I had planned to write another post about Aromatherapy and skin care when I sat down to blog again, but real life got in the way. Real life, as in, we boarded a 4-hour plane ride back from our holiday vacation and my little one got very sick, very suddenly. Sigh.
She was finally starting to get over her sniffle. I had posted about boosting her immune system with Elderberry syrup, wet sock treatments, and essential oil tissues, and they seemed to be working – she was on her way back to her usual state of optimal health. But then we went to Chicago for the holiday break, and again came the phlegm, the runny nose, and the cough. Then, after we flew back home yesterday, she developed a sudden high fever last night (102 degrees), giving my hubby and I a conniption fit as we contemplated taking her into the emergency room.
Normally, I wouldn’t panic about a high fever alone. I’ve said before that I believe fevers are the body’s aids in fighting off infection, and not to be discouraged, and I do believe that. But it was the collection of her symptoms that had me worried. When we got home from the airport, I nursed her down to sleep around 8pm. She awoke and cried at 8:30pm. I nursed her again, she fell back to sleep, only to wake up crying again at 9pm. My husband soothed her to sleep again, and then an hour later, she cried again. When I went in to calm her down, I noticed that her skin was burning hot to the touch. Alarmed, I turned on the lights and saw that both her cheeks were bright red, the color of boiled tomatoes. We took her temp, it came out at 102 degrees, all three times (the hubby is no slouch when it comes to making sure). Also, she was having trouble breathing – her breaths were coming in fast and labored, she was coughing and wheezing, and asked me for water 4 times in the same minute, gasping as she noisily sucked it down. I began to fear that she might have the P-word: Pneumonia. Ugh, I get a sick feeling in my stomach just typing it.
So, I got out my trusty homeopathy book that I bought on a whim from Whole Foods one day (“The Family Guide to Homeopathy: Symptoms and Natural Solutions” by Dr. Andrew Lockie) and started researching. At first I wasn’t sure where or how to look, since she had so many symptoms: a sudden onset of fever, excessive thirst, burning hot skin, bright-red cheeks, a wet cough, fitful sleep, runny nose, and more. I thought, “I’ll just start with FEVER and see what I find.” I flipped to “FEVER in infants,” and lo and behold, there were 4 remedies given on page 350:
- Sudden rise in temperature after exposure to cold or dry wind, baby restless, shivery, and thirsty, Aconite 30C
- Sudden onset, baby very thirsty, with burning hot skin and staring eyes, unusual noises and movements, Belladonna 30C.
- Baby very restless and thirsty for small drinks at frequent intervals, symptoms worse between midnight and 2am, Arsenicum 6C.
- Slightest movement causes baby to cry out, large quantities of fluids gulped down, Bryonia 30C.
Gosh, I said to myself, they all sound similar, and she has elements of all of these. But, I ruled out the first one because her fever did not come after exposure to cold or dry wind. I ruled out the third because it was still 10pm, and I ruled out the last one because she wasn’t crying out at the slightest movement. Plus, an inner voice was already saying, “Belladonna” before I even flipped open the book. So Belladonna it was. I gave her a pellet and laid back down beside her. And prayed.
I must have been exhausted from the flight myself, because the next thing I knew, I woke up with a start to find my little one pawing at my shirt, saying, “Kai kai” (meaning “open,” in Chinese). As she leaned in to nurse (yes, night-weaning is out the window, but I am telling myself the excuse that it is because she’s sick) I looked at the clock (it was 4am) and then instinctively put my hand to her forehead to feel for fever, and could not believe it – her skin felt cool to the touch! Fever was gone, breathing sounded normal, cheeks were normal, and she had just slept almost 6 hours straight. Hallelujah!
This morning, she still seemed subdued and a bit under the weather, and certainly very irritable (she kept crying whenever she sneezed and I wiped away the snot), but I am keeping my fingers crossed that she has turned the corner. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: thank goodness for Homeopathy! Time after time, it has given me a safe, effective, and non-invasive way to help my baby through an illness, and I am just so so so grateful.