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Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Little Havah Update

Havah was diagnosed with pertussis Tuesday, November 2nd. It's not quite two weeks later and if you heard her cough you wouldn't know that she has whooping cough. No more "big coughs" really. We have been free of the real ear catching coughs for several days now. The ones that I'm hearing now are more and more under control. We aren't totally out of the woods, but I can see that we're pretty much done with the most of this. As long as I'm keeping her diet as mucous free as we can manage then the girl seems to be doing just fine. She has never stopped being her cheerfully silly self. She's just been a bit more tired, a bit more cranky and coughing obviously.

Monday is our liberation day. Havah's been on lock down for the most part until the antibiotics are wrapped up. Two weeks of antibiotics is A LOT of antibiotics. I have been taking an antibiotic as well because I've been coughing and I don't want to pass this thing on to other people. We went to take her big sisters to the doctor the other day and while on the way we saw a play ground with a bunch of kids. She almost cried when she asked me if we could go play with those kids. It broke my heart. This girl is SOCIAL. She loves her friends dearly. She names her things after her friends (Aubrey cup, Angie cup, Abel cup, Baby Sophie, Baby Aubrey).

Baruch is still showing no signs of WC. He did get a new tooth today - his first. I'm hoping that this means I will get to sleep all night tonight. Come on....say a prayer for me right now. Something like this, "Dear Jesus, please give Danie a full nights sleep tonight. Amen."

Thank you. I appreciate that.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Juicing, Opinions and Vaccinations

Juicing

I've been juicing a lot in the past two weeks. The main things being carrots and apples. Occasionally I throw something exciting in there, but for now I'm pleased with the same old same old. If I were diagnosed with cancer I would live on fresh juice. Probably less carrot and more greens. Juicing is an excellent way to provide nutrition to your body. You get the vitamins and minerals from the item juiced, but almost no work for your body to digest. Digestion is a very energy taxing function of the body. When you are sick you want your body to rest as much as possible.

Anyway...back to juicing. Havah loves it. We wash the carrots and apples together. I trim the ends and let her help me push them into the juicer. Then we put the juice in tiny little tea cups and have our "tea time". She is so absolutely delightful. Havah says the funniest things. I love to sit and chat with her. My sister likens her to a cartoon and it is a perfect comparison. Havah is very tiny, but has a personality larger than life. I wish everyone could know the joy that it is to have her as my own. At the same time I feel very special that I know and not everyone does.

I have a very nice juicer - maybe I should say had. When Sean and I got married we went for it and bought the kitchen appliances that we knew we would love and would last us a lifetime. We got a Vitamix, a 10 cup food processor and a Green Star Juicer. They are all amazing and are all used regularly. The juicer can be a bit of a pain to use though. It produces an amazing amount of juice from the things you stick through it. You can do all kinds of other things with it. The down side is that you have to push quite hard to get a carrot to go through. Also, there are several parts to be taken apart and washed with each use. It has been living at "the shop" where we make soda. I got it back for a few days and remembered how laborous it was to use and quickly traded it in for our old Juiceman JR. Cheap and easy to use. It produces much less juice but I'm done in less than 5 minutes. You can get a Green Star when you are a serious juicer. They are about $450. You can get a Juiceman almost anytime. They are $50. The Green Star is now back at the shop where it belongs.

Opinions

I come from a big family that is very skilled in forming opinions. My sister Angela being the very best at opinions. When I need one I always know that she will have a very good one for me. I am also quite opinionated. I don't think that I'm judgmental (being the humble one that I am), but about things I have looked into I feel pretty confident in my opinions. When it comes to thoughts about people, actions, what's for dinner or why someone did something they way that they did - I usually pass on having an opinion. An opinion is like a nose. Everyone has one, right? My friend Jennifer wrote an excellent blog post on opinions. So in the next few paragraphs there may be an opinion or two. I'm not telling you what I think you should do. I'm just telling you what I do.

Vaccinations

Havah and Barch are not vaccinated or immunized. For anything. Sean and I decided that we were not against them getting booster shots. We just don't feel comfortable with them getting them at such young ages and weights. When we felt it was the right time we planned to figure out exactly which shots we want them to get.

So with all this scare of WC I am getting calls, opinions and recommendations from all kinds of medical professionals and people from the health department. Of course they are all telling me that I need to get Havah and Baruch vaccinated right away. Both of them need to get up to schedule with all of their shots and they need to do it right away. Israel and Judah only had a few shots when they were little so we are being "encouraged" to get them up to date also. I'm also getting lots of questions from these same folks about why I have yet to get my children immunized.

So I have a few facts for you about the pertussis vaccination. They are from different sources - I don't believe all of them to be facts.

The CDC says that WC is the most widely spread disease which is preventable by vaccination.

The CDC said in 2009 that only 0.06 of the US population was not current on their vaccination schedule.

The CDC said that last year there were more than 17,000 reported cases of WC in the US. They also said that many more cases go unreported.

My new friend at the KC Health Department, whose name I won't mention here, told me that it doesn't matter if you get vaccinated for WC. If you are exposed to WC you are very likely to get it.

