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Fighting Illness Naturally is Scary (Especially When You’re Blind)

We had a near miss with antibiotics this week.

Two bottles of super-strength antibiotics stared me down from the refrigerator for 24 hours, threatening a head-on collision after which I’d have to deal with the consequences.

They also promised to make my son feel better and get our family life back to normal, fast.

What’s a parent to do?

Paul’s Story

Paul sick

It’s been a frustrating year of illness.

Two years ago when I started writing at Kitchen Stewardship®, I remember singing the praises of making chicken stock, which I’d always made but incorporated more regularly that winter. “We hardly get sick!” I sang.

Just remember, don’t ever put much credence in one lousy family who has a lucky winter and doesn’t get sick.

If you asked me this year how eating real food has kept us healthy, I’d say it’s a joke. Our whole family was sick from October 1 through mid-January, with cold after cold, infections, and other stuff, including pinkeye, walking pneumonia, and double ear infections, all on the same day, for poor 5-year-old Paul.

My 2-year-old daughter Leah had a week of throwing up – an entire week! – about a month ago. Her baby dolls have been sick and “frowing up” every day since then. When Paul came down with something two weeks ago and threw up, she watched it happen, and with utter glee (I kid you not) on her face, cried, “Paul’s frowing up! Paul’s frowing up too!” I think she was glad to have someone to empathize with.

I forgot to give him the activated charcoal from my Naturokit, which Leah couldn’t keep down but seemed to help my husband when he caught a whiff of her bug on the opposite end.

After two days of misery, he ended up having strep throat, and we went with antibiotics without question for two reasons: (1) he was miserable, couldn’t eat or drink a thing, and the garlic I’d been making him “shoot” with honey and putting in his socks wasn’t working, and (2) we were leaving for Kentucky the following morning.

Ten days later, we dutifully finished the “pink stuff,” which Paul loved and Leah wanted, gave him probiotics at every meal the next day, and he woke up on a Monday with a fever. In the absence of any other symptoms, we assumed it was just a fever, which had been “going around” at his school, and when it broke Wednesday morning I was so glad.

He was happy and bouncing around (literally, on an exercise ball) that morning, but by 2 p.m. his ear hurt. By 3:00 he was crying in pain, and by 4:00 I gave him Tylenol so he could get relief and sleep.

Did I mention Leah came down with the fever at 11:00 that morning, which knocked her down and out for the afternoon? Paul had a fever again by Wednesday night, and the poor kid had to pop more garlic. He’s a tough kid, but there’s nothing fun or easy about raw garlic going down your throat!

Both kids’ fevers and Paul’s ear pain really ebbed and flowed, and I kept thinking maybe they were getting better. And then they’d get worse.

By Friday morning, Leah’s fever had more or less broken, maybe a 99F temp maximum, and her spirits were really good, so I was not worried about her. Paul, on the other hand, had a very rough night Thursday with a high fever making sleep difficult. At 102.3F under the arm and two days of ear pain, it was time to take him in. I kind of expected a diagnosis of “strep has returned and he has a nasty ear infection,” or even worse, so “just an ear infection” was actually music to my ears!


Apparently once you’ve just finished antibiotics recently, even if the infection is in a new place, you get the next step up in the world of antibiotics.

And if you have to go for a third round, it’s likely you get prophylactic antibiotics for six months to a year! My mistake; the prophylaxis would only be after multiple bouts with strep throat, not just any infection piled up. (Phew!)

For a mom who knows anything about balancing gut flora, healthy bacteria, and the risks of antibiotics, which include gluten sensitivity and autoimmune disease, that news was absolutely terrifying to me.

This new antibiotic also has a really high incidence of diarrhea as a side effect, just what we needed for plane travel and vacation on Tuesday.

We pulled gluten from Paul’s diet about four weeks ago, but we haven’t been able to learn anything yet because he’s been sick and on antibiotics so much. I have a hunch that both he and his dad may have a gluten sensitivity, and here we are having him glug more antibiotics. I also heard just recently that antibiotics can be linked to autoimmune diseases, including Crohn’s Disease, from which my husband suffers. I have a terrible feeling Paul has the propensity for Crohn’s, and I hate the thought of giving that disease an easier path to rear its ugly head.

It was a parental situation I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

To Medicate or not to Medicate

I filled the prescription on the way home from the doctor’s, knowing I needed to have it available so our options were open. I also stopped at a health foods store and bought oil or oregano for the first time and some garlic oil.

Paul was able to get a good nap that afternoon and wasn’t miserable, so I felt comfortable waiting until my husband came home from work. We both Googled oil of oregano and antibiotic risks, discussed, prayed, and worried.

It was touch and go every hour for about 24 hours on whether we’d use the antibiotics or not.

I was giving Paul 1-2 drops of oregano oil and 7-10 drops of garlic oil 3x/day. I had no idea if it would work or how we could tell.

There’s nothing easy about making medical decisions for your child.

It’s petrifying.

You so strongly desire:

  • your child to stop feeling pain
  • to do the best thing for the child
  • to help the child avoid future negative side effects
  • and honestly, to be free from the weight of having a decision to make

The medical community says take the drugs. The natural momma in you says to explore natural alternatives. The foodie in you, currently testing for a gluten sensitivity partly by watching changes in BMs, says, “No way, man, I can’t do anything else to mess up this boy’s poop! We aren’t learning anything!” And the mother in you just says, “I want the pain to stop. I want my son back, bouncing around the house, literally. I can’t wait to see him slide on his knees on the carpet for no reason and put a new hole in his pants.”

Everywhere you look, whether to friends, doctors, pharmacists, or Google, you find conflicting research and/or conflicting opinions or warnings.

While I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry like parents 100 years ago did about my children dying from a run-of-the-mill disease, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, my stress feels like it’s just as high because the weight of the decision is on my shoulders. It’s not like it’s completely up to God what happens, since I have to discern His will and the best course of action and act on it. No matter how much prayer I put into it, the act of being His hands and feet in the world will never be easy.

The Power of Suffering

Blind man praying in a crouching position with a young boy looking at him from behind.
source: Flickr

I was struck by the Sunday Gospel in a pretty powerful way, as I sat there praising God for the return of my son: his health, his appetite, his spunk, his sense of humor. The rush of relief I felt when I knew the fever broke in the middle of the night (Friday) was renewed as I lifted my heart to the Lord in the Mass.

Little did I know He had something to say to me.

