Virus vs bacterial - when to be concerned - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-08-2014, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I just needed a reality check here from other experienced mamas! From my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong -  an illness is typically considered viral for the first 7-10 days. After that, it could have progressed to a bacterial infection (i.e. bronchitis, sinus infection, etc.), and possibly require antibiotics. Does that sound right?

 

I'm just wondering because DS2 has had a cough for 6 days now, it's pretty yucky sounding and he's just not shaking it...which he does every winter, it's just something in his constitution, every little virus tends to settle in his chest!  DH got mad last night, saying I should take him to the doctor because he probably has some God-awful disease. (We don't vax, and while DH agrees with not vaxing intellectually, every time one of the kids gets sick, he freaks out and second-guesses it.)  I told DH if it's viral, they really can't do anything for him, and the home remedies are the best.  I know my son, his energy level is pretty close to normal, and he was only feverish the first 2 nights...just got that lingering cough. It doesn't sound like croup, pertussis, or any of the bad ones.

 

I'm just wondering when I should be concerned about it turning into bronchitis? FWIW, I've been giving him homeopathic cough syrup (Boiron's Chestal), vitamin D 1,200iu daily, probiotics, homemade chicken soup, humidifier at night (when it's worst), and today started him on an herbal tincture for Deep Lung clearing.

 

Thanks for any input!! :) 

 

Oh yes - I should add, no one else in the house has come down with it! DS1 had a fever one night and said he felt nauseous, then got over it. But nobody else, and we're all in close contact with DS2.


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#2 of 6 Old 01-08-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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He prob doesn't have a disease but if it would make DH feel at ease and if the cough is lingering I might make sure it's not in his lungs. Can you see a naturopath?

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#3 of 6 Old 01-09-2014, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good idea - I'll call our naturopath and find out if she can see him. I did a quick search online, and found that it's pretty common in kids to take 10-14 days for an upper respiratory virus to resolve. That helped DH relax quite a bit. Even DH said it doesn't seem like it's in his lungs, he's just coughing up junk and doesn't know how to spit it out, and refusing to blow his nose so it's going down his throat!

 

I think it's just a matter of time until his body can kick it out, and hopefully he'll get the concept of blowing/spitting sooner rather than later. rolleyes.gif But I'll call the naturopath and get her take too! There's got to be something in his constitution that makes things go straight to his chest, maybe she's got some insights there.


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#4 of 6 Old 01-09-2014, 11:56 AM
 
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Our naturopath gave us a tincture to give to our son when he gets a cold. It's herbal and he loves it. Maybe your naturopath will have something to help move things along...
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#5 of 6 Old 01-11-2014, 10:54 PM
 
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Coughs can linger for several weeks and I don't seek medical intervention or drugs of any kind (natural or otherwise) unless it is disturbing sleep patterns or there are other symptoms like lethargy, coughing a lot of stuff up, or fever.

Bronchitis is often viral and pneumonia has other symptoms. My dd and I both get a lingering cough every year and it typically works its own way out. I did once take cough medicine and woke up gagging and unable to breathe so I am very against anything that prevents the body from doing its job.
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#6 of 6 Old 01-12-2014, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooh yeah, I never take regular cough or cold medicine either - yecch!  Always makes you feel worse.  My ex- MIL got mad at me when DS1 was a toddler, and told me I was "making him suffer" because I wouldn't give him the OTC cold medicine she bought...it was for children 8 & up, and he was 12 months!! She was a piece of work. :dizzy 

 

I only use Boiron's Chestal homeopathic cough syrup if he's having a hard time expelling things and the cough sounds uncomfortable, mostly first thing in the morning and before bed.  I tend to believe more in supporting the body so it can do its job, providing proper nutrients to boost the immune system, etc. and using homeopathy and/or herbs if things seem bad.  I use the humidifier at night because we live in Colorado, in the Front Range Rockies, where it is SUPER dry...makes it hard to get all that congestion out.

 

He hasn't had a fever for over a week, still coughing, but less now...so I only gave him the herbs for a couple days, and he hasn't needed anything else lately.  I think it will probably just linger another few days or week and gradually disappear.  I talked to my friend who is an acupuncturist, and she suggested a treatment of Chinese herbs when he's well.  She thinks since he's so prone to chest colds with those lingering coughs, he may have a wei chi deficiency that makes it hard to move energy through the lungs, and correcting the imbalance may help so he doesn't keep getting sick. We'll see how it goes!

 

Thanks for the input, mamas...just really needed to make sure I wasn't crazy, and set DH's mind at ease.


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