I is for Influenza A: Part 2

I mentioned in Part 1 that Elliott was actually running a pretty high fever for the entire week. He stayed home for the whole week as I did not want to risk him passing on the viruses to his friends. After I was diagnosed with Influenza A, I knew that he was probably suffering from the same bug as well. I haven’t been out of the house and it was pretty clear that I caught the virus from him.

We also noted that he was particularly cranky and out of character. He was teary, clingy and kept uttering “Mummy, hug me“. He was also barely eating/drinking and did not even want a lollipop when I offered it. It broke my heart to see him in this state. He has also never ever fallen asleep while watching TV but the poor baby did it on Friday afternoon (19 May).


The high fever kept coming back and on Friday night, when it hit 39.5 degrees and he was in a listless state, I decided that we needed to take him to KKH. For the record, I was just discharged from KKH that afternoon so we were returning to KKH again.

The boy dropped us off at the Children’s 24-hour Clinic and I was shocked to see a HUGE crowd. It wasn’t our first time there but this was possibly the most crowded I’ve seen it. We took a number and there were like 30 patients ahead of us.


I took a cursory glance around and there were sooooo many kids with fever patches on. One frantic father ran to the triage nurse and exclaimed that his son is having a high fever. The nurse replied, everyone here has a high fever, Sir. It was like a scene out of an epidemic outbreak movie.

The boy and I donned masks because we really could not risk getting sick. That’s something I don’t get – why do we not wear masks when we are sick or in an area where there are clearly loads of viruses floating about? Yes, wearing a mask is uncomfortable but I’d put up with it instead of falling sick.

The nurse at triage took Elliott’s temperature and thanks to Brufen, it has come down to about 38 degrees. I also told her about my bout of Influenza A and she ordered a blood test for Elliott as well.

We headed to Door 11 (the area for blood test, emergency wheezing cases, etc – we’ve been there before when Elliott had croup). Prior to this, I had no idea how they take blood from a toddler. Well, now I know. They take a needle and prick his 4th finger, then squeeze his finger to get drops of blood out. Of course, Elliott screamed when his finger was pricked. It took all of me not to tear. It was excruciating to watch the process where each drop of blood took forever to be squeezed out. Ouch.

Finally, what seemed like forever (it was probably 3 minutes or less), it was over and the nurse told us to wait outside. She said that the blood test would take an hour so that was the minimum time to wait before seeing a doctor. By now, there were a prominent sign to inform all that the average wait was going to be….4 hours.

By now, it was past midnight and everyone was exhausted. Check out the waiting crowd. While waiting, we also heard many announcements for sick kids to head to Door 11 for their blood to be taken.


Finally, at almost 12.30am, it was our turn to see the doctor. The blood test confirmed that he also had Influenza A and I was expecting to be given Tamiflu which was what I got as well. As it turns out, the KKH doctor said that it is not their protocol to administer it and we were to just ‘ride it out’. She also advised that it is ok if he doesn’t want to eat but he MUST drink to prevent dehydration. Any form of liquid is ok – water, soup, juices, milk – basically, as long as he keeps liquid down. She said that if he refuses to drink, he’d have to be warded.

We left KKH with the following meds:

  • Zrytec x 1 bottle
  • Iliadin x 1 bottle
  • Brufen x 2 bottles
  • Paracetemol x 2 bottles
  • Lacto GG capsultes x 1 box (he complained of pain in his tummy which was probably caused by Brufen – I did not know that it causes gas!)

We finally got home at about 1am and crashed into bed after administering the various meds to make Elliott feel better.

Thankfully, with the meds and lots and lots of rest (he slept loads), he was slowly on the mend, much to our relief. The doctor also advised us to let him stay home for another few days so he had to miss his much-anticipated excursion with his classmates to the Butterfly Park. This is also why the boy and I did not celebrate our wedding anniversary with a nice dinner on 22 May. I guess we can do it another time. He finally made it back to school on Tuesday, 23 May, after an absence of 6 days.

The viruses these days are horrid and long drawn so please, everyone, if you have sick kids, wash their hands with soap frequently and importantly, please, keep them at home.

We’ve also learnt from this experience that KKH does not give out Tamiflu for such situations so on hindsight, I wouldn’t have bothered heading to KKH at all.


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