Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Syrup of Mom

Back in the day, my Grandmother would talk about something called "Syrup of Coke". From what I remember, it was nothing more than the official ingredient to the soft drink we all know and love. Add some carbonated water, and voila, Coca Cola. It's still an essential part of making the drink you order at any participating restaurant. The "tap" or "fountain" version. If you look closely when you get your refill at McDonald's (or the like), you'll see the clear carbonated water flowing around a dark stream of--coke syrup.

Soda fountains of old were often times in the same location as the local pharmacy. I'm not sure which came first, the soft drink or the remedy, but Syrup of Coke was dispensed by pharmacists for ailments such as nausea. I think there may have even been a time when my Grandmother gave me some. If not, I at least remember the bottle she had it in. And hey, what kid would fuss to get Coke for a tummy ache? It sure beat Castor oil....


There's nothing like a sick child on Mother's Day to remind you that you're REALLY a bona-fide Mom. Forget flowers and chocolates, there's just something about a wailing, snotty, clingy baby that screams, "Happy Mother's Day! It's Official!"

Asher had been dealing with something of the ailment variety for about 4 days when Mother's Day rolled around. I had figured he'd be over it by then, but alas, his cough and runny nose and low-grade fever had escalated. He was now full blown sick, and very pitiful. Chris and I took turns going to church services that day, and the holiday turned out to be your average "sick kid" day: pampering, nose-wiping, fluid pushing, rocking.

He even had me up late that night, hacking away. Poor guy.


I'm not the type of Mom to rush to the medicine cabinet every time my kids sniffle. I truly believe that their bodies can do a lot of the work themselves. Fevers don't bother me, because as much as it's a sign of infection, the fever is there to counteract that infection. Why would I want to meddle with that? If I do give my kids Tylenol for a fever, it's only to comfort them and give them a break from the internal fight. Fever is many times my kids' friend--it's a good thing to have around at times like this. If there's a true problem, there will generally be other signs to alert me and put me on the phone with my pediatrician.

Well, Asher was getting to the point that night where he just needed a break. All the more homeopathic remedies just weren't giving him any relief, and he couldn't sleep. I had tried to give him something to stave off the horrendous cough (which also had acetaminophen in it), but it didn't even touch it. Against my better judgment (even though I knew it wouldn't hurt him), I resigned to giving him a low dose of Children's NyQuil. 15 minutes later he was asleep. And he got the rest he'd been needing for a long time.

But I hated it. It really grated on me to give him that. I'm glad he got to rest, but I just don't like giving my kids meds. Let's not even DISCUSS Michaela.


The next night, Asher seemed to be doing better, but not great. His cough got worse the sleepier he got, and I knew I should just bring out the big guns again, and get it over with. Thankfully, he slept all night long with hardly any coughing.

But Libby had caught it.

And sure enough, she was hacking and barking like a seal. It didn't help that she was all but hysterical dealing with her breathing difficulty. Trying to calm her down was like keeping a greyhound from a rabbit: can be done, but very difficult! The more she barked, the more she heaved, the more she freaked out. I had tried everything in my arsenal of benign therapies (hey, if a placebo works, why not?), as well as not-so-benign, but she was still suffering. Still unable to relax. Had already given her some cough syrup, but alas, no relief.

So we switched to plan B. Chris got her out of bed and into ours. We propped her up on pillows to keep her elevated (nothing different than what I had already done), and put a cool mist humidifier in our room. I kept her close.

And would you believe it? I think that kid only coughed maybe ONE MORE TIME the entire night! She settled down in my arms, closed her eyes, and drifted to sleep. Her breathing was clear, and she was relaxed. Even in the morning when she woke up and coughed a little bit, she didn't freak out and it didn't seem to bother her much at all.

Don't tell me it was the humidifier. It hadn't even been on for 5 minutes when she fell asleep.

It was the "Syrup of Mom." I'm sure of it.

And I think I'll whip that out pri-tee quick next time. (But I dare say it only works in my bed!)


Speaking of sick kids and Mother's Day, my two and their coughs are nothing compared to what Dream Mom is dealing with. She was just praying that her Dear Son wouldn't DIE on Mother's Day, nevermind sleep through the night. And from her blog, it seems as though he's still fighting for his life.

My heartfelt concern and prayers go out to her and her sick baby. We hope to hear good news soon.


RaCeCat said...

Poor Asher pants... hope he's feelin better!! Libby too...

Alabamabrands said...

So sweet!! (as long as you're not squished out of your bed EVERY night & getting no sleep.)

Hope everyone is feeling better

Denna said...

It is strange how there is something about OUR beds that make our children sleep better. Brooke and Courtney are the same way.
Sorry your children caught the cold also. I hope they did not catch it from Brooke. It sounds like the same stuff. Brooke is doing better. She still has a terrible cough and runny nose, but seems to feel better. She is eating like she has not ate in days.(Which she has not) I hope you guys are well soon.
We miss you at the class.

pushypaws said...

FYI - ;) You can STILL buy coke syrup for tummies from the pharmacist.
Love, Mom