The Gospel was John 9:1-41, about the man born blind whom Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Christ said two things just to me through this story and our priest’s homily:

  1. Suffering is never given in vain, but to show Christ to the world in some way. YOU, Katie, did not show Christ through Paul’s illness. You were negative, frightened, and sought only a solution, an end to the opportunity of suffering I granted your family, instead of trying to find Me in the situation and trusting Me.You thought it was not fair that Paul, a child, be the one with the affliction. How little you understand that my grace flows through him, too, and could have given many people an opportunity to see Me through how you reacted to the Cross I gave your family. Instead you complained.
  2. Like the Pharisees, you were blind to My will, to my gift. Like the Pharisees, I want you to see the truth of suffering, to see the beauty in it, all of it. Like the Pharisees, I need you to be blind to the ways of this world so that you may truly see holiness. The suffering of children is not in vain; it gives the parents a road to Heaven, along which they may bring all their children.

I’m learning. I’m a slow learner. God really has to pull truths out of me and work hard at it.

Have you had experience with choosing a natural remedy over conventional medicine? How difficult was it for you?

UPDATE: Since this post I’ve had a lot more experience battling illness naturally. If you need to know how to get rid of warts naturally, I’ve since written a post on it HERE. You may also be interested in the Top 5 Herbs for Cold and Flu Season.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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85 thoughts on “Fighting Illness Naturally is Scary (Especially When You’re Blind)”

  1. I’m a new reader to your blog and I just found this post and had to say thank you SO much for writing this. I was just talking to my husband today, after spending the day with my daughter in Urgent Care to get a throat swab done for what I think is strep, about how hard this is – wanting desperately to do things naturally but not knowing if/what is always the right thing to do. We’ve had such a horrible winter, so far, of being sick. Since the beginning of October (and our first snowfall) someone in our family has been sick (stomach bugs, pink eye, influenza, now possibly strep) except for the past 10 days until my girl woke with a fever 3 days before Christmas. It’s been such a discouraging time for me. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for writing this post and speaking honestly about what you’re going through. It means a lot to those of us our here going through the same thing.

  2. We generally avoid antibiotics, too, but decided to use them when my husband ended up in the ER with severe abdominal cramping. I was able to pull myself through with home remedies, but his pain was so severe we decided to try conventional meds. He’s finally starting to get his buts back on track weeks later, but we felt the benefits outweighed the risks in his case.

  3. Thank you for such an honest post, Katie! We had a rough Winter too (though not as bad as yours), and ended up with ear infections in January. I wasn’t even sure that’s what was going on (they also had the flu) until it became obvious that my almost three year old couldn’t hear me. I was so scared thinking about the impact it could have on his speech development, etc. We put both kiddos on antibiotics.

    Now a few months later we are dealing with an imbalance of intestinal flora that wreaked havoc on my 1 year old’s tummy – and teeth!! She has weak enamel and unfortunately, it looks like the antibiotics shifted the balance of bacteria in her mouth enough in favor of the bad guys that they were able to do quite a bit of damage. It’s frustrating that we never know where our children’s health is vulnerable until it’s too late.

    Thankfully, I too have seen the many ways that God is using this to teach and strengthen us. It has even caused us to look more closely at the daily choices we make regarding nutrition and hygiene and make some positive changes for the future.

  4. i, too, am a slow learner – same lesson, different circumstances. we work in w. africa – the bugs our kids have struggled with kill 1 in 5 under 5 here – meds/drs aren’t always available and sometimes my husband and i are the ones making medical decisions for which we don’t feel we have the training.

    and watching your kids suffer? with things like malaria, typhoid, meningitis (and we did the whooping cough thing while in the states for our last home assignment – and i will vaccinate for that one after nursing three through it) wondering if you’ve made the right choice? all of the what ifs?

    well, this illness/what to do when your kids are sick question is the one thing that can discourage me and send me to my closet with a suitcase, ready to start packing and head home… forget God’s call on my life because it is just too hard and my kids didn’t ask for this sort of suffering.

    of course, they handle it all better than i do. 🙂

    for us, finding the balance between healthy and natural, medicine vs natural remedies – it is hard because so much you talk about/use is not available – and yes, there are local natural remedies but their track record isn’ t always so good and figuring out what they are and how to use them is not straightforward – much traditional medicine is wrapped up in witchcraft.

    it was encouraging to read your post, though, and realize that we moms and dads don’t walk this path without the company of other moms and dads.

    1. Holy cow, Richelle, talk about my experience exponentially multiplied! I can’t imagine not having the access to choices plus having such awful bugs to battle. You are definitely not alone! 🙂 Katie

  5. Katie,

    Firstly, I’ll join the masses in thanking you for sharing your heart with each of us. It seems as though the bugs have made their way through the foodie houses this past season! We’ve found the change-over from winter to spring to be the most dangerous in our house. We found ourselves in the hospital last spring with our then 3yo (preemie, chronic lung disease, previously w/tracheostomy and ventilator) with a pretty severe case of pneumonia – actually to the point where a small piece of one of his lungs died. Antibiotics do have their place, but I will never enjoy using them or having my family use them. My son had an allergic reaction to his antibiotics, but they weren’t sure which it was because they had given him two different kinds because his pneumonia was severe. The next week was extremely difficult as a mom – to watch my son puff up (eyes swollen shut) and develop rashes all over because of that “necessary evil.” And he was allergic to another antibiotic! It felt like he was a game that they had to figure out…if this doesn’t work, we’ll do this, etc. He ended up needing a chest tube to drain the fluid from around his lungs and we finally came home after about 2 weeks. He is healthy and well now. 🙂 But when my two kids came down with a cold this past week and my son developed that familiar cough, my husband and I immediately went back to last spring. Before it turned into anything, I was giving them everything – bone broth, elderberry, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, probiotics, kombucha in smoothies, no dairy, no sugar, detox baths, nebulizing magnesium and hydrogen peroxide, (separately), extra FCLO, essential oils…and seriously more. I’m happy to say that they are better, but the cough is lingering. It’s not keeping anyone awake at night, so it doesn’t concern me as much. We’ve kept them both home as it was looking like whooping cough for a couple days. We did do a round of the homeopathic remedy Drosera Rotundifolia as it’s supposed to take care of whooping cough in one dose. We didn’t take them in to see a doctor, so didn’t get an official diagnosis.

    I echo your disappointment in not seeing the results you expect when you do all the things you know you’re supposed to do. I got sick too and it seemed like the extra things I was doing for myself (raw garlic, master tonic, neti pot, etc.) were not helping as they ought (I did put some tea tree oil in the neti pot with the saline mix and I feel SO much better). I also started pushing the ear drops on myself and my son (50/50 solution of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol…seriously, works every time) and it has helped clear out my sinuses and open my ears again. Yay!

