I once heard a friend say that moms and guilt go together like peanut butter and jelly. I have to say, I agree with her.
What is it about us moms that find every little damn thing to be guilty about when it comes to raising our children or doing something nice for ourselves? Whether it be putting back a nice shirt that is not from the consignment store because it’s “too expensive” for us to buy and we could be spending the money on our children and/or husband or in my case, being naturally minded and making the decision to give my child antibiotics.
It’s like I’ve created this invisible high standard that I need to maintain and feel bad if I can’t maintain it. Let me explain a little more…
Andrew has always been a kid that gets a really high fever for a few days and it tends to clear up once the fever goes down. Early in my natural living journey, I read a book called How to Raise Your Child in Spite of Your Doctor (written by a doctor) and one of the topics that had the most impact on me was about not reducing most fevers. Since that day, I’ve been pretty strict about not using fever reducers when Andrew has a fever so I could let his body fight the bug itself.
Back in August, Andrew got a high fever (102.5) associated with a bit of a stuffed up nose so like every other time, I just let it be. A week went by and the high fever still persisted, which at this point was completely abnormal for him. He wasn’t completely miserable that week of a high fever but I was starting to get worried (doctors say to bring a kid in if the fever hasn’t reduced after 5-7 days) so we brought him into the urgent care; it happened to be a Saturday, of course.
The urgent care experience is a whole other long story but to sum it up we were discriminated against because of our choice to not fully vaccinate our child. The urgent care doctor wouldn’t properly evaluate Andrew and therefore prescribed antibiotics for — what we believe — was the wrong sickness. Scott and I were convinced that Andrew had strep throat because he had lesions on the back of his throat but because the doctor only briefly looked into his ears (and refused to swab his throat), he prescribed amoxicillin for the “ear infection.” Since we’ve healed ear infections before naturally (here’s how we did it), I did not fill the prescription.
One thing I want to make note of: The whole time we didn’t use a fever reducer Andrew was generally okay — sick, but no fever chills or any other negative symptoms. When we were at the urgent care, they gave him Ibuprofen. Yes, it “helped” him by making him less sick looking but when it wore off, he had the uncontrollable fever chills for an hour.
It was as if he had come down off a drug and his body was reacting negatively to it. This is just my speculation, and of course I’m only a mom and not a doctor, but it made me go “Hmmm.” Coincidence? Not sure.
The next day arrived and Andrew’s fever spiked from a 102.5 close to 104. Although I was still not terribly worried about the high fever (see: Why I Don’t Lower Fevers), I knew in my heart that it was time to fill the antibiotics and give my child’s body relief. His body was obviously fighting hard and unfortunately, just could not fight off whatever was going on.
I felt tinges of guilt all the way to the pharmacy because I felt defeated. After a few good talks with some close naturally minded girl friends, I came to the conclusion that I did the best I could do and sometimes antibiotics are necessary. The following day, Andrew showed a drastic improvement in overall mood and demeanor.
And I was grateful for it.
Antibiotics Should Only Be Used as Last Resort
Antibiotics serve their place and purpose. It’s when they are over abused (like they are) that they cause more harm than good. Antibiotics shouldn’t be the first thing we reach for when our child is sick; they should be used as a last resort if you’ve done everything to help aid the body in healing itself and nothing has worked. I have to say the only time I’m thankful for antibiotics is when it’s clear the body can’t get better on it’s own and they can provide relief.
We’re still unsure as to whether or not he had strep throat because once starting the antibiotics, a swab of his throat would show up negative regardless. I was upset because had we been diagnosed correctly, our doctor said we wouldn’t necessarily have to take the antibiotics for the full 10 days.