Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There will be no white flag upon his door...

Holding his hot palms in mine, his tiny head cradled in an indigo lap, my tears racing time with the ice-pack drippings. Half-open eyes, flushed cheeks, the tiny sighs, and the constant, sandpaper sound of wheezing. I breathe deeper myself, willing my lungs to work for him, pushing the air into his tiny, and now tired, body. His fever seeps into my thighs, branding its presence: this fight will take more than my prayers.

The speedometer says 120km, and yet, the world goes by in slow motion, the mountains towering before choosing to fade, vast desolate stretches dotted here and there by the flaming kesuda flowers. Even there, in that panic, that fear, in that vast expanse of waiting below an unforgiving sun, the orange bursts from the black shoots seem strangely symbolic.

Short, staccato conversations that plan routes to match with hospital timings, a quick stop to get some more ice. There's more than one laboured breathing inside the car. He sighs, not very often, my lap speaking to his needs, shifting and slackening on its own, seamless in agony. And yet, he will not moan. For a while, I will him to complain, to cry, to shriek, like I want to, but can't. He doesn't protest it at all, he's meeting it head on.

What was meant to be a long weekend of family bonding, some serious fun and adventure, has turned into a trial, by bedside. What was a five-hour ride filled with wheeees at the undulating roads two days ago has turned into a deafeningly quiet ride towards an answer, and a solution.

In these last two days he helped build his first bonfire, raced up a stony hill, felt the might of the wind and heard it move, marveled at the 11 and 20 stars he could see, the loud drone of the crickets at night. He, who lives surrounded by glass and concrete mountains, woke to the gentle warmth of the sun creeping into the window. He picked flowers, rode horses, danced with tipsy adults to loud 70s Bollywood music, made peace and war with cousins.

In these last 24 hours, I've discovered a part of my son I've not fully understood. I met with his will, all three feet and three inches of it, battered, but not broken. I met his strength, not tagged in kilos or how many jumps he leaped, but in his grim countenance behind the nebulizer mask. I stood in awe of its bright orange brilliance, not dulled by physical pain. In these last 24 hours, I now know, for today and through his life, he will not go quietly into the night, ever.

18 comments:

Sands said...

Am recent visitor to your site & had to delurk on this post. My boy is 8 yrs old and the nebulizer is to him like the vanity case is to us. He staretd it at the age of 1 and has had to use it even on most recent vacation a month ago. But I swear it gets better. He has gone from needing it multiple times a year to once or if lucky not even. But every once in a while it catches us by surprise. The doctor tells us he will grow out of it. I truly hope he does and I hope yours will too. Hope he feels better soon.

Swati said...

Oh God, I hope he is better even as I write this. Sending lots of warm wishes for his recovery.

preetischronicle said...

How is Nino doing now? Will pray he gets better soon. Why do these things happen to little children.
*hugs* to dear nino...he is a strong boy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nino's mum, am praying that Nino feels better. Yes, your boy has a strong will. From whatever I have read on your blog, it seems to me he has perhaps taken after both his good parents.

God bless,
Anjali

nitya said...

Love and hugs to Nino...

Sujatha said...

Awww, Nino's Mum! I was wondering where you were and was hoping everything was all right. *Hugs* to the little big guy. Hope he feels better soon and you guys do too.

momstir said...

Nino, I send you a really big hug this time. NM, I think I could feel your pain. You have written this with much pain.

Nino, pliz feel better soon.

Ra said...

oh poor little fellow, hope he feels better soon. lots of love to all of you.

OrangeJammies said...

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

girlonthebridge said...

tears and prayers and hugs.

maidinmalaysia said...

Oh my gosh?? What happenned? How is Nino, now???

Solilo said...

Hugs and prayers for little Nino. Hope he feels better soon.

Swati said...

Worried. Please drop a line about how Nino is doing if you read this.
Take care.

Nino's Mum said...

Sands - Thank you - It was our first time with the 'mask' as Nino likes to call it and for all my informed parent role-play, it was scary.

Swati - thank you so much and have mailed you.

Preeti - thank you so much, he sends a hug back.

Anjali - thank you, and for the first time, I'm not badgering over who he's gone on more - he's totally taken after his dad who's an exemplary patient. Oh and did I tell you, both of them fell ill at the same time?

Nitya - thank you.

Suj - he's getting better, thanks. No dosa comfort food for him tho ;) can't trust his mum's cooking.

Momstir - while we were in hospital, we were flipping through some snaps on the laptop, and remebered I'd to send you some of him kiteflying. *reminder to self*

Ra - thank you and have mailed you.

OJ kaki - both of us love you to bits. and have mailed you.

girlonthebridge - thanks babe, badly needed.

MinM - posting on the what, why, how soon. Aren't you supposed to be in India? And no one diets on a holiday, so really hope the vacay is payasam laded. hugs.

Solilo - thank you, he's getting better.

Anonymous said...

Hay Nino's mum, good to know Nino is getting better :)

Warmly, Anjali

Suki said...

Omigosh. Glad he's getting better. And I hope he doesn't have to go through this too often.
Take care, you both.

Nino's Mum said...

Anjali - thank you!

Suki - hope so too! thanks.

wordjunkie said...

Hi, just read this.
Hope he's better.Hugs to you both