Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Flu

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health,
even as thy soul prospereth."  3 John 2 

The flu hit our house just after Christmas...

Now I am usually a natural remedies person.  We don't get immunizations.  We rarely go to the doctor.  We try to eat well most of the time, get plenty of sunshine, and have a cheerful heart.  Most of the time, it works.

But not always.  We do live in a fallen world.

We were hit with the flu about six years ago.  Nearly everyone in our family fell ill to it, and I was the caregiver.  I was also working hard with my new son, Tommy, at that time, and had not yet figured out how to help him through the periods of rage he was having almost every day.  That time is still a blur in my mind...I remember moving old recliners that I had discarded back into the house so the sickest could sleep in those to help with their coughs.  I remember being woke up nine times one night.  I remember being very very tired, but at least I wasn't sick!
Gage and Max were the sickest ones and both of them ended up with pneumonia.  Then Gage's pneumonia moved from his chest into his chest wall, and he ended up in the hospital with major surgery to get it all cleaned out.  It was a very scary time for me, not to mention a horrible time for Gage.  He told me recently he doesn't feel like he has ever fully recovered from that.  I'm not surprised.

A friend made this picture collage of him:

So needless to say, I have a healthy fear of the flu.

And this time it hit the most delicate of my children, Angel-Leah:

And because of my experience six years ago, I panicked and ran to the doctor.  Once there, we were given a prescription for Tamiflu.  It didn't occur to me at the time not to fill it, even though it cost $265.  I just knew I did not want Angel-Leah to end up like Max and especially Gage did, and of all my children, she would be the one I figured would be most likely to get that ill.

She said right away the Tamiflu made her stomach hurt.  She threw it up several times and from that point on,  she could not stop throwing up.  I read the insert that came along with the prescription, and to my dismay, it said it might not even be effective after 48 hours of the flu.  Online research backed that up.  Angel-Leah was on her third day of being sick when we got the prescription.  I continued to give it to her for another couple of days though, because I was afraid.  After three days, I quit, because it made her so sick.  I hoped she had enough in her.

The Bible warns us about fear:

Job 3:25  For the thing I feared has come upon me.  That which I am afraid of comes unto me.

1 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I knew better...

Angel-Leah did not get well.  She continued to throw up for days and days and days.  She would not eat.  She could barely keep fluids down.  My internet research said this sometimes happens, but I was really getting worried.

After three weeks, I called the doctor again.  I was told this was actually fairly normal, that they were packed and couldn't see her that day, and that if her symptoms got worse, I should take her to the ER.

One of my problems was because she was sick, it was hard to get to the store.  I sent older children a couple of times, but they had trouble finding what I wanted.  After a talk with Angel-Leah and Tommy's birth grandmother, she went to work, and soon she and their grandfather were at my door with boxes and sacks of the natural remedy things I wanted, plus probiotics, lots of fruit and juice and presents for the kids.  Angel-Leah got balloons and flowers:

She was just thrilled.  She told me after they left, "I feel so bad, but when I look at my balloons, I smile!"
A couple of days later, a florist delivered flowers, a balloon and a teddy bear to her from her little birth sister, Lilly:

Again, it meant a lot to her, and made her very happy.

But it didn't make her well.  On Monday, we went to the doctor again.  They gave her lots of tests, we had to go over to the hospital even, but everything was coming back really good.
Finally the Nurse Practitioner who was seeing her told me she thought she had gastritis brought on by the Tamiflu.

To say I was upset was an understatement.  I had spent a fortune buying that stuff, and now I was spending yet another fortune to get rid of the side effects.  Angel-Leah had been miserable for more than three weeks.  I had been worried sick, and everyone else had to stay home while we tried to get her well.

Did I say I knew better?  Fear, because of what had happened to Gage, made me doubt myself.

That's not to say I don't think doctors have their place.  Gage would have died without doctors and surgery.  Broken bones need help.  I am very, very thankful for doctors and medicine, and that they are right here at our disposal when we need them.

But do we need them so often?  Won't a healthy body usually heal itself?

When Angel-Leah came to live with me, she had chronic ear infections.  So did Selah.  In fact, Selah also had RSV and tubes in her ears in the year before we got custody of her.   She had one massive ear infection after she came to live with us.  When I finally received her case study, I learned she was lactose intolerant.  No wonder she was having ear infections!!  I asked one of her former foster moms if she had not been told about it, and she said yes, but she was told Selah was all over that.
I took both girls off milk ( I had taken Angel-Leah off years before), and the ear infections cleared up.  They don't get them anymore.

Three days of Zantac seems to have cleared up Angel-Leah's problem.  But I intend to be prepared from now on.  I will not be caught off guard without any herbal or natural remedies on hand.  My mission over the next few months is to become well stocked.  My favorite book on the subject is "Be Your Own Doctor" by Rachel Weaver.  My second is "Mommy Diagnostics" by Shonda Parker.  If you are interested, both of these books are in the book store here on this blog.
God bless us all with good health!

Proverbs 17:22  A joyful heart is good medicine...


  1. Wow, I sure would love a list of natural remedies that would help someone with the flu...possible post idea for you?? Hope the little one gets to feeling better!!

  2. That's an excellent post idea! I am learning a lot these days in the aftermath of this, and I will share very soon! Thanks!


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