It has been a long couple of months with only the smallest glimmer of relief on the horizon. Our little family has been hit hard by a nasty virus that apparently has been “going around”. (Don’t you love that? Everyone seems to say that…”it’s been going around”.) I’ve lost count how many times I’ve had to take one or another kidlet for fever, cough and/or ear infection. And the long nights of coughing and “breathing watches” is definitely taking it’s tole. I think I got a little over confident with how we breezed through the winter months with hardly a sniffle…and because of that I think I kind of expected this “virus” to run it’s course pretty quickly. I didn’t put into action a lot of our “illness plans” when I should have…and as time and energy drained away I even forgot there was an “illness plan”. Funny how exhaustion can do that.
Before I explain some of the “illness plan” that I believe is starting to make a huge difference (now that I’m using it again…after being reminded by some dear friends), I want to make a very important point. Read very carefully: I am NOT a doctor…nor do I presume to make any kind of diagnosis…or in any way encourage anyone to ignore the advice/care of their doctor. I am just sharing a few things that we do IN ADDITION to our doctor’s wonderful care. None of my “illness plan” should be used in place of professional medical care.
Ok…now that that is out of the way…
This virus has created tender throats, fever, congestion, yucky noses, ear pain, and a cough that never ends. For the sore throats I like to alternate warm fresh lemon aid and cold liquids. The “warm” should be as warm as you can handle without being too hot. This also seems to help some of the mucous build up. I also like to use tylenol/ibuprofen and the orange triaminic for fever and congestion.
Some other things:
- Drink lots of liquids – a professor from way back in my college days, explained that the cells of our body needs water to do what they’re designed to do and expel waste. With colds/flus it is so easy to get dehydrated because the body is working overtime to “flush” the infection.
- Use vicks vapor rub behind the ears (in that canal area behind the jaw bone) to keep the eustacian tube open for good drainage.
- Chicken soup preferably with a bit of garlic.
- Honey/onion/garlic cough help. I know…it sounds gross…tastes gross…but it does seem to help a lot. Cut up some onion, cover with honey and boil in a double boiler until the onion is translucentish. I actually put this in a pirex bowl and put it in my crockpot with a bit of water and let it heat overnight. Cool…then drop a couple peeled and punctured cloves of garlic. Let that sit for a while. Take a spoonful as needed. (Don’t feed to children under 1 or 2 unless you know there’s not allergy…and taking some before bed keeps my kidlets and myself awake. )
- Put garlic oil on the bottoms of feet morning and night. Crush some cloves of garlic and cover with a couple inches of olive oil. Let that sit for a couple hours (or more). Rub some of the oil on the bottom of your feet and cover with socks. Vicks vapor stuff is supposed to work the same…but I’ve found the garlic oil works a little better. I know it’s working because by morning when I cough the congestion loosens and I taste garlic…not strongly…but enough to know it’s working.
- Vitamin C – I try to have everyone drink plenty of orange juice.
- GSE – I add a couple droppers full of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) into the orange juice. This is an amazing anti-everything. I even mix a couple drops in my cleaning solutions to disinfect surfaces…add to my dishwasher and the laundry as well.
- Eucalyptus/Menthol – we started using the Gentle Vapors plug in things to ease the croupy breathing with the kidlets. Anything to help DoubleD in particular who has a condition that makes lung infections really dangerous. I’m pleasantly surprised at how well this works…but greatly disappointed in the price. $1 a pad per night times 2 rooms for 2 months is rediculous! And they only work for a small range. I found a vaporizer liquid that I started boiling on the stove during the day to help in the area the kidlets play and rest. That helps in the day…but doesn’t reach the bedrooms for night…nor would I leave it boiling unattended anyways. I think I’m going to try making some essential oil candle tarts to warm in potpourri pots…I think that will work the best…and I can use a bunch of different kinds of EOs through out the year.
- Wash, wash, wash, wash – everything. That is the most frustrating and overwhelming thing with 6 kidlets. No one wants to do extra work…and there’s so much laundry alone…adding toys and “touch points” is a exercise in futility. At least that’s what it feels like. I can’t tell you how many times everything has been washed…but I can say without a doubt that my kidlets have way too many toys! And don’t forget to wash hands…teach proper washing habits and safe ways to cough and try valiantly to keep things out of the baby’s mouth.
Well…that’s not much…and I’m sure I’m missing something…but I think this is finally tipping things towards healing. Started all of this about 3 days ago and I’m hardly coughing…and all but one of the kidlets are begging to run and play with friends. I’m going to take all of that as good and think positive.