Friday evening, my 11-month-old ended up in the emergency room and was eventually admitted to the children’s hospital.
My mama’s heart ached because my baby was sick, and I wasn’t in control. My herbalist’s heart ached because we were taking the less preferred road to recovery.
Now, standing on the other side looking back, I can see a bit more clearly. I can see where I could have done things differently. I have learned a few lessons. Thankfully, God was merciful to me, and the lessons were gentle lessons. Today, I want to share them with you so you can learn with me, and hopefully, not have to be taught them yourself.
Long story short, my little man developed a fever that continued to get higher over a 24-hour period. When I finally opted for medications to reduce his fever, they didn’t work too well. Soon after that, I came across the source of the fever. His left leg was red, hot, and swollen. He had “cellulitis,” an infection of the tissue.
Cellulitis is usually caused by a bug bite, cut or scrape, ingrown hair, or something similar that gets infected. Most times, these little abrasions are no big deal, but sometimes, they can become very serious. The infection can spread into the blood resulting in a systemic infection, and sometimes, you have to have tissue cut away or a whole limb removed. Worst case scenario of course, but still, nothing I wanted to mess with.
I started to approach the situation with some anti-bacterial things like herbs and essential oils, but his fever kept getting higher, he kept getting more lethargic and fussy, he was getting dehydrated from the fever and because he didn’t want to drink anything, and I kept stressing that this was more than I should handle alone. So I decided to take him to the doctor, which is something we rarely need to do. In fact, I don’t think my kids have ever been to the doctor for being sick.
Anyway, the doctor’s office was closed due to the weekend, and all urgent-care clinics were closed because it was late so we ended up at the ER, which was the LAST place I wanted to be. By the time we got there, his temperature was about 104.5, and the meds I’d given him 2 hours before weren’t helping.
After 6 hours in the ER, an IV, fluids, and lots of tests later, we were on our way to the children’s hospital for some serious IV antibiotic therapy.
This was WAY more than I had anticipated. Thank goodness my steady-man hubbie was there with me because I was no longer in control, and I was feeling really overwhelmed by the whole situation.
“How did we end up here?” “Did I do the right thing?” “How did he get this in the first place?” — These were all questions I was asking myself.
After three days in the hospital, and my tiny baby pumped full of strong antibiotics, we were on our way home with an infant that was way better than when we’d come in.
I’m thankful. I’m grateful. I’m wiser.
Lesson #1 – Be Prepared
You know, if I’m honest with myself, I feel like I could have kept all this from happening. Maybe. Maybe not. But I could have, at least, been better prepared.
What I needed was a strong antibacterial herbal tincture. I had a mild immune-supportive tincture which is a great start. These are typically used when a cold or the flu is going around and you want to help your body stay strong so you don’t get sick. My guy was already sick. What I needed was something to help his body fight hard against what was making him sick — something that had some action against the actual microbes themselves. A tincture is the quickest way to get the beneficial properties of herbs into your body, and they’re great to use when you’re sick and don’t feel like taking pills or drinking tea.
However, I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have anything like this made, and a tincture takes around 2-6 weeks to make. At this point, it was too late to worry about it.
Lesson learned: Be prepared with things you may not ever need.
Lesson #2 – Get On The Ball
This goes along with Lesson #1. If I’d been prepared and had my tincture made, then when he got the fever the first day, I could have started giving it to him. No waiting to see if the fever would pass on its own. If I’d had it, I should have just started giving it to him. It’s not going to hurt. Herbs are good for our bodies. God gave them to us for nutrition and for wellness.
Also, as soon as I saw a cut, scrape, or scratch, I should have smeared some good anti-bacterial herbal salve on it to lessen the chance of it getting infected. I’m not one of those moms that slather their kid in Neosporin constantly. I mean, my kids are getting bumps and bruises all the time. They’re boys, and they play hard. We live in the country. I’m not germ-a-phobic, but I may be now!
Lesson learned: Take action before you NEED to take action.
Lesson #3 – Don’t Second Guess Yourself
This one is important. I’m awful about second guessing myself. Always wondering if I made the right decision. I think as parents, we all struggle with this. We want to do what’s best for our kids, but we have to make a decision and go with it. We’re not always going to make the right one, but that’s life. That’s where the saying “live and learn” comes from.
I made the decision that we needed something extra than what nature could provide us with, at least, I needed something a little extra — to make me feel better by knowing I had a back up in case he didn’t get better with what I was doing. So I made the decision to get antibiotics.
Although once we got to the hospital and there was no turning back or saying, “I change my mind,” I still needed to not second guess myself. I made a decision that I felt was in the best interest of my child, and I was going to make the best out of a less than ideal situation.
Lesson learned: Life isn’t always going to go your way. Suck it up and make the best of it. Lemonade out lemons, or so they say.
In The End…
I’m glad that I’ve chosen to use natural preparations as my first line of defense. I’m continually learning, growing, and becoming more confident in this area. I’m also grateful to have hospitals, medical personnel, and medication available to us when we need it. I’m glad that I’m not too proud of being “all-natural” or an “herbalist” to seek help from a doctor when I know I need it. But most of all, I’m happy that my baby is happy, healthy, and home.