Feeling stuck at home? Miss socializing? Unable to meet friends and family? Tired of living in your pajamas? Binged on all the watchable shows on Netflix? Missing ‘Bahar ki Biryani?’ (No pun intended!) Wish you could go out for an adventure?
Lemme tell this to you, Sweetheart: DON’T!
Coz one moment I wished for it and the next moment…
…I found myself standing in line at a COVID testing center, WITH MY 10 YEAR OLD WAITING TO BE TESTED!
Isn’t that PRECISELY what we’re trying to avoid by staying home, not meeting friends and not eating out? That too without maid and cook! Oh wait, lemme put that in bold! WITHOUT MAID AND COOK!
Few days ago…
It was a regular afternoon…I was in the kitchen doing the dishes, Dhruvi was watching some stupid prank videos, Ram was working in the same room where Riddh was doing his homework… while playing with a coin that Ram gave him for cleaning the car. Just your routine-boring day you know…
And God had to answer my prayers! Within 5 minutes, the day turned from mundane to mad!
Riddh swallowed the coin he was playing with! (Please don’t ask me how a 10 year old could do that coz I’ve no freaking clue!)
We did exactly what all responsible parents do in situations like this; consult the wisest doctor available! GOOGLE! Most of the websites said that it was no big deal, the coin would be expelled naturally in 3-4 days. (while my parents insisted we feed him bananas, castor oil or Swadisht-virechan…which btw we did!)
He did not experience any discomfort so we took it easy and went on with our days! (& nights!)
After 3 days…
Well, 3 days into it, he still wasn’t experiencing any discomfort but the coin wasn’t out yet too! We definitely tried our best to make him uncomfortable by calling him our piggy bank, spanking his bum and saying that we could hear the coin clinking and saying that we could finally have our own money plant that would grow outta his tummy! (Worrying is something that we consciously try to avoid. We do fail sometimes but most of the times it works wonders!)
On the evening of the third day, we were on Cloud Nine…a children’s clinic that we go to for kids’ vaccinations and stuff like that. When we entered, they asked for the reason for the visit and I told them about him swallowing a coin. Riddh was super embarrassed and mumbled, “I feel stupid to have done it…what was I thinking…just stupid…”.
The receptionist and I both comforted him with…it’s cool…it happens…and stuff like that but it all went down the drain coz the doctor and nurse were almost giggling at how a 10 year old could end up doing something like that! They’d had cases where younger kids swallowed things but this was pretty rare. In lame attempt to connect with the Gen Z, doctor said, “Is that the ‘in’ thing that you kids do these days?”, which embarrassed Riddh even more and he didn’t utter a word!
The doctor there suggested we go to either Sakra world or Columbia Asia to get an X-ray and figure out the position of the coin to determine the next steps. Then she said that we should go to Sakra world coz was near by and also mentioned some Doctor’s name. Ram was in two minds about where to go but since doctor insisted on Sakra world, we reached there and they directly sent us to ‘Emergency’… turns out…
IT WAS A FREAKIN COVID FACILITY!
EXACTLY like we saw on FB, there were numbered booths with glasses to protect whoever was sitting inside! I freaked out big-time looking at the set up! They took our details like name, address, temperature, travel history, symptoms and stuff like that. Only saving grace was, it was 8 pm and there was no one around! The place was literally deserted and I thanked God for loving me so much! (…at that precise moment, somewhere far above the earth, God was smirking in the sky! 😛 )
Well, due to the Covid situation, they allowed only one person to go with the patient and Ram felt Riddh would be more comfortable with me around, so he sat out. We went in, we waited, I filled in the forms, we waited, we went for the x-ray, we waited, we got the results, we waited and then the doctor made the big revelation!
He said that the X-ray showed that the coin was still in the stomach. If it were in the intestine, there was a possibility of it being expelled out naturally…since it was in the stomach, he would need an endoscopy to remove it. Endoscopy was a big word for me already but that wasn’t it!
He had to be tested Negative for COVID to get the procedure done! (For his own safety and the hospital staff’s too!)
It was a mess! ‘What ifs’ were scary! Testing positive would open a different can of worms that I am not even prepared to think about! But the coin was a 10 rupee one which is huge so the chances of it being expelled naturally were grim, plus it has bloody copper border as compared to other innocent stainless steel ones, so it could even get toxic!
So what had to be done, had to be done!