    Keep doing what you’re doing. Your family is blessed to have you and have you care as much as you do. Start with prayer, finish with prayer and go ahead and pray the whole way through. 🙂 We’ll get some wrong and we may get some right, but our faithfulness and integrity are really what stand in the center ring. Thanks again for sharing and reminding us it’s not about us.

    1. How do you nebulize magnesium and hydrogen peroxide? I have 3 kids with asthma and I’ve always wondered if I could use the nebulizer for something other than steroids. I looked online once and couldn’t find any information.

      1. Leah,

        We just started doing this! (My mom is actually doing it too to treat her breast cancer as she’s not undergoing traditional chemotherapy or radiation). You can check out this link for more information on other things that you can nebulize. 🙂


        If you try them, I would test it on yourself first for a few seconds. I did a magnesium neb last night and it was a little irritating to my sore throat. Hope that helps!

    2. Lindsey,
      Oh, what a nightmare! I’m amazed that there are so many options…so much I don’t know about. Your kids are blessed that you’re their momma! Keep up the good work! 🙂 Katie

  6. Katie, I’ve thought about this post many times since I read it. I know how it feels to have that responsibility weighing heavy on me. The book Trusting God by Jerry Bridges really brought comfort to me. He has some good insight into the matter of God’s sovreignty and our responsibility.
    Thanks for your transparency. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has felt that way. God bless, CW

  7. One of the things that I found lacking in my holistic medicine arsenal was WARMTH. I have witnessed a huge difference in my children and their illnesses by really pushing warmth all winter long. Wool hats, wool long underwear, wool sweatervests, wool socks that cover the ankle, and cozy blankets when they’re sick. Well, really we kept that on most of the time this winter.
    If Ronan winds up with an earache then we immediately get him woolies and I keep him quiet and resting with lots of fluids. That alone has reduced our problems so much that I’m completely converted.:o)
    If you ever get a chance to check out Antroposophic Medicine they have several articles on warmth and it’s place in healing.

  8. I hope everyone is feeling well in your household now! We had been having a relatively easy year in our town and our family in particular, and then we got hit with an ugly stomach virus. So this was a timely post for us, too.

    Since you mentioned ear infections, I have to add that we have had great results from Hylands homeopathic Earache Tablets (and ear drops, when we can get the kids to let us use them). It usually takes at least 2 doses to see an effect, but I have seen two remarkable turn-arounds with my 2-year-old daughter. The last time I was on the phone with the advice nurse because my daughter was complaining about a sore neck and I started worrying about encephalitis. I had given her a second dose right before calling and by the time I started talking to the nurse my daughter had stopped screaming (I might add that the screaming had been going on for several hours and only stopped when I held her and she fell asleep in my arms) and perked up.

    I like the homeopathy because you can start it while waiting to go to the doctor, or while waiting to give antibiotics. If it doesn’t work, then you are just in the same place as you would have been with just waiting and using other natural relief measures (which I usually use along with the homeopathy).

  9. Rebecca Miller

    There is nothing that has consumed my thoughts more than healing my son naturally. It became a necessary obsession. He was diagnosed with ADHD. We were the typical SAD american family and went straight to medicine. I nearly lost my little little boy. No sleep, lost all creativity, lost control over bladder during daylight hours. It was awful. I finally refused to keep him on the medications anymore. I figured there had to be a different path. We started small and then dove head first into diet change. It has been a long and difficult 1 1/2 years but we are seeing the rewards. We often say how can we convince others to eat right when we often feel like crap (detoxing), however my sons successful return to school, my unexpected pregnancy after 10 years of nothing and my husbands over all improved health are all the testimony I need. There is no more difficult choice than the one of how to heal your child. But it is by far the best use of our time and talents and the rewards are eternal!

  10. Thanks for sharing your winter’s saga! Sometimes when I meet other real foodies they love to proclaim, “we never get sick! we never go to the doctor!” and then I secretly feel like some sort of failure if someone gets sick, or like I’ve betrayed some secret trust if someone in the family takes antibiotics.
    You are right too that we need to offer up our sufferings to God and allow his grace to work in us through those situations. I am glad you have all survived and hope this winter is one of a kind!

  11. Adrienne @ Whole New Mom

    This is a very timely post for me as well. I have been thinking a lot about the plight of chronic conditions that my family has suffered over the past year, as well as the plight of those suffering overseas and in our own nation.

    I would point anyone towards Joni Eareckson Tada’s writings on suffering. I hear that she has a new book out on the subject. For anyone who doesn’t know, she has been a paraplegic since her teen years, has been in chronic pain for years and now is dealing with breast cancer.

    Through it all, she trusts The Lord. Oh, that I might let myself be refined to be the same in my response.

  12. Thank you for sharing what God taught you through this experience. It really spoke to me as my almost 6 month old is dealing with the end of a double ear infection that I wasn’t sure was going to be dealt with by the first round of antibiodics that I wasn’t sure I wanted to give him anyway (note to self, when he wakes up give him a dose since you’ve forgotten for 2 days now). Thank you for reminding me that it is God who is in control & has a purpose even for the suffering of a baby who can’t do anything about it except cry. I really needed to hear that. Thank you.

  13. Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    Wow. I certainly feel for you in the way you suffer when your children suffer AND for the difficulty in making decisions about antibitic use.

    While I have no doubt that antibiotics are WAY over used, we really would do well to remember that they save lives. Strep infections, which followed the flu epidemic of 1919, was a major killer for Americans. Strep can be deadly if not treated. I would never questions using antibiotics as an important part of a mulit-prong attack on strep.

    Secondly, I have two kids with asthma (of ten kids, so not a high percentage). Once the older of the two was hospitalized for FIVE days and came home on oxygen when he was fighting pneumonia. I wish I had gone in early. Antibiotics, as well as probiotics and homeopathics, was critical in preserving his life and his health.

    As a Catholic, try to remember that Therese of the Little Flower was a consolation to her mother who watched five of her nine children die before adulthood. What would any one of the sisters or the parents done to save one of their lives? They lived well, drank milk, walked in the sun and still their bodies were claimed by illness and death.

    We are pretty careful and usually are pretty well and if we catch something get well faster than others. I don’t run to the doctor for every sniffle looking for a prescription. But, when one of the asthmatics develops bacterial pneomonia (which looks different on x-ray) I gratefully take the RX.

