Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Doctor. Mum in the house !

Hello ! This is going to be a pretty lengthy post because "Doctor Mum" is going to share with you how she deals with some common ailments like fever and common cold in the house. Read on for some tips and experience I have accumulated these years ever since I started to take on my role as a mum.

Being the main caregiver for Xav for his first 3.5 years and during the 2 years when I had my helper and now that am back to being his main caregiver again. I do still call the shots at home with regards to his diet and what to administer to him when he is feeling under the weather.

Xav is very prone to falling sick in his first 3 .5 years. Definitely not something I wish for nor wanted to happen so frequently. I wonder where went wrong too. He was a breastfed baby for one year, I thought immunity would be better but ...

Anyway, each time he was sick, it was always the same diagnosis but with a different degree of how bad the condition has escalated. The kitchen cabinet would be partially filled with his medication (and yes each visit to the PD, I will come back with the same medication probably with a different type of antibiotics when it's out of control)

As I was writing this post, I was surprised that I rely more on Chinese herbs than western medications.

Let's begin at the babies stage. Most commonly dealt issues are  jaundice, diaper rash & heat rash.

- Jaundice : Both Xav and Vera got it and Vera got it worse, lasting for the whole entire month. We brought her for sunning in the morning and evenings. And I cut back on Chinese herbs during my confinement.

- Diaper Rash : You can treat diaper rash by soaking the butt or cleaning it with honey suckles flowers. Simply boil a handful and cool it for cleaning during bath time.

- Heat Rash : I heard about using beer to bathe baby in as beer itself has cooling effects. I tried this time round with bittergourd cane.

Most of the confinement nannies should know about this. My mum managed to find it at Chinatown wet market. I bathed Vera in it and used the water to clear the rashes on her face as well ! After three days, all cleared !

- Fever, the most commonly dealt with was fever, cough and cold. Being a first time mum, I "panicked" when his temperature was raging at 38.7 - 39 Deg C for 5 days straight. Thankfully, I had a reliable PD to fall back on and reassured me that he be fine after 5-8 days (normally when fever will break)

Subsequent fever episodes, I was calm. I was taught by the PD to make observations:
-  He is still his active, bubbly self and no sign of lethargic and can still  play as per normal.
-  He can still take his meals as per normal.

What would you have done if you have seen a slightly higher than normal body temperature  ? For me,  I would now only administer Paracetamol only if his temperature hits 38 Deg C. It's good to let the body "fight" for a while. Ibrufen will only comes in if fever spikes above 38.5 Deg C after an hour after giving paracetamol.

I will alternate between Paracetamol and Ibrufen every three hourly, which makes each to be 6 hourly apart in cases of really high fever. Following this, I know I wont be over dosing him.

* I was advised to always give Paracetamol first even if fever is above 38.5 Deg C. Ibrufen will always act as a backup.

I will still bathe him but not with cold water, as it may shock him. It will be slightly cooler below lukewarm, water mat for him to lie on and sponge him with peppermint water.

On top of the above, minus the paracetamol. I have been oiling Xav with peppermint, lemon and thieves when he has fever. But I am relived that I have yet to have the chance to oil him that often for it. *Cross finger*

 About 9 months ago, I was introduced to use 100% pure therapeutic essential oils to replace the use of drugs. It has been working well till now for the family, especially Xav. Read my review HERE. (Do drop me an email or pm me on Facebook if you are keen to learn the oiling applications and usage of the oils. I be glad to share it with you.)

One way to check if Xav is falling sick any time (Sign of heatiness in the body)
- Bad breathe
- Red lips with a "red" line on the lower lips
- Really smelly poo

These indications will tell me it's time to check his throat. Most of the time I can see a red spot near his throat (Always on his left I wonder why). The TCM told me, once this red spot "breaks" and turn into ulcer, fever will kick in and I was spot on several episodes.

I have always stock up :
Baby Chrysanthemum Flowers (I normally buy at Hock Hwa or ZTP)
Honey Suckles flowers
China Barley (I normally will not get the English Barley as I was told that they caused more phlegm)

Some simple recipes to reduce the heatiness:
- Chrysanthemum flowers by itself. Pour hot water over it and cover it with a lid.
Chrysanthemum flowers + honey suckles flowers
This is really good for HFMD and hazy period.

Should you be going for any deep fried food or bbq food that can cause sore throat if excessively consumed, do always remember to drink some Liang Teh after that to counter against the heaty effect. Some cucumbers, coconut or water chestnuts do the job too !

Cough is one of the trickiest condition to tackle in my opinion. Xav faced this issued which escalated with wheezing every three months and was hospitalized twice for lung infection. (The string of wheezing episodes HERE) I have tried literally everything from TCM (Tradition Chinese Medicine ), Kids; Meridian Massage, Respiratory Specialist.

