Ear Infection? Antibiotics? Help a tired mama out. - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS (16 months) has been sick for a few days. His fever was around 100 at first but he's getting molars and he was active and only a bit fussy so I thought nothing of it. Yesterday (Sunday) his fever spiked to 103.5 in the middle of the day and stayed high (above 102) all evening and then spiked higher (104.5) last night before I finally gave him Tylenol to help him to sleep.

Today he had a well-baby (we still go to them though after today's we likely won't anymore but that is another story) and we were told oh, it's a virus (exactly what I thought) until she looked in his ears and proclaimed immediately that they were infected and prescribed amoxicillin.

I haven't picked up the amoxicillin because we can't decide if we are willing to give it. I am not 100% convinced that he has an ear infection and I am not 100% convinced that antibiotics work to treat ear infections.

WWYD in this situation? He is still really hot and not particularly happy. He won't eat, is only drinking a little bit of water, but is nursing very well. He is clingy and sleepy and fussy but not inconsolable (nursing quiets him easily as does rocking and lullabies) and not lethargic.

We are getting pressure from my parents to give the ABX but we just don't feel comfortable with it. I would do the research but I've been getting no sleep and I'm just too fried. Help!
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#2 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 02:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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His fever is high now. Armpit was 104.4 so that would be 105.4 oral, right?
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#3 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 03:07 AM
 
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((Hugs)), mama.

First of all, get him in a lukewarm (tepid) bath to play. Get his head wet. That will help bring down his core temp. If you're comfortable with it, give him some ibuprofen. He's nursing well so don't worry about hydration. Make sure YOU'RE hydrated, though, in case he nurses more than normal. You don't need to be feeling yucky due to lack of fluids.

Can you get some garlic oil ear drops? We get ours at the local Kroger (Fred Meyer, Dillons) in the natural food section.

Jenn
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#4 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 03:13 AM
 
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Well, first, if you're going to medicate (and I often do for fevers), I'd go for the Advil/Motrin:
http://askdrsears.com/html/8/T088900.asp

I'd probably try to tough it out until morning with lots of pain relief along the way, and if the fever is still high tomorrow, then maybe try the abx.

Here's another link for you.
http://news.healingwell.com/index.php?p=news1&id=523506

I know it's hard to see your kiddo hurting. If he's not lethargic, though, I think you're okay. DS has always run really high fevers (like over 103 every single time he gets sick).
-e

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#5 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 03:35 AM
 
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I agree with the other posts.

If he's nursing well, that's good.

If he's playing or comforted by all of the normal Momma stuff I would be alert but not worried. Listen to your momma instincts.

I like to stand in the shower holding my feverish little ones. If he likes a bath that's good too. My kids both love OJ Popsicles in the tub when they are sick.

Do you baby wear? Skin to skin is comforting and relaxing. It helps speed healing.

Does he like massages? Again touch is comforting and relaxing and helps speed healing.

For the record, I have had antibiotics prescribed a few times for the kids with similar symptoms. I have never given them.

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#6 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 03:46 AM
 
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would you be comfortable using something like numbing drops in the ears? There are several rx numbing drops that are used in the ear to basically numb it. It dosent treat the infection but gives pain relief. We have used them for the boys to help with the discomfort while they fight off the infection. Also a warm washcloth up against their ear seems to help as well.

I also 2nd a lukewarm bath, that is usually the first thing I do when one fo the boys has a fever before doing the motrin.
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#7 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 03:54 AM
 
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Instead of starting a whole new thread for a very similar problem, I thought I'd jump in on this one.

Mine's older, and I haven't gone to the drug prescriber yet. I'd love some tips on staving off his infections though. DS is 11 with a mild ear infection (no fever yet, just a lot of pain) and I'm pretty sure he's brewing an upper respiratory infection, too. He's prone to infection and antibiotics are only an option when it's a choice between that and lasting damage. They've already caused enough lasting damage of their own, and this is a bad time of year to spend 3-4 months unable to digest meat and dairy.

For ear infections, i usually just steep some fresh garlic in olive oil, heat it up, and poor a few (warm, not hot. try it on your wrist like folks do for bottles) drops in his ear. That's almost always done the trick. It doesn't seem to be cutting it tonight, though. I've also got garlic and olive oil mush (forget what that's called) on his feet, and eucalyptus oil on his chest. I don't mind a little ibprofen if his fever gets high, but if it does it means the infection's getting the better of him and I'll have to go in for a prescription. =/ Oh, and he's been taking cayenne in his hot chocolate for a sore throat. the throat has healed (along with most of the symptoms from sick that started this), but he's still doing the spicy cocoa. certainly can't hurt, and he likes it that way.

tips? ideas? the poor kid is miserable. my treatments are helping, but i'm not seeing the improvement i usually do.

