My parents have always believed that I am a special gift to them, having been born on their wedding anniversary. My mother loves to tell the Story of My Birth… of how she used to suffer from morning sickness right up till I was born… how on the eve of my birth, my dad took her out on an early celebration of their anniversary… how I was two weeks early and no one was prepared… how when my father first held me, he gasped, “She’s so pink! Like roses!”…
After I cam home, all was at peace. My mum reveled in long needed break from work, pampering herself and spending time with my sister and myself, my sister was fascinated with the new baby in the house (me) and insisted that I was a boy, despite everyone’s efforts to disabuse her of the notion, and I was the happy baby, laughing and playing and healthy.
Then… when I was nine months old, I developed a fever. And then I caught a severe cold, which congealed in my lungs. I started coughing up yellowish-green phlegm and running high fevers that defied all efforts to bring it down. Sound familiar? I had pneumonia.
I was admitted in the hospital, and the way my mum says it, there wasn’t really much hope of recovery, what with me being so young, and the pneumonia being so stubborn. But I pulled through, and things settled down.
In the next ten years, I developed pneumonia another 2 times, though both were minor, and the years were interspersed with an umpteen number of hospital visits. If it wasn’t for a fever, it was for my asthma, if it wasn’t that, it was an allergy. The one good thing that came of it was that I became really good friends with the nurses and doctors at the hospital, what with me being a regular face.
But although I fell sick easily, I didn’t allow that to keep me from doing the things I wanted to do. I was prone to asthma, but I loved to run (still do, as a matter of fact). Obviously, the two dont really go well together, but I worked around it, and I found a way to do what I loved. I ran and I won medals for it. I involved myself with different activities which would challenge me and test my limits. And I loved it. In retrospect, it feels like maybe I wanted to prove to my family that I didn’t really need to be handled with kid gloves like they thought.
It’s been a long time now since I’ve been to the hospital for anything more serious than a cold. And in the years since that last long hospital visit, I can see how my family has changed.
All those times when I was admitted in the hospital, I understandably never comprehended the seriousness of the situation. To me, it was just a long break from school, at a place with nice people. There was a playroom right in the next room, and all I had to do was drag my drips stand with me when I wanted to play. It was great, as far as I was concerned, except for the bland food and being separated from my sister & father.
But now, I remember how when I’d wake up at night sometimes, I’d see my mother sitting in the chair beside my bed, keeping vigil. I remember how at parks, there was always a careful eye kept on me lest I get into trouble. I remember the time when we came home from vacation to see the house stripped of its floor carpet because I was allergic to dust. My mother used to have a perpetually worried look in her eyes, and my sister was charged with looking out for me at school.
Things have changed now, though. I’m healthy, I’m happy, and so is my family. They’ve certainly taken off the kid gloves, for sure. Although my mum still worries sometimes, she’s a lot better at giving me some slack now. My father loves to play roughly with me, and my sister doesn’t hold back with her punches either. We’re all better now.
Which all just goes to show how a healthy child makes for a happy home.
This post is a part of the IndiBlogger Happy Hours activity, courtesy Dabur Chyawanprash (https://www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/)