    Just my thoughts.

  14. We’ve been dealing with strep around here also. I delayed antibiotics and my daughter developed scarlet fever. I was told to put my entire family on antibiotics, but I didn’t. My daughter only took them. We have had a rough winter too. It seems like someone is always sick around here. It is very hard to go against the recommendation of a doctor, especially when you are exhausted and having to watch your children suffer. I am considering starting my whole family on GAPS and I know that I won’t find a doctor who is supportive of this.

  15. Wow, not that misery loves company, but we feel so alone in our “warped” idea to skip the antibiotics. It is so scary at times, as I watch my grandson coughing or gasping for breath. His mother and I did bring antibiotic home, it’s still in the frig. I found broth in the freezer, simmered it with onions, garlic, tumeric etc. and we tried to get it into him. I used an olive oil simmered with onions/garlic for his ear infection. I also did a diluted hydrogen peroxide in his ears. We did one dose of ibuprofen, along with a heating pad. We do elderberry with a baby probiotic and cod liver oil. That seems to help him feel good.
    None of us wants to be the final word on those antibiotics in the frig. At one point I was yelled at so I yelled back, give him the antibiotics, I’m not stopping anyone. But then no one did. Sometimes we are so caught in this with no support and not always a ton of knowlege. Watching the child and the signs. Low grade fever, child is happy and eating then let the fever do it’s job. If the child is listless then there is something more going on.
    I feel we all need to pray more and trust in God more and listen to Him.

  16. We used to get sick several times a year – except for the last 2. We haven’t gotten sick AT ALL these last 2 years. There are 2 things I’ve done differently these past 2 years so I’m not sure which one to credit but I have a hunch it may be the first one I’m about to mention:

    We bought yellow lightbulbs and amber computer screens from this website:

    and started using these instead of our usual lighting at about 8 or 9 pm every night. You are probably saying, “what in the world??” – but there’s a method behind this madness.

    Apparently the hormone melatonin (which is usually produced at night if your eyes are not exposed to any blue light) is a very powerful anti-oxidant. However, most people are hardly producing any melatonin at all because there is some exposure to white/blue light at night which halts the production of melatonin. The website I mentioned goes into much more detail about all of this.

    I wasn’t sure if this could possibly have any effect on us other than making the kids more sleepy earlier (as melatonin does) however it seems to have made a HUGE difference in our ability to fight illnesses – all of us!

    The other thing I started doing different was that I would put some essential oil drops (orange, peppermint, lavender) on their pillows at night. However, I was very sporadic with that this past year so I’m not sure that this can receive all the credit.

    Anyway, just one more thing to add to your arsenal.

    1. This is very interesting. I heard about this just recently and wanted to change things, but didn’t know how. I read that (as God created us) we are intended to actually rest our eyes from light when the sun goes down. I often wonder how this works in areas way up north in Alaska etc, but in any case I am curious to know if you just place these light bulbs in lamps and switch to those at night or how do you go about selectively using them. Thanks for sharing the site too.

  17. Meg @ Cracking an Egg

    I love your thoughts on suffering – so appropriate to remember in this Lenten time. Thank you!

    Anti-biotics are always tough, particularly in our family, where 3 of 5 of us are allergic to most of them anyway. :-/ That definitely saves us the trouble of “should we? shouldn’t we?” because we simply CAN’T without a severe reaction. This forced us into learning how to handle things naturally, and we’ve managed thus far successfully (beta-strep for me, various colds/flus for everyone), thank the Lord. Grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano, and our Cold Kicker Elixir usually do the trick. I’m eternally grateful none of our 3 kids has ever had an ear infection.

    We also use homeopathic remedies for vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers – we’ve had excellent success with them.

    1. For the vomiting and diarrhea, is there a homeopathic combination sold, or do you choose a specific remedy for the symptoms? I prefer the combinations because I never can decide on the remedy, especially with young children who have trouble verbalizing symptoms. I haven’t run across a GI combination, but would like to have one on hand!

      1. Meg @ Cracking am Egg

        We use separate remedies for each symptom. Ipecac for vomiting, belladonna for fevers, etc. I don’t know that I would use a combo – it’s one of the reasons I like homeopathic medicine so much – you treat very specifically. With my non verbal kids, we wait and observe symptoms anyway, before medicating.

      2. Cathy,
        The activated charcoal in my Naturokit includes both vomit and diarrhea on its list of symptoms to tackle, so I suppose that might be your “combo” deal? 🙂 Katie

  18. I just fought this battle yesterday…and gave in to the antibiotics:( Baby girl’s been running a fever for almost two weeks with a two day break. Pushing 103 often. Did what I knew how to, but we’re still kinda new to the all natural route. The dr. said it was viral and allergies and bronchitis. Was able to successfully treat her pink eye homeopathically though.
    I absolutely sympathize with your dilemma and hit my knees seeking G-d’s direction. It’s so hard to know what to do some times. I’m glad for your post. I needed to hear I wasn’t the only one:-) Hope everyone continues to get well and stay well. G-d bless.

  19. Wow! You have been through it! I feel your pain as we also struggle with staying on top of illness at our house. With my son’s lactose intolerance and allergies it seems like there is always something waiting to ‘get us’! As someone commented earlier, we find that using a nasal rinse, almost daily, as well as silver solution (we like Guardian and Silver Biotics which are not colloidal) helps combat infections and viruses. My son was clearly getting an ear infection and I followed the instructions on Guardian’s website for dropping the silver in his ear and the infection had subsided by morning. No antibiotics needed. If you are not familiar with this product, I highly recommend it for all sorts of ailments.

    Blessings to you as you continue to keep this blog going. I enjoy it so much.

  20. We are recent converts to real food and natural medicine, so it’s been an especially hard winter for us because we still have so much to learn! Baby got very sick twice: five-day fever and then swollen sealed-shut eyes a few weeks later. Natural remedies didn’t work, and our naturopath prescribed antibiotics even though he also hates giving them. On the other hand, we cleared up earache and sore throat in older kids with natural stuff as simple as onions. But I agree completely about the agony of those decisions. Thank you so much for sharing your spiritual lesson on here. I needed that too.

  21. What a beautiful and well-written post, Katie! Thank you so much for sharing this. The dilemma that a “crunchy” mama faces when her baby gets sick is a unique one and you described it so well. When my son was sick in the fall, I panicked and put him on antibiotics. He recovered in about a week. This time, armed with the knowledge I’ve gained since then, I fed him nourishing food and gave him as much extra love and attention as I could, and you know what? He recovered in about a week!