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#8 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 04:00 AM
 
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The garlic oil ear drops will take away any pain and help get rid of any infection. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. And there's no Rx needed for it.

Jenn
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#9 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replies, mamas. I am trying to not react to this fever in the way that society and my mother have conditioned me to so all of your comforting words are helpful.

DS has had garlic drops in his ears twice and I'm going to do breastmilk in there too. He's asleep now but I'm going to try showering with him in the AM. When awake he seems alert and he asks for things like water and nursing and books but he is grouchy and sleepy.

My mother has conditioned me to ALWAYS think the worst with fevers. Always. She was constantly convinced (and convincing us) that we had meningitis and were dying. She also demanded abx from the doctor, even when we had viruses, so we were on abx about once a month. I am trying so hard to not give in to my upbringing and freak out and run for the ER here.
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#10 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 04:08 AM
 
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The rule of thumb is give the body 48 to 72 hours to fight an ear infection. If there is still fever or pain at that point the body needs help. Fluid is ok/infection is not. I used to wait longer but now I know what can happen when you do that and I now follow the recommended (and I think prudent) wait period protocol.

OP, sounds like an ear infection to me. Most doctors use a wait and see approach to antibiotics for ear infections at your son's age (the 48 to 72 hours wait).

It's normal for fevers to spike up in the afternoon and/or evening. It is not normal for a child to appear to recover and then suddenly spike a high fever and get sick again. That's a sign things have morphed into something bigger/spread/etc.

My son's complicated infection (spread to mastoid bone/mastoiditis) happened on day 2 of his ear infection so well within the wait period. I instinctually felt something was not right/different from the start of that infection even though all his symptoms to that point were normal for him. I was uneasy and my gut was that something just wasn't ok. I ignored that because my logic didn't know what could possibly be different or worse. My son suffered for that and, so, I will say that you always follow mommy instinct. If you feel something is serious act on that even in the wait period or whatever.

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#11 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
The rule of thumb is give the body 48 to 72 hours to fight an ear infection. If there is still fever or pain at that point the body needs help. Fluid is ok/infection is not. I used to wait longer but now I know what can happen when you do that and I now follow the recommended (and I think prudent) wait period protocol.

OP, sounds like an ear infection to me. Most doctors use a wait and see approach to antibiotics for ear infections at your son's age (the 48 to 72 hours wait).

It's normal for fevers to spike up in the afternoon and/or evening. It is not normal for a child to appear to recover and then suddenly spike a high fever and get sick again. That's a sign things have morphed into something bigger/spread/etc.

My son's complicated infection (spread to mastoid bone/mastoiditis) happened on day 2 of his ear infection so well within the wait period. I instinctually felt something was not right/different from the start of that infection even though all his symptoms to that point were normal for him. I was uneasy and my gut was that something just wasn't ok. I ignored that because my logic didn't know what could possibly be different or worse. My son suffered for that and, so, I will say that you always follow mommy instinct. If you feel something is serious act on that even in the wait period or whatever.
This is good info. My mommy instinct is sad but not feeling like this is dangerous, does that make sense? I'm sad for him but he doesn't seem super ill to me.

If the fever isn't down tomorrow afternoon, I'll start the abx I think.
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#12 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 09:56 AM
 
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Ask your dr about sodium ascorbate. It got rid of my ear infection and my son's junky cough. We had to start with a low dose (like less than a gram) and gradually add more until we got to the point of diarrhea. Once we had diarrhea, we backed off on the sodium ascorbate (vit c), and were on our way to feeling better! I also warmed up a hot washcloth and put it on my ear several times a day. I put a hot tea bag behind my ear, too.

