Thursday, January 3, 2013

Diagnosis: Mommy Knows Her Stuff

On Wednesday morning the girls and I dressed warmly and piled into the van headed for the pediatrician's office. We were fever free but still full of symptoms of the funk. Miss Moo was overly sensitive and being a bit mean to me which is generally an indication that she's actually sick. Miss Roo was still battling a runny nose and puffy eyes. Drew (and in turn I) had been up most of the night due to his cough.  I was doubting everything I had done to treat what I had been certain was a virus and afraid was letter my children suffer needlessly.

What it Looked Like

 * Cati Kaoe * via Compfight.

When the funk moved it, I felt that the girls had a virus. Their fevers, when present, weren't high. Their symptoms came and went at around the same time of day- nighttime was far more difficult on all of us than the daytime. Their runny noses were clear and their coughs were a result of that drainage. They felt bad but they weren't miserable and still wanted to play. However, the high fever spike (104.3) that Miss Moo had on Tuesday after several days of the funk indicated to me that something more was going on. I continued to keep her comfortable and did give her a half dose of fever reducer along with cold compresses to get her fever to a manageable level.  We coasted through the day and I decided to call the pediatrician the next day.

So what happened at our visit? 

I found out I was right! All of the funk has started as a virus. Viruses must run their course - you can only treat the symptoms. Antibiotics only work when an illness is bacteria-based. Giving them to a child with a virus won't help kill the virus and will possibly prevent the antibiotic from working in the future if needed. Both girls had clear lungs and congested heads. Moo's emotions and fever spike were due to an ear infection. Her ear already presented puss and tons of fluid. The doctor was amazed she wasn't complaining or crying with pain. Roo also had fluid on the ear but was holding her own against the virus. Everything that I had done to help them and treat their symptoms had been just what they needed. And treating them cautiously had made Moo's spike in fever present as an even bigger red flag.

What I Did

  • Liquids: When the funk started, I upped the girls Vitamin C intake by offering more orange juice as well as giving them Emergen-C as a special drink. I also made sure their cups were constantly refilled with juice or water anytime they were low.
  • Low Key Play:  I kept them busy with activities that didn't exert them too much. Coloring and drawing, building blocks, babysitting with their dolls, watching movies together- anything that would keep them focused and relatively contained.
  • Food: Getting them to eat when sick is tricky. I tried to get food in that was protein rich - chicken breasts- or could easily carry more than one focus - bagels with butter and cream cheese.
  • NOT Treating Low-Grade Fevers: When the girls had fevers, they were 101 or less. These fevers aren't dangerous and illustrate that the body is working to fight off an intruder. Treating them could have led to a weakened defense against the virus, so making them comfortable in clothing choices, cool drinks, and compresses made more sense to me.
  • Lowering the Room Temperature at Night: The first night, Roo's cough sounded almost croup-like. She began to panic and I grabbed a blanket and took her out onto the deck. Within 30 seconds her breathing was much less labored and within 2 minutes it was completely normal. I kept her in a cooler room that night to ensure that she could rest. For the next several nights she'd start in one room and end in another.

What We're Doing Now

Moo is on a 10 day course of antibiotics. I'm not happy about it, but her ear was pretty far gone by the time we got to the pediatrician. After one dose, she is acting noticeably better. Her fever is gone, her congestion is draining well, and there is less coughing. 

Roo is still battling the virus and we are doing our best to keep it as a virus that we are treating.
  • Melaleuca: I have a bottle of doTerra Melaleuca in what I affectionately call my apothecarium. I mixed two drops of oil into to TB of water. We put a dropper full in her ear and let it set about a minute. We then drained it and put some cotton in to get the excess. We will repeat this in the morning and evening tomorrow.
  • Chiropractor: Roo and I will head to the Chiropractor for adjustments. Having her neck and spine adjusted could open up her ears and sinuses and allow that fluid to drain out rather than backing up and growing bacteria.
  • Massaging her neck: Our Chiropractor showed me a trick with Moo when she was little and would get congested. Rubbing her neck gently downward on either side from behind her ears down will relax those muscles and promote drainage if there is any fluid gathering. I did this with Roo tonight and her nose began running again. I hope this means we're on the right track.

And Poor Drew...

has bronchitis. He's also on an antibiotic and is starting to look normal again. I'm grateful for teacher immunity and pregnancy preparedness. Although I am exhausted from trying to take care of everyone and grow a baby, I have only had a few allergy like symptoms and have responded well to Emergen-C, Elderberry syrup, FCLO, and tons of fluids and teas.  I'm hoping my adjustment tomorrow will ease any congestion I still have then. And that we're all well soon.

Do you try to balance "wait and see" with "go and check"?* What guidelines do you use?

* Thanks, Kim :)

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