30 May 2011

Ups and downs.

That was a terrible week. It had to do with my sick little girl. Now if there's anything that sets me off it is sickness. Especially to the the kids. I remember our first child falling sick. It was a week after we were discharged from hospital when we'd noticed a small pimple on the face. Then a fond auntie mentioned that we needed to have it checked out! Did we run to Aga Khan hospital! The Doctor took one look and asked me, is this your first child? And sent us home with a smile. From there begun our numerous runs to the hospital. The complaints ranging from baby is not feeding well to the baby seems to not open her eyes well. Only to realise that it was a case of the bedroom light being too strong.
But there have been a series of serious stuff too. Like this time our second seemed to be having problems breathing. Believe me we rushed to Getrudes at midnight and had to have the baby on oxygen.I only realised after the Doctor finished examining the baby that I was in some not-so-decent nightclothes. But there I was thanking God for the panic attacks! I shudder to think what might have happened had we waited till morning.
And so this past week we were battling with a sick child. Our last born. She had this horrible fever that would not break. Even after she was put on serious antibiotics for treatment of some stomach infection and a myriad of drugs. One night last week we practically sat up the whole night! And so I was thinking of all past episodes that I have had with all three of our kids at the hospital. Then I remembered this.
Our first was sick. And was referred to a Doctor in Hurlingham. Hubbs agreed to take her there. But on getting there, he faced a problem. The Docor needed a stool test. He was promptly handed the necessary equipment and asked to deliver the stool. And so he got confused. His first dilemma was where he would take the girl. She was 6 years old. And so, should he take her to the gents or the ladies. Somehow the ladies seemded more appealing. Next dilemma was, how to get the sample in a not-so-big container. To sum it all up it was aa horrid experience for the two, one that only served to make me tip over laughing when it was recounted to me.
And you would think with the various experiences we have had I would be used to a child getting sick. No am no better. I still panic when any of the kids falls sick. And yes I do pray for them seriously. Hubby has a tough time trying to calm me down and is usually trying to convince me that the child is not so sick. Most of which is proved right at the Doctor's room. But this last week, even he panicked! And I knew, things weren't good.
Child is all good now. Even back to school this morning. I am glad i took time off to be with my child. And nurse her back to health. And have the satisfaction of having been there for my child when she needed me most. Oh motherhood!

23 May 2011

Let's talk about sex

Lately I have been watching the programme connect on K24. With awe. I just cannot believe that one subject can elicit so much discussion and detail. They call it mombasa raha there which is just another word for sex. And do i imagine or is the hostess of the programme trying hard not to laugh? I would, if i were to sit there listening to so much details about sex and told in such a dramatic way.
While I have nothing against the topic of the birds and bees, I have some reservations on offering details on each and every aspect of it. It takes two to tango and it is up to those two to discover what is pleasing to the other in a relationship. What works for one couple may not work for another because they have discovered their own way of getting to mombasa raha so to say. And so I watch this very educative programme for only a few minutes but just to get amazed at the zest of  the whole thing.
Given, sex is a topic that needs a lot of discussion especially to the youth. But I sometimes wonder, if I were to give a lecture on the same to a college student who has more facts on the same from spending lots of time online in some crazy websites, would it bear fruit? Of course I would be telling the girl on the value of chastity and how good it is to wait(chill) but I can just imagine what might be going on in her mind just then. She might be wondering what generation I come from to advice her such when all her friends and the media is drumming an exact opposite message. And so as much as I might spend time with her, Speaking to her on the topic she might not benefit much from it. Mainly because she could be having more colorful advice from else where.
Given, the morals of the youth is a great concern. I say youth because anyone who is old enough to make irrational decisions on their sexuality only has himself to blame. But the youth are so vulnerable even falling prey to older people who ought to know better than to lure one not old enough to deal with consequences relating to sex! And these predators sure know their game. Exotic treats here and there, colorful texts written to a girl who is battling with self esteem sure do miracles. Not to mention that most valuable airtime! All this ends up making the girl valued, overlooking her parents who work so hard to give her an education and provide all the necessities, all which pale in comparison to the love gifts from the predators.
It makes me wonder, the men (and even women) who prey on the youth for sex, how do they live with themselves? How do you go to sleep at night knowing that you are seeing someone who should be bent on making a future for themselves by preying on their naivety? What happened to good old conscience?
And so it might help to have programmes addressing issues of the youth. That way they might learn that all that they see on television and those websites is actually not meant for them yet but is meant for people old enough to deal and live with the responsibility of being sexually active.

