Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Sickhouse

I pushed two wing back chairs together to form a bed for
Miss Calamity.  I rather think it looks like a fairy tale ship's berth.

Thank you all for your encouragements and suggestions.  We are limping along, trying to get this thing under control.

My gut feeling is that we have Pertussis.  Whooping Cough has been invading our area and I believe that we may be the latest victims.  Interestingly it seems to be affecting the immunized and un-immunized alike.  After a particularly bad night (Sir Knight almost passed out in the middle of a coughing fit, and three more children developed the tell-tale whoop) I got on the phone with our family doctor.  Her immediate assessment was Pertussis.  She requested that we bring one child in for testing, while prescribing all of us antibiotics so that we could reduce the severity of our illness.  Master Hand Grenade drew the short straw and got to have the nasal swab preformed on him.  We should know with certainty later today or tomorrow.  I will keep you posted.

Our nightly routine - Ice water, bowl (to catch anything icky), damp
wash cloth (for wiping faces) and a rag for wiping snotty noses.


  1. I thought that was one of those diseases that's been more-or-less eradicated. I've never known anyone who has had it, and the tales I've heard of people with it were all back in the day(1930s)-is this one of those "asteroid strike" events? Possible, but very rare? I hope this runs its course soon.

  2. Whooping cough is making a comeback. We have ads on the TV about prevention and getting the vaccine all the time. I don't even know if I am immunized. The schools were much more lax about the immunizations back in the 1970's. Of course if it's mutated some the old vaccines may be useless against it.

    Ya'll are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. For public schools all high school kids
    Must be vaccinated or they can't go to school! It's making a huge comeback! Just because you are vaccinated doesn't mean you won't get it, it may lessen the effects, shorten the sick time or you will be immune to it! Some diseases were gone however with the world not vaccinating people are coming in and out of countries that still have the diseases and are bringing them back! Those diseases begin to get people who were not vaccinated because the disease in our country was gone and no longer vaccination made.

  4. I caught pertussis 5 years ago, at the ripe old age of 37, despite having had a LOT of vaccinations as a kid because I was a military brat. Having pertussis was really, really awful -- I actually strained muscles in my abdomen quite badly from the coughing. My doctor said pertussis immunity from vaccinations wears off after a while, anywhere from 5 to 25 years, and that any adult who has contact with under-12-year-old children in their family or in their work should consider getting vaccinated again.

  5. Enola,
    The antibiotic of choice for prophylaxis to prevent any secondary infections is erythromycin for 7 to 10 days. It is considered that after treatment for 5 days, that it is safe to allow others to assist you. For your own health, please get some respite assistance so you do not deplete your own immunity strength.

    Here is a breathing technique that has been noted to help break that repetitive cycle of the reflexive coughing of Pertussis, that you described Sir Knight experienced.

    Teach this to all affected that can attempt it.

    You must consciously attempt to stop yourself from
    inspiring reflexively between coughs. Performing this action could reduce the length, and
    the violence of the cough, and prevent reflux and vomiting. Simply put, delay yourself
    breathing in and hold what breath you have left for as long as possible (counting with them slowly helps) aim for 4 or 5 count seconds of holding....then try to breath in very slowly through your mouth using pursed lips.
    This technique may not work on the first cough of the reflexive series but in my experience, it does successfully slow down subsequent coughs.
    The technique requires practice but does
    allow the patient some control back of their body. As this method requires the patient to consciously overcome their natural body reflex cough reactions, this is really only suitable for older children and adults and not tots or babies.

    My prayers are streaming Enola for you and for your whole family's return to good health.

    God bless you and your whole household.


  6. Notutopia's comment sounds like a good one to follow. Thank you for posting it.

    I'll be praying for you and your family, Enola, for a speedy recovery and that with any luck, your other family members are recovered before you and Maid Elizabeth come down with it, if you do. (Maid Elizabeth may not, if Pertussis was part of her overseas immunization mix.) At least you don't have to worry about lack of available medical care now and it will be decades (hopefully) before your new immunity wears off.

    I've seen the commercials warning of Whooping Cough, and they upset me when I do watch them. Surely there could be some better way to warn people of it's communicability, than implying that a baby will get Whooping Cough from being handled and cuddled by it's mother. Of course, your baby didn't get Whooping Cough from the daycare center and the fifteen other babies crawling around on the floor, playing with the same toys, she got it from Mom, hugging her baby at the end of the day. Just another elephant in the living room of this haywire society.

    Thanks for showing us a better way.


