Early last month I posted about trying to get my children off what felt like constant antibiotic use. The post was well received and I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one worried about this. I realize that the weather is starting to warm up and that means less illness, but it is allergy season which has meant illness and infections for us in the past.
Since that post was published I have not taken the kids to the doctor once. They have had the snots, coughs, pukes and fevers since then…but never seemed limp and unable to play, so I held out and they recovered on their own. I still make use of over the counter medication and the kids are both taking an antihistamine to try and prevent allergy related post nasal drips which become monster coughs.
Another thing that has coincided with this is that we no longer have our family pet. I suspected for a while that having our cat was contributing to the problem. The children at the day mother where my children were picking up their germs were not constantly on antibiotics, but recovered on their own. The only logical explanation to me was that something environmental was aggravating my children’s condition to the point where they develop an infection. I am not saying that none of those other children have pets at home, but I was always aware that Elijah is susceptible to chest infections and it made sense to me that something he was inhaling could cause his condition to escalate. Yes, it could also have been grass, dust and a million other things. Testing for allergies is very costly, so finding out exactly what was setting them off was not financially viable.
We had Amber for many years and she was getting old. She had lost both her canines and was struggling to jump out of the window and up onto the bed. Amber was the first in our family who knew I was pregnant. It might sound weird, but she started sleeping by my tummy before I even took a pregnancy test. This was out of character for her. She always slept with Rudi and I found it strange that she suddenly wanted to sleep with me. After I took the test and she did it again, I made the connection. Once we bought the pram, she started having behavioral problems. She urinated in the pram more than once and she started defecating in the house. Since this started happening the moment we brought the pram into the house, we thought she was not having any of this new baby. She had lived through the arrival of one baby and refused to take this news in her stride. We tried to find her a new home for over two years, but nobody wanted her. We put a sign up in the local vet with a picture of her and a short explanation of why we could not keep her. Not one person called. Rudi and I fought about this constantly. I was unhappy, the kids and myself were constantly sick, our cat was acting out, our house constantly stank of cat urine (to the point where neighbours walking past our house commented about it) and we were at the end of our tether. My grandmother suggested we contact the animal anti-cruelty league and said they would likely be able to try and find a home for her. I called them and the lady that answered said we could bring her through and they would see what they could do. Rudi and Elijah took her early the next Saturday morning. Rudi said they examined her and said she was around 12 years old (we never knew her exact age as we started caring for her when she was no longer a kitten) and there was no way they could find a home for her and that they would put her to sleep. Rudi returned home without her. We were very sad. She wasn’t just a part of our family for around 10 years, she was also Elijah and Gabby’s first pet.
So far kicking the antibiotics is going well. I think a combination of a) the medical aid being depleted b) me not panicking at the first sign of a fever c) the onset of summer d) no more pet hair/dander to contend with and e) finding over the counter medication that works for us have all contributed to it going well so far. I know it has not even been 2 months and we have gone this long without antibiotics before, so you may think it is too early to assess. You might be right. The reason I’m posting this now already is because we have experienced scenarios in this last two months that usually resulted in a visit to the doctor and a prescription for antibiotics, yet here we are. I don’t think they will never need antibiotics again. I’m sure they will. I hope to strengthen their immunity by letting their body fight these germs. It might take them a little longer to recover and it might still be costing me a small fortune in over the counter medication to alleviate their symptoms, but I am sure as their immunity increases this will pay off in the long run.
Have you tried to kick antibiotics? How did it go?