Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

May 2012 be filled with blessings and joy. May you prosper and be healthy. May the world be a better place. May I finally have the strength to lose all those extra pounds that are weighing me down, and may all the problems in this part of the world finally be settled and people allowed to move on (why not throw that in there too?).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas concert, 2011

After months of rehearsing and a lot of hours singing, practicing and fine tuning, we finally put on our AUB Choir and Choral Society Christmas concert this week. Assembly Hall was absolutely packed both nights. It was pretty amazing to finally see it all come together, and although I was nervous during the procession, it all went really well. It was fun to sing Britten's A Ceremony of Carols with the smaller group, and Hark! will always make me happy with a couple of spirituals to go, but what really blew my mind this time was the Rig Veda. When we first started rehearsing it I was not impressed at all, but boy did that piece take my breath away! (Figuratively AND literally speaking of course.) We ended the concert with Christmas carols outside, while the AUB Christmas lights were lit. Very festive and Christmas-y indeed.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our little guy had pneumonia

We are not sure how Abraham got so sick, but it might be a combination of a number of things: 

-a very aggressive bacterial infection

-a lot of new germs (he practically lives in the playground where hundreds of kids play every -day, cats pee and poop, and random strange women kiss him every day)

-the fact that he doesn’t really blow his nose very well, and 

-our inability to get him to take anti-inflammatory medication, such as Panadol. 

It started with a pretty bad cold a couple of weeks ago, including fever, a lot of snot, and a cough. After Abraham got better, the cough lingered. Every night I would put him to sleep and after about an hour he would start coughing, so much I practically had to spend most of the night holding him up so that he could sleep. After about a week it got worse: he was getting a lot more congested, with a runny nose, and a constant cough (sleepless nights) that started sounding worse and worse, and eventually the fever came back. He was obviously suffering and would start crying every time he had to cough, point to his chest or to right under his eyes and say “Mama, that’s a boo-boo here.” After a couple of days of this, I came home one evening from choir rehearsal to find out that he had vomited, out of the blue and not from a coughing fit. Our warning flag went up. That night, as I was holding him in my arms, asleep, feverish, stuffy nose with a wet cough, I noticed that he was panting and wheezing with a heavy chest. My husband and I looked at each other and knew I would spend the next day taking Abraham to the doctor. As parents, we had the below passage practically memorized:

The major symptoms of pneumonia are:
·         Moderate to severe cough - often junky sounding, but not always.
·         Sustained rapid or labored breathing (as opposed to temporary rapid breathing from a high fever).
·         Medium to high fever - usually will be over 102, but not always.
·         Chest pains - not just during coughing, but in between coughing fits as well.
·         Vomiting - not just vomiting from a big coughing fit, but vomiting even in between coughing fits.
·         Blue color around the lips and face - from lack of oxygen.
·         Wheezing - although wheezing is more often a sign of a viral chest cold, it sometimes can mean pneumonia.
·         If your child has ALL the above symptoms, then he probably has pneumonia.

Yes, thank you Dr. Sears, my child has all of the above symptoms, except for the blue lips and face, which just meant we didn’t have to rush off to the hospital right then and there, but could get some sleep first.

We first went to see a general pediatrician at the AUB clinic, who after having listened to our story and to Abraham’s lungs suspected pneumonia as well. She sent us to the ER, where we spent a lot of time waiting, but also getting Abraham chest x-rays making visible the nasty little puss pockets on both his lungs. Two more doctors examined him before we left with the diagnosis pneumonia, a sinus infection, tonsillitis, and a mild ear infection in his left ear (which would explain his preference to lie on his other side). We got a nice strong dose of antibiotics as well, which I’ve had to force-feed my stubborn little 2-year old.

It took two days for the fever to break, and although Abraham is still visibly weak with a wet cough, he is definitely on the mend. Alhamdulillah, as our friends in Egypt would say.

Busy December

Happy Thanksgiving?! ... 

Happy 3rd of Advent! 

While I blinked, 1st, 2nd AND 3rd of Advent rushed by, a lot of work, daily choir rehearsals, parties, school activities, arrangements and sicknesses (including *a lot* of sleepless nights) happened all at once. At some point I found myself in the ER holding Abraham's hand while he was getting a chest x-ray, confirming our suspicion that he had pneumonia. The next moment I’m translating some German text into Swedish at 3 am. Then suddenly we’re having dinner with an old friend and colleague from our Cairo days. Continuously I’m kissing the boys good-bye to attend choir rehearsal. And tomorrow is concert day.

Does this post seem confusing and full of random mentionings and events? Then you got it right. That’s what our life has been like for the past three weeks.