Thursday, December 21, 2017

When the Light Filters In; Solstice and Sickness. Vitamin C and Influenza. Autism and Fevers.

Our entire family ended up having Influenza the last 10 days, at the same time, with mostly the same symptoms. I, surprisingly, recovered the fastest and had the least symptoms. We are still in recovery mode and any little activity sets us back, but we ARE on the mend. Fevers were all 103.3 at their highest. But my fevers only lasted on and off for 48 hours, due to excessive vitamin C treatment. Which created heartburn and high acidity I am still dealing with, but beat the Influenza easily with high, regular doses. My family had Vitamin C too but in lesser amounts. I think it enabled them to not have secondary infections. It's not something that is toted by most doctors but if your body can handle higher amounts of vitamin C during an illness, it definitely works. Here is a dosage guide (click) and an article on How the Flu is Reduced up To 85% with this method(click). It DID work for me. We DID have confirmed Influenza but it seemed relatively manageable when it wasn't horrible. (One caution: I did end up on the 3rd day of high doses of vitamin C with my tongue coated in cankers. This symptom only lasted an evening but it was painful. I also had wicked heartburn and coughing from heartburn because of high acidity...which I am still dealing with but I prefer that over the Influenza symptoms. I had to quit Vitamin C on the 4th day completely but by then I didn't need it as desperately. I would not recommend this method if you are sensitive to Vitamin C or have GERD or esophageal issues. DISCLAIMER: Always take responsibility for your own health, know medication and vitamin reactions, understand your body and check with varied professionals before making decisions.
(Pictured- the new green shelf I was speaking about in my last post.)

Sickness is similar to darkness. Sometimes there are light filled moments. Other moments the deep depths seem to swim on forever. Solstice and sickness tie in easily for me. One of the most frightening aspects of sickness... is the wondering...when my children are sick. That is my darkness. Even as they get older and even if I have the same bug, I wonder what if it gets worse? What if I am missing something? What if I don't get them help in time? All of this culminates in the shadows of the night. In these murky times, I am needing sleep because I'm sick but I am not sleeping because I'm worrying about their sick bug. This time, I ran through all the options from pneumonia to meningitis to strep to major influenza. If need be, I will take them to the doctor because they have the diagnosing tools I wish I had access to (bloodwork, x rays ect.) I will often research to figure out which treatment is better for them and which treatment needs medical help and which treatment I should do at home. That is the darkness before the coming dawn. 

And then there's those light moments when they grab your hand while you are in an uncomfortable position, but they just hold it because they need you like a lifeline. Aglow in their neediness and childlike trust, the light balances out the smoky. And you smell their stinky smells of sickness and it doesn't matter as much, because they're your kid.

We have our usual protocol to enable a sunnier picture, which I always forget until we are part way through the sickness; *Tylenol only if the fever is over 102 for prolonged periods or there are extreme aches and hallucinating. Otherwise we let the fever run and do its miserably good work. *Honey and Cinnamon in tea constantly. *At least 4000 mg of vitamin c drinks per day while sick (That's at least four tablets dissolved) other sites swear every few hours. *Uptake of vitamin D while sick (ONLY if you are not high in Vitamin D already), *Rest Rest Rest! Even when feeling better.* No going out unless it's medically necessary or for needed products until all symptoms are gone. *Water, Water, Water!* Natural disinfecting rosemary, thieves oil and tea tree on hand for constant wipe downs. *New pillow cases every night and new sheets if it's really bad.*Boiling toothbrushes and regular hygiene practices. *A stash of towels, soaps and allowance for soothing showers anytime it's needed to aid decongestion. *A garbage bag and TP near each bed for nose stuffiness.* Nutritious foods when possible.
Man oh man it's a lot of work! But once I remember and have my stashes accessible we live in our room, with all kids sleeping on their various made up beds, and we survive together. That is my favourite part...being together (unless it is the stomach flu and then I want to be FAR FAR away.) But being together is my shimmering moonlight in the night tide.

