Every evening, when I return from office, I think if I should just accept that I can’t handle it all anymore and I need to accept my priorities. My son is, must be, has to be, my top priority. And, if it requires me to quit my job to give him the best, I should do that. I shouldn’t hesitate. And yet, every morning when I wake up, I look forward to my day. I look forward to going to my work place. I yearn to go to my office. I miss not going there. I relish the work I do. I revere in the glory of importance that I get there. A feeling of achievement. A satisfaction of doing something worthwhile.
I don’t know what to do.
I recently went through a traumatic experience in my life, as a Mother. My son got infected with a rare and dangerous virus. A viral infection, in common language. But, what he went through, and what we went through in the process, is far from a regular viral infection.
I had taken a leave to take care of him because he seemed down with fever and bad stomach. I expected regular dosage to help him (that we had been giving him in previous times). And suddenly, he started shivering. A minute ago, he was talking to me, had just returned from restroom, after relieving himself, and the next minute he says “I’m feeling cold. Please put blanket on me.” I check his fever. It seems normal. Nothing like spiking. I had given him the medicine just a little while ago. I call out to my husband who had gone out to bring ORS solution for him. He rushes in. And, suddenly, the vomitting and water-stools begin. What was a 1-2 times an hour thing turned into 10-12 times in an hour. I tell Tarun to rush him to emergency. Tarun feels he’s just getting dehydrated and we should keep feeding him ORS solution. He expects he’ll get fine. But, he doesn’t. Within 20 mins, we’re rushing to the Emergency. The situation worsens a lot more. One hospital refers us to another, bigger hospital with a PICU. The bigger hospital doctor tells me he needs to be put on Ventilator. His situation is critical. The infection may have reached his brain because of which his brain is not responding.
That was unexplicable. Totally non-understandable. Yes, my son was in a bad situation and he needed help. But, ventilator? Doctor explains that it’s required and urgently required before the situation worsens and it becomes difficult to help the child.
The next 4 days were days of utter tension, anxiety, guilt, gathering contacts to get reference to the doctors, and what not.
Now, my son is back home. I’ve visited 2 more doctors for second and third opinion to understand exactly if a ventilator was required. If the treatment given to him was correct. What can I do to avoid this episode again? Is it because I didn’t take care of my child well?
For everything, the answer is whatever was done was done correct. We took him at the right time otherwise things could have gone ugly. And, there are some rare viruses which do infect and they can be fatal. And, that we should be extremely grateful to God that it left no traces behind on his brain. Neither the virus nor the medicines.
There are days when I can’t avoid reliving the experience. The scenes of me walking in that empty corridor chanting ‘Hanuman Chalisa’, with barely open eyes, almost ready to fall, they keep coming back to me. There are moments when I’m at work and it all comes back to me, and I feel like running back to my son. To touch him and feel that he’s fine.
Now, as per the world, I should just forget it as a bad dream. There’s nothing that I can do about it. But, I need to.
I have decided not to send my child to the daycare anymore. And, for doing that, I have three options. –
- Start living with my in-laws, or move to the same society as they are so that they can pick him up and keep him till I return.
- Pick Anay from school at 12.00 and go back to home with him. Work morning hours in office and rest of hours from home.
- Quit job completely and take care of him.
After facing so much troubles, going to so much length in moving out from my in-laws house, that is not an option I want to explore. Rather than being the easiest option to provide home for Anay and continue with my job, it is not an option I can mentally survive.
Being in manager role, I need to be around in office to do justice to my role. No matter how responsible a team you create, a physical presence makes things smooth. I know this for a fact. Picking Anay at 12.00 means hardly being available in office. I’m not even sure if that’s an option my Manager or my company would allow me.
Quit my job: This is the dangerous option I’m contemplating too much. Tarun says I should try this. Being brought up by a working Mom, I know this option would never be liked by my parents. And also, myself, I would feel incomplete somehow.
Maybe it’s just fear of the unknown. Maybe if I tried quitting and tried my hands at other things, I would succeed there too. I often used to wonder at these big actresses like Karishma Kapoor, Kajol, who quit their careers at their prime. They were at the peak when they left it all. I wondered why they would do that. I stand at the same cross-roads now. And I need to see if I’m worth anything or worth nothing.
Dear God, please show me the way. Help me.