    So grateful your family is feeling well again. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  22. My heart aches for you when I read this. Oh, how I’ve been in this same dilemma so much these past two years with so many illnesses, especially ear infections. What a beautiful description of the heart of a mom! Thank you for sharing what you learned about suffering, it is truly redemptive and has an important place in our spiritual journey. Oh, and we deal with the antibiotics or not decision for ear infections for my little guy so often. We always start with garlic-mullien oil in his ears and see how things go first. I avoid them if at all possible, especially with the research showing that ear infections most always heal w/o them just about as quickly. Hope you get to feeling better this spring!

  23. Another thoughtful post, Katie.

    We are a natural remedy first family. At the first sign, we “hammer” at it. When one of our family members feels a bit yucky, we offer the remedies often. We favor herbal remedies because we can understand them.

    You sound like you were on the right track. Up the quantity/dose and frequency of dosing.

    Of course, you had the pressure of time and travel to balance. That’s big stuff.

    Here are our favorites:
    Oil of oregano is a favorite starting point…slather it on the back, bottoms of feet, shins, and chest. Adults can take it internally under the tongue or via gel-cap. Kiddos can handle topically or via the liquid that’s mixed with mint.

    Probiotics (in larger doses for diaharrea).

    Calcium lactate powder….for fever and general well-being. Part of the triad (with C and essential fats).

    Vitamin C (whole food). Available in different forms.

    Quercitin to stop drainage.

    So many options. We keep our remedies stocked. Right now, we’re dealing with pollen!

    Always pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance.

    1. I thought that kids could take oil of oregano internally too..we have 4 kids ages 6 down to 11 months and have been giving them 1-2 drops of at at different times and then having them drink lots of water. Have I been hurting them?

      1. Oh, it’s fine for kids to take it (oil of oregano) internally, Jennifer. It’s just unpleasant at first and some resist.

        1. I had just been concerned as I was reading all the posts…I had been putting the oil of oreganol directly into my children’s mouths and then giving drinks as opposed to diluting it in fluid. I really had to cry out to the Lord for peace the night that I read this because I was afraid I had really hurt my babies as I was trying to help them. (Especially my baby that isn’t even a year.)

  24. it’s been a bad winter for sickness over here too! my 4 year old just finished an antibiotic for a severe sinus infection-i was hoping it would clear up on it’s own, but then her eyes swelled shut-eek!
    they gave her a white liquid, which was an amoxicillin base but it had something stronger added to it too. it did work, and I’m really hopefully we’re done with being sick for a while-of course i had to go and break my hand earlier this week :0

  25. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    I have not had to make this type of decision yet, at least not with my kids. We’ve had situations with my husband where we wondered, but he is an adult and can help me make that call. He can tell me exactly how he is feeling and whether or not he feels comfortable taking any drugs (the answer has, so far, been no).

    We’ve studied up heavily on alternative remedies and we keep many in the house. We have the Naturokits basics, we have a few homeopathic remedies beyond the kit, we have arnica salve, we have grapefruit seed extract, we have several essential oils, we have coconut oil, we have collodial silver…. I feel confident that we could handle just about anything with this combination of remedies.

    My daughter’s had a minor cold for a few days now — really rare for her — and I upped everyone’s dose of FCLO and gave an herbal formula from Trilight to everyone too. My husband and I had it “in passing” but really not much to speak of, and my son (for once) didn’t get it. It’s weird, he usually gets EVERY cold that comes around but nothing else (we all got stomach flu — not him).

    Natural healing is something you kind of (unfortunately) have to know about BEFORE you need it. But, I’ve always felt very confident in trusting my instincts and my childrens’ bodies and they have never been too miserable. So far. That could change, but…at this point we’ve neved used or needed any drugs.

    1. Hi I would like to know what vitamins or herbs do you buy from? Because I tried ingesting 2 drops of essential oils and I felt my vision blurry and my chest tightening.

      1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

        I am really behind on comments, but you definitely want to do some research before taking EOs internally. Almost all sources say NEVER to do it, and only some brands claim to be ultra “pure” and that it’s okay – but others would disagree. I’m beginning to shy away from taking any internally myself…
        🙂 Katie

  26. I hear and second your comments ~
    I honestly don’t have much to add… except when we do take antibiotics, I have found that if we take Shaklee’s Optiflora (a probiotic) we have avoided the diarrhea and upset tummies… however, if I miss a day of giving it, the diarrhea begins. Hope this helps… thank you for your heartfelt post!

  27. Interesting you should post this. My still-breastfeeding 13 month old son ran fevers of 104.7-105.2 two weekends ago. We got him in with the pediatrician Monday and it was strep, so he was given antibiotics. I hated to give them, but did so while wondering if there were any natural remedies that really worked on this. We will be doing heavy duty probiotics now that he’s done, in addition to his daily yogurt and the breastfeeding.

  28. Pam, Did you use only water and the oil of oregano in the neti pot? Or did you go ahead and put the the baking soda/salt packet in with it?

    Two winters ago I used a neti pot a lot, and one time I decided to be frugal and not use the packet of stuff. It burned *soooo* bad, and I thought my head was going to either burst into flames or explode! It was THE WORST pain I have ever had in my sinuses behind my eyes. Never again!! 🙂

    If you didn’t include the packet, that might have been the problem. If you did, then I guess oil of oregano isn’t supposed to go in our sinuses 🙂

    1. You know, Diana, it was back in the fall and now that you ask me, I’m not really sure. I’m thinking that I probably didn’t use the packet with it. Maybe that was the issue. But, since you experienced the same thing that my son did – it’s not a risk we’re willing to take again, either way. So glad your head didn’t explode! Thanks for the reply.

  29. I’m glad Paul’s fever finally broke and that you were able to learn something from the experience anyway. I am curious how you used the oregano oil. My son was dealing with sinus infections, and not wanting to go the antibiotic route (the netti pot wasnt’ cutting it this time) – I went to the health food store. They recommended that I put a couple of drops of oregano oil into the netti pot and have him try that. He is 10 and started horrible crying from the pain. His face was blood red, and his head hurt so bad he thought it was going to explode. It really freaked me out. And then, he started throwing up from the pain. I can count the times in his life on one hand that he’s thrown up. It was really scary and I thought I was going to have to take him to the ER. Needless to say, I’ve been leary of oregano oil every since. If you wouldn’t mind sharing, how do you use it?

