Mycoplasma pneumoniae

It was right around midnight when I was awoken by my wife trying to soothe our baby Asif who was coughing and vomiting incessantly by the bedside. Since he’s been having runny nose for close to a week now, I didn't think much about that and thought this was the side effect of the pleghm in his throat. But when he wouldn’t stop coughing, we decided it’s better to take him to a hospital just to be safe. You can't be too careful with toddlers his age.

If it wasn’t for Linda’s company insurance coverage, we would have no choice but to take Asif to a government hospital. Instead we went to KPJ Kajang Specialist Hospital as usual which provide faster admission and checkup compared to the former. The A&E area was surprisingly bustling with people that early Thursday morning. We didn’t get through triage until almost an hour later. As painful as it looks, the nurse had to take blood samples from Asif and they didn’t get to draw much blood from his tiny arm because his temperature was so high (39 plus). But from what little blood they took, it was enough to confirm that Asif had an unnaturally high white blood cell count, a telltale of a virus or bacteria infection in his blood.

The doctor immediately recommended that Asif be warded. While waiting for the GL to come through, they connected Asif to a drip line. That was 2:00AM and I waited a while in the freezing cold hydration room before deciding to go back and pack up some clothes and stuff for Asif and her mother who’s naturally going to be with him at the hospital. We finally got our room at 4:00AM. It was a shared two-bed room on the fifth floor. After hanging out for a bit, I drove home to get the girls ready for school. Didn’t feel like cooking breakfast, we grabbed something from Petronas before sending Hana and Mia to school. By the time I’m done with all of that, it’s already 8:00 AM so with virtually no sleep last night, it was not humanly possible to go to work that morning hence why I took a half day emergency leave.

So my routine for the next few days was painstakingly try to get the girls up from bed early in the morning, concoct some kind of breakfast and brave the morning traffic to get them to school. In the evening the same routine is repeated plus preparing, actually more like buying some food and cooking rice for dinner. Later we visited Asif and Linda at the hospital to check out how’s the baby boy doing. Much better but not entirely recovered yet. The earliest they can discharge him is at the weekend, hopefully. On Friday night, after nagging to stay with their mother and Asif at the hospital all the time, we finally let them stay overnight. There was no sofa or much space in that small hospital ward but the girls don't seem to mind sleeping on a comforter on the floor. I can’t imagine myself spending another minute in that freezing cold room let alone another night but the girls are obsessed with air-conditioning.

Adam was home for the weekend. He’s got a debate competition to attend to at Sunway University. After sending him all the way to PJ, I stopped by KPJ Kajang to pick up Mia who has extra tuition class at her school. By midday, we got the good news that Asif was ready to be discharged. Unlike the crappy previous panel insurance provider Compumed, AIA was outstanding. GL and approval was much-much faster and they actually pickup the phone within the first minute of calling. We didn’t have to wait long at all for the discharge process to be completed.

So how was it being a single father for a few days? Tiring of course but nothing I can’t handle. My only complaint was that I had to fork out more money for the girls for food and stuff since I don’t have the time (and motivation) to cook. I also must take my hats off to my wife who has singlehandedly taken care of almost everything in the household including prepping the girls and their stuff for school day in and day out. Yes I do help out whenever I can but she always does more. I’d be a wreck if I had to her chores for more than 3 days.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae was the mild bacterial disease that Asif was suffering from. Left untreated it could definitely cause more serious illness, affecting the brain, heart and even kidneys. Especially so for infants like Asif. Once again we were forever grateful for the comprehensive insurance coverage that Linda’s company provided. Otherwise we had to rely on government hospital which is not that bad most of the time but you’ll have to admit, a private hospital is miles better in term of service speed and quality. If we didn’t have insurance coverage, our first instinct would be to go to the A&E at Kajang hospital which I suspect would not perform all the detailed tests like blood test to pinpoint the illness. Even worse, they could have easily dismissed our case and send Asif home with nothing more than a cough syrup. Of course I wouldn't really know and that's purely speculation but it wouldn't be too far-fetched. So remember kids, apart from good pay and a fulfilling job, a good medical benefit is paramount in your career. Especially those which cover your children as well as yourself.