My doctor at the Urgent Care told me that if Havah's test came back positive for WC that everyone in the house would have to be treated as if they had WC - even if they had been vaccinated for it. She told me that we should plan on everyone getting it (though they haven't) no matter if they had the shots or not.

A nurse at our family doctor (who talked to me like I was a Moron because I didn't take my kids to the well baby visits) told me the same thing. Their patients were getting WC whether or not they had their booster shots.


SO all of this makes me a wee bit angry. The pertussis vaccination has a reputation of being one of the most dangerous vaccinations. It is also one of the most widely used (possibly why it is getting all the bad reports). All of the risk in the vaccination for what??? My child would be just as likely to get the disease and have the exact same reaction to the disease! So why am I getting all of this pressure from my health care providers to get my children vaccinated for WC??? All of this makes me quite angry.

Another thing that really disturbs me is when medical professionals assume that they will make the decisions for your child. Uh no, when my baby is born you aren't going to poke and prod my brand new person. You can't take my child to the nursery. I will decide when my child will go to the doctor. I will decide when my child gets antibiotics, shots or any other medication. Please boss someone else around.

...


I do feel better having written that down. The above does not reflect my opinion on all vaccinations. For example - a few years ago Sean got vaccinated for the chicken pox. He was in his mid thirties and he decided that it was no longer worth the risk of getting chickenpox as an adult. It is much more dangerous for an adult to get chickenpox than a child.

When we decided not to have the little ones vaccinated we took the risk of them getting infectious diseases. When it comes to our decision about not having vaccinated for WC I am glad that we decided to wait. It is one that I do not plan to give them even later in life. Havah's immune system is doing an excellent job of killing this disease. We are seeing almost none of the major signs of WC that the CDC reports. This is not the case for all children, but it seems to be the case for mine. I have worked very hard to keep her in the best of health and nutrition.

We have also spent time praying for Havah's health. I believe that God is bigger than her cough and I tell her that all day.

And this too...
This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots. I'm not likely to even reread these posts before posting. Hope it makes sense.




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

As Promised

video

Additional Measures and Baruch

We are doing more than just the fresh food, juice, antibiotics and probiotics. Some of these may seem obvious, but I'll list them anyway.

Lots of Liquids - Poor kid is running to the potty about every half an hour. She is getting barley and fresh juice, but I'm trying to get her to drink as much water as possible. The more hydrated she is the easier it will be for her to cough this funk up.

Lots of Rest - When you are sick in any way it should be a sign to you that you should take extra measures to rest! I get Havah outside for a few hours while the weather is so nice, but then we're taking it easy. She still needs to get her wiggles out, but I'm making sure she's got a big window of time to get in a nap. She is going to bed half an hour early (though last night she didn't)and we're trying to help her sleep in. The sleeping in is essential for me. Little Baruch is keeping me up at night.

Havah's room has a sound machine which helps her sleep longer. I've been putting her in a pea pod and putting a blanket over part of it so that her room seems darker. I have a monitor right by her bed so that if she had any issues I could help her out immediately.

Humidifier - We have a humidifier running in Havah's room all the time.

Chest Percussion - I put Havah in front of Blue's Clues and spend 20 or so minutes pounding on her back and chest around her lungs. I'm trying to help loosen any mucous (there's that lovely word again) that might stick to the inside of her lungs. She usually coughs a few times while I'm doing this, but nothing major.

Essential Oils - This may seem like snake oil, but I really believe in it. Havah has a diffuser in her room. It is diffusing Four Thieves Oil and Lavender Oil. Both are excellent at killing "bad stuff" and for helping the lungs. Baruch is getting Four Thieves Oil on his feet before naps and bed. I brush my teeth with it at night - just a few drops on the tooth brush. It's great for killing bacteria, kills gum disease and helps with sensitive teeth. Fair warning - it's spicy. I think both oils are essential to every household. Four Thieves oil was used during the Bubonic Plague. Thieves who wanted to rob dead bodies would use it so as not to catch the disease. Other oils to keep on hand are Oregano, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and a citrus oil.



About Baruch

Baruch is my 5 months old rolly polly baby. He is possibly the most delightful thing on earth (good thing cause he's keeping me up a lot at night right now). WC is very dangerous for little babies, so we are keeping a close eye on him. He has no signs of any sickness. My breastmilk is full of antibodies that help protect him from the sickness. I am nursing him just about every time he cries or acts hungry. That's not normally my style, but right now I want him to get as much of a defense as possible.

Well I have to end there because it's time for dinner.

And don't forget...
This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots. I'm not likely to even reread these posts before posting. Hope it makes sense.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Kindness of God

Thank you Jesus for the sunshine! The weather for the past few days has been absolutely amazing. The sun has been shining. The breeze has been blowing. It has been almost 70 degrees every day! This means while we are on lock down (Havah can't play with friends for two weeks while she's on the antibiotics) we still get our wiggles out!

We have a great backyard. Well parts of it are great. We have a trampoline, a preschool sized table, a car, a bike, a swing and bubbles. Lots of bubbles. We have been outside for a few hours each day. This has been so helpful to our mental and emotional wellbeing. It is also extremely beneficial for health. We get our peneal glands filled (no jokes please), the ability to convert cholesterol to vitamin D and fresh air in our lungs.