    I hope your family is finally on the up-swing. :0)

    1. oops, Pam, I tried to make a reply to your comment but it posted as it’s own comment instead of linking to yours. see below for comment 🙂

    2. Pam,
      Yikes!!! I did put it in a vaporizer, with no ill effects other than the place smelling like pizza for a few days, and I also gave him 1-2 drops in orange juice or with cod liver oil on a spoon a few times/day.

      Your poor little guy! That’s why this stuff is just. so. scary. sometimes.

  30. I confess I didn’t have time to read the entire post, but I’m seeing people talk about Strep. I believe I had strep a couple months ago. I can’t know for sure because I didn’t go to the doctor for diagnosis. But all the symptoms checked out. Anyhow, I sing the praises of Colloidal Silver. I gargled with it (and swallowed of course) a couple times a day. And along with lots of broth and vitamin C, and a few other immune boosters, I was much better within a couple days. It broke my fever in a couple hours! I figure, give it a try and then go for the big guns. So sorry for the hard times!

  31. My daughter was diagnosed with reactive airway disease/severe asthma at 2. We spent much of her 3rd year in and out of the hospital (including 2 ambulance rides because of severe asthma attacks) and seeing specialist after specialist. She was on so much medication – constant steroids, nebs, daily maintenance meds, rescue meds…and the doses kept increasing. We were told it would be a
    lifelong condition for her. I was petrified that we were going to lose her. How could they keep increasing the doses, giving her more and more meds? Something had to give. I prayed about it, and really felt led to contact a chiropractor. He diagnosed her with a dairy allergy, got her started on LOTS of adjustments, herbs, acupuncture. My family is VERY mainstream…I was criticized constantly about trying something new. But I knew traditional meds were not helping. Fast forward 3 years…my daughter is med free. We did not have to use a single medication at all this year. We treat her with some daily herbs. She does get a tight chest when she gets sick, but we have her adjusted, increase her herbs, and her body is able to fight off the attack. I have had a LOT of self doubt during this journey – there are definitely many times when I have felt unsure about not giving her traditional meds (and certainly we have used them over the past 3 Years – and would do so now if she needed them) but overall I looked to the Lord to lead me and give me a sense of peace. We are now on the very crunchy side (but still the black sheep of the family! ) 🙂

      1. We have a product by Nature’s Sunshine called ASTHMA that we use as her “rescue” medicine. A few drops under her tongue every 15 minutes until the attack subsides. We also treat her daily with antronex, from Standard Process, and PulmaCo, from Mediherb. We also give her an extra 1/2 dose of the PulmaCo
        During a flare up. Honestly, though, we have had to use the rescue meds less and less. I can kind of tell when she is getting ready to have an attack at this point, and we try to head it off. We keep her chiropractor visits frequent to keep her lungs open, too. We do keep a neb and a supply of steroids in the house in case the herbs aren’t cutting it.

        1. I am curious on the dosage of antronex? My one year old has an awful chesty cough which we have been to the pediatrician for and against my better judgment put her on steroids (albuterol) and antibiotics (Zpack). None of this seems to be working. She has coughing fits until she throws up :(. Antronex has worked for me but I didn’t want to give her any until I knew the proper dosage. How much would you recommend?

  32. Yeah for oil of oregano! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I feel exactly the same way when one of my children is sick. I usually do fill the prescription, but don’t always use it. It does depend on how sick and miserable my child is.

    Love the thoughts about poop too. My 7 year old gets tired of me asking about his. 😉 He did ask me the other day though, Mom, are you a doctor? I said, why? Because you know so much. Warmed my heart. 🙂

  33. Kim @ Fishbowl Living

    What a thought-provoking post. We’ve been doing James MacDonald’s “When Life Is Hard” Bible study and it’s so humbling to see how God uses our suffering and trials to mold our character. I don’t like the thought that my children’s suffering might serve a unique purpose in our lives, especially when all I want to do is make it stop. But, that place of suffering helps us look to Him and remind us that His grace is sufficient because His power is made perfect in our weakness. Thank you for this post.

    1. Isn’t James amazing!? I listen to him a lot and always glean so much from his teachings. God is using him in such a great way.

  34. I too was wondering about garlic oil as a treatment for ear infections, because we have used that sucessfully every time our kids say their ear hurts–we give them a dose in the offending ear, and every time but once their pain was gone the next day.

    “recipe”: a little extra virgin olive oil
    –crush a little raw garlic in it (be generous!)
    –let steep for about 10 minutes
    –have the child lay down with the hurting ear up
    –use a dropper–i just use a spoon–and drop some of the oil–not the garlic– into the hurt ear
    –have the child lay like that for about 15 min–or we do it before bed
    –you can then let the excess oil run out of the ear onto a rag, but don’t wipe out the residu inside
    –save the garlic and oil for dinner the next night! ; )

    The one time the garlic did not help was the time my 5 year old had double-pneumonia, scarlet fever, and a raging ear infection all at the same time! So sorry it happened to your kid too, Katie!

    I also was sick a lot this past year, and on the recommendation of a friend went gluten free–and I must say I did heal much more quickly when I did. And my friend who is GF does not get sick much.

    1. Over thirty years ago when I was first learning about natural remedies and real food, we were dealing with ear infections and fevers in one of our young sons. Let me say that it is so much easier treating oneself than one’s child! I was still learning so we would take him to the doctor, get the diagnosis and then go home and treat the ear infection naturally, then go back for the recheck (minus having given the antibiotics). All clear.

      Some things I learned:
      * Onion poultices are extremely effective for pain and congestion, for ear or chest congestion.
      * It’s advisable to always treat both ears with the garlic oil, not just the infected ear.
      * Vitamin C, which I had already been using myself in large doses for allergy relief, was very effective for ear infections and colds, as well as allergies.
      * I have found nothing more effective for fever than catnip enema. Or, for the faint of heart, catnip or yarrow tea.
      * There is always so much more to learn!

      1. What kind of vitamin C do you use? I was looking for something natural and everything I found was full of corn syrup, fructose, and other odd things. My daughter told me to skip it and eat an orange.

        1. I honestly don’t remember what I used for a vitamin C for our boys back when they were little. (That was over thirty years ago!) I know that it didn’t contain any corn syrup, fructose, etc. A quick look at vitacost website yielded a liquid C by Twinlab that might be a good one. I am also a fan of Hylands vitamin C for little ones.
          For myself, I take a Quercetin C that Twinlab has. It is not citrus based. When I was dealing with intense allergies years ago, I used vitamin C that was from sago palm, which is non-allergenic. That, of course, would work for children as well.

