One Tough Bug

Mar 11, 2011

{Left to right: homemade chest rub, antibiotic, homeopathic ear drops, saline nasal spray, acetaminophen, peppermint tea, vitamin C supplement. Other remedies we are using: chamomile tea, eucalyptus drops on pillow, humidifier, homemade chicken soup, and acidophilus}

This is what has been cluttering my counter for the past two weeks now. Spring always brings a nasty virus and the one going around here is a tough bug to beat. Almost everyone I've talked to has been hit by it. M2 started with it and then passed it to IB and M1. Now LJ and NG have finally gotten it a week and a half later. I started to feel it coming on but started taking Sambucol Cold & Flu Relief and the next day felt fine again. NG started taking them also but he still got it. Hopefully, it won't be as bad. The boys have shared similar symptoms and spiced it up with their own unique variations.

Fever. Congestion. Cough. Sore throat. Ear infections. Headache. Vomiting. Diarrhea. 

M2 had such a horrible cough that was causing him (and us) to lose sleep, so I took him to our doctor to make sure it wasn't turning into a secondary infection, like bronchitis or pneumonia. His lungs were clear but the PA said that his ears and throat were red. I let him know my opinion on antibiotics and ear infections and he gave me a prescription "just in case" M2 had strep and said it was my choice if I gave it to him or not. {Let me tell you that this was the beginning of my irritation with our family doctor's staff. I didn't process all of this until after I left, but if that PA had actually done a strep test, we most likely wouldn't have had to give M2 any antibiotic. And not only did he prescribe M2's first antibiotic, he wrote it for a mid-range one, Cefdinir, instead of amoxicillin and said that only about 5% of children get the diarrhea and rash with it!!  Of course, since then, I have talked to about 4 other moms whose kids took it and they said their little one got a horrible rash and one vomited.} Well, I wasn't going to give it to him but Papa Bear isn't quite of the same mind when it comes to these matters and insisted that we give it to him "just in case". Mommy doubt kicked in and I complied. Immediately, I regretted it. M2 developed diarrhea immediately and his little bottom was so red and tender that he screamed from the slightest touch. It was days before it got any better.

My normally very active son, IB, planted himself on the couch for a week, only getting up occasionally. He also had fever for about five days and looked so ill that I've been watching him closely. Of course, he broke out with several cold sores too. A curse that has been passed down from my grandmother to my mother to me and to at least one of my sons, so far. 

M1 developed an ear infection after a few days and within hours, his eardrum ruptured. We had been treating it with warm olive oil/garlic drops, warm compresses, and acetaminophen. Papa Bear took him to the urgent care and they gave him prescriptions for antibiotics and Claritin-D, claiming that he must have allergies. Another diagnosis without much evidence, so I'm not giving him the Claritin. This was the third ear infection and second rupture he's had in the past 6-8 months. We treated one infection at home and it went away in 48 hours. They have each occurred during a viral infection.
The very next morning, M1 woke up with an earache in the other ear and it ruptured too! I called our family doctor for a follow-up but couldn't get an appointment until two days later...with his PA! It takes a week or two to get an appointment with our doctor himself and he is also too busy for phone consultations. Then, when it was time for M1's appointment, we were running late because he was still feeling bad and moving slowly and was nervous about taking a shower with ruptured eardrums. I called them to let them know we were still five minutes away and was told that it is "office policy" to reschedule when you are more than 15 minutes late. Yes, being late was our fault but we probably would have still been in the waiting room at that point anyway. Since my kids don't get sick enough to see a doctor very often, I didn't realize what a pain it would be to actually see our family physician and not a PA. I chose our FP because he was of similar mind on some issues, like vaccinations and treating illness at home. We have been developing a relationship during wellness visits and then, when we actually need to see him, he's not available. Okay, I'm finished venting. Needless to say, we ended up at a convenient care and left with a prescription for antibiotics.

I've been researching every connection I can think of as to why M1 is having this problem. When he was an infant/toddler, he had ear problems but only one or two since then...until this past year. I'm trying to get him to give up dairy, but I don't think he'll stick with it. Besides allergies, other connections I've considered are his iPod {loud volume and bacteria on the ear buds} and his posture {I'm constantly reminding him to straighten up}. M1 has had orthodontic work done to correct several problems and just got his braces off a few months ago. He said that he has some jaw popping in the morning and occasional headaches. Relevant? I don't know but I'm not ruling anything out yet. I'm very concerned about the possibility of loss of hearing. I would like to be able to work with our doctor but I'm not happy with him right now. Chiropractic and an allergist are on my list to try.

Do you have any experience with their older child or adult having recurring ear infections with ruptures? I need help figuring this out. Thanks!


  1. I am SO sorry to hear this!! We have been dealing with a lot of this same junk, and it totally stinks!! Praying you all recover soon!
    Visiting you today from the Hop!

  2. Yuk. We had a horrible round of sickness in December that just didn't want to leave. I had a weak mommy moment too and let the ER doc prescribe my guy an antibiotic after he claimed to see some red in his ears (after the PA at our ped said no the day before and the PA at urgent care said no ear infection too) I guess the 106.9 fever scared me and I caved... Thankfully, our guy didn't have symptoms like yours did.

    Is there a naturapath in your area that treats kids? I went to a naturapath for some issues I was having that I knew doctors would be no help on - merely prescribing pills without getting to why I was having certain symptoms. My experience was wonderful. My sister sees a pediatric naturapath for her kids and just loves it. The naturapath would probably be willing to do the research to get to the bottom of why your older son is getting the ear infections.


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