How I Deal With Sickness

I know many people are concerned with the virus that’s been circulating for pretty much all of 2020.  I am lucky to not have an immunocompromised child or family member in my house, but I do have a child who is allergic to antibiotics so I take preventative measures each day to try & prevent her from getting any type of illness.  I’m writing this as a mother, not as a scientist or medical professional. 

I do not disinfect my house weekly/daily/etc.  Now, if I have a sick family member in the house then I do disinfect.  I keep things clean…well, as clean as you can with five children, two dogs, two guinea pigs, and two adults all in the same house! We clean each area once a week and spot clean as necessary.  I truly believe exposing children to some germs is beneficial to them.  However, a couple of years ago I had two of my four babies get the flu.  For a week I kept my boys in certain areas of the house and my healthy girls in other areas.  I diffused oils like mad.  I disinfected after bedtime.  I knew my boys were really sick because within 24 hours of developing symptoms we had two guinea pigs die who shared a room with one of my sick boys.  I took my youngest to the doctor to verify he did have the flu and I didn’t torture my oldest with a trip.  My youngest was at the point where he should have been hospitalized for dehydration but the hospitals were full.  His pediatrician gave me instructions on hydrating him and I followed with a chart and everything.  Within 24 hours of that visit his fever broke and he was back to normal!

I do not keep hand sanitizer in the house.  We have it in vehicles/backpacks for school and travel but we only use soap & water in the house.  I find teaching my kids good hand-washing practices helps make sure they keep their hands clean wherever they’re at.  They know to wash their hands after outdoor play, before eating, and after using the restroom.  We also have an infant in the house so hand-washing is *usually* done before holding him.

I will take a sick kid to the doctor or Urgent Care if needed, but I will only take them to the Emergency Room if it seems as though a loss of consciousness occurred.  I think this practice not only helps keep Emergency Rooms less crowded, but it also makes sure my children aren’t exposed to things that could kill them.  Many times, even if I’m just going to Urgent Care or I’m going to the ER I will try to call their doctor first to see what they suggest.  They’ll let me know if the ERs are overbooked or if they’re not going to be helpful for that problem (i.e. some ERs with dental issues).

is-it-a-cold-or-the-flu-infographic

Coronavirus has been around for a loooong time.  However, this strain, the COVID-19 has not.  Thankfully it doesn’t seem to hit children hard…and as a parent that’s good news as I HATE watching my sick babies.  The CDC has information about the virus (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html) and is your best resource at the current time for any types of illnesses in the US.

I fully vaccinate my babies.  They have friends with compromised immune systems and I’d rather take the chances with a rare complication from the vaccine than watch those parents suffer even more.  My oldest was already conceived when I got shots to deploy to Iraq (which included the Anthrax vaccine) and he rarely gets sick.  If he does, it’s a stomach bug that is gone within 12 hours that ran through our whole house!  While I am pregnant I make sure to get my flu shot and TDAP vaccination.  I respect the fact that others don’t believe vaccines are as important but I personally sucked at biology & chemistry in college so I’m siding with the experts on that one!

This may shock people…but, I also use essential oils!  I used to get ear infections so frequently that penicillin stopped working for me.  I had to switch to a different antibiotic.  Did you know that Oregano Oil can work in a similar way as antivirals, antifungals, etc?  Personally I’ve seen it fully remove a plantar wart that did not respond to freezing or salicylic acid on my own big toe.  GROSS!!  There are multiple studies out there and more research being conducted daily on the powers of it.  You won’t see me whip out oils for everything but if my ear starts aching or a kid gets a wart I pop those oils out.  If there’s an illness running around the schools, I diffuse oils in our house.  If the kids get lice at school, I only use oils & a comb!

Parenting is tough!  No one teaches you what’s best for your family.  What works for one family may not work for another.  Personally, we aren’t going to quarantine ourselves unless it gets to a point where it’s forced.  Yes, even with a two month old.  I will say this…when you freak out and purchase enough alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer for years even though you’ll never use that much you’re taking away from the families who need those items to take care of their children or relatives with compromised immune systems.  These families can’t even have the most common cold in their houses without having to step up their disinfecting game to keep their relatives alive.  Yes, not even just keeping them healthy…they NEED these items to keep them ALIVE.  If you’ve stockpiled & you realize you don’t need everything you purchased try to reach out to anyone you know with a sick relative or child in their homes.  Help make sure that THOSE people are taken care of!

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