Few quotes are more appropriate to parenting than this one.
“Worrying is like a ROCKING CHAIR, it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere” – Unknown
And if there is one thing parents worry about most, it is the health of their children. I am no exception. The anxiety of ensuring that I was doing the right thing was almost palpable at home. Added to that, all the stories we heard about the negative effects of junk food – read chocolates, chips, fizzy drinks, crazy bakery products.
Now, my son suffered from severe wheezing until he was about eight years old. This is a common ailment in the city we live in. Every other day, we’d be running to the doctor and return home, armed with a prescription for inhalers, antibiotics and syrups.
Getting him to swallow that syrup was a major challenge. So I had a brilliant idea (or so I thought). I got a large syringe and used it (without the needle of course) to squirt the syrup right into his mouth. The next thing I knew – he would instantly squirt it back on me, value adding the contents of his tummy to it.
I’d transcend to the next step to worry about whether I should give him another dose (how!?!) because he’d puked it all out. The funny thing through all this was – he’d be so cheerful. Like it was play time. Definitely not child’s play for me though.
Have you noticed, how, unlike adults, children are in amazingly good spirits the minute they begin to feel better?
We had to find a solution, and it was not syrup
We decided to request the doctor to substitute syrup for tablets. A rather surprised doc would oblige, marveling over how unusual this was. What did he know? He didn’t have to actually drink the syrups! I wonder whether he has ever had to gulp down 30 ml of yucky tasting flavored bitter liquid whose aftertaste never seems to leave the tongue, ever!
So! When the time came to take the medicine, our man would want the tablet crushed and mixed with honey and spooned into his mouth. I would secretly have a good laugh because this looked like we were now making the syrup at home. But no way was I going to mention it to him, because in his mind, it was honey mixed with a powder!
Then there were the inhalers. How does one get a 4-year old to inhale properly? Especially when he loved to hold it in his mouth with one hand and move the other shoulder and arm as though he was dancing the bhangra saying “ahu-wahun u-ahu-ahu-wahun“? That usually cracked us both up and we would end up dissolving in laughter. Whether the medicine dose dissolved into his respiratory tract we did not know.
On the days he actually tried to inhale, his cough would get progressively worse and there’s nothing more painful that watching a little child going through bouts of cough, each lasting 15-20 minutes at a time. Tiring for the child. Miserable for the parents. At some point, he would be drowsy and sleep off, only to be woken up with another bout of cough. Tough times. It broke my heart to see a constantly happy fella suffer like this.
How we tackled it
We switched to homeopathy. Medicine times turned to much pleasanter times. But more importantly, we ensured a healthy diet with zero outside food, breathing exercises to strengthen the lungs, physical activity and avoided the triggers of the coughing – candy, lollypops and any powdery stuff that irritated the airways. Children love lollypops and our kid was no different. Add to that the birthdays of various kids that brought in all kinds of chocolates. So hard to resist. It took a lot of patience and perseverance, and constant reminders. Somehow, we emerged successful in overcoming that wheezing.
The outcome is – today, he understands the importance of health. It is no fun indulging for temporary pleasure and suffering at leisure, at our cost. And the best part? It is much more fun when the family is united in making healthy choices.
If the Almighty would grant me one wish, I’d ask that children under five years of age be free from ailments and grow up healthy, and then, give them the gift of a healthy immune system to step forth in life. Not much to ask, is it?
Vidya Sury is a happy work-at-home Mom who relishes the joy of parenting and growing up with her son. She is a freelance writer, business blogger and social media enthusiast and loves DIY, Coffee, Music, Photography, Family, Friends and Life. She believes that Happiness is a DIY Project. She blogs at www.vidyasury.com and tweets as @vidyasury.