20 May 2011

Granted, it is important for a child to know their father. It doesn't matter the circumstances under which the child was born. Doesn't matter even whether the two parents are in talking terms. It is fundamental that a child grows up knowing both the parents if they are alive. And in the event that either of the parents is not alive, then the surviving parent has an obligation to bring to light the circumstances under which the child was born.
There is a quest in each one of us to know our origin. Children that grow up not knowing one of their parents are not complete. No matter how well they look and make it in life. And it is more paramount when it is the dad that is unknown. Ultimately, children belong to the father. Even the Bible says so. It is the father that gives life to the child. Without him there would be no formation. Not discounting the importance of the mother, but that is the truth.
And so it is futile for a mother to withhold the identity of her child just because they no longer relate with him. She is actually doing her child disservice. The better way would be to sit her child down once he is old enough to understand, explain it all to him and if the child expresses a desire to know the dad then she finds a way for the two of them to meet. Despite how she feels about him or how much she has moved on with her life. It is for her child's sake. If he does want it. And he will. Maybe not then but some day the urge does come. Blood calling out?
I have seen some kids brought up by single mothers who do a real good job. They take them to real good schools, work hard to ensure that the child is well provided for. But the kids grow up with a vacuum. They seek to fill it in various ways. Some not so appealing. Of course some kids grow up entirely not wanting to find out who their dad is. And live good lives of their own.
The excuses fathers give for not knowing their kids are varied. And comical sometimes. It is pure lack of initiative on their part that they do not know of their offspring. No matter how many miles apart. Any father who genuinely wants a relationship with their child will find  a way. Could be through the courts or warming the baby mama's heart. Once again. This will cushion the child of growing up with a void of if only and him of guilt trips. And so it makes it easy to deal with any eventualities that may come up in life. This way, the baby mama does not have to have to deal with the trauma of God-knows-how-many dads coming up to lay claim of the child when he is all grown up, has made a name for himself (and wealth too). And life is much easier for all.
I once witnessed a scene that broke my heart. Of a little girl who was en broiled in a split up of her parents. Even as she clung to her mom she was reaching out to daddy, all cries. But he was all packed and leaving. The heat was too much for him to take. And whereas he was moving on to a new life, he was leaving behind a broken heart scarred for life. It was all over her face. She needed her daddy.
In the face of broken relationships it might help to stop and reflect on the impact that will have on the kids if any. And if it is inevitable then ways of helping the child cope with the issue should be sought. Mainly this should not be difficult except that the two parents usually put their own feelings at the fore. Thus overlook the vulnerable kids that are left torn and changed for life. An arrangement can be reached when the two never lived together in the first place. With the well being of the child top most, an amicable truce can be reached allowing the child to be with the two abeit in separate circumstances.

18 May 2011

manners maketh a man

Like it or not, appearance does matter. Picture this. You take your elderly mother to see a Doctor. After waiting at the waiting room for a while you are called in to the Doctor's Room. You find this warm, chubby middle aged man in the Doctor's room. He shakes your hands and invites your mum to the only seat available. Downing his glasses and clasping his generous hands together, he proceeds to inquire of the patient's state. Mum begins talking with a sigh.
And now this. The same hospital visit with your mum. On entering the Doctor's Room you find this young looking man. He Dons dreadlocks(no pun intended) and his expensive perfume permeates the Room. You notice his sharp dressing and the open page on his phone-face book. He invites you to the seat..none of you  in particular. Any of you can take the only available seat. Your mum fidgets in the seat.
There's always something about appearance. First impressions last. And there are stereotypes attached to certain people. Like the rude tout. Or the courteous receptionist at the five star hotel. And so it pays to remain within the walls of what it is the people you come into contact with expect of you. Especially on the work front. Reviewing the needs of your clientele is important. Knowing them and respecting them is even better.
I remember this time I was going for an interview at a certain firm. On arrival at the reception, 15 minutes early, I was met by this receptionist. She ushered me to this seat, asked my preference of a drink and invited me to await my turn with a smile. I felt at home sipping my tea in the cool area and the cool music helped to remind me of home. Needless to say, when I finally went to face the panel I was already beginning to feel a bond with this firm.
And so yes I believe appearance does matter. It helps boost my  confidence when I appear appropriately geared for the occasion. It also puts all those around at ease because yes my appearance is in agreement with what I portray. As opposed to if I attend my child's school meeting in Jeans with dangling earrings chewing gum loudly?
Noticed the contrast of how people dress when they are going to church as opposed to the previous day? It sends out a message to those around us even, when I take time to appear appropriate. Same thing when someone is going out clubbing and dresses to express that carefree mood. Appropriate because soon there will be others who share your mood all around you. So anything under the sun can be justified for appearance. The tourist at the beach walking around scantily clad is excused on holiday. Even when she walks the streets in the short khaki shorts. But you wont catch her looking like that in her workplace. She will be properly adorned with office gear and a nice set of earrings.

