Ear Infection Notes

FYI, I’m mostly writing this post for my own retrieval, if (hopefully not!) at some future time I need a refresher course in what to do for earaches, etc. I’m notoriously forgetful…and it helps to catalog dates and health stuff here on the blog…

Thursday evening my 7 yo complained of having had an earache all day…and by night she was hurting so badly that this mama even relented and administered Tylenol for the pain. There’s no pain like that of an earache…except perhaps, a toothache. (When considering common childhood maladies, that is!) My dear girl couldn’t even bear for us to touch her jaw, ear or the area around her ear…and she’s a pretty tough cookie normally.

I keep Similiason on hand, a natural ear pain reliever that you warm up in your hand and then administer several drops in the ear…but it wasn’t giving a lasting relief. Last week she had a short lived earache, most likely “swimmer’s ear” and Similiason did the trick, but this week, it wasn’t helping enough. I tried the Hydrogen Peroxide treatment, to no avail. She had a pretty miserable night as the Tylenol wore off, despite the hot washcloths, elevating her head on pillows, etc, that we tried.

So here’s what I did the next morning…I looked up ear infections in my favorite child health book: Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, A Practical A-Z Reference of Natural and Conventional Treatments For Infants and Children. I’ve blogged about this book before, if you want a bit more on why I’m sold on it as my #1 resource, follow this link.

While reading all their great suggestions, I was acutely aware that it was Friday. Why do children succumb to illness on Fridays, as a rule? Maybe clinics have them wired that way, so that moms, like me–who really resist taking their children into the doctors for every little boo-boo–will panick about the looming weekend, a potential trip to the ER, etc, ETC! Of course, I wondered if she could possibly have a teensy tick in her ear, or some other DANG-ER-OUS affliction since, as a rule, none of our children have ever had a proclivity toward recurrent ear infections.

However, I survived ear pain in childhood with nary a trip to the doctor, so I figured we would try to weather this storm at home. So hard!

ACUPRESSURE

In my smart medicine book, there is a very detailed section with a diagram of all the acupressure points on a child, and how to help them fight off various ailments by applying pressure to those places…so we really gave it a shot. And you know, it worked! I applied pressure to the “four gates” and the pressure points for common colds, and it put my daughter into a relaxed, sleepy mode. She napped after each session and would awake feeling somewhat better, until she stood up to go to the bathroom and shook things up again. I did the acupressure four or five times throughout the day…the point being to promote drainage of the lymph glands. For more info, by the Smart Medicine author, follow this link!

GARLIC CAPSULES and other supplements

The Smart Medicine book recommended garlic capsules, which I happened to have, so I started giving them to 7 yo…she wasn’t into chewing or eating anything due to the extreme pain, but I convinced her to take some of the Standard Process supplements I keep on hand for building up her immune defenses… namely, Allerplex and a Multi-Immune product put out by Nutri-West. I used my food-chopper to reduce a handful of Multi-Immune tablets to powder and gave her a half teaspoon of powder mixed in applesauce four times that day. She hates swallowing pills, so I emptied the Allerplex capsule into her applesauce as well.

If my pastor’s wife were reading this, she’d be sure to tell you how well a garlic clove taped into your ear helps with cold and flu symptoms…but with my daughter, there was no way we could even touch her ear, much less tape something to it!

KEEP DRINKING

One thing about my 7 yo, is that she is wonderful about drinking a lot when she is sick. I just kept a cup with a lid and a straw at her couch/bedside throughout the day and night and she kept drinking it dry. Her favorite beverage is Sunny D.

PAIN RELIEF

I really drag my feet when it comes to giving Tylenol or Motrin…b/c of all the studies showing how hard it is on children’s systems…so when my mother-in-law suggested we put a steaming hot washcloth inside a sandwich baggie and have 7 yo lie down on it, we loved the idea…and it brought such relief to my daughter, not to mention, probably helped promote drainage…

She had a great night’s sleep and woke up Saturday feeling 100%!

And this mama is SO relieved!

I think I’ve mentioned here before that we’ve had MD’s tell us that antibiotics are over-prescribed for ear infections, which can cause a whole host of new problems…one RN even told me over the phone that having an eardrum burst isn’t that big of a deal. Yeah, my eyebrows raised a bunch on that one! My Smart Medicine book claims what I’ve read elsewhere, that studies have been done within groups of children with ear infections, in which one group was given antibiotics and another group placebos. Both groups had the same rate of getting back to good health. And recently, our MD told me that when his younger children began getting recurrent ear infections, instead of going the tube route, he simply got them a temporary hearing aid…and in time they outgrew their problems. He followed this info up with the fact that fewer and fewer MD’s are recommending tubes nowadays, instead they are going the hearing aid route as he did. Interesting…don’t you wish the medical community would quit experimenting on our children?

Anyhow. I know many of you have had to go the tube route…and that your children are very sensitive to ear infections, and my heart goes out to you. This simplified way of treating earaches worked for us, probably because we’ve not been plagued by die-hard infections…I can’t imagine having to watch your child go through that kind of pain on a regular basis. I may play stern when it comes to conventional treatments, but when push comes to shove, if I can’t find the CAUSE of the infection, and no relief is in sight, then you bet I’m going to try meds, tubes, surgery, etc. And I’d thank God for modern technology.

That said, I’m sure glad to have this bout behind us!

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