Post-Pneumonia Healing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS was sick all of last week and ended up in the hospital on Wednesday. He was on oxygen for all that time (except last night when he was off but they continued to monitor him JIC he needed to go back on it) and has been on way too many antibiotics. I don't have the names of all the meds in front of me, but he was on one med via IV for 4 days until the IV broke and they switched him to an oral form of the same thing (and the name of this med is on the prescription that's currently at the pharmacy; once I pick it up I'll have the name on the medicine bottle) plus he took his 5th dose of zithromax this morning.

I'm personally not convinced he actually needs/needed all these abx, but I wasn't about to argue this with hospital staff- I just wanted him home ASAP and without anybody thinking to call social services. This could have been viral for all we know, and he might have recovered simply because of the O2 helping his immune system function better.

I'm not sure exactly how to proceed from here. I'm going to give him the rest of the abx prescribed, even though I don't really agree with the dr for prescribing it- I'm not playing games with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

I can't decide if I did him some kind of disservice by not taking him to the dr sooner last week (since he ended up in the hospital) or if I did something RIGHT by keeping him generally strong and healthy, as he didn't have any of the complications that other kids in the hospital with pneumonia had. There were several other children with pneumonia (with histories of abx, vax, and "treating fevers" who were MUCH sicker than DS.)

Should I keep him out of school longer than *needed* to minimize his exposure to random "common cold" germs because they might make him sicker than usual, or is that not something I need to worry about? For the time being, I've decided to keep him home until I take him to the ped for follow up (he needs to see the ped either tomorrow or the day after).

How should I proceed if he gets sick later this fall or winter? Get him on abx for anything that *might* be bacterial to avoid another bout with pneumonia and another hospital stay? Or keep on minimizing pharmaceuticals to overall boost his immune system?

Are there any specific herbs and/or supplements he should be taking in the next few days or weeks to help get his health back on track?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#2 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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Did they run a test to confirm that it is bacterial pneumonia? It's pretty much impossible to tell if it is viral or bacterial without a test. Here is Dr. Sears' page on pneumonia:

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/T083800.asp

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Chest pounding (percussion) therapy - this is VERY IMPORTANT. Four to six times each day, take your child into the bathroom with the hot shower on and let him breathe the steam for 10 minutes. Use your cupped hand to firmly clap on your child's chest, concentrating on the area that the pneumonia is. Pound rapidly for one minute, then rest a minute, then continue again on and off for ten minutes. This will shake the mucus and pus pocket loose so your child can cough it up. Encourage coughing during this time.
I remember my mom doing percussion therapy on my younger brother when he had a cough. He also had asthma, so it was important to keep his lungs clear.

As far as school, personally I would keep him out because his immunity is down, at least until he has completely healed.

I would do Vit. C daily (if you aren't already). I keep my kids on a maintenance dose and up it at the first sign of a cold. Get him to take the elderberry if you can, as I'm sure it is helpful. I think cherry bark is another good one and you can get it in liquid form.

If he does get another cold I would be sure he is getting plenty of rest, up the C, get some oil of oregano into him if he will take it, zinc is good. My cold regimen for myself is Emergen-C every 4 hours, alternated with Cold-Eeze zinc lozenges every 4-5 hours, no sugar at all, oil of oregano 2x/day. Usually by doing all that I am able to get rid of it within 2-3 days.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#3 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, they didn't do any cultures so we have no way of knowing if his pneumonia is bacterial or viral, or if it's even responding to the specific abx that he's been prescribed to take at home. However, I'm not comfortable going against dr's orders in this situation- more from a legal perspective than a medical one (will somebody call CPS for child neglect if I don't give the abx and then he gets sick again?)

Is the elderberry syrup safe to take with the antibiotic?

We've been doing the percussion therapy in the hospital, and they even sent us home with a special soft, silicone cup to use for it. We also have a breathing exercise thingie (not sure the technical name for it)- something to blow into and encourage him to take lots of deep breaths. He's been doing 10 blows into it per hour.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#4 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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Well, I would definitely take the abx in this situation, even though they didn't test. It's not worth the risk of a lingering infection in his lungs, IMO.

Does he take a probiotic? That will help to at least replace the good bacteria that is being killed off.

That's great you're doing the chest percussion and breathing! That will really help.