Edited to add: my son is a lot older than yours. When he was that age we started at about 100 mg, A LOT LESS than a gram. How much they need depends on their size and how sick they are.
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#13 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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you said in your OP, that you're not sure he has an infection - what made you say that.
My DD is 3, and has had maybe 6 ear infections in her life? It is the only thing she has ever had antiobiotics for. I usually don't end up taking her to the doc for a week or two because they just start with a cold and while she is sick, she is acting totally fine. Usually after a week or two it becomes clear that she can't hear us well (going huh?) all the time. That is my clue that she has an infection, she never complains of pain. I always givie her the abx because at this point she has already been sick for quite a while and it is obviously not getting better on its own. She's never reacted badly to the abx. I had horrid ear infections as a child, ended up on super strong abx for months and eventually got tubes. I don't want that to happen to her.

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#14 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
The rule of thumb is give the body 48 to 72 hours to fight an ear infection. If there is still fever or pain at that point the body needs help. Fluid is ok/infection is not. I used to wait longer but now I know what can happen when you do that and I now follow the recommended (and I think prudent) wait period protocol.
I agree, I give 48-72 hours and if the fever doesn't break we start abx, in the mean time give Tylenol/Motrin for pain and massage the e tubes to help drain the fluid.

Seriously?
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#15 of 19 Old 12-08-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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I didn't read all the replies, but I HAVE to tell you ...


NO ANTIBIOTICS!!!! If he has a virus, as the doctor and you said, antibiotics will do NOTHING to help.

I was one of those children who had ear infections every other week. For 6 years, my mother kept me on liquid amoxocillan off and on, week to week. My ear infections never improved.

What DID happen was that my teeth became weak and started breaking and getting cavities. I started having horrible bowel problems.

To this day, my teeth are a wreck. I get cavities constantly. I have diarrhea every day of my life. STAY AWAY FROM UNNECESSARY ANTIBIOTICS!!!!

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#16 of 19 Old 12-09-2009, 04:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by writteninkursive View Post
I didn't read all the replies, but I HAVE to tell you ...


NO ANTIBIOTICS!!!! If he has a virus, as the doctor and you said, antibiotics will do NOTHING to help.

I was one of those children who had ear infections every other week. For 6 years, my mother kept me on liquid amoxocillan off and on, week to week. My ear infections never improved.

What DID happen was that my teeth became weak and started breaking and getting cavities. I started having horrible bowel problems.

To this day, my teeth are a wreck. I get cavities constantly. I have diarrhea every day of my life. STAY AWAY FROM UNNECESSARY ANTIBIOTICS!!!!

Oh yeah! I totally forgot about that aspect. My mom has the exact same case history as you. Terrible, terrible teeth. Although she's trying to detox from the mercury and has had several teeth removed. (They were so decayed and bad that the dentist went ahead and completely removed them).

And don't forget about the issue with Tylenol. It depletes Glutathione, an essential aspect of the immune system. (Nothing like kicking 'em when they are down!) The newest research even shows it interferes with vaccines:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33331643...and_parenting/

“Giving babies Tylenol to prevent fever when they get childhood vaccinations may backfire and make the shots a little less effective, surprising new research suggests."

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#17 of 19 Old 12-09-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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How's you little one today?

I completely forgot about the best medicine of all, breastmilk in the ears. I'm glad your trying that. I also like to give a little up the nose too.

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#18 of 19 Old 12-09-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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This is a copy of a recent post of mine regarding ear infections and immune system.


Pat

Quote:
Diary intolerance is the number one cause of fluid build up in ears.

"In one study an astonishing 86% of the children tested became free of ear problems once they came off dairy food."
http://www.safekids.co.uk/EarProblemsAndAllergies.html
http://www.healthychild.com/ear-infe...ternatives.htm
http://www.vitacost.com/science/conc...infection.html
http://www.femail.com.au/ear-infections-truestar.htm

Additionally, I was just reading that chiropractic adjustments could help with ear infections. I didn't know.

Breast milk in the ear or garlic oil is supposed to help too.

Also, add vitamin C and whole food probiotics, such as yogurt for the immune system.

"In an October study in the medical journal The Lancet, researchers found that antibiotics for ear infections are only beneficial to children under the age of 2 with both ears infected. Study leader Dr. Maroeska Rovers, of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, said that researchers found that in most other cases, watchful waiting is OK."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16140545/#storyContinued
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ear-infections/EI99999

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/...ics-vs-waiting

"Evidence has been building over the years showing most ear infections resolve on their own and antibiotics do little or nothing to speed the process. And, overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. The most important factor in treatment for ear infections is pain relief."


