We are a pretty holistic family. We’re not anti-medicine, we just see it as a last resort and find that our mainstream medical community works best in the realm of emergency medicine. We try to stay out of that.
BigGuy has a broad range of challenges, including an immune deficiency that makes him prone to respiratory illness. Mama’s boy. Because Mama can catch pneumonia like it’s her job (although in the last decade, only when EXTREMELY stressed–so maybe twice). BigGuy started life with a collapsed lung (born a bit premature at 35 weeks, but the neonatalogist estimated his development was more like 32-33 weeks). We passed on the RSV vaccine and he managed to avoid getting it. He spent his childhood with recurrent croupe and was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease (RAD) that the pulminologist assured us would turn into asthma (even if we treated the RAD–which we wound up not doing).
To be honest, we have kept BigGuy healthier than anyone thought we could’ve without drugs. When he was 8mo old, they warned us to expect at least 4 hospitalizations each year. At 10 years old, he has had one. When he was almost 5, his doctor questioned that he had the immune deficiency she diagnosed him with (and that ordeal is worth an entire entry of it’s own, but let’s just nutshell it and note that we changed peds).
His last pediatrician in NJ attributes this to 1) how we eat; 2) his ability to sleep as needed because of a lack of school schedule; and 3) our ability to limit his exposure to MORE germs when he’s already fighting stuff off. Big, big stuff. Our kids drink water. Period. Outside of times of significant stress, our food comes from local farms and most of it without a label. Eating out not only destroys our health, but it also destroys our finances–so when we enter those phases, they don’t last long.
About a week and a half ago, Girly ran a nasty fever. We felt certain it was related to getting her 6yo molars–which we could see popping through in her mouth. All. four. of them. It explained a lot of weird things we had seen in the prior months–including what we thought was a migraine in her. But she had one really bad night of fever and being awake, and then she was fine. Not even congested. We thought nothing of it. Our hosts for the weekend asked that we delay our morning departure to get a strep test just in case. We did, and she was cleared. Off we went.
But while we were there, our son had a brief but weird cough. I thought I heard a wheeze in it. Despite his issues, he had never wheezed. A while later when he yawned, I thought I heard another wheeze. That was the end of it. We’ve now been home almost a full week. BigGuy and Papa were at a choir retreat ALL day Saturday–leaving the house at 7am and returning at 6pm… and then promptly joining us at a block party until easily 11pm. Sunday night, around 7:30pm, BigGuy sneezed more times than I’ve ever heard him sneeze in his life. Sneezing is our canary in the coal mine (for both he and I). It’s the warning shot. We all got to bed and Monday morning I woke to my Facebook feed including articles about ten states having contacted the CDC for assistance in investigating clusters of enterovirus–including Illinois.
I have to be honest: the last two years have been hell on my family as my untreated PTSD got to a point where I had to attend a 3-week intensive outpatient program last fall. Every preventative care protocol we had in place has been shot to hell. Our eating has been worse than ever (which is still better than many, but not good enough to manage an immune deficiency and two people with severe blood sugar issues on diet alone). And the stress has been through the roof–which severely compromises your immune system. To say that I’m nervous is an understatement.
We also usually step up our preventative care protocols about a week before school starts since that brings it’s own crazy germ-fest; and is quickly followed by FluMist season (which is a live virus vaccine that can easily be spread… but please don’t let me get on the tirade about the doctors almost never warning people to stay away from the immune compromised 😡 )
Needless to say, I need us to take it easy this week in terms of stress and exertion. But I also need us to step things up in prevention. For us that means:
- Daily probiotics (google for research on probiotics and colds in children)
- Daily dose of elderberry syrup (google for research about effects on flu and respiratory illness)
- Daily dose of fish oil (more for overall neurological health and blood sugar regulation–because keeping the body in balance helps immensely)
- Nightly slathering of Young Living Thieves or Purification on the soles of feet and in the diffuser during the day
- Allowing the kids to eat up to 6 Zand’s Blue-Berries lozenges/day for their zinc content
I will also stock up for my reactive protocols:
- Boiron Oscillococcinumis thankfully on sale through Frontier Wholesale Co-op so we will be buying two boxes of 30 in case we ALL get sick
- Checking my stock of Young Living RC and Raven oils. The RC has been a God-send for Girly’s post-nasal drip and put an end to middle-of-the-night vomit sheets and blankets. The Raven is a heavier hitting respiratory warrior (pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis).
- Plenty of bay leaves, thyme and lemon juice for decongestant tea.
- Epsom salt, baking soda and lavendar for foot baths and body baths.
It’s concerning that there was a wheeze where there never has been before. On the flip, we’ve eaten pretty horribly and these things are strongly affected by diet.
Via con Dios, I guess…