I'm not sure about the use of homeopathics while taking abx. Do you know a homeopath or herbalist whom you could ask? Or maybe there is someone here who would know more.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#5 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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It sounds like you are doing a great job Ruth. It seems like more and more people are coming down with pnumonia after the flu as the years go by. Both of my boys have major breathing issues and have been iin the hospital regularly for it in the past so I know that sense of unease. I was up with my youngest last night while he was coughing awfully. I had pnumonia on my mind.
What we do for colds is the percussion... good stuff. Onion tea. Boil up some small organic onions whole with the skin on. Put in a 1/2 teaspoon of organic sugar ( supposedly the sugar worked better than honey for the old folk remedy but we use honey) and drink warm. It gets the mucous moving like crazy... beware!
I can't remember if you are veggie, or maybe kosher? We try to do bone broths frequently as well as herbal infusions overnight for extra minerals.
So stressfull being in the hospital. Take care mama! Have you had it yet? Keep care of yourself! I am on day 5 myself!

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#6 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, we keep kosher (notice my senior title? ) but we're not vegetarians- we eat plenty of chicken and chicken soup, just not at the same meals with dairy products.

What is an "herbal infusion overnight?"

I plan to get him some probiotics the next chance I get to go shopping; probably tomorrow morning.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#7 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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Ha ha! Knew I had seen it somewhere... not so observant am I?
I use nourishing herbs like nettle, red clover maybe some rosehips and mint for flavour. I boil up the water ( with the roots if I use any) then pour the water over the dried plant material into a litre size canning jar all the way to the top. Then I put the lid on snug and let it steep overnight. In the morning I heat it gently . Just a good way to get the extra vitamins and minerals... and to keep hydrated!

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#8 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 07:40 PM
 
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They actually should be able to tell from the xray. Many docs are antibiotic shy these days, and I absolutely would continue a course given so as not to cause other antibiotic resistant problems later. That said, we've dealt with pneumonia many times, and I will respond with some other supportive ideas a little later.

s to you and to him. How exhausting!
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#9 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the "based on the X ray antibiotic" is the zithromax, which is a 5-day course that finished this morning. The one they sent him home with is a "prophylactic" med to avoid him getting a 2ndary infection- and I really don't agree with the decision- IMO they should have stopped this med as soon as they added the zithromax (this was the med they first gave him via IV in the ER.) This is why my decision to give him this medication is more for legal reasons than for medical ones.

He only needs this medication for 5 more days, so any alternative therapies I give him during that time need to be compatible with it.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#10 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, first dose of amoxicillin administered. He needs 2 tsp and the hospital gave me a few 1 tsp oral syringes, so I gave him two squirts. He gave me a rough time about taking it until I reminded him that I didn't want him to end up back in the hospital (where he took meds without much complaint.) I plan to use the same syringes for herbal meds (and possibly liquid vitamin C) as well.

Now I just need to research the elderberry and make sure it's safe to take with the abx.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#11 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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I don't think I can add anything these wise mamas have already said.
I would not be sending him back to school untill he's 110% healthy, but that's me.

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#12 of 48 Old 11-10-2008, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did some online research and it seems that both elderberry and olive leaf (which is included in the elderberry syrup I purchased) are safe to use with amoxicillin, and I gave him some earlier this evening with the oral syringe. Apparently it tastes worse than the abx, but he willingly took it so that's the main thing.

I got a packet of schoolwork from both of his teachers and DD1 worked on a bunch with him this evening. I can continue getting the work for as long as I keep him home.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#13 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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Secondary infections are very common with pneumonia. I understand your reluctance, but I also understand their medical opinion. Amoxicillin isn't a very strong antibiotic though, so

Are you giving him probiotics? Were you able to find the protocol for how to give it while taking antibiotics?

I agree with majikfaerie: 110% at least.

How are you holding up? What an ordeal.
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#14 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It wasn't just amoxicillin at first- it was a mixture of 2 or 3 meds that included amoxicillin, then it was I think augmentin in the hospital, then down to just amocixillin for use at home.

At this point, I think that any gut damage has already been done so there's no "benefit" to discontinuing the antibiotic now- and some obvious risks to stopping it. Mainly I'm concerned about what else I can do to get him strong and healthy and minimize the chance of him needing more antibiotics later this season. The biggest "negative point" to the abx right now is that it's bright pink and the red dye is making DS bounce off the walls, but it's only for a few more days.

I'm not giving him any probiotics yet because I haven't been to the HFS (and the pharmacy doesn't carry any powerful ones), but I plan to go tomorrow. I basically figured on giving the probiotics as far away from the antibiotic doses as possible- is there an actual "protocol" you can link me to?

