In February – February! – Eleanor had a mild cold, nothing serious at all, a case of the sniffles. I didn’t even bother taking her to the doctor, the cold ran it’s course over just a week and was done…then a week later she started to cough. And cough. And cough.
The coughing has not stopped since. The rattly chest, the laboured breathing, you can hear her poor little breath as her chest rises and falls. She would cough all night long, not crying out, but of course I would wake at her every cough and lie listening to her coughing…and coughing. It’s going on three months of coughing. Coughing. Coughing. Off we went to the doctor, followed by almost weekly appointments since. At first bronchitis, then tonsilittis, two rounds of antibiotics, a ventolin puffer…and still she coughs. Both Matt and I have also had runny noses, heavy blocked heads and sore throats off and on along with Eleanor. I know it’s very much a case of her immune system being depleted and then susceptible to another bout of illness. It seems we’ve been tag teaming with this illness for months. Back to the doctor after her second round of antibiotics ended, she was not overly ‘sick’ – not entirely miserable, but we just could not shake this cough, the runny nose, the general sickness that was lingering over our blossom. The doctor basically told me ‘welcome to Motherhood and constantly sick kids’.
Enough was enough I decided, I wanted to try and take things into my own hands, I had absolutely nothing to lose (and everything to gain). I started looking at what else I could do to help my family’s general health, as we enter our long grey Gippsland Winter I really wanted to knock this on the head. Not only that, but keep it up. I wouldn’t say I’m overly into natural therapies, nor am I opposed to them – I’m open to anything if it is going to be helpful. If Eleanor needs antibiotics, I will give them to her, absolutely. But if I can prevent it in the first place, I’m on board.
First step was to pull out the Himalayan salt lamp which Matt’s parents gave me for my birthday. The benefits of a salt lamp are apparently improved air quality and positive ion emissions (balancing the negative ions being emitted from things like TV/microwave/electronic devices). Do I think it does anything? Unsure. Maybe I’ll never be sure. But having it softly glowing in our lounge room does us no harm. I have also looked into taking Eleanor to salt rooms, and was surprised to find we have one locally (in Traralgon, for those Gippslanders). It is a fair investment however, as you need to go regularly to see any results. I think this would definitely be an option for us if Eleanor had a respiratory issue like asthma (which she does not at this point).
Next, I picked my friend Danielle’s brain about DoTERRA essential oils and how she uses them with her family. I umm-ed and ahh-ed for weeks. Would it work? Was it worth the investment? And still Eleanor coughed. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I bought a kit, a diffuser, they arrived in the mail and I guess time will tell. So far I have been diffusing their ‘EasyAir’ oil in our main living zone throughout the day, as well as using topically on Eleanor’s feet and chest before bed (EasyAir and OnGuard). Last night I had a headache and used some lavender oil on my temples to great affect. Eleanor’s lunch today will be getting a drop of peppermint too.
I’d love to know if anybody else has found themselves unexpectedly down the essential oils route, or any other natural alternatives.
Has it worked for your little ones? Yourself?
Have you been to a salt room?
Got a seriously skeptical scoffing husband too?