So, what was the trigger this time?
All three of the young ones at home contracted Pertussis. Don't worry! It's not as alarming as it sounds. It is just a TREMENDOUS inconvenience. Today marks week seven for the first to contract the dreaded cough, and he's still exhibiting symptoms. Mind you they are markedly improved, and Lord willing my sleep deprivation will soon be a thing of the past. For right now, I remain thoroughly exhausted.
What are the symptoms of Pertussis anyway?
Initial symptoms can include low-grade fever, runny nose, mild cough, and infants can experience a pause in breathing. As the disease progresses symptoms can include many rapid coughs followed by a "whoop", vomiting, and being very tired after coughing fits. Some of these symptoms were present for our three, but some of them weren't. It was also a very different experience for all three of the children. For us it began with a random cough here and there with NO other symptoms.
How did we get Pertussis in our home?
We were actually exposed to two families that struggled with the 100 Day Cough, as they call it in China (for very good reason, I might add), and I thought we'd made it through unscathed. (I'm currently singing, This is the cough that never ends. It goes on and on my friends. Some people started coughing not knowing what it was, and they'll continue coughing forever just because...This is the cough that never ends...) Personally, I think we may have made it through without contracting it had I not made what I consider a terrible lapse in judgement as a parent. My children rarely have sugar, but we had a little celebration of sorts. I allowed them each to have VERY high doses of sugar in a very small amount of time. The very.next.day the first one was exhibiting symptoms, and we've been battling Pertussis ever since.
Don't worry. I don't beat myself up about it, but it sure did get my attention and remind me of just how dramatically the intake of sugar can impact our health. It reminded me that our diets are our first line of defense when it comes to maintaining good health. This whole experience has forced my hand so to speak and given me the extra nudge I needed to make some more dramatic changes to our diets and make better choices for my family. I've never been more mindful of the sugar and grains present in our daily meals, ever.
What did you do about it?
Fortunately, I have a wonderful friend that is very knowledgeable and willing to share her wisdom, experience, and resources to all who are willing and eager to learn. She gave me a push in the right direction by sharing her personal experience with the disease as well as giving me enough information and resources to educate and arm myself. I took the time to look at several opinions on the handling of the disease (It's amazing the amount of reading that can occur by a stressed out parent in the middle of the night.) including the CDC website, and The International Medicine Council on Vaccination as well as books like The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, and Natural Remedies Encyclopedia.
From these resources we decided to treat our children with Elderberry Syrup, Sodium Ascorbate, Liquid C, a probiotic, and a good multivitamin/mineral as well as Colloidal Silver. Coupled with the strict supplement regimen we have also held to a very strict diet consisting of no sugar or grains along with diffusing and vaporizing specific essential oils in our home on a regular basis. This has proven very effective, and our children are well on their way to getting better. One is completely well now, and the other two are not too awful far behind. All of them are past the contagious stage, but we still keep our distance from others. Even if we aren't contagious, the cough can sound bad and might make others uncomfortable. Hopefully, we'll feel comfortable mingling with the general public, and not just those that we know have already battled Pertussis and won, in the next couple of weeks.
After I was almost completely out of breath I remembered that I needed to put my oxygen mask on and take care of myself. I may may not have remembered to do it first, but at least I got it back on before I passed out fully. I'm back on my supplement regimen, and I was already keeping a strict diet along with the kids, but I have also implemented a much earlier bedtime for all of us just for a while. We all seem to need it and benefit from it greatly.
We'd already planned to take the month of December off from our regular scheduled programming to focus more on Christmas, organizing our home, and some good old fashioned playtime. Everyone is having a ball.
Speaking of ball! It's almost time to get back on the ball with The Old Schoolhouse and The Review Crew, and I am super excited. Being part of The Crew has been such a blessing to our family, and in particular to me. I love to write, and I love the way that being a member of The Crew challenges me to write more, write better, and learn more and more about using social media. (sigh - LOL) It has been challenging at times, but I LOVE a good challenge and nothing motivates me more than a strict deadline.
In the coming days and weeks you will see me on here more. The kids and I have been having fun doing special crafts and activities in preparation for Christmas that I am very excited to share with you. We have been enjoying bird watching and will start our photography study soon. (Shhh,,,they're all getting cameras for Christmas.) Day after day our home is looking more and more like Christmas.
Things are changing around here, and it's not just the holidays. We've had the first half of the school year to see what is working and what is not. The second half will look a little different for us, and I hope it brings more fun. Not to mention, I'm already thinking about spring and our plans for animals and vegetable gardening here on our little homestead.
We may be part of The Crew, but we're also part of a bigger crew. Our family can feel our Captain steering our little boat into different waters, and we wait with anticipation to see what lies on the horizon. All of us are growing around here, not just the kids, and for some of us it's a bit of a bigger stretch. I hope you stick around and enjoy the cruise with us. 2015 is bound to have many surprises in store for everyone.