Monday, May 2, 2011

Natural Remedies for Roseola

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About a month ago my daughter caught the virus bug called Roseola. I didn't know it was Roseola until the fever had stopped and a rash showed up.

It was a really, really hard week. Roseola makes the child have a very high fever (102 to 106) that lasts 2 to 5 days. Then the rash shows up for a few hours to several days.

The whole time she was MISERABLE. Very sleepy. Very cranky. All she wanted to do was sleep (on me or with me) or nurse, see picture above. It was very hard on my patience!

Normally, she does great with independent play and is happy to help me do dishes or laundry, so for me not to be able to get anything done around the house was TORTURE (I am slightly OCD about things being put away and living in a clean house, so when I say torture, I mean it.)  Looking at mess, to me, is like hearing nails on a chalk board.  Mess is one of Penelope's new favorite words actually, as she is toddling around the house she will point to something on the floor and say Mesh, mesh!

But I digress.

Thankfully, I had come across two important articles before her virus hit.

This one is from the Healthy Home Economist about not giving Tylenol for a fever, so the fever can actually do its job of killing the virus.  It says that each time you give Tylenol you are weakening the bodies ability to fight off illness and the next time they get sick it will be much worse.

You can also eventually, completely inhibit your body from making a fever.  People who can't even get a fever are not healthy, to say the least.  So if your kid, goes straight to a high fever with teething or a simple virus.  Be glad!  Your child is healthy and full of vital energy.

So after you read her post, you probably think ok, no problem, don't give Tylenol. Got it. But when you have a child who is MISERABLE and you are terrified that the fever is too high, it's a much different story.

Her fever went up and down for three days. It started off at normal 100 and by the afternoon was gone. But then that night it spiked to 102. It went up and down for the next three days and I never gave her Tylenol once.

On the third night it got to 105. At this point, I was scared. And Peter was pissed. He was pressuring me to give her Tylenol.

In the moment, it reminded me of birth (I am a Doula and Childbirth educator so I often see parallels of normal, everyday life and birth). It felt like a hospital birth, where the Mom didn't want an epidural, but she was being pressured by nurses and her husband to "take her out of her misery."

He kept saying this is when people take their kids to the ER and all I am asking is for you to give her some TYLENOL!!

I had to negotiate and plead with Peter (just like a mom at the hospital has to do if she wants a drug-free, vaginal birth.)

I begged him to trust me on this and that I knew in my gut that giving her Tylenol wasn't going to do anything good for her and would actually harm her immune system in the long run. I immediately got us into a tepid bath and told him if the fever didn't come down in the next 15 minutes, we could give her Tylenol.

After reading this article, and some others, I knew that with a high, high fever of 105, that the high temperature itself, is not what is dangerous, but that it revs up metabolism so high that the child is in risk of dehydration and low blood sugar (which can cause seizures).

So as long as she was sipping, water and fruit juice flavored kombucha I felt like she was ok.  Even though she hardly ate any food for over 5 days, she didn't even want her bottle, she drank plenty of water and kombucha and of course whatever breast milk she gets from me.  One of the nights, when she woke up I took her into the bathroom to take her temperature and laid her on the cool counter, so I could lean over her (to get gravity on my side) and do hand compressions as she nursed.  She groggily but gratefully, did the sign the for milk each time I did the hand compression. It was so sweet.

On another side note, one morning she threw up right after rising.  She threw up what looked to be about 4 ounces of milk.  I had always wondered how much milk she gets throughout the night.  I felt awful that she threw up, but it was wonderful to see how much milk she had in her belly!

So once we were in the bath, I started praying. I was scared and was wondering if I was doing the right thing. Then, I thought of the moment in my labor when my water broke and I saw slightly, green anionic fluid. In that moment, fear took over. But by the grace of God and power of my feminine intuition, despite the green liquid, I knew I was ok. I knew Penelope was ok. I trusted myself and my body completely.

So in this moment, praying for the fever to come down, I was also actively envisioning her aura to change from a red color (because of the fever) to a soft blue and was doing hands on healing.  If I have lost ya'll here, I promise I will go into it in more detail one day, but long story short here, I have been a Reiki Master (a type energy healer) for over 10 years.  I do not have a practice, the main reason I did the training so many years ago, was just for this exact moment.  I knew I wanted to be able to have energy healing as part of my repertoire for my family's personal health needs.

I was able to walk THROUGH the fear and come out the other side. I trusted my intuition and knew I was doing the right thing.

15 minutes go by and Peter is back with the thermometer. Her temp was 101. And stayed at 101 all night. It finally broke for good the next morning and then her rash showed up a few hours later.

When her rash showed up, I was again, terrified. The first thing that popped into my mind was Measles, because she is not vaccinated. But after some fun times via Google search, I calmed down and realized she had Roseola and that it is perfectly harmless.

The other great article that helped me get through this virus, was this one   It's a fantastic article, you MUST read it. The author is a man, who wrote the book the Fourfold Path to Healing, and he some really interesting ideas.

Basically, it says that all illness, whether a fever or cancer, is a spiritual crisis or metamorphosis. You are not the same person you were before the illness, when you come out the other side. You are stronger and your immune system is stronger (if you didn't give it Tylenol or Anti-biotics.)  "The illness created the construction of a newer, healthier body, one that is more individualized to the dynamics of the child."

