11 Sep

"Mom, she is pushing me with her head! Mom!". "Please stop it girls!". I had to interrupt the resident ENT examining my very painful mouth as I tilted my head sitting on a chair in a small, crowded room with my two older girls on the bench and my three-month-old in her stroller. I was definitely not having a good day. I barely had any food nor hadn't slept longer than four hours for more than a week, having lost more than ten lbs. and with a very sore mouth. I felt like I was ready to explode anytime, and I definitely was not in the mood to play referee for my girls. I was exhausted and was screaming inside.

The stresses of sleepless nights of having a new baby who wakes up a hundred times a night, a limited diet due to milk allergy of my nursing two-month-old which causes her skin to break out, closing and moving into a new house and dealing with two sick three-year-old girls caught up on me. I woke up one morning from an hour of sleep with a fever and a sore mouth. I was hoping that it would go away but it didn't. The pain became unbearable that I decided to go to the emergency room on a Saturday night hoping to find some relief. Just a day before, we took our baby into that same hospital to have her barely attached purplish ear tag taken off to prevent infection.

"Gingivo Stomatitis, there is not much we can do right now but let it take its course and apply this ointment twice a day". The doctor's words were not comforting at all nor the ointment I was given. I lived in almond chocolate milk for many days. Drinking water was extremely painful let alone eating any solid food. My parents who were staying with us for the birth of my baby were visiting my Aunt in Las Vegas for a month. After a few more days of chocolate diet, my sore that started in my upper left palate inside my mouth spread covering almost all of my palate. I needed to see and ENT specialist right away. "Poor you, I have never seen anything like this before" was all the ENT could mutter. She gave me yet another prescription for a different ointment and suggested that I stop nursing my baby, who was quietly watching everybody in the room that moment. She probably would have had protested had she understood what the doctor just told me or maybe strongly agreed since she was suffering herself from severe eczema because of milk allergy. "I want to see you again in three months to rule out the possibility of mouth cancer". What! Another thing to add to my "to worry" list.

I should have gotten a babysitter or called a friend, but I was and still is most of the time a stubborn mother who thought I could do it all. We also didn't want to spend money on baby sitting and was too shy to ask a friend for help. Whatever the reason was, I was at the clinic by myself with two whiny girls. As we head out to the elevator, I lighten up a bit when a Filipino family greeted us. They lived in Clearwater, more than 20 miles away, and had to go to St Petersburg to see a doctor for a prenatal checkup.

As I handed my parking ticket to the valet attendant, my heart sank when I realized that I didn't have a cash with me to pay for the parking fee. The Filipino husband came over to ask what was wrong when he heard me asking about any ATM nearby. He offered to pay for my parking fee and helped me load the stroller into the car and buckled the girls in their car seats. I sincerely thanked him, and I didn't think they realized how much that meant to me. It was much more than the five-dollar parking fee to me, it was a reminder that God had not forgotten me and that He cared.

I know that it was not a coincidence that I was with the Filipino family in the elevator that day. We both used the valet parking service and that he had extra cash to help me. Everything was perfectly timed and planned by my Heavenly Father so He could give me the much-needed lift I needed that day. 

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