16 May 2011

Tickled silly

Having a sense of humour is a lifeline. It helps if you can find something to laugh about in even the most absurd situations. I have found that if I can find something to laugh about I don't need to think of any other stress release.
And so yesterday I was sitting at a hospital waiting room. My little angel fell last Friday bruising her knee while on the school games day. I tried everything from some hot compresses to rubbing some ointment but the leg was still stubborn. And so yesterday I decided to take her to see a Doc. Possibly he could confirm hubby's statement that nothing was broken and the pain would go away with time. Hubby reckoned that the girl just had swollen lymph nodes.
And so yester morning I set out with her to the Doc. Hubby too.  And so we are all three in the waiting room when I see this  other patient. He is walking by unconcerned with one big gauze sticking out of his nose. Now that really set me off. I started with a shocked giggle. And I could not stop laughing. All sorts of scenes started going through my mind. Mr. Bean.....Hubby looks up and realising that he had to do something offers me a shoulder. By now I am rocking with laughter. Tears are aactually falling off my eyes. To any onlooker I look like am in so much pain needing a Doctor instantly. Thanks to hubby's insight. Otherwise it would have seemed so unkind laughing at a patient.
When it is my turn to take my girl in, I am beaming. The Doctor looks up surprised to see such a happy mum. With a sick child. I try to keep it all inside me, my secret source of amusement. Which is not ruined when Doc confirms hubby's insights about the lymph nodes. Even hubby's I-told-you-so look does nothing to kill my amusement.  Until the patient with gauze in the nose comes knocking at the door. It is that he had a simple case of nose bleeding. That explains the gauze. And so with our visit over, he is coming in next to have the Doctor remove it. I take one last look at him and this huge bubble of laughter spills over. I am practically quacking with laughter as we leave the Doc's office and hubby has all but given up trying to cover it up.
I Leave the hospital feeling better. Much better. My baby is going to be well. And I just had a dose of laughter to last me the week. No guilt feelings too.