I also love what he said about the parent's attitude being very important.  That the parent's confidence in the child's natural ability to heal itself, helps the child relax and know that everything will be ok and let its body do its work. 

In the tub, that night, I fought every urge to panic and have a meltdown. I knew Penelope needed me to have laser beam attention to detail of her virus and what her body was doing, but she also needed me calm so that she could just focus on getting better.

In the end, I am so glad I did not give her Tylenol.  We did take her to the Dr. on the third day to rule out if she had an ear infection or strep throat.  I do feel like she is a new toddler after this illness, she really did come out it stronger and healthier.  

I would love to hear your stories of not giving Tylenol for high fever and what you did instead.

Also, this is the second post of our Natural Remedies series, you can check out the first one here, Natural Remedies for Broken Bones.

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Blogger Cassandra said...

Thank goodness you got her checked for strep. Someone from the church my friend goes to had a two year old die within two days of falling ill with strep.

You have to be really, really well prepared and level-headed as a parent. Children rely on their parents in so many ways.

May 2, 2011 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger MermaidLilli said...

I am very upset that I jsut wrote a very lengthy response and Google just said "Sorry, can't process this at this time" and it disappeared!!!!!

May 2, 2011 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger MermaidLilli said...

Well, that showed up...grr. Gave you my whole history of mothering 5 kids and what I did with them when they got sick.
So in a nutshell.... you did great. Trust yourself.

May 2, 2011 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger sk said...

this is a great post, and i don't even have kids yet! thanks for sharing those links, too.
i love your haircut by the way!

May 2, 2011 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said... sorry to hear about your friend. That is just horrible.

@MermaidLilli...that is the worst! That has happened to me, commenting on other blogs, so I learned to do a quick highlight and copy after I write a long comment response.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write!

May 2, 2011 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

thanks, sk! :)

May 2, 2011 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

We don't give our girls meds, and people think we are nuts for it :) A body produces a fever for a reason. Great job-it can certainly be scary seeing those numbers climb higher and higher on the thermometer... Glad she is feeling better, and what a sweet pic!

May 2, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

We don't give Phoenix Tylenol either, just double up on her vitamins if we think she has a sickness coming on or a fever.

May 2, 2011 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Steffi said...

just linked this article on my face book account. it’s a very interesting article for all.

Natural Remedies

May 11, 2011 at 2:52 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks Steffi!!

May 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger jenniferbrooke said...

My almost six year old has never had tylenol, antibiotics, or any other medicine. We do take probiotics regularly, but otherwise eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and increase our vitamin c intake if it looks like something yucky is going around. Since starting school, she gets sick once or twice a year, just for a day or two. I use cold compresses, lots of snuggling with mommy, and fluids. Thankfully my husband is really supportive, and even when she had a 104 fever last year, he trusted me to care for her as my intuition supported. You did a great job, and it will help her in the long run.

May 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think its a good thing for you to advocate for kids not getting tylenol...especially on a blog that people respect. I work in an emergency room and have seen children die from what starts as a fever, and progresses rapidly. Its ridiculous that a child could still be alive if tylenol was given. I would hate for that to be on my conscience. Just a thought from a worried nurse...

June 2, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

@Anonymous...I am not exactly advocating it and I am certainly not giving out medical advice. I am simply sharing my experience. As I stated in the article, I would have given her tylenol if I wasn't able to bring her temp down by natural means.

June 2, 2011 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Mireille said...

My 10 month old is currently experiencing Roseola and it is difficult.

My husband and I are first-time parents plus this is our baby's first illness. On the second day, I panicked when his fever was up and he could not keep anything down. I had not given him any Tylenol, just cool baths and lots of breastmilk. We went to see a doctor and he gave him Tylenol. It did help him but I was not able to get myself to give him another dose.

After reading this article, I am glad I didn't give him any more but feel terrible that he got a dose. Hopefully, it won't affect him too much! The fever has passed and we are just dealing with the rash...

Also, for some reason, he won't take his afternoon naps. As soon as I put him down he cries... I have noticed a lot of neediness but hope he will be back on his regular nap schedule as soon as the illness is gone.

September 24, 2011 at 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the nurse above. I'm a paediatrics nurse. I absolutely advocate for not giving tylenol to be able to let the body fight off the fever on its own. I would do the same for my children... But only to a temperature of 102. Anything above that and you definitely get into seizure territory, brain injury. And tylenol does not affect the bodies immune system at all. This worries me...


December 10, 2011 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said... sorry to hear your son had it too, I hoped it passed quickly and you all feeling great.
@Anonymous...Thanks for your comment, but I disagree. The actual temp in and of itself does not put a child in immediate risk for a seizure. It is the dehyradtion that comes along with a high temp fever that causes the seizures. So everything I have read, as long your child is keeping down some food and fluid and their blood sugar levels are stable, they should not be at risk for a seizure. As one of the articles mentioned, if your child will not drink juice, you can squirt some juice in their butt and it will be absorbed and you can maintain their blood sugar levels that way. I think that the decision to give Tylenol or not, and at what temperature, is unique to each situation and parent, and I am certainly not giving out medical advice, I am simply sharing what I was comfortable with and what we did, but I do feel, based on what I have read (links are in the post, if you have not read them yet) that Tylenol does affect your immune system, by weakening the bodies ability to fight off illness and the next time they get sick it will be much worse.

December 27, 2011 at 12:32 PM  

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