Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Long weekend

Ayaan was very sick this weekend. It all started with a cough and cold that he picked up from me earlier in the week but by Friday, it had turned into a hacking cough with a constant leaky nose. We took him to the doctor on Saturday evening and started him off on some baby cough syrup. By Sunday night, he was running a 101.6oF temperature. The fever continued to rise through Monday so we had to go to the doctor again who started him on antibiotics. The fever finally broke on Tuesday morning and by evening it was okay. The cough and cold are still there though but much better than before and improving by the hour. *knock on wood*

Monday was a really bad day though. Ayaan was really uneasy – I think his body must have been aching. He kept moaning almost throughout the day – even in his few snatches of restless sleep. It was heart breaking to hear him. The worst thing is that he didn’t have any way to tell me what was wrong or how I could make it better. I really want him to start talking soon - atleast then I can know what’s going on in that little head and body of his.

I also went through a lot of confusion about giving him the antibiotics (this is the second time we’ve had to). Of course, I only give them when I know that without them Ayaan will have to suffer unnecessary and prolonged discomfort before he gets better. Also, I am always scared that a chest infection and fever could get out of hand and result in something far more serious like pneumonia. And antibiotics are the only way to stop the illness in its tracks.

But I also know that antibiotics are a mixed bag – they cure but they also end up killing some of the good bacteria along with the harmful ones. And they can also reduce the body’s natural immunity in the long run. Both of the times, I gave him the antibiotics because I didn’t want him to keep suffering or get sicker but both of the times I was also left wondering whether I made the right decision…

Forgot to mention: Another thing I hate about the antibiotics is the part where I have to give them to Ayaan. He absolutely hates it. We have to hold him down and force it down his throat with a dropper. And then hold him down some more while he swallows it (let him up too soon and it all comes out of his mouth). He struggles and wriggles and screams through the whole thing. And even afterwards, it takes a while to calm him down. Nowadays, he sees me coming at him with the dropper and he runs in the opposite direction so now there is the added challenge of catching him first. With other medicines, I can mix them with his food but I can't do that with the antibiotics since getting the dosage right is important. I am waiting for the 5-day course to be done with!


  1. Checked for chest congestion?

    Thanks, shall follow your tip about reading aloud.


  2. Hope Ayaan is feeling better now. With antibiotics, it is always the same - damned if you do, damned if you don't. I read somewhere that kids should not get more than two courses in a year. And they should be at least 3 months apart. But there are times when you have to give antibiotics - as long as you don't make it a habit of asking your son's doctor to prescribe them every time he has the sniffles (a friend of ours does so), you should be fine. it is good that you understand the risks and benefits both instead of just following one camp (I have a friend who would absolutely not give any antibiotics, come what may).

  3. It's so hard when they're normally rambunctious boys and then they're sick and so quiet and pathetic. Hang in there...

  4. Sometimes, antibiotics just seem like the way to go. However, make sure you give lots of curds or yogurt to repopulate that good bacteria as quickly as possible. If you can purchase an infant acidopholus supplement, that would help a lot--and giving it to him all the time would help prevent the colds, too.

    A great natural decongestant I discovered when I was pregnant with Noah and sick (colds, flu, etc.) almost the whole 9 months: essential oil of peppermint. For adults, put 2-4 drops on your hands, rub together, then rub on your chest. If it's really bad, dab on your sinuses a bit, too, but beware--this can cause quite the burning sensation!

    For kids, put 1-2 drops on your hands, then rub on the bottom of their feet. (I don't think this is advised before 6 months, though.) I do this right before bed or naps when I or my kids are sick, and it clears up the sinuses so you can get some much-needed rest! (I've heard putting a few drops in water and heating it, then inhaling the fumes with a towel over your head has a similar effect. Haven't tried that one myself.)

    I hate it when my kids are sick, too. You just wish there was more you could do to alleviate their discomfort. Hope you are all healthier than ever soon!

  5. I hope he gets better soon

  6. [JAP] It is a chest congestion. The fever's gone now but the cough's not really getting much better. Still another two days of antibitics to go though

    [Gettingthere] I have made sure that my doctor too appreciates my reluctance to pump antibiotics into Ayaan's body. So he is pretty cautious about prescribing them too. The earlier time that he had a cold we waited for almost three weeks before going the antibiotic way.

    [Beth] I know! It's heart-breaking. And I feel bad since I was the one who caught the germ and must have passed it on to him

    [Talena] Ayaan doesn't have a problem with his cold and is still sleeping through the night - it's his cough that's bothering him. Will that peppermint oil work on that to?

    [Gigo] Thanks

  7. Let me look into it... I think it does help boost the immune system a little, but there may be something else more effective than peppermint for that.

    For the cough, you might try giving him a little weak peppermint herbal tea, or a peppermint/licorice herbal tea combo. It helps alleviate sore throats, but because he's so young, make sure you only steep it for, like, a minute.

    Jude loves herbal tea--he's been drinking it since he was about 18 months. A little raw honey in it would help his throat feel better, too, and give him immune-boosting enzymes.

  8. Something simple that works for my daughter when she has cough is sipping on warm water. It soothes her throat. She is seven and half years old now and asks us for warm water herself if she feels her throat is scratchy. Ginger juice (4-5 drops) mixed with honey (to set off the pungent taste) works very well for coughs too. If you eat chicken, chicken soup with lots of garlic is supposed to work wonders too. I haven't tried that one myself, but heard it from a grandma at my local gym here.

    We too go about 2 weeks or so before going the antibiotic route with our daughter. I hope Ayaan gets better soon. Have a glass of water ready by your side and give it to him to sip on as soon as you give him the antibiotics - that always worked with my daughter when she was Ayaan's age.

  9. [Talena] Thanks for the advice here and for your mail too. Now I have to figure out where to get the peppermint oil - it's on my weekend list of things to do.

    [Gettingthere] Warm water is a good idea! We are already doing the ginger and honey thing - standard Indian grandmom cure! I haven't started Ayaan on chicken yet though. Thanks for all the tips.

  10. Get well soon little baby!!!

  11. here is some advice from me too.

    hot milk and haldi works wonders on a cough / sore throat. tastes like sh** though, so dunno if ayaan will have it. nice tasty remedy is hot water, ginger and honey. put lots of honey. and chop the ginger fine and add to water before heating the water, so that the ginger really mixes well.

    guess ayaan is too young to do inhalations right ? else you could add karvol to boiling water and inhaling that cures cold up real fast.

  12. You were a perfect mother in looking after him. He will having these ups and downs as he grows up. I liked the composed manner you handled his fever and did not get too hassled or paranoid. Instead of peppermint oil vicks vaporub is not a bad idea.

  13. [Pearl] He is much better today though the cough still persists

    [Zen] I have a tough enough time getting him to have milk with sugar so with haldi just won't happen. How much haldi though in half a cup of milk? And already doing the ginger and honey. There is now way that Ayaan will submit to inhalations without immense amounts of crying and wriggling.

    [Patti] Thanks for the rare compliment ;)

  14. You could try a spoonful of honey first thing every morning. Forever.
    It worked for my baby.


  15. [JAP] We do the honey mixed with some ginger but we have been only doing it when he starts getting the sniffles. I think it's a good idea to do in everyday. Thanks for the tip.