  7. Just a little FYI- 48 states allow vaccine exemptions for public school students. Chances are, it is NOT mandatory in your state. Surprisingly, some of our personal freedoms are still allowed. A little research may reveal to you that non-vaccinated people are NOT bringing these diseases back... These diseases have been on an up and down cycle for centuries. I won't even get into how much pharma co's make off these vaccines!!

  8. I got pertusis twice...the first time it took awhile to figure out what it soon as it was diagnosed the right drug took care of it right away. I like to avoid medication where possible, but this one worth the rarity of medication.

  9. yep, that ole whooping cough is making a sure-fire comeback all across our nation..and infecting young and old alike. my husband and i had it bad last fall..and it seemed to take a long time to gain back our strength. doctors are now saying that the vaccine should be given at least every five years to everyone, but to the young and to the parents of the young especially. typhus is another vaccine that folks dont think about getting either..that is one that should be given at least every five to ten years also. over the last ten years or so there have been several outbreaks of measles as well. one really good way to relieve the congestion in the lungs (which coughs help produce) is to get the bathroon good and steamy with hot water and breath in the will help loosen the mucous that gets stuck. also, try leaning over a pot of hot water while covering head and pot with a towel...breath in the steam. this will help thin the mucous in nasal passages and the lungs, making it less painful when coughing. be careful..ribs can actually crack/fracture with hard heavy coughing. i pray you all will recover soon. God bless you and yours.

  10. Please remember to take care of yourself as you tend to your family. Praying for you and your "flock" ! :D

  11. My sister had this last winter. Its called the "hundred day cough" for a reason. When she was at my house, we did onion poultices, and honey/onion syrup. She said it was quite soothing and helpful. Basically the onion syrup is layers of onion and honey, allowed to sit for 12-24 hours, strained, and then fed to anyone with respiratory distress.

    My house smelled like onion for days, but it was nice to see some relief for my sis. A quick google on onion syrup and poultices should bring up any particulars you need.

  12. Still praying for you all! You have to get better so I can come visit! :)

  13. Oh my, I will definitely e praying for you and your "Flock"...Violent coughing is awful..Used to have those coughing fits when I was young even tho I had shots to prevent it....Only thing I know for sure is that I am immune to small pox....Shots never worked and old doc said "She's immune" YIPPEE!!!
    Oh, and love the home remedies from N. ID. Mother
    Love from NC

  14. Another useful mechanical aid is the use of a pillow to "splint" the ribcage by holding and pressing it tightly against the body when the cough cycle begins.

    This will also prevent rib fracturing and help to suppress the urge to quickly "suck in" more air, which triggers off and causes the reflexive cough cycle.

    God bless you and your family Enola with speedy recovery.


  15. Notutopia;
    As usual, your tips are more than helpful. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    North Idaho Mother;
    Funny thing - I have a jar of onion syrup sitting in my fridge as we speak. And Master Hand Grenade enjoyed an onion poultice just the other night. I will be posting my recipes soon. Thanks for the remedy suggestions.


  16. My Mom used to "bind" us when we were so sick that our coughing was out of control. She wrapped ace bandages or strips of bed sheet around our chests. It supported the muscles that had grown too weak to effectively expel any phlegm etc. If you try this put any knots on the side that they don't sleep on. This actually helps so much.
    Take care of yourself. Hoping for a speedy recovery for all of you.

  17. I asked around at work if anyone had ever gotten whooping cough,or knew anyone that did recently-everyone I asked pretty much had the same experience I did-had heard tales of it, but always back in the day(1950s, at the latest). Is it a regional outbreak? Such outbreaks usually don't stay regional long. It's a nastier disease than I thought,especially for children. Apparently, you don't get an immmunity to it after you've had it once.
    I hope you guys get through it here soon,and bounce back quick.

  18. Happened on here from Survival Blog. Hello. So, were you guys vaccinated before, and got this anyway? Or, were you not vaccinated? Would you do anything different - either be vaccinated or not depending on if you were beforehand?
    Thank you.

  19. Anonymous;
    Welcome. Half of us were vaccinated, the other half were not. This is an especially virulent strain of Pertussis (or so I've been told). Countywide, the cases have been roughly split between vaccinated and non-vaccinated. Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be much of a disparity in severity between vaccinated and non.

    We would not do anything differently. The best inoculation seems to come from actually having the disease. In my opinion, the disease is not deterred by the vaccination (perhaps it, like other bacteria, have found a way around our defenses). The only thing I may have done differently would have been to support our immune system earlier (when we thought it was a common cold).


  20. Thank you! So, you guys are a case study in and of yourselves! Sweet.