May 20, 2011

eye of a newt and tail of a dragon

We've had 10 'lil pink eyes roaming our house as of late. (for the math:5 people x 2 eyes per person=10 pink eyes)

John is the only one to have survived the wrath of the dreaded pink eye. This mama was not so fortunate. I hate wearing my glasses--they look ugly on me. I am trying hard not to be vain.

Lining up my patients for their pink eye drops. We are a pink eye factory.

Technically, Ollie has already served his term and is done with his pink eye for the meanwhile, but he did not want to be left out of the line up.

And don't be fooled by Twain's smiley face. He screams bloody murder, thrashing and rolling like a wild crocodile being captured when he gets his drops. We all have to pin him down.

The reward for dutifully accepting your eye drops.

In addition to pink eye, we also have coughs and other cold symptoms. We have been using some of these remedies...or in John's words...eye of a newt and tail of a dragon. He loooooves to poke fun.

We have been trying out homeopathy for the past 6 months to treat common colds, etc. Here is our general approach: We will take our kids to homeopathic Dr. W here in town or the traditional pediatrician's office to get the diagnosis. I have to say, we have the best pediatricians in town and we love them very much. I also have an AMAZING homeopathic Dr, stationed in Santa Cruz(Dr. Karen) and I can call her anytime on her cell phone for advice. We usually try our homeopathic remedies first, and if needed, fill the regular pediatrician's prescriptions. Here are some of my general thoughts on the whole thing. I'm sure other people have completely different thoughts and experiences. *warning* Read on if you like to hear about crunchy stuff. Otherwise you might want to skip the next few paragraphs:)

In a nut shell, homeopathy uses natural remedies and is a very gentle and mild process and sometimes requires a little more patience, but has no side effects...whereas traditional medicines seem more dramatic and fast-acting, but also can have many unwanted side effects, depending on how sensitive you are.

For example, when Ollie had croup, we gave him the spongia remedy, but he was still up at night coughing, needing the steamy shower. John and I were beat and decided to give him the very mild steroid the pediatrician prescribed, so we could ALL get some rest. The first night it was great, but the second night Ollie was completely restless and was up all night peeing excessively...and the next day his face was all red...these were all bad side effects of the steroid mentioned in the "prescription warnings" and it was kind of scary. Not worth it.

However, if my child could not breathe and was turning blue of course I would give him the steroid.

Another example. This winter, Twain had croup and an ear infection. Our pediatrician prescribed prednisone for the croup and antibiotics for the ear infection. Both made me uneasy for Twain. He is little and does not do so well with antibiotics. They give him diarrhea and hence a horrid diaper rash. Ordinarily I would give probiotics to combat this, but mysteriously, Twain is allergic to probiotics. For his croup and infected ears we used one homeopathic remedy and he did just fine.

So, I avoid antibiotics for Twain unless absolutely necessary. The thing I love about my homeopathic doctors is that they are both very flexible and will prescribe antibiotics for things like strep throat, bronchitis and pneumonia. Or if we've tried different remedies and they just don't work, they will advise me to take the antibiotics.

For example, since Monday, I was having terrible sinus problems, so Dr. W put me on kali bichromicum. Nice name, eh? However, the kali bichromicum just was not working. Dr. W was thisclose to giving me antibiotics last night. This idea sounded very enticing. I personally do very well with antibiotics--I don't think I've ever had a bad reaction to them. My fickle self was having some doubts that homeopathy would work on me and I had delightful visions of antibiotics swimming in my head. But my doc in Santa Cruz wanted me to try another remedy, drosera, first. "Oh alright", I conceded, a bit disappointed. I had the remedy on hand, in my big old homeopathic first aid kit. After taking one little drosera pellet, I woke up and my sinuses felt so much better. I could breathe through my nose again! I could not believe it. I am such a skeptic. However, I still have a bit of a cough left and if that is not gone by the 2 week mark, I am going on antibiotics.

I was also a little doubtful last week because Finn had a double ear infection and a fever. I do not like to mess with fevers. They make me nervous, even though I know they are useful for fighting the sickness. Dr. W told me to try the belladonna remedy. I felt torn. Part of me was thinking "let's just do antibiotics...I know they work on ear infections!" But it was 6 pm and we would have to drag him to the urgent care, exposing him to more germs. I decided to try the remedy. The next day he was substantially better and the day after that, his ears were completely clear. Once again, I was amazed. My faith in homeopathy is steadily increasing. This is all so new to me and so I think that it's only natural that I am a bit apprehensive regarding stuff I am not used to.

I don't blame anyone for not wanting to take any chances with little infected ears and completely understand their decision to use antibiotics. You have to do what you are comfortable with! Homeopathy is NOT for everyone. If Dr. W did not take our insurance, I don't know what I would do! The remedies themselves are fairly inexpensive($6 per vial at Lassens), but I have no idea what the typical homeopathic doctor charges for a visit. We just do what works for us...and right now it's a combination of homeopathy and conventional meds. We are very thankful for all of our wonderful doctors, crunchy and non-crunchy alike:)

Ollie and Twain have been using Spongia this week for dry/croupy coughs. They ask for their "spong-jee-ja" and open up their mouths like little chicks waiting for their mother hen to drop them a worm. It's sooo cute when they walk around the house asking for rem-e-mies(remedies).

Also for their coughs, we've also been giving them purple grape-flavored mucinex...lovingly referred to as the Mace-Windu medicine...because Mace Windu has a purple light saber. Get it? Purple medicine, purple light saber? Hey, whatever it takes, to get them to swallow this stuff!

Due to the sheer quantity of infected eyes and coughing boys, I had to draft up a little spread sheet just to keep track of everything.
I feel like a nurse.

Thankfully the boys are doing much better. We can't wait to get back to our regularly scheduled program of fun with family and friends.