illness

So much for my good intentions at the beginning of the year to post more frequently. Life is too busy. I have all these great blog post ideas and I start out the day with every intention of getting a post up and then life happens, the daily chaos that is life with 3 kiddos ensues and no posting happens. Sigh. Maybe next month I’ll get on her more frequently (a girl can dream, right!).

This week has been in a word, CRAZY. Lorne is out of town, our agenda has been full every day so far, and Maya was diagnosed with bronchitis and has been coughing non-stop and feels like crap. Thank goodness for early bedtimes and wine or I may be certifiable by now.

Just to add a little extra misery to our week, along with Maya’s diagnosis of bronchitis came a prescription for antibiotics, which should be a good thing, I know. I’m glad there is something we can do to help Maya get over this crud, but Maya and antibiotics to not mix well together. She has been lucky, and hasn’t been on antibiotics very often, maybe 2-3 times total. But, every time she is she gets on this emotional roller coaster. I fondly (or not so fondly, really), refer to it as the “Antibiotics Induced Rage”. It isn’t just rage, though most of her emotional outbursts are angry, she is also quick to cry. Being a 7 year old girl she is known to be highly emotional anyway, so you can imagine the crazy emotional roller coaster she is on now thanks to the antibiotics! Not fun, for her or the rest of us living with her. I feel like I may be the only one with a child who reacts this way on antibiotics. Dr. Google tells me others have similar problems, but no one I’ve talked to in real life has this problem. I feel so lucky :/

At least this is a fairly short round of antibiotics, only 5 days, so hopefully we’ll be in the clear again by early next week. Fingers crossed!

 

We are 13 days into 2015 and I finally feel like the new year is starting. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks under the heavy fog of illness. I literally can’t remember large chunks of the past 2 weeks. 2015 came in with a bang, a bang of illness, for me. After spending a great night ringing in the New Year with friends I woke up New Years Day to body aches, chills and a low grade fever. Things steadily got worse from there. I don’t think I have ever been so sick in my entire life. I spent much of the next 10 days like this.

Luckily Lorne was around to pick up the slack and help care for the littles who aren’t big fans of mommy being sick.

After a full week of battling a fever, body aches, constant headaches and the onset of popping sounds coming from my lungs I finally headed to the doctor to get checked out. Of course, I had already self diagnosed with the help of Dr. Google and I knew I either had the flu, bronchitis or worse case, pneumonia, but I figured I should probably let a really doctor check me out. Plus, I was so over being sick and was really hoping whatever I had could be cured with medication of some kind. It didn’t take long for the doctor to figure out what was going on with me. I had pneumonia, the walking pneumonia variety, which gave me the strength to get around and kept me out of the hospital, but pneumonia nonetheless. With a prescription in hand for some heavy duty antibiotics and strict instructions to take it extremely easy until I started to feel better, I was on my way.

A few days later I finally began to get a glimpse of my old self again. The meds were doing the trick and slowly but surely I returned to the land of the living. I’ve completed my round of antibiotics and other than a lingering cough and still feeling a little more tired than normal I feel SO much better. That illness knocked my socks off and I am more than glad to have it behind me.

So, now that we are 2 weeks into 2015 and I am finally feeling better again lets get this party started. Here’s to a wonderful 2015. I’m looking forward to some incredible adventures with my little family.

Schools and germs go hand in hand. Every child has to go through more than their fair share of the sickies when they first start school. They have to work their way through all the germs to help build up their little immune system. Not to mention kids pass germs around much more easily than grown ups thanks to all the toy sharing, a tendency to forget to cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough, and the grossest thing of all, letting their nose run down their face (ewww!). Every parent knows their kids is going to get sick during the school year, especially during the cold and flu season. Keeping your child home from school when they are sick is a common courtesy to other families to help stop the spread of germs. But, where is the line. When is a child sick enough to stay home and when is it okay to send you child to school.

Maya has a little boy in her preschool class who has a weakened immune system and is much more susceptible to getting sick and when he does get sick it can quickly escalate into a dangerous illness. Now that we are right smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season the school has reminded us that it is important (especially in our classroom) to keep your child home from school if they are sick to help stop the spread of germs. Some symptoms are obvious triggers to keep a child at home, like a fever or vomiting, but what other symptoms should keep a child at home and when is it okay to send them back? Coughs associated with colds can sometimes stick around for weeks after all the other symptoms are gone. Some children are fine when they have a cold other than being a little stuffed up and maybe a little extra sneezy but are otherwise full of energy and fine to go about their day. It is tough to find that fine line.