Thankfully after his first visit to CT Yeo, we bid goodbye to his wheezing. His condition is well under control but on the side that he has to take his daily dosage of Singulair, Nasonex and Seretide. My cabinet always have Zyrtec and Kaloba Herbal Syrup on standby.

Kaloba works quite well for both dry and wet (Phlegmy) cough and it's non drowsy. I feel more comfortable giving it to Xav as compared to other cough syrup.

As he progressed, he was gradually cut off Nasonex and the puffer. Now he is only taking Singulair. On top of these, I have to note for his sensitive airways, the diet and environmental factor plays a part. His room has to be kept dust free.

Diet as per what the doctors and sinseh advised:
- No citrus fruits like Orange, coloured fruits or fruits that have berries in their name for instance: Blue berries, Strawberries etc.
- Sweet and sugary stuff, jam, sweets, chcocolates especially is a No-No for Xav. Once he eats them, he gets phlegmy.
- Food with preservatives as well to be cut off. Every year before CNY approaches, Dr Yeo will remind us not to give Yu Sheng and off the shelves pineapple tarts and stuffs as they have preservatives in them.
- My tcm's advice is no chicken and egg yolk. Chicken will prolonged coughs and yolks tends to produce more phlegm. No dairies like cheese and cow's milk. I will normally substitute with soy milk until he recovers.
- Do not take Cordyceps if cough is really bad. Cordyceps can be good for cough. But if you use on the wrong type of cough, not only it does not help but it will hinder the recovery process. Should you be unwell, stay clear from herbs. Consume it only after you recover to build up your immunity.

 There are some herbs pretty good for coughs, you can read up my humble notes on herbs here for my own references. (Feel free to share more with me if you have more to add)

Natural remedies Now am going towards drug free direction with the use of Young Living Essential oils. These are the range I have to target for cough and cold ailments.  I have even stop giving Kaloba Syrup though yes, it is a herbal mixture and safe to consume until you recover. (Xav used to drink it like plain water. At any point of time, my cabinet will have 3-5 bottles stocked up )

The range of oils I have to tackle the cough and cold.
 - Vegetables can help too !  Skin one big onion and cut into quarters. Place the bowl of onions next to the bed. I'm thankful that Xav is really easy with anything including the smell of the freshly cut onions. The onions will help to kill the bacterial in the body when  you inhaled in and absorbs the virus and germs when you breathe out. Do note to discard the "contaminated" onions away and not to use them to cook for meals.

- Swimming is good ! So far I see the improvement in Xav after a year. It helps to strengthen the lungs.

- Warm shower helps to dispel the mucus out. I normally got Xav to blow out and clear his nose during shower and have frequent warm water to "melt" the phlegm.

- Massage behind the shoulder blade all the way down to the mid of the back, with your thumbs pushing apart.

Soup recipes for the coughs;
- Pear soup with fig fruit with Fritillaria and Kernel Almonds

 Apple Soup with Kernel Almonds

Lotus Roots with solomonseal Rhizome soup

- Lean Meat with chestnut

To nourish the lungs:

Double boiled papaya & Snow fungus soup
 If the haze has been affecting and aggravating the condition, what I did to combat that HAZE was to diffuse Purification, it cleans up the air really effectively. It can even help for prolonged cough by applying on the sides of the throat.

Soup that helps during hazy season;

Lotus Roots with Green Beans & Water Chestnut
 - Diarrhea, normally I will try to see if Yakult works. I will standby probiotics (Preferred Biogaia). My dad will ask me to open up a can of pineapple and munch on them. It helps for him.

- For mozzie bites and cuts. Before I started on oiling. I will have tubs  of Aloe Vera standing-by in my fridge. It helps to soothe the bites but it does not help with the swelling. Xav has pretty bad insect bite allergies but with the use of Lavender and Purification. It does not even swell a bit ! Lavender can seriously do wonder even in cases of Eczema.

So far I have not really encounter frequent vomiting or food poisoning encounters. I have realised most of the time I have self medicated at home with the PD or GP's instructions and so far am doing pretty good, staying away from the clinics). I just came to realise Xav's last visit to the doctor for fever and cold is more than a year ago ! 

Do note that all the above are tried by me and it works for Xav. Each individual body is different and results may varies. Do share with me on your Dr. Mum's role at home and how you are coping with it.

Linking up with

Dr Mummy


Shermeen said...

Wah!! This is very comprehensive! Thanks for sharing.. will try some of your remedies on my kid. Super impressed with the herbal soups et al you prepare for Xav.

Robert Clark said...

Your posts are good and so informative.

Chinese Herbs By ZTP

Unknown said...

Hello can i ask where to purchase Kaloba Herbal Syrup in singapore? Thank you

Eunice said...

Hi, can i know where to by kaloba syrup?

xavvy said...

Hi Eunice,

I used to get it from the PD. Try asking Guardian Pharmist if you cann purchase without prescription if they do sell it. If you are travelling to Malaysia, you can buy off the shelves.

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