I panicked one morning when at five am my youngest woke up screaming like in an exorcist movie. It was exactly like when Katie in Harry Potter, gets lifted into the air and screams loud (yet eerie silent) in terror, because she was poisoned by the Opal Necklace. Except my daughter says Katie was less scary. His eyes were unblinking and his one arm was stretched into the air. He kept yelling in a distorted voice I've never heard, nor could he replicate now, "I'm death. I'm death." I now understand how in lesser enlightened times, that they thought this was possession and did not understand fevers or seizures. 
"No baby you're gonna be fine...weird, his temperature dropped down from 103 to 96.5." At that statement, he stopped his screaming, looked at us and said,"My name is five??" Then he blinked and with certainty he yelled, "My name is five!" with his hand shooting up into the air. I gaped for a second and then freaked out at my husband, "He thinks his name is FIVE??? He doesn't know his name?!" That propelled me into panicked action (which I regretted later.) He has never had night terrors like our other son so this was new to us. I have never seen anything like it except on movies. I was running around gathering kids and getting dressed while my husband stopped him from flipping around and doing weird things. My husband mentioned over the screaming that maybe he needed Tylenol? I said no. My son blinked and then stopped screaming again and in a stellar Cookie Monster impersonation with an exaggerated hyped up voice he says, "Give me Tylenol! Give me Tylenol!!" Then his actions went back to a horror film.

If I had to pick a 'dead of night' moment- that would have been it. Some of it was funny if it wasn't so alarming. It was like he vacated his body - he wasn't himself. We were panicking to the hospital but when we got there he was fine and didn't remember a thing. I brought the other two because they were too sick to be alone. I needed my hubby if he had another episode. But I wanted to make sure we were not causing brain damage with Tylenol or strep in brain or something but as soon as we got to the hospital I knew it was the wrong decision. After waiting three hours (and five minutes away from seeing a doc) we asked to go home. The nurse was so nice she let us. I wished I would have had courage and asked three hours ago when I KNEW we shouldn't have come up. I only wanted him checked if he stayed that way or to have an explanation. I knew I wouldn't want to do antibiotics (although I DO believe antibiotics can be life saving and necessary in certain conditions) or any test (we already knew we had influenza and had x rays) they asked for so we left and went home. It was a weird morning. The nurse seemed to think it was a seizure from his temperature dropping and previous concussions, which at least was an explanation. 

Home is such a wonderful place to be. Especially when sick. I organize and buy things for my home all year in preparation of being sick, unexpected company and Christmas. One of my favourite days during our illness was when I had enough energy to clean a bit. I didn't push myself but I slowly changed bedding, garbage's, towels ect. Lovingly encompassing the home with fresh, sparkling cleanliness.

Fresh bed linen surprisingly makes such a difference in feeling. The mental hidden corners suddenly feel illuminated and organized. I caved and my dad bought Clorox lemon cleaning wipes for me. Normally I do not use any cleaners that are not natural (like Tea tree or Vinegar) but I wanted something that did not require energy but I knew would kill any lingering virus or bacteria, so I quickly wiped everything down in our communal sick room. The crisp scent almost tricked me into believing we are all normal. We all felt better. It made a difference in our mood and our hope that things would get better. It was worth dragging my feet from one spot to another while being exhausted and having a sore body. I pumped up the Christmas tunes on the record player to trick myself into believing I had energy. Since I was the most recovered (and the mom) I knew it was my responsibility. Solstice for me symbolizes this dance of responsible beginnings, and speaks of beautiful endings, invokes both darkness and light, and shows the rhythm and flow of life.