A landmark study published in Pediatrics has shown that treating ear infections with antibiotics has no benefit when compared to doing nothing. (McCormick 2005).
http://www.hpakids.org/holistic-heal...-Not-Necessary

My recommendation is classical homeopathy.
A friend's daughter had six rounds of antibiotics for ear infections and was scheduled for tube insertion. She saw the homeopath and gave her daughter the proscribed remedy. On return to the physician prior to the surgery, her ears were no longer infected. And she has had no ear infections since.

Our classical homeopathist first learned about homeopathy for her son with ear infections. Then she became schooled about homeopathy. I am a complete believer. Although, I still do not understand how it works. We are all on constitutional remedies and are rarely ever sick.

Another suggestion is Grapefruit Seed Extract. (Not grape seed.) GSE is also a natural anti-inflammatory. It is give orally, diluted in water. It tastes horrible though.

Here are some more ideas:
Garlic is a natural antibiotic.
Collodial silver is a natural antibiotic.
Vit C-large doses (natural fever reducer, iirc)
Cod liver oil- essential fatty acids help the immune system (We use Nordic Naturals -strawberry and our son loves it!)
Chamommilla is good for restlessness, discomfort, insomnia, unbearable pain; fever; child is impatient and angry.
Zinc to help the immune system
Echinecea- We use Sambucol for Kids
Probiotics- for immune support, digestive system is 70% of immune system. Many of the serious side effects of cp are associated with a damaged gut, secondary to antibiotic use. Avoid antibiotics with cp and other viral illnesses.


And Dairy is the #1 culprit of fluid and mucus production leading to an environment conducive to ear infections.


Here is some info about homeopathic remedies (and treating ear infections).

* Aconite: Pain that comes on suddenly after a shock or chill.

* Belladonna: Severe throbbing pain; child is oversensitive and cranky.

* Chamomilla: Unbearable pain; fever; child is impatient and angry.

* Lycopodium: Pain on right side only; stopped-up nose; cold extremities.

* Magnesia phosphorica (or "homeopathic aspirin"): Pain reduced by the application of heat or pressure.

* Mercurius solubilis: Pain accompanied by swollen glands and sweating.
I would do whole food probiotics, cod liver oil, magnesium, vit. C, zinc, coconut oil, bone broths, green juices. Support the immune system. The gut is 70% of our immune system. Antibiotics damage the microbial balance in the gut.

Basically, you have to heal the gut to strengthen the immune system. Check out the "Healing the Gut-cheat sheet" at the top of the forum. https://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=434071


Antibiotics rarely address ear infections, which are generally viral in origin. Nor are they more effective than watchful waiting, unless it is a double ear infection in a child younger than age 2.

Here is more information regarding avoiding drug-resistant bacteria: https://www.mothering.com/discussions...5&postcount=12 Basically, UNNECESSARY antibiotics are the cause, not avoiding antibiotics when NOT needed.


HTH,


Pat

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#19 of 19 Old 12-09-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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My child ended up with mastoiditis while we waited (no antibiotics; we did chiropractic care, garlic/mullein drops, etc.) He was dairy free (and all major allergen free) at the time.

He was hospitalized for two weeks on IV antibiotics, had surgery, and had a month of oral antibiotics on top of it. His gut has never been the same. That said, I was glad he didn't develop meningitis or die.

In my research I found that the watchful waiting (24-48 hours) has increased serious and life threatening ear infection complications like my son had. His floor/wing (3B) at the children's hospital had several other mastoiditis cases and several spreading sinus infections too. Older people told us that in the days before antibiotics sometimes kids died of ear infections because of mastoiditis.

The reason watchful waiting is still the right choice is that most ear infections are viral and will respond within that time period. Most times waiting only extends the duration of an ear infection to a day at most and you have the risks that come with antibiotic usage. These risks include resistant bacteria. The bacteria form biofilms to protect themselves so you can get in a mess of recurrent ear infections.

However, sometimes an ear infection does need antibiotics. Statistically a percentage of ear infections will develop complications because a person waited. And over the two years since my son I've had people contact me who found my posts here whose kids also ended up with mastoiditis. Unlike my son most of these kids have ear infections that went on past the 48 to 72 hour wait before the mastoiditis started. It is still the right choice to wait before starting antibiotics. However, I will no longer wait over 72 hours. I used to for my son though the mastoiditis was 48 hours in. I do not recommend anyone else wait longer than that either. You increase the risk of complications and if the child doesn't need antibiotics they will be fever and pain free within 72 hours and usually within 48.

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