In sickness we want health

My favourite in this line-up of cold remedies is the candle with Eucalyptus oil in the middle

It’s never easy to be sick, but it’s even harder to watch your child be sick.  Little T started with a fever last Thursday afternoon which carried through the week-end accompanied by a dash of vomiting, diarrhea, and the arrival of a cough on Sunday.  So, after 3 days of this, I felt it was time to see a doctor.

I was relieved to find the Children’s Tylenol we had in the medicine box wasn’t expired (like the last few unopened packages I had to toss), and having to look up on-line what temperature again indicates a fever made me grateful that we are not all that experienced in dealing with sickness.

Little T has handled being sick fairly well.  Even though he’s only six, being able to do nothing but watch shows all day quickly lost its appeal.  At times he has just turned off the TV and announced that he just wants to relax (and then falls asleep!)  He’s biggest concern is missing too much school and being behind all the other kids in his class.  I can honestly say, as a kid, I never felt that way.  A day or more away from school? Sweet!

Even though fever is not really a bad thing, as it is your body’s natural defense mechanism for dealing with an unwelcomed visitor to your immune system, it’s hard knowing your child has fever, especially when you can see (and hear) discomfort.  I try to let the fever do its job until I see signs that it is causing discomfort that prevents other important recovery activities such as sleeping.  We had a few nights of resorting to cool cloths on the Little T’s legs to help bring down the temperature when the fever was running a bit too high for our liking (a technique Hubby learned in dealing with fever with the girls).

Everyone has their own remedies and recommendations for dealing with fever and colds.  My personal favourite is lighting a candle with a bowl of Eucalyptus essential oil in water on top, or adding a few drops to my bath when I have a cold.  I find the smell soothing, and it just feels like a more natural way of dealing with a cold (that, and sipping some freshly sliced ginger tea).  But, I am certainly not opposed to over-the-counter medicaments as I believe the most important way to work through a sickness is to be as comfortable as possible.

Knowing he had to see the doctor yesterday, Little T asked if he would have to get a needle.  Not seeing any reason why he would, I told him no.  He seemed very excited about this, and informed Hubby that “Mommy said I don’t need to get a needle at the doctor’s!” which made me re-think this firm statement. So, trying to backtrack and leave myself an “out” I explained that I didn’t see why he would have a needle, but there is always a possibility that he might have to have one.  With eyes open wide and filling with tears, in a shaky voice he suggested that I get him a movie or a toy if he has to get a needle. Again, not seeing a reason for a needle, I agreed.

Just last week Hubby and I had made an appointment at a local children’s doctor’s office as Little T needs new orthotics for his shoes.  So luckily, when I called to make an appointment due to Little T’s sickness, they asked if he was a patient and I could say yes!  It was great that the doctor could see us the same day. They made it clear when we initially went in that we should never bring a sick child in the office unannounced but to call first and they would get us in. Which they did.  A lot nicer than waiting to see a doctor in a drop-in clinic for hours with a roomful of other sick people and only National Geographic magazines to read.

After the doctor arrived and she and I mutually agreed that my German and her English wasn’t the best, I described as best as I could, in German, why Little T was there (I even made sure to convert what his temperature was in Celsius, as she may have fell off her chair if I told her he had fever of 104 C and not F!)  She then checked his breathing, checked inside his ears and throat, and announced that a nurse would be coming in to prick his thumb for blood so they could analyze if his infection was viral or bacterial.

After she left, Little T turned to me with the words every mom in the world dreads:

“You LIED to me! I DO have to have a needle!”  Followed by the second thing moms dread:  tears.

Feeling a little shocked, I tried explaining that it had been a thousand years since I had been to see a doctor because of a fever/cold combination.  When I was  little girl, the doctor would peer inside my throat and I always came home with a bottle of penicillin the size of horse pills that I would always detest taking.  I had no idea things had changed.  

He seemed to cheer up slightly with the reminder that I owe him a show or a toy, until the nurse came in to prick his thumb. Out flew the German from his mouth asking exactly what she would do, how much it would hurt, if he could get a band-aid after, how long he would have to wear it. A short prick later, the nurse had the blood she needed, and Little T had a cool band-aid to cover the barely visible hole. Five minutes later, the doctor came back in to confirm that his infection was bacterial, and prescribed Amoxicillin (penicillin) along with cough syrup and a nasal spray and told Little T that he needs to sleep as much as possible. All that information in 5 minutes from a droplet of blood from his thumb. Yup, things have changed.

So Little T gets a show out of being sick (and Mommy has learned the value of the word maybe and not agreeing to shows or toys if I’m proved wrong).  After finally getting through a busy line at the school today, Hubby learned that at least 30 other kids are home sick with the same thing. So Little T doesn’t need to worry so much about being the only behind.  And this morning, he slept in late, telling me had to, because that’s what the doctor said to do.

I think being sick makes you really appreciate and value the opposite:  being healthy.  And, even though we can’t completely avoid becoming sick, I believe lifestyle and what you eat can go a long way to prevent becoming sick.  Hubby and I try hard to stick to a “no packaging” philosophy when it comes to food – we want to know everything that is in the food we eat.  This is not to say we are completely package free, but we’re trying.  Physical activity is equally important, in my opinion.  And relaxation too. 

I just hope Little T feels better soon. I also hope he doesn’t pass it on to me.

Then again, I could use a new show.

3 thoughts on “In sickness we want health

  1. Hey Heather:

    I hope he feels better too! Give Little T hugs and kisses from Ottawa! By the way, I don’t remember my boys ever getting a thumb prick to test as to whether the infection was viral or bacterial. I would have not expected a needle either.

    Take care,


  2. I like it that they do the test right away…I remember when we lived there the first time and my Appendix got inflamed, my doc did a blood test for the white cells right in her office (or rather the nurse did) and she told me to go home, take a change of clothing and head to the hospital, they would be waiting for me there as she is sending the results and my info over….gladly it did not have to come out….but I spent 5 days in the hospital on a strict diet and some other stuff ……why wait for lab results for days when you can know on the spot what you are dealing with and can take action right away….i definitely liked it…


  3. Sonya has perfected the “maybe” routine but I always remind the boys that when mommy tells daddy “maybe” it realy means “no”… lol

    Relax Little T with your new toy:)


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