I'm better at flu's (that are not Tummy ones) than chronic illness symptoms, because I know the colds/ influenza's are usually temporary. My husband calls me, "Super Sickie Mom" because somehow I can be lightly feverish, achy and sick but still clean up. Or just falling asleep after not sleeping for 24 hours when the kids come in, yet, I am THERE, available in that moment, getting up and helping them shower or finding the thermometer or making sure everyone has water. These are aspects of the day to day I am NOT usually on top of. I struggle more with the day to day in general and thrive in crisis. I think it is because I know WHY we are sick and I know it will be over soon probably, and I understand it's my job to be the fierce protector of my children and their health. I know their dosages and the natural ways to avoid most antibiotics- and even when I doubt myself and wait three hours at the hospital only to leave because I knew it was the wrong choice- most of the time - I DO actually get it right! And this shocks me. My husband says he sees that it is very different from chronic illness issues or the tired day to day. I'm just proud maybe that I can actually be capable in some crisis moments and surprised that sickness can bring out the best in me at times. Peace is for everyone, if only for an instant. Crimson is in the embers, bells are tinkling, and the snow is lightly falling.
(Pictured: she was the first to get sick and still the last to have major symptoms. She was the one who gave us the confirmed diagnosis of Influenza at the health clinic. I think she is being hit harder because she has Strep and lingering effects from Mono.)
AUTISM AND FEVERS: Apparently there was a 2009 study that cited Aspies tend to "Normalize" during fevers. What this means is that when we are not hallucinating (which we are prone to) our sensory overload actually is MINIMIZED during fevers, so thus we seem more "normal or capable" because we are not onslaught with the additional details of the world on a higher level. Fevers dull all the other aches I am normally aware of. It's similar to when I had an epidural for the last 6 hours of my first 36 hour labour (which I would NEVER do again and am so glad I had natural births with my other two.) But it is the same feeling with a fever. You know you have massive cramps with an epidural but they are weirdly cushioned. That is what happens to me when I have a fever. I know I am not feeling well or my body is hurting but it's like I took a large pain reliever and it dulled the effect. I become what most people ARE every day...without the major sensory aspect and chronic illness pain. I kind of like it.

BEAUTY IN BEING: Another one of my favourite sick moments was my eldest son asking, "Mom I think I'd kind of like to sleep with my puppies... Are they out of the dryer?" And my heart melted as he rarely asks for his stuffies. Children are so precious. I feel lucky that we had moments of cuddles and being together in the misery. The moment when I looked up at the clean room with the duvets laundered, and the fireplace warmth, and I breathed in the smell of Citrus cleaner and Rosemary and I thought " I can do this. We can do this. A fresh start in the middle of sickness... and hope for health." I actually forgot it was the Christmas week. I'm hoping to infuse some festive songs for my kids the moments I can but when I can't, to take the silver linings. This is where Solstice hits my heart. It's a reminder brought in by the earth that I am enough, I am what I am, and there is beauty and brutality in BEING. Life is here now and I must rise to that.

SILVER LININGS: There are many silver linings like all of us at home together. Or guilt free binge watching- Even though we literally have to rest from rest! We sigh when we shut the tv off and close our eyes and relax. I am grateful for warm showers and plenty of hot water for all of us to take turns when our body is too much. Cleaners of tea tree, thieves and rosemary for the deeper clean moments. Snuggles. Hearing all four of the loves of my life breathing in the night beside me. Regression into the world of ONLY US and not US and the world. Introversion for my entire family! There ARE silver linings. The days are longer, slower and I love convalescing with my babies in the cuddle moments. I also love that our home has southern facing windows so that we experience the sun at it's best. I also haven't been bored once. My family has kept me hopping and when I have time it's either cleaning, filling cups, wiping brows or resting, showering or watching shows. I'm good at being cooped up indoors with my family and being able to be on survivalist mode if it's not involving the gut or too painful or crazy alarming. (Ha ha that rules out a lot?;) I feel like my brain gets a break from all my distracting thoughts and symptoms. All I get to think about is each persons symptoms and getting them through and then characters on shows. My brain is on 24/7 with intense thoughts but it cuts in half with illness. It puts me into the sensory and simplifies some of life into basics. It's a mental break in some aspects even though it's not in others. I don't know if that makes sense? I would NOT love it if the harder symptoms stayed forever or if we would have required antibiotics or deeper treatments or gut stuff but the manageable moments I will kind of remember fondly. Maybe I am weird?