    2. How ironic, as our whole family has gone gluten-free this Lent! We’ve used garlic oil in the past, but it just wasn’t cutting it this time. Thanks! 🙂 Katie

  35. Such a thoughtful post. Imagine for a moment what your family could be going through if you weren’t eating healthy, and if you didn’t make wise health choices.

    The Lord works in mysterious ways. This past winter, I had a horrible kidney stone combined with a serious UTI/kidney infection. I felt AWFUL for about 2 weeks and slowly recovered. I’m thankful my husband was unemployed (and thus home) during that time period and could help run our household. (Now that I’m healthy, I’m praying the right job come soon!). The lesson I learned in this was to apply the knowledge I have. Knowing what to do isn’t enough. We have to put it into practice.

    Just recently, my husband and 6 yo son have came down with a cold. Husband’s seems to have gone into bronchitis, son has a sinus infection. We are using garlic, TriLight Lympha, and LOTS of water (to keep systems flushed and thin mucus secretions). I’m watching and waiting. No fevers, both are slowly getting better, not regressing.
    We will go to a doctor if needed, but are prayerful that their bodies will heal.

  36. I know exactly how it feels to be in that position! Such dilemmas as mothers! My theory is to try to make the best decision I can with the knowledge I have (or can seek) at that time, then pray and have peace with it.
    Hope everyone in your home heals and that the sickies visit you no more!

  37. Thank you for this honest post, Katie. We’ve thankfully avoided most illnesses, and my children have never needed antibiotics, but I really don’t hesitate to give them tylenol or ibuprofen if they’re in pain from a fever or whatever- I consider it to be one of the perks of living in at the time that we do 🙂

  38. Jenn @ Dishrag Diaries

    Oh, this post made me cry! My heart goes out to you. Praying that you (and I, and all mothers) will learn to lean more fully on God as we care for the little ones He’s entrusted to us. I know so well that desire to NOT be the one making difficult decisions! Hugs.

  39. Well said and thank you so much for sharing. I can relate only with the anticipation of my little guy one day getting sick and struggling with the answer. Thank you for reminding me in advance the best way to respond. I am all choked up thinking about how that must have felt for you.

  40. I can totally relate to your post. I am a nurse and a herbalist and guess what – one day I got sick and had to rely on the help of hospitals, drugs and surgery to recover from it. And because of this I feel that no matter what the ‘remedy’, be it prayer, food, herb, homeopathic, drug, etc. (they all can work, anything can work), that they are all just tools that have been put before us to use as we deem necessary. When we become trapped by an ideology then our choices become very few and our outlook very narrow indeed – but if we broaden our idea of what is good, right and acceptable and just look all these methods, remedies and treatments as gifts, tools, possible options, then it gives us total freedom for then we realize we have all the choices in the universe at our disposal.

    So don’t feel bad or guilty about having to use antibiotics. Their purpose is to deal with potentially serious issues – which strep is – and gut microflora can always be replenished. Children’s bodies are amazingly resilient, and if they are well nourished to begin with, their capability to heal is all the stronger.

    The key to deciding what remedies or treatment paths to follow depends on several things: the seriousness of the problem; how confident you feel in your ability to care for a family member at home; knowing a few people (a friend, mom, auntie) and practitioners (a herbalist, naturopath, nurse or physician) you trust that you can call and ask support, help, assistance if there is a problem; and knowing which remedies or treatment options you have at your disposal and how to use them appropriately for the situation at hand.

    Y’know, it’s the ‘devil’ in the natural health movement ideology that sort of sells us the idea of the ‘evil other’ be it drugs, foods, diet plans, and that if we do this or that, follow these rules, eat these foods, take these remedies, etc., we will never suffer, we will never get sick, and our lives will be perfect – and unfortunately it’s a fantasy, a lie – though a well-meaning one. All this does is to make us feel bad about ourselves when we can’t follow the ‘rules’. Take it from an old lady who’s been there and done that, even if we do everything ‘right’ stuff still happens because that’s the nature of life :)) Hang in there, you’re doing okay. Hugs!

    1. Wow…I have been completely stressing out about antibiotic or natural remedy. What you said just made me realize I can and will make an educated decision because we do have amazing tools available to us which ever route I decide to go…Thanks!!!

  41. Ahh yes, I am so thankful that our awesome God is parenting our dear little ones better than we could ever! And has gifted us with the privilege and responsibility to join his work and trust in Him!

    On another note, are/were you using the garlic oil in his ear in addition to ingesting it? that is something that so far has helped all of our ear infections/potential ear infections. If we even suspect, we start putting a couple drops in.

    In any case, I’m glad you all are on the mend and that God has used this to draw you to himself!

  42. We’ve been quite blessed so far that aside from a few colds our twins have been really healthy. I, however, ended up with a nasty virus last week that’s resulted in an ear infection I’m currently battling. On Monday, after 3 days of pain I went to my doctor (naturopaths are so not on my insurance) and he prescribed an antibiotic but admitted that in other countries they’d just as soon ride it out. If the eardrum burst, it would heal and not leave me deaf (phew!). After some quick questions I narrowed it down to the main issue being that if it were to progress badly enough I could eventually end up with pneumonia. Since that seems a long way off I opted to hold on to the script and just let my body have a go at it. As of today’s it’s been a week. The pain subsided mostly by Monday night so now it’s just that all the fluid is annoying. Can’t hear very well in that one ear and the periodic pressure changes make me blink. LOL I do admit to relying on ibuprophen a bit too much as I hadn’t decided on a best alternative before getting sick and sure didn’t have it in me to decide after. Also, garlic oil, hot showers and a neti pot. My dr did say that it would likely take a few weeks for my ear to go back to normal so I’m content to wait. Also, my sinuses have pretty well resumed normalness so that helps me to feel that it’s going to work out in the end.

  43. Please use extreme caution when thinking about not taking antibiotics. True, they are not always the answer. Yes, they are over-prescribed. But they can be lifesaving.

    Heather (first comment) isn’t really that anecdotal. Complications from strep are real, dangerous and potentially life-long and/or fatal.

    Jen – be grateful you are only “ruined for life” from the antibiotics from a UTI.

    My daughter died from lack of antibiotics with a UTI. It was malpractice, not a deliberate decision on my part not to treat her. I would rather have had to deal with long-term consequences than visit a grave site for Christmas and her birthday. She was 8 months old.

