Saturday, December 21, 2013

Flu Management and Recovery Holistically

First of all:
I am not a doctor, voo doo or otherwise. I am not an herbalist, a natropath, or certified to give anyone any advice of any kind ever. (though I need to get on that eyebrow consultant certification...making the world a better place one arch at a time...) 
I write this as an encouragement to mamas out there who are looking to take care of their kiddos during this flu season in a gentle manner, whether they chose to vaccinate or not.

Like any family who chooses not to vaccinate, I do not believe that decision will protect us from getting viruses or diseases. The hefty weight of the decision to vaccinate was/is not taken lightly. Based on the effects it can have on our daughter with a probable auto immune disorder, the danger of the ingredients found in vaccines (from heavy metals, to peanut oil which is deadly to our 4 year old), religious reasons, and the overall effectiveness of vaccines has lead us to exclude them from our family's healthcare. Making this decision means that we must have a plan of action for if/when our children are exposed to viruses.
We are a mission minded family and understand that we called to reach the ends of the Earth. We trust that if/when we or our children are called to international missions that God will do so in a timely manner, allowing us to make appropriate decisions regarding this manner.
And lastly, be aware of overwhelming your body with essential oil usage. Know your body, and your children's.


Last Saturday Norah and Lily went to a friend's house to play. Norah had a stuffy nose and a little cough, but that is common for her after having a severe reaction (which she had less than 48 hours before). Not long after dropping them off, I received the call that she was running a good fever and not feeling well.
Still assuming it was her reaction flaring up in a big way, I didn't do much but apply Lavender and Peppermint (carried in organic coconut oil) on the bottoms of her feet, base of her neck and spine to reduce her fever. Worked like a charm.
We went to church the next morning thinking she was fine, but got the report that she had been a particularly cranky babe and wasn't feeling well.
Fast forward a few days and all the Burke Ladies (and then the Burke Daddy) had thrown up, fever, coughing, loss of appetite, boogery, hot mess. It was clear- the F Bomb had been dropped on our house.

It has now been one week since Norah first had fever and all the babes are doing much better- this is how we did it.

Essential Oil Flu Shot
doTERRA's Official protocol for Influenza is as follows:
Breathe (Respiratory Support blend)
On Guard (Antibacterial Immune Support Blend)
White Fir
Aside from the White Fir, Orange, and Ginger, I mixed one drop of each oil into a glass roller ball bottle and filled the rest with organic coconut oil. I rubbed this on their chest, base of the neck, spine and feet every 30-60 minutes.

If fever became an issue again, I held back on the flu shot and continued with the lavender/peppermint on their feet until the fever broke. Usually under 45 minutes. Unlike Motrin, Tylenol, etc, using essential oils to break a fever is not dangerous. It doesn't just block fever receptors, it fights the bacteria that are triggering the fever.

The pukes and squirts
Along with loss of appetite, it can be hard for little ones (and big ones) to keep anything down. Vomit, diarrhea, and dehydration are not fun for anyone especially itty bitties.
I'm so grateful for this article I found on how/why to use Activated Charcoal to manage/prevent dehydration.
It is very important that you are feeding yourself and your babes gentle, nourishing foods during this time.

Garlic Flu Shot
While I can't get the girls to touch this with a ten foot pole, my husband and I take this little concoction. Call me a weirdo, I actually kinda like it.

Keeping Clean
To keep the spread of germs to a minimum, we used doTERRA's On Gaurd hand soap and disinfected with Purify and Lemon. Norah cannot use foaming hand soap so she uses Badger Balm Baby Soap.
Changing bedding, throw up clothes, etc as soon as possible is a must. I am even using paper diapers until the virus is out of the house. It's one less thing I have to clean up!

Regular Supplements
We kept up on our intake of a high quality Cod Liver Oil and vitamin D. I loved what this mama had to say about liquid Vit D3:
"I recommend Micillized D3 specifically, if you can find it.  Micellized D3 is a form of vitamin D that has been processed to be more readily absorbed by the body. Vitamin D3 is an essential vitamin that is especially hard to get enough of naturally during the winter months because we’re not getting as much sun exposure. In terms of fighting illness, it helps the body to produce immune cells and helps with mineral absorption, and regulating mineral levels in the body."If we could handle probiotics, we of course would be taking those as well.

Remember, try not to drive yourself crazy while your family is puking and coughing their brains out.
The flu will pass and hopefully, this information will help to keep you all sane and a little more comfortable in the meantime!

Bathed in Serenity

Last night (and the one before) have been hard, hard, hard for our sweet Phoebe. Flu and teething and getting to that point where just falling asleep peacefully in mamas arms just isn't an option anymore make for a very unhappy babe.
I rocked, prayed, sang, cried, nursed, everything I could think of, she still squirmed screaming. Her hair was curly with sweat, little voice worn out, I felt completely helpless. Husband went downstairs, giving up on trying to sleep with us.
I drew a warm bath in the dark and readied fuzzy towels and a diaper.
We climbed in, I blanketed her in a washcloth that barely covered her doughy rolls, and slowly poured the warm water over her. She quickly slipped into sleep.

I dared not moved, hunched over, holding her chubby being curled up into me.
I washed the sweat out of her hair...
I was left to my own thoughts and began to weep.

Everyone around is buzzing about this year being almost over and reflecting on the good and the bad.
2013 was a wash for me. It is not what I planned, not what I wanted. A kick in the gut. A fresh start turned Series of Unfortunate Events.
Phoebe's birth was beautiful, God's provision has been undeniable and abundant (this is where I am writing that down to convince my unbelieving self.) But, while not necessarily a bad thing, my identity's been shaken, my pride sucker punched, my heart humbled. And the truth of the matter is that there is NO PROMISE that tomorrow will be better. Mercies will abound and renew, undoubtedly, but our heavenly circumstances await in Heaven!

The first night of Phoebe's fits I sat in our stairway crying to God, "Lord, let me long for Heaven as much as I do right now when I am on the mountain top and not in the valley."

Sitting there in the dark, soothing a sick babe I realized that the essential oils I poured in the tub must be helping. The blend I used was called "Serenity."
I smiled as I realized once again that my faithful Father had used my babies again for my edification.
Her pain was legitimate, it was real, it hurt in a way she couldn't express. But, (once I overcame my frustration) being bathed in Serenity, she was able to relax.

For just a moment, the haze of PPD lifted and I was able to let out

"Blessed is the Lord who bathes me in His Serenity!"

Isaiah 9:6
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father
Prince of Peace.