In the few short years that I have been a parent, I have never experienced something as unpredictable as a child’s health. It’s almost like the weather in Kigali. Sunny one minute, gloomy the next. You don’t know what is going to happen so you just have to be a little prepared every day.
On Friday last week, Kwezi came from school as cheerful as she is every day when she gets off the school bus. One minute after I hugged her, she ran to her potty. I noticed that she had a running stomach but I wasn’t that concerned about it. Then a few minutes later, she complained about a stomach-ache. Still, I wasn’t really worried. Children her age have these complaints all the time, especially because they like putting their dirty hands in their mouths. In her case, it is worse because she sucks her thumb. Anyway, I gave her some water and she joined me in bed to continue watching a movie.
Then she ran back to the potty. My mommy radar went off this time. I decided then to give a warm bath and we would make her some soup. Imagine how scared I was when I saw Kwezi standing at my door, wrapped in a towel, teeth chattering and shaking like a leaf. I jumped out of bed and quickly covered her with a duvet. What I didn’t know was that this was the beginning of what has so far been the scariest night of my parenting life.
I spent the entire night shuffling between the bed and the bathroom since now I was dealing with electric diarrhoea, the kind where the victim has no control over her bowel movements and vomiting.
I noticed that in her sleep, Kwezi was having convulsions and there is nothing that she was taking other than small sips of water. I was saved by the suppository tablets which were hard to keep because of the running stomach but they worked wonders to bring down her fever that had shot to worrying heights.
By the end of the next day, her system had cleaned up and she was now on her way to recovery. I have currently taken her out of school to help her recover because she was severely dehydrated to a point where she was asking me to help her sit up. She was also thirsty and sleepy almost all the time.
I have also sent her to my parents’ home where she is getting the pampering that she needs before she can go back to school next week. I have also stocked up my medicine cabinet because I do not want to be caught unawares again.