M. has croup. Surprise surprise. This might very well be the 7th time. After the 3rd or 4th time I decided enough was enough. Everytime I took her to the pediatrician, I felt beyond frustrated. Just like some children get ear infections along with their viruses, M gets croup. I could give her motrin and use a vaporizer to ease symptoms the doctor said, and then she could offer no other help. As I type this, she is in her room barking away, woken up from the cough. I do have a regime for croup. After giving up on allopathic medicine, I took M. to a pediatric acupuncturist and homeopath in San Jose who gave her a constitutional remedy and a prescription for chinese herbs made for children called Chest Relief. Along with that I use two homeopathic cough syrups, and 3 separate homeopathic remedies and 2 gemmotherapies. The middle of the night cough/barking is so frightening that having an arsenal of "helpful" things is how I cope with my own anxiety, and try to help my daughter in a mostly helpless situation. Just now it was decided that D. and M. are taking a steamy bath together to help the spasms. I have been trying to push the Motrin on her at night to take some throat pain away, but she flat out refuses because it is too sweet. Tonight I mixed it with pineapple coconut juice and she could still smell and taste it. I told her all the reasons to drink it, how it would make her feel better, less pain, sleep better, etc. No way. Ok then, how about if you drink this here medicine and I buy you a present next time we are in town? "Ok mama!" She choked it down scowling and shivering from the sweetness in 3 gulps. Immediately she wanted details about what kind of prize she would be getting. "The five dollar kind." I said.
So, tonight we are all together again in the same bed. I sleep with M. when she has croup so I can monitor her and also feel the joy of being coughed on all night. Last night, midnight we are all getting cozy after a steam therapy. In all her sickness, she is still singing Christmas carols with her hoarse low energy voice laying in bed. I know then she is not totally lost in being sick. She looks at me in the darkness and says in a clear, loud voice "mama what is that smell?" I start to sniff. Skunk? No. Cat poop? No. Dad farts? No. "Mama what is that smell? Can't you smell that mama? That yucky smell mama!" Oh lordy what could this be I am thinking. I pull her close to snuggle. "Honey, I don't smell anything." Oh yes I do now that she is close to me. Her breath. Sickness breath. Really bad. My sweet, tender, lovely daughter's breath is always like home to me, even then.
Update: Elf on the shelf. We are 16 days in. Still going strong. Still driving me crazy.