Right after the party, Jeff drove home, and I drove to the hospital with a very sick Chubbers. She's been having a cough on and off for more than a month, and last week I finally took her to the doctor because the cough sounded worse, and she had a fever. Well, it turned out she had both ears infected. Our doctor is very "natural" and doesn't prescribe antibiotics lightly, but since Chubbers was taking cod liver oil, colostrum, elderberry syrup, and homeopathics and she still was sick, we gave the antibios a try, after all, what harm could it do?
The medicine didn't cause any stomach upset, but she was feeling worse and worse each day, so yesterday, eight days after our visit to the doctor, I decided to have her checked again; she had been wheezing at the party and looked TERRIBLE! I was very afraid she had RSV so I took her to the ER.
The hospital staff was very nice and helpful. Chubbers was checked for RSV and it was negative, thank goodness. Her lungs were clear, but her ears were very infected. So what did the doctor diagnose? That she was resistant to the Amoxicillin she had been taking, so he prescribed a new, stronger antibiotic. By then I was thinking that I was actually more worried about the cough than about the ears because I've treated the kids with essential oils and homeopathics in the past, and they had all recover without a problem. Plus, it was the first time she had taken antibiotics; how could she be resistant to them? What about children who had recurrent ear infections and took back to back antibiotics treatments? But... I thought, "he must know what he's doing; he'll give me something for that cough." Last night was the 6th consecutive sleepless night for my Chubbers, who will soon need a name change because she's looking skinny like her sister.
Well, the doctor left, and the nurse came in to give me the release instructions, and since she was letting me go without saying anything about the cough I asked her if there was anything Chubbers could take that would help her sleep. I told her I don't usually ask for meds for my kids, but that my baby needed to sleep. Well, the lady looked at me as if I was a druggie asking for Oxycontin. She said, "No one will give you anything to make this baby sleep. It's only viral. You can try Benadhryl, though," and she left the room without a glance at me, probably thinking "Oh this poor baby! Her mother wants to drug her up!" The irony of it all is that I NEVER give my kids anything to make them sleepy, except Rescue Remedy (which is flower essences!) and I cringe when people talk about Motrin with Codeine as a gift from the gods.
When Gorgeous Boy had his first ear infection, at 18 months, the doctor gave me a prescription for the Motrin with Codeine, which I only gave to my son once, and then I threw it away. The rest of the time the doctors have prescribed any narcotics for my babies, I've just grab the prescription and put it in the trash.
So, we left the hospital and we had another awful night. This morning we were both exhausted and frustrated and desperate for sleep. And my baby kept coughing. So I called her doctor (yesterday I hadn't called because the office is close on Wednesdays), and by the time Chubbers was seen she had broken up in a rash all over her body, including her hands and face. "Wonderful!" I though. "Now she has rubella, or measles, or..." the list went on and on in my terrified mind.
As soon as he saw my baby, the doctor said she had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics ("It's perfectly safe and well tolerated," I heard the ER doctor say in my mind) and he took her off all antibiotics, and only prescribed a homeopathic (pulsatilla), humidifier, and the rest of the things I had already been doing (colloidal silver, colostrum, cod liver oil).
The moral of the story? If it's not a major trauma (car accident, broken bone, etc) I'm never taking my baby, or my other kids, Jeff or myself, to the ER again. What a waste of $100.00!
I KNOW the ER is super important for emergencies (!) as its name indicates, but I could never be at peace with an ER diagnosis or treatment ever again.
I feel blessed we have found a family doctor who knows our family, who educates her/his (they're a husband/wife team) patients, doesn't prescribe things just for the sake of it, and believes the human body is a master piece, a miracle, with a God given capacity to heal itself.
My babies are all sleeping peacefully now. Something I gave Chubbers must have worked because she was laughing again tonight, tormenting the dogs and stealing candy from the pantry.
After this week, and reading some natural healing books and some posts on mothering.com, I have a stronger determination to take care of my own body and my kids' (and Jeff too, if he lets me) more naturally, feeding them food as close to its natural state as possible, in order to make our bodies stronger and better able to heal themselves and fight off any bug and super bug out there.
Ah! I almost forgot! When I asked the doctor how I should dispose of the antibiotics he said not to dump them in the drain because those antibiotics seriously pollute the waterways, but to put them in the garbage, or better yet, keep them in case there is an emergency. That's food for thought. In the even of a major emergency, there won't be any pharmacies to get our medicine from, so we should be prepared and keep some, just in case. He said the liquids should keep for up to 8 months, and after then, just put them in the trash can.
It's amazing how much I still need to learn; even though my Chubbers is my fourth child, there's so much I don't know yet! I just hope our family will make it through this winter with strong immune systems and better understanding of how to be good stewards of the bodies we were given.