Malcolm turned 11 over the weekend.
He had missed school for 2 weeks because he was infected with the mumps virus.
Yes he was vaccinated and we were totally clueless where or how he caught the virus.
A week before he got infected, we were just saying that we hardly see kids with mumps these days. I remember it used to be a common infection because all my siblings had it when we were young. I was explaining to the boys how the old folks believe that the ‘cure’ to mumps was to ask someone born in the year of tiger to write the Chinese character 虎 on the infected cheek with some sort of blue ink mixed in awful vinegar. The ‘tiger’ was supposed to ‘eat’ up the ‘pig’ which is what you called mumps in Hokkien, translated to (猪头皮) in Chinese. It sounds like a silly thing to do but we all went through that when we were little, even my husband wasn’t spared. We were all laughing about it and then the next thing we know, Malcolm caught it.
We brought him to the A&E on a Saturday and the nurse immediately whisked him off to an isolated area as they already suspected it was mumps. We were out in half an hour whereas the other patients had to wait 2 hours in line. We found out that mumps was considered a highly contagious. disease.
The doctor came, had a quick look and sent him home with 2 weeks of mc and a bag of painkiller. Without any blood test or whatsoever, he concluded that ‘it was most likely mumps’. At the back of my mind I was thinking, what if it turned out to be something else? what if the swell doesn’t go away after 2 week?!
So we waited. The swell got worse. For a couple of days, he only had mushy porridge because anything else would be too difficult to chew with his very swollen and painful parotid glands.
Thankfully the swell did subside after 2 weeks but unfortunately we missed his birthday. I had his party all thought out but we were unsure whether he could recover in time and I was quite sure none of his friends’ parents would want their kids to risk an infection for a birthday party.
I did managed to bake him a cake, a very chocolatey one as per his request and we had a simple celebration with a couple of friends and family.
Happy 11th Birthday to my nerdy, smart alecky boy.
Love you loads!