Adventures in Whooping Cough (Pertussis) X 5

AN ACTUAL EXPERIENCE, WRITTEN BY: ANONYMOUS.

DISCLAIMER:

This post isn’t about vaccines at all. I am not an expert. Go with your gut on all treatments. With pertussis, in my opinion, all options are on the table. Antibiotics to herbs, don’t rule anything out.

CLAIMER:

This post is about empowering yourself about pertussis (also known as whooping cough) sans factoring in the vaccine in your life.

THE INDIAN SUMMER

It all started at the beginning on last August…my 15 year old doesn’t feel so well. Little achiness, fatigue, sore throat, diarrhea. What the what? Why is she coming down with the flu at the beginning of August? I chalked it up to it being a weird summer for illnesses for everyone. I had a friend hospitalized with pneumonia in June and that wasn’t the only weird thing I heard, so……

Fast forward one week later. She had thrown up once, but seemed to have gotten over with it pretty quickly with no further symptoms, so I figured it was food poisoning or something until…..

cough….cough…cough.

A week later? Cough is worse.

A week (and a million herbs) later coughing and sometimes throwing up a bit with the cough.

I could no longer deny it. Pertussis. So, here is the breakdown of how I dealt (successfully) with…

THE BIG P

All cases are presented in the order that they showed up. All together I will have spent 4 months with this illness as my kids acquired it successively.

CASE STUDY #1

Age: 15

Gender: F

Interests: reading, blogging, piano, and being left alone – unless you are her friend, in which case let’s hang!

Illness pattern and treatment:

1. Phase 1:

  • First week of August: 2 days of flu like symptoms (body aches, threw up once, headache) = gave a combination of echinacea ang., goldenseal, licorice, and ginger (homemade, what I call xpac) every 4 hours. Also administered probiotics and byonia alba homeopathic.

  • Followed by 4 days of general good health=no treatment

  • Followed by 1 week of minor coughing= gave a comination of hops, valerian and wild lettuce (what I call Chillax) 3X/day – didn’t effect much.

  • 1 week of moderate coughing=more xpac and chillax, plus probiotic and fish oil. 3X/day Didn’t touch it much

2. Phase 2:

  • 1 month of heavy coughing sometimes resulting in throwing up just a bit when she’d cough too hard=oh my….the chillax, xpac, plus high doses of lobelia for the first two weeks. Lobelia is the go to herbs for breathing issues, coughing, etc. A year ago this daughter had pertussis and I caught it in the first three weeks, treated with lobelia and she threw up and was done. Which is why I was surprised she got pertussis again. Once you have it, your immunity to it is really really high. What I figured out, though, is that if you don’t go through the whole illness, you immunity to pertussis is low, hence she got it again. Did the lobelia work? No. Halfway through this phase I employed Sunbreeze, and essential oil combination of thyme, menthol, and cassia oil. Applied to the back of the tongue, or taken in the ‘gummy drop‘ form, it stopped the cough for a good long while, but didn’t get rid of it. I knew about Sunbreeze because it was the only essential oil I grew up with and my mom would use it to stop her incessant coughing.

  • Followed by 2 weeks of moderate coughing wherein she would struggle for breath about once a night, usually before going to sleep= noticed the coughing was always worse at night, would do the xpac, chillax, fish oil, probiotic routine about 3X/day still. When I was lax on doing the herbal routine, her cough would worsen significantly. The Sunbreeze was a constant companion for her as well. Seeing as she wasn’t contagious at this stage and feeling good otherwise, she would try to control her cough while at school, with friends, etc.

3. Phase 3:

  • 3 weeks of a minor cough=I backed off the herbs a bit. Her cough was mainly activity induced and isolated to right before bed and upon waking.

My Notes: Ironically, she got the illness the worst of all my kids. With her immune system more intact, I was a bit surprised by that. Minus the 2 days of flu like symptoms, the coughing was the only symptom of illness. During her 1 month of heavy coughing, she actually was treated badly by a good friend, who’s parents told her that it was through vaccination neglect that she acquired pertussis. That fully vaccinated friend got pertussis by the time my daughter was getting over it.