    1. Oh, I am so sorry, Lorri. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am sure you would have given anything to have your daughter healed and back with you.

    2. Lorri, I am so sorry for your loss, and I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s all about perspective. Yes, natural cures are preferable to strong drugs, but when it’s life or death, I’d rather have the drugs.

      It’s not completely the same, but I am the mother of a stillborn son, so I can understand the horrible ache of losing a child and the frustration of living in a world where others don’t understand what that’s like.

    3. Lorri,
      My heart is with you today; what an awful, awful blow for your family. You’ve shared an important reminder with all of us, but certainly one I wish you never would have had to learn about. I can’t imagine what you went through and continue to go through.

      May God grant you peace and healing, Katie

  44. Betty Burchett

    Beautifully written article. My heart was full as I read it. You could have been writing about our experiences or the experiences of many other families. Others watch us dose our families with garlic, oregano, thieve’s vinegar, & healthy real food, then when one of us gets the sniffles or worse, they gleefully proclaim, “see it doesn’t work!” This is the truth…there is NO sure fire way to prevent all illness. Because the world is corrupted by sin, there is disease in this world and no-one is immune to it. There are many ways to deal with it and what you described is the best way…prayer, natural methods, then medicine. For certain cases such as the strep throat, I’d say prayer and then conventional medicine. Strep is dangerous and certainly can cause life threatening heart problems. My oldest ended up in ICU recently because of having strep throat even though he was on antibiotics. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I love your site.

  45. Local Nourishment

    We have had a rough winter as well, with a cold that kept coming back over and over. Hubby started showing symptoms of an ear infection. I asked him to let me treat it naturally, but he wanted the “magic bullet” pills. 10 days later he was no better and the doctor sent him to a specialist who put him on two different antibiotics plus steroids. 8 days later now, he is still no better.

    What is particularly frustrating about this is that he has autoimmune disease, and taking antibiotics causes his body to attack itself. These attacks can last years. Keeping my calm, my mouth shut, and my heart in prayer has been by far the biggest challenge of this winter.

    1. Local Nourishment

      BTW, hubby just got back from a follow-up and they have him on two different antibiotics now, plus a second course of steroids. This is really becoming disconcerting.

  46. So timely! I’m sick of being sick this winter. This is my second cold and I had the flu one time. I’m still breastfeeding and I swear that must be what keeps LO healthy as he hasn’t had either.

  47. Oh, my. This is so unbelievably close to home. I hope you take heart, knowing that there are other moms out there — those of us who want to avoid antibiotics at all cost — who are still faced with the paralyzing fear of having a very sick child and not knowing the best thing to do.

    We, too, do everything we can on the front end, to build immunity (real food, probiotics, etc). But we have been so sick this year!

    My kids get strep (ever noticed how some kids get it, and some never do?). My son gets it chronically — and while it’s so scary, I always had this feeling that the vicious cycle would continue if we kept doing antibiotics.

    I’ve treated his last few infections with essential oils, successfully. I’m not to the point where I’ll glumly claim that we’ll never need antibiotics again, or that I think he’s getting stronger each time we bypass antibiotics. Only time will tell, and at this point all I know is that God is teaching me more about being less of a know-it-all when it comes to my kids’ health (!).

    My husband often chides me for the guilt I tend to take on myself, that I take full responsibility and feel a failure when my kids are sick. That if I was doing enough, they would never fall ill. I’m obviously such a sucker for a superwoman complex ; )

    Thanks for writing about this condundrum — I think it helps all of us to be more understanding of others who are faced with straddling the divide between natural and conventional medicine.

  48. Jen @ Oh no! I really do need to eat my vegetables!

    My whole family had strep a number of years ago – it was awful. Especially when you have 9 people all cranky and tired and someone needs to do household chores. We never too anti-biotics, but kicked it with lots of garlic (kyolic and raw) goldenseal, C, and echinacea. Goldenseal is kick-butt stuff. Saved me from losing my voice many winters when I was working with tons of kids. Oil of Oregano is amazing too, as is grapefruit seed extract. Only tricky part is safety of those for smalll kids. You can always let them bathe in such remedies. I’ve learned now about really increasing the magnesium – A LOT! through the skin preferrably.

    I had a long slew of ever more dangerous anti-biotics when I was a kid over a UTI we didn’t know enough about how to treat. Ruined me for life because we didn’t know about probiotics and healing foods.

    With that in my past, anti-biotics are a last last last resort for me. But you have to discern, and if you go the herbal/natural route, really take a go into high gear. I remember taking stuff every hour along with epsom salt baths and tea and soup.

    1. I have to agree about the goldenseal. We use lots of garlic too, but goldenseal is always my go to for strep. I haven’t taken antibiotics for strep in about 10 years. Goldenseal kicks it in two days for me. It works the same with my kids.

  49. I think you’ve written a wonderful and thoughtful post.

    I’m not a proponent of jumping immediately to antibiotics. EXCEPT and there is a big, fat, giant, hairy except in the case of strep infections.

    I missed a case of strep throat in myself and consequently developed joint pain which I dealt with for an entire year because of the allergy I developed. Thankfully I didn’t suffer any heart damage. Yes, I know I’m an anecdotal case, but I’m not alone. My uncle’s heart was damaged by rheumatic fever.

    The fever I had following the missed bout of strep was quite possibly the most pain I’ve ever been in, including labor.

    There are times when it is wise to let the body do what it knows, but if you are dealing with strep or recurrent strep, the consequences can be severe.

    1. I agree. Recurrent strep is nothing to mess around with, at all. Strep is a stealth-y infection. I would nip it in the bud when I could.

      My friend’s husband had a heart attack from strep that made it to his heart, in his early 30’s. Luckily, he lived.

      Once you are done with the antibiotics, just keep his immune system up, push the probiotics, and he should be fine. Don’t let the scare tactics on either side scare you and force you to make a fear-based decision (heart attacks or joint pain from strep vs. autoimmune/chron’s from antibiotics). Always go with your gut (no pun intended, being serious here!

      I honestly don’t think it is practical for a person to NEVER take antibiotics in their childhood or lifetime. Oil of oregano and some of those other powerful natural remedies will wipe out your gut flora, just like drug antibiotics will. Some of my herbal blends have warnings on them, to consume probiotics if I take the product for more than 7-14 days.

      So the key is just to pick up and rebuild the gut flora, after using whatever killing tool you needed to use. That is my two cents. I had to take tons of antibiotics for Lyme, so I am an old pro at being over-medicated. There are worse things than antibiotics.

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