While sitting on the rocking chair, sipping a cup of hot chocolate early morning, all I could think of is how I could have missed a big poisonous bite on Eman’s leg? The patient room is so quiet and gloomy, where a child like Eman is present. Despite every health problem she has, she never sits still, keeps everyone laughing, and makes life fun for me. Today, she is lying in the hospital bed drowsy, upset, emotionally confused, with an affected leg from bugbite poison.
I have always admired her courage when it comes to scans, blood tests, and echos. Being a child with down syndrome, she is in habit of all these routines. In the last two days, she has seen so many strange faces drawing blood, putting ivs, and yet she didn’t roll a tear on her cheeks. Later, in the evening of first day, she talked to her brother and sister. As soon as she heard the elder sister, she got teary and asked her in heavy voice to come and visit. That face and those emotions – we think a special needs child of her age wouldn’t know. But she knew and displayed. She surprised me!
It has been four days in the pediatric ward. She plays hide and seek, while on her bed; asking the nurses to find her in the fluffy, colorful blankie. They find her, tickle her, and I hear her laughters absorbing into my heartbeats. She tells them all very proudly that she has funny mama. All my mind can think is, “the fun is because of you”.
The infection has kept its toll on her leg for all these days and still has. But she is a fighter. Unable to walk three days ago and yesterday she started limping to the playroom and restroom. No! Not because I said, but her teacher and my friend from ICN Alfalah (Saturday School), who comes and visits her everyday told her to.
Yesterday, she had an MRI. The whole noon time, nurses kept making her ready for what she was going in. I was wondering in my head that she will adjust to what she sees or she will not. She can only be told in simple words, “Eman do not move your legs, mama will be with you all the time”. The echoes and sounds will scare her no matter how much you play them on an iPad. She did great! Better than many adults, said the technician, Alhamdulillah! It was one and half hours scheduled process. I held her hands. We made faces at each other smiling and laughing.
I have wanted to cry for the last many days. But for what? She has been the one in pain and taking all medicines. Her body has been on toll for such long time. Yes, I should cry in thankfulness, for her bravery, and everything that happens in ease. But I still can’t – why? Because she senses my sadness. She is my X-Ray machine to sadness. With all that she is going through and still laughing, I feel guilty even being sad.
Coming back to how I missed the bite? Being a mother, it comes naturally to me how I could have avoided all this. But there is no way. This was meant to be and we were by fate planned to go through this test. Blaming myself will worsen my condition and ability to fight with emotions, that can be hurdles while a sensitive girl like Eman is with me as my own shadow.
When we leave today for home and she will still be on antibiotics for 10-15 days, I know she is going to be the happiest person on earth. I can’t thank Allah enough for how He takes both of us through tests like these smiling and laughing!