Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sick or just pretending?

While I was in school, I had heard of friends who would go to all lengths to be able to skip school. It included drinking scalding Milo before heading into the doctor's office to simulate a fever to reading up symptoms of ailments so that they wouldn't get caught out. That, together with all the students I used to see ducking out of school with a myriad of excuses that sometimes bordered on the ridiculous have made me a suspicious teacher and an even more suspicious parent.

The twins, at P1, thankfully aren't that conniving yet; but they would occasionally try the vomiting, stomachache and headache way out of school. Usually if it is a single symptom without any others to corroborate it, I insist that they still go.

Two days ago, Jordan came home from school claiming she had a headache from sitting on the side of the bus where the sun came in. This came after declaring, the night before, that she didn't like Tuesdays because it was a long day. Put the two events together and it was a recipe for skepticism on my part, especially when her headache got significantly 'worse' as Grandma showed up.


That night, however, I ate my words because the headache had manifested into a high fever that would not break, regardless of what we threw at it. This followed into yesterday with Jordan becoming increasingly lethargic as the fevers grew increasingly hotter and increasingly resistant to any sort of fever relief medicine.

By then, there was obviously no doubt in our minds how ill she was and we worried about dengue or a more severe viral infection of sorts. And by then, I felt extremely guilty for having doubted that she was ill to begin with. I wouldn't have done anything different since I did pull down the blinds, let her have a lie-down and even a spoonful of paracetamol to make her comfortable. But I had done that with more than a modicum of disbelief and as I watched as whimper and writhe in her sleep battling fever dreams, I felt inordinately bad.

On the way to getting blood drawn.


Bruise site. She shed one tear.

I don't know what the moral of the story is because more often than not, JED will try to pull this again. I suppose I could use this as a cautionary tale, that if they complained too often, when they did indeed fall ill, it would take me a longer time to help them. But for me, the mommy radar really has to sieve out the malingering excuses with the true declarations of discomfort and if I get it wrong, it's not the situation report that will kill me, it's the guilt.

1 comments:

  1. Oh dear. Poor Jordan! What's the conclusion? don't be so hard on yourself. You could t have known!

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