Our school has a pretty realistic well child policy and I feel comfortable that the school and the other parents are doing their part. Each school is going to have their own policies and rules regarding when a child should stay home or what symptoms will get them sent home from school. You should always check with your child’s school regarding their policy and, of course, use your own common sense.

Obviously, with an immune compromised child in our class we parents are going to need to be a little extra diligent and considerate when we are making the decision on whether to keep our child at home. So far (knock on wood) Maya hasn’t been sick much this school year, and the times she has been sick have been during the days when she doesn’t have school. But, when that time comes when I have to keep her home I know she is not going to be happy about missing school unless she is feeling really sick.  That will be the tough part, explaining to her why she needs to stay home even if she isn’t feeling all that crappy.

When do you keep your child home from school? What symptoms are triggers for keeping them at home and when do you feel okay sending them back?

When our children are babies we worry a lot about poop.  Are they going often enough?  Is it the right color and consistency?  Do they have diarrhea?  Your child’s pediatrician will ask a lot of questions about poop that first year or so.  A lot about a child’s health and eating habits can be gleaned from observing what is coming out in their diapers.  Once your baby becomes a toddler there is much less focus on poopy diapers.  Most toddlers settle into a nice easy, once a day cycle that we don’t give much thought to.  We change the diapers, give them some prunes or prune juice if things seem to be getting a bit backed up and that is about it.

However, toddlers can have their own challenges in the poop department.  One of those being toddler diarrhea.  Toddler diarrhea is pretty much an otherwise unexplainable bout of diarrhea.  There is no real cause or underlying medical condition for toddler diarrhea, but many things can trigger it.  In most cases parents and doctors won’t know exactly what caused the diarrhea and things will eventually return to normal on their own.

There are a few things that are thought to set off toddler diarrhea including a change in diet or eating happens, an unrelated illness like a cold (especially if it caused changes in appetite and eating habits), or too much fruit or fruit juice.  Most toddlers will seem unfazed by the diarrhea and will continue to eat normally and gain weight normally.  For the most part there is no real treatment for toddler diarrhea other than a few diet changes.  Most doctors recommend keep their diet fairly bland, eliminating dairy (except for yogurt, which can help with digestive issues) and using a probiotic to help get things back on track.

My daughter is just getting over a case of toddler diarrhea.  She had a cold last week and by the end of the week had pretty bad diarrhea.  We took her to the doctor because she wanted to make sure she didn’t have an ear infection or anything.  Other than a little bit of nasal irritation from her cold the doctor found nothing.  She was diagnosed with unexplained diarrhea (or toddler diarrhea) and off we went with a recommendation to stick with a bland diet for a while and a week’s worth of probiotic samples.  4 days later and (knock on wood) she seems to be over her diarrhea.

If your toddler has diarrhea and no other symptoms to indicate they are ill you may find that they just have a bout of toddler diarrhea.  Call your child’s doctor to determine if he or she wants to see your child and to find out what they recommend for treating toddler diarrhea.  If the diarrhea continues or your child appears to be dehydrated call your doctor right away.  Dehydration is common with diarrhea and can be dangerous if it goes untreated.

kleenex

Coming down with something like a cold or the flu during pregnancy is probably the last thing you want.  Since you are likely already dealing with annoying pregnancy symptoms likes morning sickness, exhaustion, back pain, heartburn, you name it having a cold can just make you feel down right terrible.  And, because you are pregnant it isn’t as easy to treat your cold either.  You can’t just pick up any old over-the-counter cold medication to help alleviate your symptoms.  When you’re pregnant you have to be careful and only take medications that are safe to use during pregnancy.

There are a few things you can do to help get you through bug and feeling better again:

  • Get lots of rest.  It is something you should be trying to do during your pregnancy anyway, but when you are feeling under the weather it is even more important to get enough rest.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.  Keeping hydrated will help your body fight the cold virus.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.  Chicken soup can do wonders for a cold since it provides a lot of nutrition and added fluids.
  • If congestion is a big problem be sure to sleep propped up at night to help your sinus drain.  You could also try using a saline solution to help clear out your sinuses, some people swear by it, but it doesn’t work for everyone (you should not use over-the-counter nasal sprays).  You could also try Vick’s Vapor Rub or something similar.
  • Stay home from work.  If you can, take a few days off to make sure you can get plenty of rest and aren’t over doing it.
  • Take a hot shower or a warm bath to help relax your aching muscles and clear out your sinuses.
  • If you feel like you need to take over-the-counter medication to help alleviate your symptoms call your doctor to find out which medications are safe to use.

There isn’t a lot you can do other than ride out the bug.  It will go away eventually.  The most important thing to remember is to rest and drink plenty of fluids, they are the best thing you can do for your body to help it fight the infection.