(and doctors who don’t know how to symphatize with their patient’s immediate kin)
“Wake him up! Wake him up!” Habibi screamed at me while driving like a mad man. I was at the back seat, with my son in my arms.
“Wake up Khalid! Open your eyes. Do you love Mummy?”
(He would always say “Yes”)
“Khalid, you said you love Mummy?” You bluffed! Why don’t you say it now!?” Say it Khalid!”
I demanded, my son cold in my hands. My mind was preparing myself for the worst, however optimistic I hoped to be at that time.
Going back to the scene that happened just 2 days ago, is not easy for me. Everytime I tried to flashback to the incident, it jerks up so much pain, I had to take myself back to the present immediately. I didn’t even know how to put the whole story together until my son was finally resting with oxygen mask and all kinds of wires on his chest and hands did I ask my husband what he saw from the beginning.
“I heard Kakak screaming, that’s when I came out. I saw her with Khalid in her hands in the pool” That’s all I needed to know. I knew he drowned. He was all bloated and was already unconcious when I woke up to the scene in the garden where my husband was trying to rescucitate Ibni. I was not ready for that. I was not ready to lose my son. I don’t know how I managed to be calm and told habibi to call ambulance. I dialed some numbers, but in the end, they just told my husband to bring him to the nearest clinic. He ran, barefooted, only had time to ask for his glasses while I shouted for the maid to take care of my daughter as I am leaving. It was all a matter of seconds. I grabbed the abaya that was already hanging near the doorway and a piece of scarf and sat behind with dear Ibni. I didn’t want to waste any time, told the maid to open the garage door while husband was still getting in the car and running the engine. Every second counts.
Alhamdulillah, the nearest polyclinic was just around the corner. We just abandoned the car outside while Habibi took Ibni and ran inside, I was right behind them. Thank Allah the staffs were quick to react. Nurses and a doctor came and did their work immediately. His teeth were clamped up and refuse to open. I was just 5 steps away from him, to give space for medical staff to work. I didnt even know till yesterday that they had to put in a plastic tube through his nose and into his body to clear the air passage. I didn’t know what was my state of consciousness, I was there time has just frozen for me. Suddenly my husband picked him up and we were again running to the car and now heading to the nearest hospital, as instructed by the doctor at the polyclinic.
The hospital although near, would take a while to get to since it was on the opposite site of the road. Somehow my husband was going for the shortest way possible. We met with a lot of dead ends. The car was abrupt and jumpy all the time. In the backseat, was a mother trying to keep his son awake. His body was at least twice its weight. Cold. Motionless. He didnt respond to anything. His eyes were rolling backwards. His breathing was slow. I didnt even dare to press on any parts of his body fearing that I could harm him more. He was not my son. I didnt feel his bones like I would have. I didnt feel his warmth. He didn’t call for me like he would have. Habibi kept telling me to keep him awake. I tried all my best, at times I wanted to give in and let my heart scream in pain, but habibi demanded that I don’t lose it now. I brushed my pain aside to be strong for him and for habibi. I noticed even Habibi was close to wailing as he was driving impatiently to the destination. I heard him, but I couldn’t do that. I just had to be there for my son. I had to wake him up. I kept bouncing him on my laps (we were told to keep him in sitting position), and had to keep on talking very loudly to keep him awake. I didn’t feel like it. I felt like fainting no, I felt like dying.
As soon as we reached the hospital, habibi jumped out grabbed ibni and again, hospital staffs showed us the way and Ibni was treated immediately. A few minutes later, after fiddling with a lot of medical equipments, Ibni cried. That was my sign. I thought I could cry now because he will be alright. Again, I couldn’t. Doctors were quick to stop me saying he is alright, stop crying. Earlier, i tried to explain that my son must have swallowed a lot of water (this was obvious, his physical state was showing, maybe i was looking for a comforting answer). The doctor said “It didn’t matter if he drank a whole lake. That only happens on TV” I think I did retort something about being human. I didn’t care to fight with rude staffs that day, I had enough. More than enough. Ibni was sent for a CatScan and Xray right after, and then during the CatScan he actually said something. Habibi was with him in that room, but unfortunately cannot tell what he was saying. I wished it was me instead in that room, because I could understand my baby. He was warded to ICU for observation and no one could stay in the room with him. Habibi stayed while I brought the rest home. I could only do so when I know my son is allright. I knew because eventhough he was in terrible pain and shock lying helpless on the bed, he obliged to kiss my eyes and my lips. He also said he loves me.
This journey is traumatic for us. I think at this point, we’re still recovering from the state of panic, nearly losing a loved one and suffering from post traumatic stress. I don’t think I even had time to deal with the whole accident. I was either awake and doing what I had to do, or sleeping from dead tiredness.
Today is the beginning of the week, marking the end of Spring Holidays for me. Just last week, I thought life had become smooth sailing. I could be easily envied for having what I have. I hear other people’s problem and never thought that it could be mine. Maybe I became too bold by thinking that. People had me thinking that material things could make them happy. They constantly blame me for not understanding their positions. But I learnt the hard way. Nothing in this world mean anything at all, without the loved ones. The ones who constantly bring joy to your life. Smiles to your face. Warmth to your heart. I don’t wish upon anyone to have to carry their dead sons in their arms. Body cold and limp. No one should go through that, but if you do, then may Allah give you strength and patience for it. Alhamdulillah, my instinct told me to call a group of friends I knew were having halaqa on that day. I begged them for their duas. I know angels were around them (angels are at gatherings where Allah’s name is mentioned). As soon as I did that, Ibni vomitted out most of what he ate that afternoon. He must have felt relief. That should help relief some of his bloatedness.
When I came to visit him after dropping Kakak off for school yesterday, he was already in his usual self. He was chirpy, cheerful and talkative. He talked non-stop and even explained how the accident happened. “I fall down, and then swim down, swim down…” Much too clever for a 3 year old. Everytime he did something, crying, talking, telling a story, I counted my blessings.
I counted when my blessings when I remembered that we were sleeping in the living room, and not in the bedroom when the incident happened
I counted my blessings for the earlier God-sent instict to ask habibi to rest (he just came back from a flight that morning) on the couch instead of in the bedroom
I counted my blessings my habibi was at home instead of in another country
I counted my blessings when I knew later my son fell on the shallow end (deep end reaches 1.8m), hence allowing Kakak (who had a float) to help him up, and called for us
I counted my blessings when my husband heard Kakak’s screamings for help.
I counted my blessings because kakak was big enough and had the intelligence to help her brother out
I counted my blessings for having employees who could react to this situation promptly and sensitively.
I counted my blessings because the polyclinic is just around the corner.
I counted my blessings when Ibni cried (it means he is allright)
I counted my blessings when he talked (it means he didnt lose his abilities)
I counted my blessings when he held my hand (it means he still remembers me)
I counted my blessings and Im still counting them.
May Allah keep all of us safe. Every moment matters now to me than it ever was before. As a friend said, Life is fragile. Allah could give it, take it, and even give it back, if He wishes
Count your blessings.