Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cat and the Measles

Hubby is not very demanding. Music-wise that is. He loves a certain genre, the same he used to enjoy when he was younger, which is fine because, thank God, his younger years were not rocking to the sound of Britney Spears or Justin Bieber. (I pray he goes extinct by the time Mia turns into some crazed groupie because I do not think I could cope with Bieber Fever in my house).

Back to hubby. His favorite musicians of all times are Eric Clapton, Cat Stevens and Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler did perform in Dubai back in March 2005 but hubby could not make it then despite all his drive and eagerness to demand "his MTV". 

However (with a capital H), when came the time for Eric Clapton to visit the Emirates in February 2011, he vowed he would not miss his absolute rock god, no matter what. And indeed, despite our tiny 75-days old bundle of joy at home, we drove to Abu Dhabi and attended the concert. 

Eric Clapton at Yas Arena, Abu Dhabi on February 11, 2011
Photo Credit: R. Abouzeid

Of course, hubby would have had to get a girlfriend for the evening had my brother not been able to baby-sit because I was not (hormonally nor emotionally) about to abandon my angel with a stranger under any circumstance. Hubby was lucky I trust my brother completely. But completely does not mean blindly, and I had my mom on video Skype supervising the whole thing all the way from Lebanon! And me texting on Whatsapp every 15 minutes! Fun, I know.

A few weeks ago, I made an interesting discovery on Facebook: an event created by Beiteddine Festival to announce that Cat Stevens was scheduled to perform in Beirut on February 18. Naturally, being a loving wife and all, I immediately forwarded the details to hubby who took five seconds to ask me to book tickets! So I called Virgin Megastore and inquired about the whole thing:
Me: Hello, I would like to know when Cat Stevens' tickets will be on sale please. 
VG: Who? 
Me: Cat Stevens. You know, Umm, Yusuf Islam? 
Me: You advertised his upcoming concert on Facebook. It will take place at Biel on February 18. 
VG: I have no tickets for this date yet. 
VG is "Virgin Guy", and I swear I am not referring to or passing judgement on his sexual life.

VG was probably too young to have heard of hubby's very own Bieber Fever. 

It took a few weeks before there was any news about the tickets and even for the concert to be advertised on the radio. But we finally managed to book online and hubby was all set to come for a 24-hour visit to Lebanon. That was the belated Valentine's I had mentioned in my previous post.

But of course, nothing would be worthwhile if there were not some obstacles on the way. After all, good things should not come easy, right?

And indeed, a few hours before we were set to go, Mia came down with a mild fever. Nothing dramatic, but still it was enough for me to change my mind. So hubby played the "don't do this to me" and "you're not going to send me to concert alone, are you?" cards and insisted it would be OK and my parents could give us a call in case of emergency. After all, Mia has been struggling with fever every couple of weeks or so, and we are now experts on how to deal with this drama.

I agreed but on the condition we would call a taxi because it would take ages to reach the venue, find a place to park and then maybe even longer to be able to get our car out of the parking in case of emergency.

So I called my favorite Beirut cab company, ALLÔ CITY:
Me: Hello I need a cab for 8pm please. 
Operator: Are you going to Cat Stevens' concert? 
Me: What? How did you know? 
Operator: How could you? I am stuck at work and you're going to Cat Stevens' concert?! 
Me: Umm... I am so sorry? I feel your pain?... 
Operator: That's OK, you enjoy yourself.  
Me: Thank you! What's the charge please? 
(My parents' house is in Hamra street, which is about 10 minutes away from the concert venue) 
Operator: 70,000 Lebanese Pounds (a little less than 50 US Dollars) 
Me and Operator in unison: That's about the same price as the concert tickets! 
Operator: I'm kidding, it'll be 9,000 LP (approximately 6 US Dollars)   

I love how the cab company's night shift operator knows Cat Stevens and the customer service guy at Virgin Ticketing has never heard of the man! :)

And off we went to Biel. The cab was a life savior because there was so much traffic at the entrance, we would have missed the beginning of the concert had we not ditched the car and continued on foot. We were not surprised to see people walking in to their seats in the middle of the first song. It was so crowded on the parking lot, this was bound to happen.

Cat Stevens at Biel, Beirut Lebanon on February 18, 2012
Photo Credit: R. Abouzeid 
Cat Stevens at Biel, Beirut Lebanon on February 18, 2012
Photo Credit: R. Abouzeid

OK, I know, none of the photos in this post are worth sharing, but that is the best I could do with my phone. It is a Smart Phone, yes, but it is not *that* smart.

So I will make it up to you for sticking with me thus far (and ignoring the crappy visuals) and also because I am indeed super nice.

Here, allow me to share with you the last minutes of the concert:

On our way back from the concert, hubby told me: "that's it, Eric Clapton, Cat Stevens, I can die tomorrow"... Umm, on behalf of Mia, Number 2 and myself, thank you hubby?

Of course he was only joking so I did not help in rushing his death "tomorrow" as per his clearly stated wishes.

Warning: The following contains detailed Mommy Rantings. 
You have been warned.

As for Mia, my parents managed her fever quite easily but by the time we were home it was already close to 39°C. We did not sleep one bit that night. Mia woke up several times, in pain and in tears.

The next morning hubby had to fly back to Dubai. All the while Mia was getting worse. The doctors told us not to bring her to the ER because they could not do anything more than what we were already doing at home. That afternoon, Mia's temperature reached 40.3°C and would not go below 40°C no matter what medication we gave her or how many ice-cold towels we forcibly placed on her shaky naked body. It was pure and simple torture for her, and for us.

And to add insult to injury, we noticed a mild rash on her neck which seemed to itch a little so we immediately checked her belly and back and inspected every bit of her body looking for other traces but found nothing. So we concluded it was probably a reaction to the very high fever.

The next day, her temperature finally dropped a few points and we were back to 39-39.5°C.

It was only until yesterday that we got the relief of reading that 38.5°C on the thermometer screen.

Today her temperature went back to normal, thank God. But the rash that seemed to be confined to her neck throughout the four days of fever spread dramatically on her back and behind her ears during the night. There does not seem to be one bit of spotless skin left in those areas!

So we immediately checked her belly and there it was: the dreaded rash, much milder than on her back but still, clearly there. Her face was spared with only a few red spots on her cheeks, next to her ears and on her nose mostly.

Obviously, Mia's fever was caused by a case of baby measles which seems to have been softened (somehow) by her vaccine.

And so now the waiting begins. Mia cannot sleep at night and during the day she is so cranky and clingy. We can only be patient as I cannot even imagine how horrible this itchiness must feel, especially to a tiny baby who does not know how to reach the areas that hurt and how to scratch them or how to tell us where it itches so we could help ease her discomfort a little.

Mamma Mia

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