Haze Woes

Our haze woes are finally over after a week of unhealthy soot-filled air. The past week seemed too long and nothing like 7 days at all. It felt like 7 months to us because we were cooped up in our bedrooms with a horrible smelling living room after we returned from Genting. Our bedrooms were the freshest because we kept our bedroom doors closed while we were away. We counted our blessings for investing in a heavy duty air purifier and ionizer before this saga. It kept the burnt air at bay. After we left it on for 24 hours (with the air-condition of course), our living room was smelling fresh like forest again!
The haze hit Singapore gravely on 17th June 2013. We have never experience such high PSI levels in our lifetime. It went up to 401 on 21st July 2013 at 12pm. It was in its hazardous range and I had to break all house rules to catch “It’s a Bear Hunt” at National Library Drama Centre. We bought tickets for it way in advance and I thought a car ride (enclosed) to an indoor venue (enclosed) shouldn’t be an issue. I will not be subjecting Ewan to any bad pollutants as such. Little did I know, the PSI level shot up so quickly from when we left the house to the Library that the whole carpark was filled with smog. I was gagging for breath myself when I carried him to safety from car to lobby. Worst of all, the drama centre was filled with burnt air too. I was greatly disappointed because I was looking forward to a fun morning playdate with friends in clean air. Ewan was nursing a nasty flu at the same time so the air did some bad damage. Other than him coughing and crying half way through the show, the children did have fun. He was enjoying himself too until the bad air got to him. 
Singapore at PSI 367 on route to National Library, 1030 hours
the 15 tickets bought for our Bear Hunt playdate
Did you remember to bring a bear with you to the show?

Ewan was extremely excited. He had his own booster seat.

a last shot before the show begins
and we found the Bear!
After the show, we headed off to Ion Orchard for lunch and what a great choice for fresh air! Not a tinge of haze in Ion and I was really impressed with its management’s initiative to keep it clean. They have taken matters into their hands to keep the mall clean by disabling all automatic doors that open and shut to the polluted island outside. They placed signs at every automatic door that read, “your additional steps will help keep clean air in the mall”. Those additional steps were not out of the way at all. They even placed a security guard by the manual door to make sure those doors were closed after every patron. Many shopping centres I’ve been to were smoky because they have multiple exits and entrances to the complexes. I now appreciate automatic doors with a “press to open” button on them. I used to find that really cumbersome but hey, it served its purpose well on hazy days. Even if Ion Orchard did not shut down their automatic doors, at least they were “press to open” doors. It will not open and close every time it senses someone near. And with that, we had a very comfortable lunch at Marmalade Pantry smelling only fresh pasta and the aromatherapy scent of Ion Orchard.
waiting eagerly for lunch

catching up with Alisteir

the famous Mother & Baby model, Caleb!

and his really cheeky brother, Chace
This outing put Ewan on the nebuliser 2 days later. He started to cough badly with phlegm that couldn’t get out of his system. So we thought it was better to get him appropriate medicine other that his regular Rhiniramine for flu and Prospan for cough. Meyer brought him to the doctor’s on Sunday and told me he had to be on the nebuliser. I have heard so much about the nebuliser and almost every child I know was put on it for some respiratory issues. Now it was Ewan’s turn. 
It is the delivery of aerosolized medication as a form of treatment to reach the source more effectively than oral medicine, especially in children. Our doctor educated us that oral medicine may have only 20% to 30% chance of reaching the root of the problem. Opening his airways via nebuliser can comfort him quicker. We rented the machine from the clinic to have him nebbed at home. Ewan was given Pulmicort and Combivent Solution for Inhalation. It works by relaxing the muscle surrounding the airways to the lungs and therefore helps to ease breathing. Pulmicort is also a maintenance medication to prevent asthma symptoms that may arise. That is exactly what Ewan needs with the haze lingering its last bit here. If this problem isn’t nipped in the bud, it will soon get out of hand. Augmentin was also given, a total of 10 day course. Dr Chan did not want to risk a pneumonia possibility because a quick check showed that the virus is working its way down to his lungs.  Antibiotics is needed to prevent his lungs from getting infected. 
So here is Ewan sizing up the nebuliser and wailed as he inhaled the fumes. I was told by many that 2 needs to do the job. One to hold him down and the other to administer the mask. I sure am glad our brave boy stopped crying after a while and willingly co-operated. He could even play and sing Twinkle Twinkle with us. Really grateful for him working with me on this one. Otherwise, I’ll have a hard time nebbing him alone at home in the day.
our Zuny BoBo enjoying the nebuliser too

his respules, half and half of each to make one dosage

they enter into this container

not knowing what is coming next

and he wanted so much for it to stop

mummy will sayang you darling, it’s all for the better
By the time night came, he had quite gotten used to it and actually slept with his nebuliser. We went “phew”, it wasn’t that tough. Putting Ewan to sleep when he was younger was much tougher than this! 
I heard about how heartbreaking nebulising can be for both parent and child. It hurts so bad you might cry with them too. Fortunately, it did not pained me at all seeing him struggle. I know for one, he is not in pain breathing in fumes that reap more benefits than harm. Two, he is just being fussy because it isn’t comfortable. Just like how they pull off their hats when you put one on. It is also a faster route to dissolving those thick stubborn phlegms than cough mixtures. So if you ever have to put your child through this some day, do not ache too much. It is for the better. The nebuliser will probably be suggested when your child is wheezing. 
the night fumes before bed 
and he fell asleep to it
Despite the seriousness of it all, Ewan is still active and bouncing about like a little bunny. I do not know how Augmentin tastes like but the doctor did highlight that we should mix it with his milk if he refuses them. Surprise or no surprise, he loves his Augmentin so much that he helped himself to it. I placed that 3ml syringe on the table and when I returned from the kitchen, this is what I saw! Now, let’s hope his fever do not persist. Otherwise, we will have to see the doctor again on Thursday. Lastly, mummy is feeling much better now since she can have this entry written. Thank you all for your messages and checking on our well-being. Friends for Life *smiles*
Antibiotics are yummy too!

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