CASE STUDY #2

Age: 13

Gender: F

Interests: curling her hair, cooking, listening to music, and socializing

Illness pattern and treatment:

End of August: 3.5 weeks after case study number one got flu like symptoms, hers came on.

1. Phase 1:

  • 2 days of flu like symptoms (body aches, diarrhea, stuffy nose) = gave a combination of echinacea ang., goldenseal, licorice, and ginger (what I call xpac, you can buy a versionhere) every 4 hours. Also administered probiotics and byonia alba homeopathic. At this point, I didn’t think it was pertussis, because I have never read anything about pertussis being preceded by flu like symptoms. I thought Case #1′s flu like symptoms were a fluke, not a calling card, therefore my radar wasn’t up when Case #2′s pertussis started a similar way.

  • Followed by 4 days of general good health=no treatment

  • Followed by 1 week of minor coughing= gave a comination of hops, valerian and wild lettuce (what I call Chillax, you can buy a version here) 3X/day. At this point my light bulb went on – we have pertussis. I administered lobelia – didn’t effect much.

  • 1 week of moderate coughing=more xpac and chillax, lobelia, sunbreeze, plus probiotic and fish oil. 3X/day Didn’t touch it much

2. Phase 2:

  • 1 month of heavy coughing, no throwing up for her= the chillax, xpac 1-3X/day, plus lobelia every other day. The gummy Sunbreeze were her saving grace in this phase. She didn’t not cough as much as Case #1, but it was as severe when she did cough. For some reason, she could control it completely when around others, even without any herbal help.

  • Followed by 3 weeks of moderate coughing = she would struggle for breath about once a night, usually being wakened from a dead sleep – eyes would water and she’d panic a bit. When I was lax on doing the herbal routine, her cough would worsen significantly and she would wake twice a night struggling for breath. At this point she would have a coughing fit a handful of times per day, with her major 1-2 fits during her sleep.

3. Phase 3:

  • 2 weeks of a minor cough=I backed off the herbs a bit. There seemed to be no trigger or pattern for her coughing at this point, except it was worse at night.

My Notes: Minus the 2 days of flu like symptoms, the coughing was the only symptom of illness. She needed a lot of emotional coaching and reassurance with the 3 weeks of moderate coughing where she’d wake up in the middle of the night. Her illness was shorter than Case #1′s by a little over a week.

CASE #3

Age: 9

Gender: F

Interests: horses, cooking, American Girl Dolls and their knock off counterparts, playing with friends, being a tease.

Illness pattern and treatment:

End of August: 3.5 weeks after case #1 got flu like symptoms, hers came on the day after Case #2.

1. Phase 1:

  • 2 days of flu like symptoms (body aches, diarrhea, stuffy nose, throwing up) = gave a combination of echinacea ang., goldenseal, licorice, and ginger (what I call xpac, you can buy a version here) every 4 hours. Also administered probiotics and byonia alba homeopathic. At this point, I didn’t think it was pertussis, because I have never read anything about pertussis being preceded by flu like symptoms. I thought Case #1′s flu like symptoms were a fluke, not a calling card, therefore my radar wasn’t up when Case #2 and 3′s pertussis started a similar way.

  • Followed by 4 days of general good health=no treatment

  • Followed by 1 week of minor coughing= gave a comination of hops, valerian and wild lettuce (what I call Chillax, you can buy a version here) 3X/day. At this point my light bulb went on – we have pertussis. I administered lobelia – didn’t effect much.

  • 1 week of moderate coughing=more xpac and chillax, lobelia, sunbreeze, plus probiotic and fish oil. 3X/day Didn’t touch it much

2. Phase 2:

  • ​1 month of heavy coughing = the chillax, xpac 1-3X/day, plus my yeast x formula (you can find a liquid or pill version here) and elderberry syrup every other day. She hated the Sunbreeze and it didn’t seem to help her much anyway. She did not cough during the day hardly at all, but nighttime was the worst for her. About 2 times a night she would wake from a dead sleep unable to breath and while still asleep, run to the bathroom, throw up all the while panicking. Her eyes would water and she had a long recovery time from those fits – about 2-3 minutes of conscious slow breathing. She needed a lot of direction and coaching during her coughing fits. When I wasn’t diligent giving herbs, her coughing was more severe.

  • Followed by 3 weeks of moderate coughing = she would struggle for breath about once a night, usually being wakened from a dead sleep – eyes would water and she’d panic a bit, but no throwing up and it wasn’t ask intense as the previous month. During this stage, coughing during waking hours was completely gone.

3. Phase 3:

  • Currently into 1 week of no coughing.

My Notes: Minus the 2 days of flu like symptoms, the coughing was the only symptom of illness. Her illness was shorter than Case #2′s by a little about 2 weeks.

CASE #4

Age: 3

Gender: M

Interests: swords, Buzz Lightyear, sweets, and hugging.

Illness pattern and treatment:

First of September: 4 weeks after case #1 got flu like symptoms, and 3 days after Cases #2 and 3′s flu like symptoms came his.

1. Phase 1:

  • 2 days of flu like symptoms (body aches, diarrhea, stuffy nose) = gave a combination of echinacea ang., goldenseal, licorice, and ginger (what I call xpac, you can buy a versionhere) every 4 hours. Also administered probiotics and byonia alba homeopathic. At this point, I knew it was pertussis coming on.

  • Followed by 4 days of general good health=gave xpac, chillax, probiotics and fish oils

  • Followed by 1 week of minor coughing= gave a comination of hops, valerian and wild lettuce (what I call Chillax, you can buy a version here) 3X/day. Wouldn’t take the lobelia no matter how hard I tried. Hated the oil being applied, but would sneak the gummySunbreeze. Loved those.

2. Phase 2:

  • 2 months of heavy coughing = the chillax, xpac 1-3X/day, plus my yeast x formula (you can find a liquid or pill version here) and elderberry syrup every other day. Lots of Sunbreeze gummy‘s. Had major coughing fits about 6 times a day, and would throw up 5 out of those 6 times. Not a full vomit, usually just the last thing he ate. Would wake 1-2 times a night with a coughing fit, throwing up about 50% of the time at night. The throwing up was helped when he was downing the gummy’s, but not the coughing as much. Going out in public was always a dance. Always had an extra change of close and two gallon ziploc bags with me – one to catch the vomit, the other to put the soiled clothes in if I didn’t catch the vomit. Because he was still very active and feeling good through these two months, and the coughing would come out of no where, about half the time he threw up where ever he was, which meant everyone in the house got proficient at cleaning vomit out of the carpet. During this phase he, Case #3 and Case #5 (below) benefited greatly from nightly baths spiked with respiratory essential oils such as this blend and this blend. When they had their nightly bath, their coughing quantity and severity were about half of what they would be otherwise. I could always count on a huge coughing fit and subsequent vomit after eating refined sugar.

  • Currently into 1.5 weeks of moderate coughing = the throwing up and the severity of the cough has tapered off. Thank goodness. Rarely coughs during his sleep anymore, and has minor coughing fits about 2X/day now. Giving xpac, chillax and yeast x about every other day now.

My Notes: Minus the 2 days of flu like symptoms, the coughing was the only symptom of illness. His illness was the most physically exhausting of them all, but he handled it the best emotionally speaking.

CASE #5

Age: 6

Gender: F

Interests: Playing with friends, singing to herself, math, and playing practical jokes

Illness pattern and treatment:

Middle of September: 2 weeks after Case #4, she started with coughing.

1. Phase 1:

  • 1 day of diarrhea = for a month prior to this day, I had been giving her xpac, chillax, yeast x, probiotic, and fish oil daily, because I knew her pertussis was coming.

  • Followed by 4 days of general good health=gave xpac, chillax, probiotics and fish oils

  • Followed by 3 weeks of minor coughing= gave a comination of hops, valerian and wild lettuce (what I call Chillax, you can buy a version here) 3X/day. Wouldn’t take the lobelia no matter how hard I tried. Hated the Sunbreeze in any form, refused to take it. She would cough often – but not too hard – during the day, none at night. Concerned all her playmate moms.

2. Phase 2:

  • We are now in week 3 of moderate coughing= the chillax, xpac 1-3X/day, plus my yeast x formula (you can find a liquid or pill version here) and elderberry syrup every other day. Only once a day dose she cough somewhat hard, but doesn’t lose her breath, throw up or wake in the night. Took the essential oil baths with Case #3 and Case #4 nightly for about a month.

3. Phase 3:

  • Is around the corner

My Notes: I don’t anticipate her cough getting to bad considering she was heavily dosed with herbs and essential oil baths for a month prior to her exhibiting any symptoms.

THE TAKE AWAY

  • I hate this illness. I do, I do, I do.

  • BUT going through it completely almost guarantee’s we will not see it again.

  • Both my husband and I didn’t get it at all, and we both remember having a long term, intense coughing illness when we were younger (both younger than 10) – that’s some good protection. I can’t imagine being sick alongside my kids.

  • I can see why people wanted to eradicate this illness, but the benefit to having it is enormous. Having it now means likely not having it as an adult or elderly person, when your immunity might not be as good and the risks higher.

  • This illness was emotionally and physically exhausting with 5 kids, but doable.

  • I definitely wouldn’t want to see a baby with this. I would be more aggressive in treatment with a little baby and would likely seek out antibiotics as soon as my gut confirmed it was pertussis.

  • This illness confirmed the importance of breastfeeding. I really feel that having breastfed my kids for so long played a positive role in how well they handled this. My 3 year old is still nursing at night and I saw some therapeutic benefits from my milk coating his throat and gut.

  • The most effective thing with all of this was consistency in giving the herbs, giving the baths, and having the Sunbreeze. I wouldn’t want to be without the Sunbreeze.

  • Also, coaching and emotional support cannot be stressed enough. Coaching during coughing fits consisted of rubbing their back while repeatedly telling them to breathe and relax. Relaxation was the key to ending the coughing fit sooner. When the fit was over, giving them a hug and expressing sympathy seemed to be very helpful.

SLEEP – MY LONG LOST FRIEND

The hardest part was waking up 2-5 times a night helping a kid through their coughing fits, and in the case of my 3 year old of he’d throw up, I had to clean out his puke bowl or change sheets if I didn’t catch it.

In the middle of Case #3′s illness it would scare me if she woke up with a fit and I wasn’t there, so I moved her in my bedroom on the floor.

By this time Case #4′s coughing had been going on and started during the night, so he was in my bed so

I could help him sit up to cough and catch his vomit if possible.

With Case #3 and #4 in there, you know #5 wanted in on the action even though she wasn’t bad off, so in she came.

Shortly after that, Case #2′s mid night fits scared her enough she didn’t want to handle them by herself at night, so she moved in my room too.

Needless to say, the husband took about 2 nights of little sleep and 2 days of operating on little sleep at work when he decided it might be best to move out of the room until the kids are out. Bye bye sweet cheeks – see you in November! It’s actually been interesting adjusting to having ‘creative couple time’, so it hasn’t been horrible, but I am looking forward to getting my husband back.

I haven’t slept well since July – and I wasn’t even sleeping well then, given I would wake up occassionally with my 3 year old, or with a bad dream from my 6 year old.

I feel this whole thing winding down, but I’m waiting until mid-end November to call it gone and resume normal life at night. Before all the kids moved in my room, Case #3 woke up from a dead sleep unable to breathe and she rushed into the bathroom, panicked before I could get to her and hit her head on something and knocked herself out. She came to within 5 seconds, but it was enough for me not to want to repeat with any of them, so I want there to be a week of no coughing before I release them back to their own spaces. Ironically, forced sleeping in my room has cured them from wanting to sleep in my room. Prior to this, they were always begging to sleep in my room, and I turned them away a good 75% of the time. Now that I force them to sleep in my room 100% of the time, they are over it and can’t wait to get back to their own spaces. Even the three year old wants back in his toddler bed at the opposite end of my room. Who knew……

OBSERVATIONS

  • I live in a wonderful close knit neighborhood (about a 7 block square radius is what I am considering). I’d say 40-50% or more had pertussis, most didn’t know it. It went through my local area like wildfire and we weren’t the first nor the last to get it. I appreciated those who did not judge me and listened with open hearts and ears. I hope the fear that surrounds pertussis degraded some as a result of our neighborhood’s outbreak. No one died or was even hospitalized – yes, your body can do this!

  • All in all, I am glad my kids got it now. I would have hated to had a newborn or baby with it – the coughing is pretty intense. I am glad it didn’t happen in the middle of winter. I am glad it happened when I had a gob load of herbs on hand and I knew how to make most of them. I am glad we aren’t in some sort of other crisis in the midst of this.

  • The first 2 weeks or so is the contagious phase – the part with the flu like symptoms and early coughing. Luckily I kept my kids home and away from others – even when they were feeling well – just based on my gut feeling.

  • It is a super drag to be in public with a severely coughing kid because of the throwing up and also people look at you like you are committing a crime by taking them out. Lots of judgment.

  • Immunity is high once you have gotten the full blown illness. Getting rid of the illness in the middle of it may nor confer immunity.

WHAT WOULD I DO DIFFERENTLY?

  • I would have been more educated on pertussis. Even though I have been lightly studying this illness for the past 15 years, I read no anecdotal stories nor did I talk to anyone that had gone through it. I had no idea it could start off with flu like symptoms.

  • I also would have been more aware of other’s illnesses and listened for the coughing so I could start treating my brood before any symptoms appeared.

  • I would have treated them all earlier like I did with Case #5. Her pertussis was a breeze compared to the others.

  • I found out about the formula below too late, but I would have tried this:

DR. CHRISTOPHER’S WHOOPING COUGH REMEDY

  • To make this remedy you will need the following herbs: 1/2 ounce hyssop 1/2 ounce red raspberry leaves 1/2 ounce turkey rhubarb 1/4 ounce bayberry bark 1/2 ounce thyme

Simmer the first four herbs for 15 minutes in 1.5 pts. of distilled water. Pour this mixture over the thyme and steep, covered, for 30 minutes, then strain. Take approximately one tsp. of the concoction (more or less, depending on the patient’s age and severity of the cough), as needed.

ALSO: http://herballegacy.com/Whooping_Cough.html

Thyme and Mistletoe formula: 2 grams thyme 5 grams mistletoe infuse in 1 pint of water and strain. 1 tablespoon each hour as needed. For children adjust according to age.

Make a thyme infusion. Mix on part of the infusion with 1 part honey and give when the cough is troublesome.

Whooping Cough formula #2: 2 oz. Marshmallow Rott 2 oz. Thyme 2 Pounds Yellow D Sugar or 1 Pound of Honey 1 Quart Distilled or D-cell water

Simmer herbs slowly, covered, down to 1 pint, strain, press and return the liquid to the clean pot. Add the sugar or honey, and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and let simmer slowly for 5 minutes, skim as is necessary. Cool, bottle and keep in a cool place. Dosage: 1 tablespoon every 2-3 hours. Children: 1-3 teaspoon fuls accourding to age. Administration: Feed child fruit juices, especially pineapple, and keep off starchy, greasy and mucus forming foods. Improve the diet to accelerate healing and to prevent the condition from recurring.

Whooping cough formula #3 1 oz. black cohosh, tincture 2 oz red root, tincure (ceanothus americanus) 1 oz blood root, tincture 1/2 oz lobelia, tincture

Mix and shake well. 15-20 drops in honey water

IN A NUTSHELL

  • Lots of Sunbreeze oil and gummy’s on hand

  • xpac (Infection Fighter here)

  • chillax (Chill here)

  • Respritory essentail oils here and here

  • Probiotics

  • Fish oil

  • Lobelia

  • Nightly essential oil baths

  • Camp Pertussis in my room

  • Avoid refined sugar and milk as much as possible

  • The above formula

LAST WORDS

I never want to, nor do I expect, to ever see this illness again. I am glad it over with, so I never do see it again.

Vaccinated or not, educate yourself on this. You want to be prepared for this, ladies. Have remedies on hand.

See you never again, pertussis. You are the teacher I hated in high school, but learned a lot from.

#pertussis #whoppingcough #vaccines #herbs #essentialoils #immunity

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