Bracing for another round with the forces of nature

The clouds are overcast here in New York this Friday.  This is but a glimpse of the wrath of nature now heading towards the South, 3,000 miles away.

People are desperately trying to get our parts of Texas reputed to be in the path of Hurricane Rita.  This time people are listening to federal calls for evacuation, but the sense of panic after Hurricane Katrina has paralyzed the efforts of many to obey.  What is even more tragic is that there are some people who are now fleeing Hurricane Rita who had sought refuge in Texas from the ravages of Katrina.  Others who had so generously taken in refugees are now fleeing themselves.

While we are just inconvenienced by bad weather here on the East Coast, we can’t help but wonder how we would fare if the howlers went our way.  I heard from old timers here in New York say that the stronger ones that hit New York hit in the 80s.  It has been a while but that is a reminder that we are not always safe.  We do have our snow storms — Mom even had one or two last year.  (Her first time to see snow, and a real snow storm at that!)

All we can do is hope and pray.  You think that you”ll only see people stuck on the highways fleeing something from their domicile in the movies — it’s playing live on national television right now.


One of those days I'm grateful I'm in New York City

Cross posted on Pinay Mom on Motherhood, etc.

Today was one of the days I’m grateful I’m a New Yorker.  We had to take Angel to have a CT scan due to macrocephaly, or the fact that he has a big head.  It really doesn’t look all that different from most kids, but pediatricians here monitor the circumference of the head of an infant from birth onwards to make sure growth milestones are met and that any deviation from the norm is caught early.  We have a graph that the doctor plots every third-month visit, monitoring his height, weight and head circumference.

While he has displayed no symptoms of any abnormalities whatsoever, the fact that he remains in the 95 percentile growth rate made it prudent for us to consider a non-invasive test to give us a peak into his head.

I made the phone appointment as recommended by my pediatrician, and within one week from the date I called, I received actual correspondence by mail confirming his appointment and giving us instructions in terms of preparing Angel for the procedure.  As he is a 16-month-old we could not expect to hold still even for just 5 minutes, we had to resort to sedation which meant he was to take no more solids after midnight the day before, no more non-clear liquids after 6AM, and totally nothing by mouth by 8AM.  We also received a form to be filled up by our pediatrician who was to do a physical examination of Angel no earlier than 3 days before the date of the CT scan.  (If I were in Manila, I would’ve had to get clearance from my health care provider if the procedure were covered, physically make the appointment at the clinic or center where it is to be done, be ready with cash for any portion of the fee I am to pay for.)

While it was an emotional tug-o-war beginning at 5:30AM when I stopped nursing Angel, then after his last drink of apple juice just before 8AM, everything went smoothly and I am more than happy at the way the hospital staff not only took care of my son, but of his parents’ well being as well.

I think they were more worried about me getting anxious after I saw the nurse and anesthesiologist holding down my son as they made him inhale something to knock him out before they put him under complete sedation — but I assured them I was fine.

Alan was more together than I was, but I think I held out pretty well.  I couldn’t help but worry and hope that they find nothing.  That our assumption that all is well will hold after they see the images of his brain. 

Not only was I grateful I was in one of the most medically advanced cities in the world, but I was grateful I had access to the best medical care — both preventive and curative — for me and my family.  If I were in Manila, even if money was not an issue, the quality of care would be.  I would probably be able to afford the best for my son, but I shudder to think of those who are forced to do without because they are not employed with appropriate health care coverage.

Angel went through it just fine.  He never even seemed to have gotten any weaker with the fasting.  He was up and about as soon as the anesthesia started to wean off, and now he is sleeping soundly on his sofabed, dead tired only because we were up by 5:30AM which is way too early even for an early riser like him.