Not this time, and that was in spite our best efforts!
Because this is generally the "cold and flu season", I like to have different home remedies on hand when a bug should show up. Recently I was given a recipe for homemade "Vicks" rub and tried my hand at it. The recipe used soy wax mixed with olive oil and several essential oils - menthol and peppermint.
The recipe made enough salve to fill up three small 4 oz containers. I had just made the salve here, and it was still hot in the jars, and had not "set" yet. But it smelled oh so good... just like the Vicks rub you can get in the stores! It worked wonderfully too. We applied it behind ears, and on the bottoms of our feet, and could feel the effects right away, a wonderful cooling and fresh sensation.
The next project on my to-do list was to make a healing cold tea. I used black tea leaves, echinacea, rose hips, cinnamon, and dandelion leaves. I covered the tea leaves with water, and let it simmer until half of the water had simmered down, and then added 1/4 cup honey and Thieves essential oil (from Young Living). This made a Cold Tea concentrate that I bottled and stored in the fridge, and added to any cups of hot tea we have been drinking.
Homemade elderberry syrup is always a staple in my refrigerator during winter months, and I would add this to the hot cup of tea, along with the Cold Tea concentrate to drink.
The combination of the elderberry and the Cold Tea Concentrate were pretty amazing together.
While I was in the kitchen preparing all these home remedies... Annie and Missy were not far from the action. Missy still doesn't care for the camera, she looks so sad when I start to take pictures of her, but she has really become a happy little soul here in our home.
Annie was playing camera shy too... she didn't especially want her picture taken today either, lol!
Missy knew that our son wasn't feeling too great and crawled up into his lap to snuggle with him. I think she was "glad" he was sick, as it gave her a chance to snuggle. She has become a real snuggle-bug!
Here is Annie watching from a distance. She would like to be a lap dog, but because of her size, it just isn't possible, and she always looks so sad when our cat would crawl into my lap and would act jealous about it. Now, she has more reason to be jealous - with Missy being able to crawl into our laps and soak up all the attention! Poor Annie! She still gets lots of love from us, but ... it doesn't help the sad face she has sometimes when she sees the cat or Missy in our laps!
At any rate, even with all the home remedies that usually work for colds, sore throats, and ear pains... this was one nasty bug that refused to leave.
All this week we were treating my son for a sore throat with salt water gargles, honey, and oregano oil. One evening when his sore throat had gotten pretty bad, he took a bath with Epsom salts and essential oils - peppermint and eucalyptus and that seemed to help with his sore throat, and we thought we had the "bug" beat.
However, the next morning, while his sore throat was gone, he began running fever and his ears began to hurt. So we continued to treat him with the Cold Tea concentrate, menthol salve, and with hot water steam baths. We also applied some of the menthol salve I had made, and that seemed to help some. But... despite our best efforts on Friday evening, the pain intensified severely. My son called out to me that he was in extreme pain. When I ran in to see what was wrong, he had blood coming out of both his ears. That was a scary sight!
So, I got a hot rag and applied heat to both his ears until the pain eased off, along with a dose of ibuprofen. Having been through this once before with our son many years ago, I knew that both his eardrums had ruptured from the infection. And, simultaneously, he lost hearing in both his ears. I now had to holler at him for him to hear me. We were able to get the pain eased off, and the bleeding as well, but I knew that a trip to the doctor was imminent.
We got an appointment for him Saturday morning at a local clinic to see a doctor. When she looked into his ears, she said she couldn't see his ears at all, only pus and blood. It was a very nasty, horrible infection, and definitely with both eardrums ruptured because of the infection. She put him on penicillin that also included a drug that would fight against any superbugs, after I told her that our best efforts with natural antibiotics had failed, when usually they would work. She also gave us a prescription for antibiotic ear drops as well.
Later that evening as we continued with the antibiotic treatment, the ear pain began to wear off, and the fever went away. Sunday morning, he was doing much better without fever and pain, but still unable to hear. From our experience before with a burst eardrum, we know that healing of the eardrums can take a while and that temporary hearing loss can take a while to resolve.
So... suffice it to say that even though we truly believe in using natural remedies as much as possible, there comes a point in time to say that you need the expertise and wisdom of doctors and medications. We are not folks who run to the doctor for the smallest little problems, but we are not against seeking out the help of doctors when our best efforts to heal through natural methods aren't working.
I considered the fact that my son could suffer permanent hearing loss if this infection did not quickly get resolved, and that was something I did not want to happen. So, a trip to the doctor was in order. We will also have to make a trip back to the doctor to confirm that the ears have healed, and that hearing has completely returned.
Just dealing with my son over the last few days not being able to hear words spoken in a normal tone has been a little scary - like dealing with an elderly person! We are having to yell at him for him to understand us. We are praying that his hearing will be completely restored in a few days.
While natural healing methods work most of the time, there are times when we must seek higher help. I sent out a text to several people to pray when his eardrums were bursting, and in a few minutes, the pain eased, and the bleeding stopped, and I thank the Lord for answering those prayers instantly! Now, we are believing that through faith in the Lord, and the help of doctors and modern medicine that complete hearing will be restored to our son's ears. :)