Calm the Frig Down… How a “Joe Mom” deals with fevers
Nathan is caring for his sick sister. Luckily and knock on wood, he didn’t end up sick too!
I’m just a regular “Joe Mom” and my kids get sick too.
So it’s a Friday at 5 pm, and your little cuddly child feels hot. Not normal hot, but hot hot. What do you do?
“AHHHHHHHHHH! EVERYBODY CALM DOWN!” you hear loudly and yelled to nobody in particular. Then you realize it’s actually YOU freaking out in your own head. No, you can’t call your doctor since he is gone for the day and most are closed on weekends. Are you prepared? What in your “Mommy arsenal” or “Family medicine/health cabinet”?
First, calm the frig down. haha! I know that’s hard, so as I write this, I’m looking in the mirror. I’ve freaked out many a times, before getting my head on straight, acknowledging that yes, my child IS sick, and it’s not just a drippy nose.
I never grab the Motrin or Baby tylenol or any fever reducers of any kind (a fever has to be really high and my child really uncomfy for me to even give a quarter dose). If I even have any, it’s usually expired. Why? I know that the fever is important for the body to fight the bug- whatever it is. A fever is a symptom of a disease, not a disease itself. It’s an important part of how our bodies fight. Lowering the fever artificially actually hampers the body from doing what it does best.
Well this year, there’s the added stress of panic about the Flu. So many people may be saying, “Oh no! Is it the flu? She had her flu shot, or maybe (hopefully) she didn’t, so WHY WHY WHY us and WHY now?!” Tons go through our heads when our little ones get sick.
With all those that get the flu shots, why is it such an epidemic then?? Why are so many people who got those shots sick? Not for me to answer, but an interesting question and topic for another discussion.
Added to the stress is the changes in YOUR schedule (and sometimes NOT your partner’s schedule) due to the illness. With my daughter’s last illness, I sat on the couch for a full day nursing her. The illness before, I sat on the couch, reclined, flipped around… all over the couch for a whole week. The change in my schedule, my life, my work… heck, my ABILITY to cook (I love love love to cook and bake)- difficult to swallow. Once I surrendered, it grew easier. Still stressful though.
In truth, when it’s a fever due to the Flu or a fever due to some random virus, my actions are the same. YUP, the same. So is it essential for me to know as a Mom if it’s the flu or random virus? Not really. I’m not going to behave differently. Dr. Mom just kicks into gear, into action… the action of doing as little as possible.
AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE?? ARE YOU NUTS?! Is that what you said in your head? Well in truth, most anything I do creates comfort, but won’t change the process too much.
2. Comfort/added immune support
3. Comfort comfort comfort and comfort again.
Prevention: I realize it might be too late now. However, good probiotics http://www.lifeway.net/Products/ProBugs.aspx, steady Vit D http://www.bioticsresearch.com/node/1546 (I’m not a doc, so I can only share what I use and not give you advice- my husband does that job and can get you that fantastic Vit D!). Vitamin C (http://www.emergenc.com). Balanced guts (food sensitivities). Low sugar intake. Essential oils http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/ are also super helpful for prevention (Thieves for example!). Regular pediatric chiropractic visits are paramount!
Comfort: What does your child need? If nursing. Nurse nurse nurse. Get comfy- remember those days of early nursing with your nursing table set up? Set your child in a comfy place and run around like a chicken with your head cut off, and gather all you will need until help (family member/friend) arrives- if you have help. *Note to self- always make sure the remote is close by and won’t fall away from your reach- I was stuck on the TV guide channel for hours when my son was a baby!
Blankets, your foods/water, books/nook/kindle- whatever you use to entertain yourself. If we are looking at a fever, I use homeopathy, essential oils (peppermint oil diluted on the feet), and often lavender oil in water to dab on the forehead. I’ve diffused oils in the room as well (thieves, lavender, peace and calming, … many others for immune support are out there and ones to cleanse the air- purification- but that’s not the main focus of this blog post). I WAS doing a lukewarm bath with essential oil in epsom salt until I spoke to my Holistic Pediatrician and he made a good point. If the bath provides comfort, make it warm and comfortable. Put a blanket in the dryer for when you take her out. I asked if the hot/warm tub will bring her fever higher. He said, the tub is cooler than her body temperature. It doesn’t have therapeutic value, but has comfort value. make it comfy. I was freezing my kids for years- oops. Maybe other doctors don’t agree, but I trust mine, so i’ll go with what he says. A good adjustment from their Chiropractor Daddy, and that’s it. So maybe that isn’t doing NOTHING. It’s doing something different than some people may do. How about that?
When my son was sick, he always allowed me to give him homeopathic remedies, like Natrabio Cold and Flue remedy- but NOT my daughter. It’s a fight. Not one to hold my child down and torture them for something that may or may not help, I just cuddle up, nurse, watch movies, and let her sleep in my arms all day if needed- after her adjustment if Daddy is around.
SIT ON THE COUCH FOR A WEEK? I CAN’T DO THAT! Is that what you are saying? I take my kids’ illnesses (even if rare) as an opportunity to chill, get caught up on any lost cuddles, and with my laptop handy, I do get some work done. If comfort is my main goal as the body heals and recovers, and nursing or cuddling with Mommy creates that comfort, I will do everything I can to provide that. If Dad or grandma or anyone else can step in and the child is willing- YES YES YES…. (Then you can run and pee!). Kids grow up so fast and soon enough, don’t worry, they won’t want to curl up in your arms all day and nurse or lay with their head on your shoulder.
Fluids. Tough one with my daughter. With her last illness, she nursed only and no matter what I did, this 3 year old girl, refused EVERYTHING on day one of her high fever. Finally on day two, she sipped water when I told her that she could nurse AFTER she sipped some. Who knows if that made a difference.
Provide the best comfort you can within your belief system. Try to keep your own anxiety and fear at bay. Hang in there. Most of all?
CALM THE FRIG DOWN! hahaha!