How am I holding up? I think I'm gearing towards a crash. DD1 and DD2 weren't doing all that great in my absence either. The household (laundry, dishes, food in fridge, etc) is mostly under control as the house was very well stocked last week and DD1 has been incredible with laundry and such. Plus my aunt was here the day DS was admitted and she played "drill seargent" and got some major tidying up done (random spots of clutter that had been building up for weeks.) There's something very nice about glancing at a spot that's been messy for weeks and seeing it clean.

But I haven't slept well since Monday night- Tuesday I was up late watching the election results and then Wednesday til Sunday nights I was in the hospital, in an uncomfortable narrow pull-out chair next to DS' bed, with nurses coming in at random times during the night taking vital signs, many nights one or both boys (a very sick 3yo with pneumonia in the other bed in the room) waking up crying in pain, etc. I also haven't really eaten well during this time- gluten free, dairy free, kosher food was in kind of short supply. Thank G-d there was a "Bichur Cholim" room (funded and staffed by a Jewish charitable organization) with a fridge, hot water pot, crock pot with cholent on Shabbos, and a cabinet full of canned fish and veggies. They provided food for Shabbos as well, but not anything I could eat (although by then I was OK because DD1 went on a cooking spree and sent me plenty of food from home.)

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#15 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 01:35 AM
 
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Probiotics: I can't link you. I can tell you from experience. 2 hours before or after dose of antibiotics.

Vitamin C and high vit C foods.

Chicken broth with carrots (with leaves if you can find) and with celery (with leaves), sea salt.

Herbal teas.

Rest.
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#16 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 06:26 AM
 
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WTH is up with them putting food dyes in abx :
s mama
say, take some of that olive leaf extract and vitC as well. echinacea is great too if you got it. don't let yourself get any further run down. I'd come on over and make you some good nourishing soup and stuff, but my car doesnt drive over water.

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#17 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
take some of that olive leaf extract and vitC as well. echinacea is great too if you got it. don't let yourself get any further run down. I'd come on over and make you some good nourishing soup and stuff, but my car doesnt drive over water.
What? I thought you drove Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

I've been mixing the echinachea/goldenseal in with the olive leaf/elderberry (they came as herbal mixtures, not pure herbs) when giving to DS, and I took both this morning as well. I haven't yet taken my usual supplements (including CLO and vitamin C) but I will when I have breakfast. Later today DD1 and I plan to go food shopping and get the probiotics.

I'll give DS the choice between taking C in a chewable or having me make a concentrated liquid from the powder and giving it to him with the syringe.

Should I get him a multivitamin as well, or just focus on the C?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#18 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I do a multi plus extra C. You can get liquid of both if he doesn't like chewables.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#19 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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: to what FB said

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#20 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I got some chewable probiotics today (the only liquids they had were acidopholis only.) The one I got is Nature's Way Primadophilus Kids. Each tablet contains 80mg of "proprietary probiotic blend" providing 3 billion CFU of lactobacillus rhamnosus, bifobacterium longum and lactobacillus acidopilus.

How many should I give him per day? I gave him one early this afternoon about 2 hours after the abx.

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#21 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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Poor baby.

I think you've made the right decision about the abx. Bacterial pneumonia is NOT something you want to mess around with, especially in a kid. I ended up on abx for a MONTH before my first case went away, and that was after the injections. Horrible not to be able to breathe. I'm glad you're doing steam and percussions. Sounds to me like you're handling everything just right.

Take care of yourself, too, mama.
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#22 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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about the probiotics idk.
what does it say on the bottle?

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#23 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The bottle gives no indications about dosing instructions- it simply lists what each tablet contains and defines "one serving" as one tablet.

Even if the bottle did have dosing instructions, I don't know if he needs more right now since he's been on heavy-duty abx. For now I'm giving him one pill 2-3 hours after each antibiotics dose (so two per day) and I plan to keep him on the probiotics after the antibiotics are over, maybe even keep him on it all winter.

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#24 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 11:07 PM
 
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Ruth, you poor thing -- and your ds too! I had pneumonia for months, it is really difficult to completely eradicate it without a lot of work. The only medical thing that helped me was prednisone, which is an awful steroid that has tons of side effects. Other than that, using the spirometer, breathing treatments, lots of coughing.

I did do a mustard plaster, and that helped break up the mucus. But WOW, it gets hot, so be careful if you choose to do it. I did it on top of a thick towel on my chest, and could only have it there for 30 min before I felt like I was going to explode.

Make a paste of mustard, water, and flour. Apply it -- not against the skin, on a towel over the skin -- to the chest and let it sit for a while. Maybe that will help break up the mucus for him.

Hugs!

