From Tuesday night through Saturday morning, Tye ran a fever between 102 and 105 degrees. That's a long, hot fever. When it finally broke, she still ran a low-grade fever until Monday, and wasn't herself until the end of the second week. Tyler and Etta both ran a fever for one night as well, but Tye's little body was so exhausted from the trip- seeing so many people, moving between environments, sleeping very poorly the whole time- that this illness really took its toll on her, lasting over a week. We did call the doctor on the third day of her fever, but couldn't be seen until the next day, and by then her fever was below 102 for the first time in four days, so we didn't think a trip would be helpful.
Perhaps the worst was seeing Tye so lethargic that she just laid in bed or on the couch. She rarely even asked me to turn on the television- she just laid under a blanket, often shivering despite the heat her body was radiating. One night, Tye woke up and just as I laid down next to her, threw up on me. I changed both our pajamas and her sheets, then laid down with her again, just to have her throw up again within minutes. Out of crib-sized sheets, she and I spent the remainder of the night on the couch together.
Seeing Tye so sick was really scary. I was torn between wanting her to be as comfortable as possible and wanting to let the fever run its course to make Tye well again. I consulted websites, books, and web forums to find ways to boost Tye's immune system and to ease her discomfort without giving continued doses of Tylenol (which Tye fought tooth and nail anyway). Here's what we came up with:
- Breastfeeding. Frequently. I was so grateful to still be nursing Tye, because it was her main source of nutrition and hydration for almost a full week.
-Peppermint Essential Oil. Whenever Tye's fever spiked to over 104, I applied equal parts peppermint essential oil and coconut oil (about 3 drops of each) to the bottoms of her feet and up and down her spine since her torso felt so hot to the touch. Each time, her fever was below 103 again within 20 minutes, which brought Tye a little relief. Peppermint essential oil isn't suggested for use on children under the age of 2, so this was my first opportunity to try this technique, and it was really helpful.
-Lavender Essential Oil soaks. I added 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil to a small bowl containing about 2 cups of cool water. (To help the oil disperse in the water, I mix the oil with a pinch of salt, then stir the salt into the water.) Then I dipped a washcloth into the water, wrung it out, and placed the damp cloth on Tye's forehead. If Tye had let me, I would have placed it on her chest, too, but I think the cool cloth felt too chilly on her hot skin to be comfortable.
-Smoothies. Occasionally throughout the week, Tye would drink smoothies. Ours always include banana, coconut milk, fresh greens (spinach or kale, usually), fruit (mango and/or berries are our favorites), and a nut butter (I love tahini). When Tye was sick, I was sure to include extra liquid vitamin D drops, raw local honey, and probiotic powder to give her immune system some extra support.
To try to keep everyone else healthy, I diffused Young Living Thieves Essential Oil into the air. When I felt the first signs of fighting this bug myself, I immediately started taking 2-3 cloves of raw garlic twice a day along with placing a drop of Thieves oil under my tongue 3-4 times a day. I was able to fight off the fever, for which I was extremely grateful. I couldn't imagine taking care of Etta and sick Tye while I was sick myself. Even though it didn't keep Etta completely healthy, she only ran a fever for a few hours- and judging by Tye's response, it could have been far worse.
Tye is fully recovered now, and we have the wisdom of lessons learned during her illness to carry with us. Tye now understands the concept of being sick. I have seen my child through her first illness more serious than a cold, and we all survived. I can now say I've been thrown up on by my own child, and I now understand why parents keep multiple sets of crib sheets. After seeing Tye so sick for so long and spending another week resting and recovering, we are fully appreciating our health and all it allows us to do each day.
Like swing at the playground.