As long as Silas and I have spent some time with our respective doctors lately, i thought i'd share some useful and interesting tidbits we picked up along the way. Silas and i both came down with colds near the end of last week. I thought i was getting ahead of it and felt like i was doing about all i could by going to bed promptly at 8:30 every night and resting during naptime on the weekend. But alas, it turned into a sinus infection and by Monday i knew i was done for and headed off to the Dr.
One of the things i like about my Doctor is that he gives you printed specific information for ailments that you've had a zillion times-- and it doesn't just say to drink fluids and rest.
Well it does say that, but then it has several specific medications listed for various symptoms and he circles the best ones for me. He told me to take aleve for any body aches, to take Mucinex D for the congestion, and at night to take benadryl. This time it was all in my head but in the past when it's gone to my chest he's prescribed an inhaler as well.
I thought the Mucinex was just for your chest but he explained that's the Mucinex DM (umm, i think they need to work on their product differentiation strategy!) but the guaifenesin in Mucinex D helps break it up wherever it is-- sinus or chest. I asked what i could do to avoid a cold always turning into an infection. He said the usual supsects of rest and fluids are important and that some people are more prone to getting infections, but to throw the medications at your symptoms at the first sign. Not only can they help you feel better but they can prevent mucus from forming and holding on becoming a breeding ground for bacterial infections.
All day Monday i was feeling guilty and wondering if i had made the right decision to send Silas to school. He definitely had a cold (primarily head congestion) but from his temperament you wouldn't know he was sick really. That night his mucus was green which is always described as the warning flag and i guessed the fluid was still in his ear. So, i called and managed to get him in for an evening appointment. Turns out he doesn't have an infection (so i guess the green mucus isn't so reliable after all) but she unhelpfully told me that of course with the fluid there it could turn into an infection at anytime. Great-- so i get to keep being paranoid.
She did help me understand why there's basically no medications you can give to toddlers even with severe congestion like Silas has. She said that repeated studies have shown adults' symptoms being reduced by medication but similar studies in children showing no effect. And i know our regular Doctor told me last time that there were some studies that showed an *increased* incidence of ear infections in infants and toddlers given benadryl. So, at least i have the medical literature backup. But it still doesn't feel right with an arsenal of meds at my side and only saline solution, humidifiers and warm baths for Silas.
Stay tuned. Now that we're recovered and almost caught up on laundry and dishes, i hope to get some pictures of Silas' haircut. You were too polite to say but you'll note that his hair had become epic in the pictures from my last post.