After a thought-provoking post yesterday, I thought of getting back to recollecting a few more hilariously unavoidable misadventures in the admission season. As we draw near to the finishing line in this challenge. I am often left baffled at the thought of the next topic in this series. Today I was wondering if there was anything more I could write about that has already not been mentioned in any of my earlier posts. I suddenly remembered those scary sleepless nights that became a part of my life for the first quarter of this year and brought my writing to a standstill.
The admission season, as mentioned in my first post started in September 2018 and was officially declared closed only in March 2019. The first three months of this season were all about standing in queues to pick up forms, submit them and then attend the interviews held in this duration at a couple of schools. I would say that we managed to sail through this period despite the turbulence the boy managed to create through his resistance towards the process initially. His preschool had declared winter break from December 25th until January 4th.
In the second week of January, Tuneer returned from his preschool with a sore throat. Ever since he had started preschool, it had become a routine for the boy to fall sick at least twice every alternate month. If I ever brought up my concern of his poor immunity (I was of the opinion that his resistance towards diseases was getting lower because of falling sick so frequently), both the medico husband and the kid’s pediatrician enlightened me with their knowledge about the boy’s developing immune system. I had somehow managed to keep the boy fit and fine enough to glide through the months of November and December but all my efforts went in vain as he developed his first viral infection of this year in January.
From a sore throat, he went on to develop pharyngitis, cold and cough and high fever. This was his usual pattern of falling sick, step by step. Before I went back to calling the pediatrician seeking his appointment yet again, my heart skipped a beat as I thought of the interview scheduled the next week. The following week passed by in taking care of the sick child, giving in to all his demands as I struggled to feed him a single bite of food. We survived the week and went on to face the interview next week.
On the very next day of his interview getting over, I came down with viral fever. As a mother, the last time that I had this luxury to fall sick and be taken care of only before Tuneer was born. After that, I only remember gliding through such phases in a zombie or a rather mombie mode. Life went on as usual as I continued helping Tuneer with his daily chores and managing to squeeze in a tiny bit of time to gulp down medicines with water. I started a feeling a little better on the fifth day. We thought of celebrating our recovery that weekend by taking Tuneer to a play zone followed by an ice cream outing. He contracted pharyngitis again on the same night. The following week saw me battle through his sickness while being on recovery mode myself.
The first week of February turned out to be a little less uneventful. This was also the time that we needed to be extra cautious since the final round of his interview at the most coveted school was scheduled in the middle of the month. Every time Tuneer made a sound that remotely resembled a cough or a sneeze, I was seen running towards him with turmeric milk or kara (strained water post boiling it with cloves, bay leaf, and ginger paste) in hand.
In my obsession to keep him healthy, I hadn’t realized how much I had started ignoring my own health. A couple of days before his last and final interview, I developed severe breathing problem. By then, I have had a stretch of sleepless nights owing to sickness and stress related to admissions. What looked like a blocked nose initially turned out to be a nightmare soon. I went gasping for breath the moment I tried sleeping in the bed. Very soon, I started resembling a disciple of Baba Ramdev in my attempt at anulom – vilom pranayama exercises at every possible opportunity.
I managed to speak in a voice that sounded like a cross over between the voices of Rani Mukherji and Himesh Reshammiya (this man has taken the concept of nasal voice to another level). It took me doses of a steroid nasal spray to recover eventually. After this double whammy of sickness at home, the process of interviews was officially over and I thought we would get back to a normal mode soon. But not the one to disappoint in terms of consistency, Tuneer came down with very high fever in the last week of February.
This time he had grown so weak that the recovery took much longer than usual. I almost cried in front of his pediatrician from the feeling of hopelessness. I failed to understand why Tuneer and another kid in his class kept falling sick so frequently while others were immune to such diseases. I had warned Sr. T that if he uttered one more word about the boy developing resistance power through sickness, I would force feed him all the medicines in the cabinet (they had started resembling prized trophies).
Nursing Tuneer back on the path of recovery, I could feel that I was going to follow him next. This time, I exceeded all expectations by getting admitted to a hospital after contracting a contagious viral infection that required isolation. By now, I had grown indifferent to the sequence of falling sick. The grandparents took care of the child at home while the husband shuttled between his wife and his work. I am sure he wanted to smack me on the head in that phase for repeatedly ignoring the health check reminders.
I returned home weak but hale and hearty. The reason was Tuneer’s selection in our most preferred school. I had a strong feeling that we were finally done with this phase of sickness. We had plans to celebrate his success over the Holi weekend as his preschool classes were due to get over on the day before Holi. The boy was excited about his first graduation ceremony at the preschool. Two days before the last day of preschool, the boy developed rashes all over his body leading to high fever again. He not only missed the celebrations on the last day but was also instructed to stay indoors for the fortnight while we were lined up to complete his admission formalities.
On 16th April Tuneer started his new school and last weekend, he had a running nose owing to the extreme heat outside. I almost had an attack after discovering it. These days, I have developed such a phobia of the word ‘viral’ that even when people talk about videos or write-ups going viral, a part of my brain seems unable to process the information. Instead, I immediately start assuming that someone has contracted a viral infection.
I am not sure how long I can keep the next viral infection from making its presence felt, but I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading this post. I will be back with a fresh post on ‘W’ tomorrow. You can read the rest of the write-ups in this series here.