Friday, August 9, 2013

Stomach Flu Recovery Protocol

I am not a medical professional but since cold and flu season seems to have hit a bit early around here I thought I would share what we do at our house. As soon as someone in the house turns up with vomiting or diarrhea (and with soon to be 12 family members it happens more often than I'd like), we start diffusing DoTerra On Guard essential oil. Then we wait until there's been no vomiting for at least 30 minutes. At that time we start giving very small sips of Gatorade or whatever fluid we are using to rehydrate. When I say small I mean approximately 1/3 of an ounce,  no more than 1 T. We use a medicine cup. If that stays down for 5 minutes or so then we give 2/3 of an ounce.  After another 5 minutes without vomiting we increase the amount to 1 ounce. From this point on, we give 1 ounce every 5 minutes provided there is no more vomiting. If at any time vomiting recurs, we start the entire process all over again. It is a bit tedious but it keeps them hydrated and helps to avoid a trip to the hospital. As for food we generally wait until vomiting has stopped and the sick person is asking for food. Then we start the BRAT diet. B stands for Bananas, R is for rice, A is for applesauce, T is for toast. The rice and toast need to be plain, no added seasoning at all. You can substitute bread or crackers for the toast as long as its made with white flour. Basically you want a very bland, plain diet of white foods. As soon as they can keep that down  you can start to gradually add in other foods. Wait to add dairy after everything else is well tolerated. If you have a sick little one who is still breastfeeding just let them nurse on demand. Breastmilk is NOT a dairy food and it is the easiest and fastest thing to digest. These are all things I've picked up over the 21+ years that I've been mothering 10 children. We have never had a child hospitalized for dehydration or flu like symptoms. Once we came very close and that is when an older doctor recommended the fluid protocol above. The younger doctors in the practice wanted to hospitalize because our toddler was refusing fluids. I was so upset because I was worried about the toddler but I also had an infant who was breastfed and I was looking at having to choose letting my toddler be left alone at the hospital or weaning my infant. The older doctor told me to hold her down and basically force feed fluids in the manner described above. It was either that or staying overnight in the hospital for IV fluids. Some of the best advice I ever got! Now if I can just figure out how to avoid the vomiting and diarrhea bugs altogether.

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