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#25 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He seems to be doing OK with the coughing. We're keeping up with the spirometer and percussion therapy, plus abx for the next 4 days (complete the 10 day course started in the hospital) and I'm giving him elderberry, olive leaf, echinachea and goldenseal extracts as well. I need to get some vitamin C into him, and I'm giving him probiotics a few hours after the antibiotics to try and minimize the gut damage from the abx and start healing any gut damage that may have already occurred.

I can't see him sitting still with a mustard paste, and I'm not sure how I could do that without flour anyway (I get sick from contact with wheat- not just eating it but through skin contact if it's wet or if I breathe in flour.)

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#26 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DoomaYula View Post
I did do a mustard plaster, and that helped break up the mucus. But WOW, it gets hot, so be careful if you choose to do it. I did it on top of a thick towel on my chest, and could only have it there for 30 min before I felt like I was going to explode.

Make a paste of mustard, water, and flour. Apply it -- not against the skin, on a towel over the skin -- to the chest and let it sit for a while. Maybe that will help break up the mucus for him.

Hugs!
Yup, I agree... mustard plasters are wonderful.

When you posted that your ds was sick, I wondered if he might have pneumonia. I get it about one a witer and the symptoms sounded like the ones I have had.

Hope he gets better soon.

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#27 of 48 Old 11-12-2008, 03:36 AM
 
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(((Hugs))) I'm sorry your little guy has been so sick. I don't know the dosages of the probiotics. I agree to keep up with the amoxicillian and finish it up, it's much better to follow through than to quit part way through.

With the amoxicillian, if it is reallly really cold it's sometimes easier to get a child to take it. Further to the back of the throat you squirt it too, the better it goes down. You might be able to have him squirt it himself with you watching so he has more control over taking it.

Watch for thrush in the mouth.

A positive with the coughing/hacking/spitting, you can make it a game on getting him to make gross noises and spit which is always fun for little boys (well at least the gross noises is fun for my guys ) add some underarm fart noises in and he might just giggle himself all better!

Take care Mama! I am sure you are running on your reserves right now, so try and get some rest for yourself!
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#28 of 48 Old 11-12-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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Ruth,
Definitely make some bone broth for little one to help replenish his stores of goodies taken away from the illness; home made chicken soup is called "Jewish Penecillin" for a reason!!!!!! Finish the antbx, give lots of probiotic (you really can't OD, so be liberal), if he'll drink kefir (in a smoothie maybe?) try some of that. If the kefir is too mucous producing for him at this stage, then skip it. Doing the chest percussion (with him lying on one side, cough, then the other side, cough, then upside down of the side of the bed, cough) and the incentive spirometer (remember, it's about long, slow deeeeeeep breaths, not blowing) are key to clearing his lungs and preventing a secondary infection. Make sure he's getting enough zinc (bone broth should help with this) and fresh fruits bearing vit C. If you are able to get out in the sunshine, DO!!! If it's not cold where you are (I can't remember what part of the world you're in) expose as much skin to the sun as possible (without him getting ANY chill-- no chill please!!!) and get some vitamin D production going! Definitely give some high vitamin cod liver oil (like green pastures Blue Ice) for the vit D and vit A-- both are absolutely imperative for immune functioning and healing. Feel free to PM me if I can give any further info or help.

Hugs, momma!

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#29 of 48 Old 11-12-2008, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're on Long Island, and it's November- long pants and coat weather and some days it's hat and glove weather too.

I've kind of given up on the "no dairy" thing- in the hospital they were sending him dairy meals and I asked the dr about it and she said it wasn't worth worrying about. At this point I'm more concerned about getting enough fluids and calories into him.

I'll have to see about getting him to take CLO- he has absolutely no problems with the amoxicillin and he does take the elderberry syrup but doesn't like it- he prefers the taste of the amoxicillin.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#30 of 48 Old 11-12-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bensmommy View Post
If you are able to get out in the sunshine, DO!!! If it's not cold where you are (I can't remember what part of the world you're in) expose as much skin to the sun as possible (without him getting ANY chill-- no chill please!!!) and get some vitamin D production going!
They are in New York. No vitamin D being made by the sun now.

Ruth I would get a vit. D blood test and start with 2000 IU per day after testing for at least a week. If low, I would keep at 1000-2000 IU for a kid over 50 lbs and test again in a month. You want numbers in the high normal range. There is increasing evidence that the "cold and flu season" is really the "low vitamin D season".

Am I vit D deficient?
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/healt...eficient.shtml

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...aspx?source=nl
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