,

    P/S: My first born is also named Luqman but he is now a 6 footer 15 year old ..he he ..apple of my eye too ( and the rest come close!!:-0)

    Dear Azlina,

    Ah, what a lovely coincidence that we both named our firstborns with “Luqman.” Thanks for everything

  17. Hi Elviza, popped over from Zawi’s re smoking. You and I among the minority I guess, though I’m not a KTM arriving station kind of smoker, pipe smoker. But only two, three times when get kelang kabote on something.
    Regret to hear Luqman not well.
    Hope he’s better now.
    You keep well, Elviza, UL.

    Dear U. Lee,

    I heard of your much-awaited return to blogging community and I am glad that you are here. Thanks for your concern.

  18. Dear Elviza,
    Just read news about Luqman and I pray to the All Mighty to protect him and to give you & hubby the strength to go through this trial. I have two boys (now 9 & 15) and both have had fits when they had high fever in their childhood, just like what you & hubby are experiencing now… I know how both of you must have felt! Its a real test on our kesabaran and redha… Banyakan baca doa in the last ayat of Surah Al Baqarah… semoga Allah tidak bebankan apa yang tak larat kita pikul… amin! Take care & salam.

    Dear Sir,

    This comment is really comforting. We thank you for your support and encouragement…

  19. This is the first time I post here. Your blog full of infos, and started to read it few weeks ago. I’m not remember where I’ve got link to your blogs. May be from Awang Goneng Kecek-Kecek or my random search on what happened in Malaysia.

    A heart breaking situation when our children in such pain. I had a similiar situation, when my ‘yoyoi’ reached more than 40 degree C, spent 3 hours in ER rubbed him with wet towels. Luckily his temperature dropped to 38 after few hours.

    Experiences in ER taught me a lot of parenting. A gomen ER. A DIY. Try gomen, a lot of parenting lesson they will teach you.

    Just my thought :D

    Dear Pogostik,

    Thank you so much for the kind words. I ll keep your tips in mind.

  20. Once again I went to ER last night. Nearly broke my rib bone and nearly crushed my skull. A lotsa thanks to vandalism, for stealing the drain cover. If you get caught, for sure I’ll sent you to ER too or at least, taste the hardest metal I had, my spare bicycle handle bar, the 6013 aerospace aluminium alloy, due to your passion for metal. I swear!!!. And Elviza, please provide me a good advices for that assault. Only AFTER the assult!!!

    While waiting for my chest and skull x-ray result, I sat on the chair and in-front of me, a nurse ‘basuh’ a mother who had his dauhter lying on a bed. I believed that this is the 2nd time because the nurse scold her “Saya dah bagitau suruh buat … dekat rumah tapi awak tak buat. Ni la akibat kalau lupa”. May be it look uncomfortable when a civil servant scold the mother but for me, it’s a must. Parenting is a lesson, when you don’t learn that lesson, you should be scold. And if the mother is my sister, of course I will not scold her but I will slap her face for ignoring and let her child lying in ER bed. How can you say ‘lupa’ in term of your child life?.

    While waiting the pain-killer took control of my body not much I can do than ‘istighfar’ to misfocus the pain I suffered, another mother with a very sad face came in with his daughter had a very high fever and vomitting. The same nurse taught the mother to do this and that and left her for another patient.

    “You are very lucky En. Pogostik, last patient we had who had the same incident like you in your neighbourhood, died. Neither broken nor fractured appeared on your bones.”, said Dr Azim. Alhamdullilah, I’m discharged.

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