Wednesday, April 07, 2010


What started out as a quick get-away for Spring Break ended badly. Very very badly. Truth be told, it didn't even start out well! Before we left Manila, we were all feeling a bit under the weather with minor sniffles and colds. On the way to the airport I had a feeling that maybe we should just skip the trip. I had horrible stomach cramps thanks to no food and a few too many "Berry Nices" at a friends house before we left. After checking in, Nate and the kids grabbed some pizza while I lay down on the floor trying to convince myself to get over the pain and get on the plane! Pain subsiding, we paid our $45 to leave the country (WHERE in the world else do they make you pay to leave?) and headed to the gate. Kids are all well and fine until about 30 minutes into the flight when all hell breaks loose.

We were on a local carrier. The planes have enough leg room for children. It's a late night flight and Finnley is overtired and will not or cannot settle down, he just carried on screaming and crying and kicking until his little body wore out. This is where being on a plane filled with Filipinos is a blessing. They are VERY understanding people. Smiles and nods of understanding as opposed to annoying looks and snide comments so common elsewhere. I kid you not, just as Finnley has fallen asleep out of nowhere Holden....golden child....perfect traveller starts screaming that he has a headache. He is in pain and tears and carrying-on ensue for another 30 minutes. Nate and I look at each other in misery, each with a child stretched out across us. Nervous to even more lest we wake the beasts. Oh good only 3 more hours to go!

We get to our hotel just off of Sukhumvit Road and find out upon check-in that they haven't put a baby cot in our room and they don't know where one is. By now, it is past 1am and regardless of how tired we are there is no way we are all sleeping in one bed. An hour later, they bring up a single bed and we crash hard. Sleeping in was not on Finnley's agenda so we were up early for breakfast and then back to bed for a nap. We had several days so we wanted to make this vacation relaxing. "No rush, plenty of time to see everything!" was our mantra. That day we bummed around the city, and went to the suan lum night market and tried the various street food stalls of green curry and pad thai. Finnley was out of sorts not eating much so I knew something was wrong. The next morning we were up and out to the chatuchak weekend dirt market. As Holden said, "you're a mom that likes to shop." It was hot and stuffy and crowded but nothing that we couldn't normally handle. We cut the visit short because Finnley was still not eating. When we got back to the hotel that afternoon and gave Finn a cool bath to cool him down, but I just knew we needed to go to the hospital. Finnley is go go go, so to see him lethargic is an instant clue that something is wrong. His fingers and toes were blue like he wasn't getting enough oxygen and he had rapid breathing.

This trip was full of so many small mercies one of which was a call to the US embassy to find an English speaking hospital where someone actually answered the phone on a Sunday! (Manila has the WORST embassy ever, they only answer between 2-4 pm and even then are the least helpful people I have ever dealt with) the hospital as someone has described it since, was like a 5 star hotel and happened to be across the street. Yet another miracle with all the protesting in Bangkok, it could have taken hours to get there had it been located elsewhere. We headed to the pediatric wing, signed in and didn't have to wait more than 2 minutes to see the doctor. Find out Finnley had lost a kilo (ended up losing 3 kilos before the week was through) and had a temperature of 40 degrees celcius! After a blood test and a chest xray they determined he had bacterial pneumonia. Poor little guy was admitted to the hospital for 3 days. He was much better once they had him hooked up with fluid and antibiotics in him but was absolutely miserable with that iv in his arm and having to be on a nebulizer every 2 hours. The hospital and doctors and nurses were top notch. It was efficient and organized from the beginning to the end, but not quite the vacation we had hoped for! Holden and Nate came to the hospital in the mornings and spent the day with us and headed back to the hotel at night. We literally were released a half a day before our flight back to Manila, just in time to see a few sights around Bangkok, but thanks to the protesting we couldn't get anywhere else in the city. It was like we went just for medical tourism!

The flight back to Manila was uneventful (thank heavens!) and we have NEVER been more happy to be home. Finnley is back to his ever-going 16 month old self and nothing makes us more happy than to see one of those tantrums!


Julie said...

That's kind of sounding like the worst vacation ever. I'm so sorry baby FinnRo wasn't well. And I'm equally happy he's doing so much better now. Kisses from Utah to him.


What an eventful stay in Bangkok. I'm glad Finnley is feeling better!