We are now mostly in recovery and trying to keep some Christmas well. My husband missed loads of work but I am not going to allow that to stress us out. It was what we needed and we will just deal with it eventually. Right now, the focus should be on recovery mixed with a bit of festive we can manage. And avoiding mixing bugs with other people or getting additional sickness. Which means a few treats and Christmas movies. When we can, staying isolated, but taking a few winter snow and music drives to look at Christmas lights in the evenings. Playing Christmas tunes. And always plugging in our trees and savouring the warmth of the twinkling lights which lift up my soul.

My tree lights have the same affect on my psyche as a crackling fire would. It is beginning to look a little like Christmas and I can feel Solstice today. I wish for you all for the support during the tougher times. May you all stay healthy and have some festive moments. Wishing you the beauty of sacred beginnings and necessary endings on this Winter's Solstice. For us, it is now for recovery and maybe some seasonal magic. My home is prepared for this. My soul is also. These are the moments that make up our I hope some light filters in...

 Happy Solstice.

Song Choice: Christmas Eve with You- Glee


Ashe Skyler said...

Only had the flu once. The nausea and dizziness were horrible, but that's probably the best sleep I've gotten in seven years. Interesting note on vitamin C. I keep getting told it doesn't do any good to take any once you get sick. I'd rather take my chances chugging orange juice and chicken soup.

Woot woot on toilet paper Kleenex! I can kill a roll with just a head cold. Kleenex is way too expensive, the container is too bulky, and there just isn't enough per pack which is partially aggravated due to too much tissue for one use. As clumsy as I am, I don't appreciate the sharp corners either, or the banging noises the box makes when trying to get the last tissues.

I feel for you with your experience with your son. This'll sound a bit weird, but I'm glad it was probably just a kind of flu-induced seizure, and not due to an ongoing issue. Heh, or possession. Although by this point I am seriously tempted to go find a shaman or hedge witch and determine if some people in my life suffering drastic personality shifts and amnesia are possessed! :P

Happy Solstice. :)

Kmarie A. said...

Yea my insomnia went out the window which was a plus. Vitamin C does nothing if you only take the recommended dosage while sick- You seriously have to take COPIOUS amounts ( see the chart I pasted above for more...) It is a RIDICULOUS amount and then it works... Chicken soup and orange juice are good too...the vitamin C drinks are better than orange juice.:)

Toilet paper is way cheaper and I always thought toilet paper was kleenex cuz we could never afford the other option...

Lol yea we have ongoing issues with our other son with night terrors and those are awful. Ha ha possession...I dont really believe in that...ha ha but I could see why it could be valid for some:) I do think that mental health and drugs alter the mind...and fevers ect...

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts and Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza or Ramadan or get the idea...Happy whatever it is you like at this time of year!:)

Ashe Skyler said...

I believe ye, I intend to turn myself orange taking some the next time I feel a cold coming on. Heh, or pasty white, given the coloration of the tablets. Convincing some other people I deal with takes a bit of work. There are a lot of nurses in our familiar circle, and nurses of course believe they know everything about health, and anything above 1000mg of C is sternly frowned upon. But, the ones I know don't believe in elderberry either, and that nipped a lot of my illnesses in the bud last year, so... wee tart pills it be. ;)

Happy plethora of holidays! lol

Kmarie A. said...

The drinks are easier on your teeth and system. I would read the dosage guide above if you do and remember to scale back if you get the runs as that is your body on overload - just listen to the guide. It does work...nurses often get schooled in propaganda. I am friends with a few and while I deeply respect their need to serve people...often they are unhappy people and change drastically during school. The ones I am friends with managed to stay balanced and know that holistic health also has it's place in the system alongside allopathic. But I know others in the community who are horrid to work with and believe in things that have way worse side effects and longer lists of negatives than some other aids that work just as well...

Lol thanks and Happy New year!