Posts Tagged ‘ flu ’

How a Lollipop Saved Me From A Trip to the ER

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

The other day Fia woke up complaining of an upset stomach. She was holding her hands over her belly button and crunched up in pain. This is very unusual for her. I knew something was up. But getting a toddler to pinpoint the exact spot and exact type of pain is tough. After some troubleshooting, I went on the computer. Appendicitis came up as a possiblity. She had had diahrhea earlier in the day, but no fever.

She continued to groan and hold her stomach, so I called the nurse at our pediatrician’s office. I explained the symptoms. She got concerned too that it might be appendicitis. It was late on a Friday afternoon and instead of getting us in, she said I should probably take her to the ER.

“Really?” I said, slightly dismayed at the thought of hauling Fia and Emmett to a city emergency room. “Can I just give her some Pepto-Bismal or toddler tums if there is such a thing?

“No, definitely not,” the nurse said. “You don’t want to give her any medicine right now because it could potentially mask the problem.”

Good to know, right? Something I wouldn’t have thought of.

Then she gave me a test to run on Fia that could help rule out appendicitis. She said if I could get her to jump on two feet several times, then it probably wasn’t her appendix. If she can only hop on one foot then the jury is still out. Luckily Fia still can’t jump on just one foot, so two is all we had to work with. I hung up the phone and asked her to jump. She was laying down on the couch crying.

“No mama, I can’t. My stomach hurts.”

“What if I gave you a popsicle? Then would you?”

“NO!” she cried. The only “popsicles” she knows are the Pedialytes. I think she is starting to catch on that those aren’t real popsicles….

“Well then, I think we have to go to the doctor,” I said gently.

It was then two things happened. She farted and perked up saying, “Do I get a lollipop?” (I usually give her an organic one after a doctor visit or during a shot.)

Bingo. Light bulb. She probably had gas pains. And she loves lollipops.

“I’ll tell you what,” I said. “If you can hop like a bunny across the floor, I’ll give you a lollipop.”

She immediately did. I had her do it several times. I think I heard a few more farts fall out during the jumps.

“Does your tummy feel better?” I asked.

“Yes! Now can I have my lollipop?”

I called the nurse back and we both felt relieved. Judging from her demeanor it was probably gas pains. But, the nurse cautioned, it could still be a bug. So keep an eye on her.

Sure enough, 30 minutes later, the vomiting began. However, I was actually relieved because it confirmed it wasn’t appendicitis. She also threw up on the bathroom carpet–this disgusting carpet that I’ve begged Phil to pull up (we are in a rental). Luckily I finally won my case.

So we accomplished a lot this day, all without medicine or a trip to the ER.

Just a lowly lolipop and bunny hops.


This post is sponsored by Little Remedies — makers of children’s medication without artificial colors, artificial flavors, or alcohol.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.


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Teaching Toddler to Blow Nose. Any Ideas?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Why aren’t children born knowing how to blow their nose? I know babies sneeze to clear their noses, but once past that stage, it takes years to get them to blow. And who out there has a baby who likes those bulb things?  When I use the bulb on my kids, they get so pissed, they cry harder, thus making more snot. So really in the mucus arena, I’m still just coming out even. Or in the negative.

A friend of mine said her mom gave her a tip on teaching her three year old to blow. Didn’t work with her. Figured I’d give it a try. Didn’t work with me either. In fact, I almost caught Fia on fire. The trick was this: have your child try and blow out a candle through their nose. Tell them to close their mouth. Fia kept opening her mouth and getting so close I got paranoid her eyelashes–or worse–would singe. So there went that idea.

In the meantime the snot just continues to get sniffed back up the nostrils. Swallowing that much snot certainly can’t be good for you either.

There has got to be a way. Any ideas out there? Did god/mother nature just forget about having this as an instinct when the human race evolved? I’m a bit baffled as to why this is learned behavior.

And if there isn’t a way, at what age can I expect my child to know how to do this?

Until then, I remain buried in a snot faucet…

Nose blowing picture via Shutterstock
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Germs Germs Go Away

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011


Shooting Germ Segment

I’m a germ phobe (read my blog on grout issues). I’ve gotten better but I do dig hand sanitizer. Right before I moved to LA, I was on a shoot with one of my best friends and her two daughters. They were superstars and I was so happy they agreed to be our guinea pigs. Here’s the video.

Staying Healthy At Home

As you can see, the shoot was about germs and keeping ourselves and our kids clean. A few highlights:

(note: the shoot was in conjunction with Better TV and sponsored in part by Sani-Hands, so what I learned was from the reps of the company).

Some of the top germ spots in your house are: your computer, your mouse and your cell phone (think about the iphone. Your fingers touch the same surface you talk into. It’s one of the reasons I stick with my blackberry. At least part of the front isn’t touched by my fingers).

And get this: your computer keyboard has 200 times more bacteria than a toilet sick. Gross. I could get sick right now thinking about it all.

Then there’s the usual: Doorknobs, light switches, countertops, refrigerator door handle, etc.

And even though you may not know it, you touch your face a lot during the day.

Here’s what else I learned on the shoot:

Hand sanitizer gel isn’t as effective as you may think (granted, this is the competing sani-wipes company speaking, but it kind of makes sense). You’d have to put a lot of gel in your hands to really kill all the germs. The pea or nickel size we typically use, while killing some germs, just more or less moves them around. I’m told the sani-hands wipes are more effective because they have the right dosage of germ killing power, plus the friction from wiping doesn’t spread the germs, but gets rid of them. Within 15 seconds.

I must admit, I carry little packets of alcohol wipes when I travel. Think about all the places germs linger: on airplane armrests, on remote controls, phones and light fixtures in hotels, steering wheels and stick shifts of cars. I know that many germs are important, and building up a good immune system is imperative to long term health and hygiene. But I do often wipe down some of the things I mentioned above.  The company we shot with gave me a bunch in travel size packets.

They came in handy during my barfing incident with Fia. However, I would have needed a gallon to do the job on that one.

Just figured I’d share. Flu season is nearly here. Fingers crossed none of us get it!


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