Next morning at 8 am, I was standing in a line with Riddh, where people around me might or might not be COVID positive….you could actually hear the sound of something tearing apart…err…Okay, let’s pretend I never wrote that!
I was SH*T scared and that’s when I called my schoolmate who also happens to be a Pediatrician. I really needed to hear some comforting words… which I did! He said that mostly the test will come out negative and even if it was positive, Kids heal faster. Basically, there was nothing to worry about!
I figured, he understood my need of getting his reassurance that everything’s gonna be okay! I relaxed a bit after hearing that, as compared to going BAT SHIT CRAZY …which it was short lived!
BAT SHIT CRAZY!
You know it’s easier to take extra precaution in such a situation normally but how the hell do you control a 10 year old with a mind of a monkey! But being a chilled out mum is all about taking things easy and keeping calm! 😎
However big the mess was, I was trying to comfort him and tell him that it’s all going to be OKAY! 🙂 I was just lovingly stroking hair when he sneezed throwing his mask off his nose and mouth! Within a fraction of second, I went from a loving, understanding, chilled out mum to MAMASAURUS! I screamed and smacked his head hard, almost creating a scene! HOW THE HELL COULD HE DO THAT!
Poor kid was shocked! Honestly, who am I kidding? Standing in lion’s den and not being scared of the lion is pure bullshit! Turns out, I’m not as chilled out as I thought…in fact, I WAS FREAKING OUT!
I realized it was harsh and after a few deep breaths and tapping my heart with ‘All is well’, we entered the testing booth where they took the nose and throat swab.
The lab technician wondered why we were getting him tested and when I told them the reason, she said it on the mic and called her colleagues to present my hero! My little ten year old star! They giggled and asked him why did he do that which annoyed my little rebel and this time around, instead of feeling guilty or stupid he nonchalantly went with,
“I like swallowing coins and do it for fun!”
I couldn’t help but chuckle and caress his cheeks! 😀
As we got done with giving the sample, I wanted to make sure we sanitize our hands and we went to the sanitizer stand. I took a couple of feet pumps and asked Riddh to do so too. As he pumped it with his feet, the sanitizer went straight into his eyes!
He screamed as he rubbed his eyes with his hands, which made me scream with horror too!!! What was I thinking! His height and the way he positioned himself….how did I not know!
And that is when heard the most cliched hindi movie dialogue echoing around,
“Tumhe davao ki nahi, duao ki zaroorat hai”! 😛
Moment of truth!
I knew that we had been very cautious and kids didn’t step out of the house at all but however chilled out I pretended to be, I was a really worried about the results since my parents too were living with us. I mean, even if we didn’t have it while we were at home, standing in the same line with possibly positive people could have given it to us!
Fortunately, God truly loves me! For the very first time, we were mighty glad to see ‘a minus’ on his report card! PHEW!! A BIG PHEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
But still, the major battle was yet to be fought.
Well, the endoscopy went well, and this chilled out mum cried like a baby when the doctor decked up in a PPE kit showed her a 10 rupee coin in a bottle!
After an hour, they let me in to see my not-so-little-one wearing a tiny oxygen mask, still under the effect of anesthesia. The first thing he said in a groggy little voice was “Where is Pappa? Can you call him?” I told him that he was right there in the basement waiting for us to come out.
Next thing he said, crushed my heart. Still dazed, he said, “I love you and I’m so sorry for everything.”
God, it made me sob uncontrollably. We adults f*ck up so much and how many times! He is just a baby! My baby! He shouldn’t have to apologize!
We hugged and hugged some more.
I was then asked to leave and let him rest. And before I left, he asked me to take a picture of him to show his friends! (The Nurse and I, both wondered what was wrong with Gen Z after all!)
Back to Present!
He is absolutely fine now! The bugger came out saying that the nurses were super nice and circulated his hospital pictures to everyone close to him to get all the sympathy, attention and love! (Apple…tree…:D )
On my way back home…I said exactly what Geet said in Jab We Met!
“Babaji, please is raat ko bahot hi boring banado!”
It’s funny, how we crave for an adventure while living routine life and yearn for the mundane when in the midst of an (mis)adventure!
Oh! One more thing!
STAY THE *UCK HOME!
P.S.: I absolutely know and understand how the situation is now. Many of us have someone we love going through very difficult times. Let’s pray and hope for the best. Miracles do happen!🙂