The clouds have been beautiful. The leaves have been beautiful. My children have been joyful while outside.

Here's a video of cuteness with a special shout out to Grama and Grampa Renee (sorry grampa that's what she calls you guys)...


And on another good note. Havah didn't have any serious coughing spells today. She did cough today. She cleared her lungs several times. No hacking, no deep breaths. Thank you God!

Well the video isn't working. Maybe next time.

Treating WC - Well At Least What We're Doing

Children with WC have really two main issues. Well maybe three. And in no particular order: 1# Their throats and lungs are inflamed #2 Because of this they are producing copious amounts of mucous (yum) #3 Because the throat is inflamed coughing out and up that mucous is a challenge. When the airway is swollen or filled with mucous then getting your breath between coughs becomes a great challenge.

We have Havah on a mucous-less diet. Arnold Ehret wrote a whole book on the topic. I have not read it myself, but Paul said that it is an excellent book...and he would know. By eating a mucous-less diet we are telling Havah's body to not produce any extra mucous. Because of the irritation and inflamation she still has mucous. Just not as much as she could. Mucous mucous mucous! Gag!

So I could tell you what that means Havah doesn't eat, but it is much easier to tell you what she does eat. Havah is eating fresh fruits, veggies and seeds.

Here's what that looks like:

water
Barley grass, beet and carrot juice
smoothie
fresh juiced apple carrot juice
buckwheaties with almond milk
fruit
potato leek soup
lentil soup
any other vegetable concoction Sean comes up with that has garlic and onions in it
and more fruit

In addition to those foods she is also getting a probiotic, digestive enzymes with some of her food, vitamin D and mullein leaf extract. Oh and breastmilk. Because I have been exposed to this virus my body is working hard to protect little Baruch from getting it. My breastmilk is full of antibodies for WC! I regularly pump a few extra ounces for a friends baby, but for now I am pumping it for Havah. I just put it in with her smoothie.

Well that's enough for now.

Oh and don't forget:
This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots. I'm not likely to even reread these posts before posting. Hope it makes sense.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Where We Are at with Pertussis

Havah is currently in stage two of whooping cough. Typing that out each time is going to get old fast so from now on I will just write WC. I don't even like calling it by name. It annoys me. It makes me angry to even say it.

So back to the stages of WC. Stage 1 lasts for about two weeks. The symptoms are very minor and are usually confused with the common cold. Most people miss this and pass it to the masses. This stage is when it is most contagious.

Stage 2 is where the real WC shows itself - the demon that it is. This is when you hear the real "whoop" come from children as they try to catch their breath between coughs. This is serious stuff people! Children die in this stage!

Thankfully, Havah does not have any of the severe symptoms. She does not have coughing episodes that leave her vomiting, turning blue, or having seizure like symptoms that children quite often have in this stage. Havah has two serious coughs a day. She will cough three to four times between breaths. Her eyes turn red. She takes deep breaths. On at least two occasions she has gagged as if she would throw up. On one occasion I did actually hear her "whoop". Sean (my husband) has heard her whoop on another occasion. It is absolutely the most horrible thing that a mother could hear coming from her child. This happens in the morning as little H is starting her day (though it did not happen today). It usually happens post nap also. It usually happens once I start giving her food after she has woken up (I'll tell you more about that later).

She will cough several times during the day, but the coughs sound very much like a chest cold. You know when you've had a cold. It starts in your head and moves down to your chest. Then you have to work it out of your lungs. It sounds very much like that.

Havah has never been sick before. She's never had a real cold. She's had runny noses, but they usually produced teeth. I have been relatively aggressive with her nutrition to try to help her body be strong and fight off disease. This bout with WC is a reality check and right now we are kicking it into high gear. We will not be in high gear forever (i'm saying that mostly for me), but we will be for at least the next month.

Havah is not immunized. After the reading I've been doing and conversations I've had with the Health Department I am still thankful that this is the case. I might discuss this more with you later.

Havah is taking antibiotics. She has never had them before. I could have never imagined that she would need them in her life unless there was a real emergency. Well here we are in a critical situation. So bring on the antibiotics. The antibiotics don't treat the virus. You don't treat viruses with antibiotics. It just prevents the spreading of the virus. She isn't having a super dramatic response to WC but someone else's child might! We don't want to spread it. Also, we don't want to be "holed up" for more than we absolutely have to.

Well there's where we're at.

And here's my disclaimer again...

This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots.

How We Fight Pertussis (whooping cough)

Well...Havah has pertussis. I'm not going to go into what exactly that is. You can google it. Fair warning though - it may scare the pants off of you.

As you probably have guessed we're treating it as naturally as possible. There really isn't any way to "treat" pertussis. Once you've got it...you've got it. You can take antibiotics. They will help prevent the spreading of the disease. I've been poking around the internet for helpful tips and I'll share with you what I've found and what we're doing to help little Havah through this.

I should tell you though. This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots.