Having to play doctor, but not for fun

Sunday, October 31, 2010



My eldest has been sick over the last few days – since Wednesday night. This is probably the first time she has had a full blown sickness since she was born. She's two months shy of three years old, so I'm counting my blessings. This one was particularly bad because she was so congested. She'd ask me to stay while she napped which was just torture because I'd listen to all the mucus in her chest flapping around as she was breathing, and she'd wake crying in frustration because she was so tired and just wanted to sleep. Her vocal chords were so wrapped in phlegm she effectively lost her voice. Her throat started really killing her and so it was tough to make her drink or eat anything. So, I'd sit with her forcing her to eat and especially drink which was so frustrating also since she'd cry and whine and whine and whine. (I don't take whining particularly well). And while it's bad for her, it's bad for me too 'cause she'll wake several times a night and that means I'm awake too. And then couple that with Joaquin waking and that just means I've had a night of a string of half-hour naps.

Last night we finally had a good night -- she slept soundly the entire night. A few things really helped her as I racked my brain about everything my mother ever did and also from scouring the internet.

1) Vicks Vapo-Rub. Yesterday, when the congestion was particularly bad, I put it on her chest, back and neck as instructed. She liked it and it did help her significantly.

2) Sleeping with a humidifier in her room. I think that this might be why she's sick to begin with... Every year when the heat would come on in our apartment building, I'd be sick. Just the sudden change in humidity always caused me to have a sore throat and stuffy nose.

3) Honey and lemon tea. I love honey and lemon tea, but Sofia does not. She says it's "Tooooo sour!" I didn't even put that much lemon in and I sure put a load of honey in it. I forced her to drink about 250 ml of it before she went to bed last night and it was funny 'cause as she'd whine and complain in between each sip she could hear her voice getting stronger. At least at that point she felt a bit more motivated to choke it down, but she still complained.

4) Children's Advil. If her fever was low enough, I'd just let her ride it out and let her body fight it. But as soon as it started causing her to act terrible (due to her feeling really uncomfortable) I'd give it to her.

5) Anti-biotics. I took her to the walk-in-clinic on Friday (our doctor was away), and the doctor prescribed her an anti-biotic for ear infections/tonsilitis. He told me to just see that if it got worse over the weekend to get filled. Up until that point she was still eating well and not behaving too badly, but that night she started losing interest in eating. Good thing I got it filled too, 'cause the next day wasn't so good.

6) Warm baths. Nothing like steam to get that congestion loose and really, really warm water to get those aches out of muscles.

7) Keeping her in a good mood. I did my best to just keep her as happy as possible. That included breaking some rules -- like way too much tv. Part of getting better, I believe, is just staying positive and so I let her watch whatever movie she wanted to watch. I let her wear dresses all day. I really did up her hair after bathing. These things I know really make her happy.

It's really hard to watch my kids being sick. Especially when it's when they can't breathe. I'm grateful that they are generally in good health, and that they haven't had to fight anything for too long of any length of time.

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