There is an unparalleled joy in the company of a sibling. You grow up together, you scheme against each other and most importantly, have fun together. My brother is seven years younger to me. When he was born, I was on cloud nine. I always envied those friends who had their brothers and sisters for company. Now, I played with him and rocked him. Oh, it was the best time of my childhood. It was so much fun. Everybody was joyous but it only lasted a few months. When he was 3 months old, he developed an eye infection. Doctors thought it was normal and would go away with medication. I remember, no one was allowed to touch him. We didn't take him outside. We followed the hygiene and medicine routine, and it did went away.
But again after a few months, we noticed that whenever he was lying down and tilted his head in one direction, tears would flow non-stop. First we thought that he was weeping. But even when he was sleeping, it won't stop. We took him to doctor and there was a major problem with his tear ducts. It is pretty common and usually happens in newborns but at his age, it was rare. 1 out of 20 newborns suffers from it. Doctors told us that it would require a minor surgery and will clear the passage with the help of a needle. Inserting a needle in a baby's eye is such a painful thought, not only for my parents but for everyone. We prepared ourselves and thought it will be alright after the surgery. I was also hoping to play with him again and take him out in the park. Surgery went well, it was fine for a couple of days but again we noticed the same thing. His tears won't stop when he titled his head in one direction. It was such a painful period for my family.
We again went to the doctor and he said my brother needed another minor surgery. He assured us that he would be fine after that. I remember going to the hospital with my mother. Even when I stayed at home, I waited for them eagerly. I never understood much of it but all I could feel was that everything was so sad in my home. When he was born, we had guests almost everyday. There used to sweets in the house and it was so good. But when he was sick, there was no happiness. With a double assurance from the doctor, again we went for the surgery, praying this would end his misery. Even now it's so hard to even think about it but during the next many months, we went for a total of seven minor surgeries. It was the most difficult time for my family. My parents were distressed, my brother was in pain and I was sad, there was no fun to have a little brother who can't play with you. After his seventh surgery, things started to improve. My parents was over cautious, why wouldn't they be, I now think. After a month or so, when they had him checked by two specialists, they allowed me to play with him. And finally, things started to change. Again, friends and family started visiting us, we went out in park, I played with him and he reciprocated; there was again happiness in the house.
Then, my parents took that experience as a learning lesson and went great lengths in taking care of both of us. Regular doctor check-ups and a proper diet became their priority. As a child, I was happy when they allowed me to play with my brother but they became happy when they made sure both their children are healthy. Health is not only wealth but a great source of joy, we learnt.
*This post is written for 'A healthy child makes a happy home' campaign sponsored by Dabur India.
**Image Source - Here