06 May 2011

There is a fuel crisis in Kenya. Long queues of people awaiting their turn at petrol stations have been the order of the day. A lot of time wasted, if you ask me. While the cause of this shortage has not been determined yet and even if so nothing has been done yet, people are suffering. Even those with the money have to wait long for a chance to refuel. But of course it is the majority that is suffering. Those that have to depend on public transport to get around.
I witnessed the desperation that my countrymen go through this Monday. I was caught up in traffic after five o'clock when most people leave office for their homes. The roads were jammed up despite the fuel crisis. I saw a commuter train pass by and I could not believe it! People were hanging on to anything they could hold on to. The train was so jammed and had people sitting and some standing on the roof. At the speed it was going I wondered what would happen if there was a sudden brake. This was going on even as I was wondering, do trains brake? The people on the roof seemed oblivious of the danger they were staring in the face. And what might happen when those hanging on to the train on the outside got tired and had to let go?
It has to be a real desperate situation for someone to go to such desperate lengths. Would it not make sense to have more trains running and reduce the traffic jams on the road? That way, One would be assured of getting to their destination on time. And save up on lost time. And boost the economy because people would be more productive when they got to their office less tired from sitting in traffic.
With the rains here, what the common mwananchi is prone to is pathetic. One has to get up earlier than usual so that they can spend less time in traffic. If caught up in the rush to work you could be sitting longer than you like in traffic. With nothing else to do but listen to the FM stations that hold the most obnoxious discussions in the morning. And if that's what the driver likes to listen to, that leaves you no choice.You, the customer, have no say. Customer care to public transporters? Maybe.
And it's not made any better when it's time to head back home. The traffic jams have built up and everyone seems to be rushing to get out of town. There has to be a solution to this traffic mess in the city. Just last week I witnessed a pathetic scene. I heard a siren from way off. The ambulance was evidently stuck in the jam because it took a while to catch up with us. And even then other vehicles were reluctant to llet him through. I pictured a very sick person in there, when each second counts, but unable to wade through the traffic. Maybe a life could have been saved. Makes you think you want to be careful when to get seriously sick because you just might not get to hospital. Mercy has deserted us in Kenya.
Talking of mercy, I came across this sick man in the streets. Typical Sunday afternoon and the streets are deserted except for a few people. And so he was having fits. Several people were standing around him, doing nothing. Watching him struggle to stay alive. All I could think of was to put a pen  in his mouth so he would not bite his tongue. Limited knowledge. But useful. And there was one other person who was sympathetic to him. He actually got into his pockets and found a hospital card. And he was able to address the man by name.There's a magic to calling someone by their name. Something personal. And so he was able to learn that Joseph had been on his way to Kenyatta general hospital. He called a cab and accompanied Joseph to Kenyatta. And gave his card to anyone interested for followup.
Still some good people left in Kenya. Wouldn't it be lots nicer if everyone cared for the other? Just a thought, though.

03 May 2011

I could not believe it. A baby, right under my roof? No, this could not be happening. How would I help? With no training whatsoever in nursing, I was at a loss. A shocked loss.
She had come to our house. This is someone we had known quite some time and she had lived close by with her hubby. They were a young couple and as often happens after living together they had decided for a baby. We had not met up for some time because they had since relocated though to a not so far place. Until that afternoon when she came knocking at our house.
I invited her in and noting that she was so far gone did all I could to make her stay comfortable. She lay on the couch for a while. Though I wondered of her state as darkness began to fall, it did not bother me much. Even when she requested to spend the night because she was too tired, I just consented. Too much too soon.
Straight after dinner, i washed her feet and set her to bed. All was peaceful until around 11pm when I heard this piercing scream. And thus begun my agony. I ran to where she lay to find her doubled up in pain. It did not take me too long to realise that a baby was on it's way here. But in my house? We were in a dilemma. With no hospital clinic records we could not just have her admitted in any hospital to deliver. She did not even have any identification on her. It hit me just then, how about we call her hubby. I tried his phone and though it took longer than it should he was on the line. As soon as I explained the situation to him, he informed in not so polite words that I was on my own. That he had left her and she was on her own. It hit me so hard. That a man could disown his own child who was just about to be born? That the lady knew all along she was in labor and had not informed me? That there would be no hospital admission without the necessary records?
I woke up a neighbor. She was not so helpful either. Told me how risky it was for me having a woman in labor in case it went bad. Exhausted, I knelt down to pray. Funny how wrong i had my priorities. I said just a simple prayer asking God to postpone all my previous requests and grant that the labor could be withheld till morning came. Till I could take the lady to hospital. Answered prayer? Yes. The lady slept through till 5am in the morning. I didn't have any sleep that night. We hit the road at the first signs of daylight. The nearest clinic could not take her in with no records. She was now in so much pain.
At some point we were advised to take her to some government office. But being a Sunday it was closed. Then it hit me. We could take her to a govt hospital and leave her there. At least that way she would receive the necessary care records or no records. It was not helping my pleading to take her in. And that is just what we did. We took her to a facility, asked the Doctor to have a look. They informed her that they would not take her in without the records of her clinic visits.My ears were beginning to sting with that word-records.
And so while the Doctor checked her out we took off. Casually. Entrusting her to the right hands.
We had not driven more than five minutes when they called me. Said the baby was born. I should have been happy but in the circumstances, I felt relieved. I could now catch up on sleep. And try to think why someone in such a delicate situation would just not tell the truth. What if?
I was glad that she and baby were was fine. She could now call her folks to go see her. But I wondered, weren't these the ones she should have gone to in the first place?Why me?