The Cold/Flu

It has been more than a month since J was sick – he had fever, runny nose and cough. These symptoms, after going off, came back again and again for the past 6 weeks. Poor J was on lots of medication and antibiotics until his face look pale.

He missed half a month of preschool, and now with his playgroup having one toddler down with hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD), I am even more reluctant to let him go to school. To backtrack a little, J started Playgroup in Sep and had since caught virus and bugs there. He never had a major bout of cold or flu before, and this illness caused him to lose weight. He is already quite skinny given his height is in the 90th over percentile.

Grabbling with medication is certainly agonising and J is anti-meds (or rather, anti-bad tasting meds). Going to the paediatrician would be preferred for the better-tasting concoctions, but at a premium, of course. The GP with paediatric practice offers a more affordable package, at the expense of drugs that were not child-friendly. I even bought J to TCM clinics in my desperate attempt to get him healed. However, he could not be persuaded to take the Chinese medicine. It was a wasted trip.

In the end, I bought J to another GP (known for his strong medication as informed by a friend), and went on a week-long dosage of antibiotics. His symptoms did abate somewhat, but not totally. The scary thing is that once he was of his meds, the rosy colours in his cheeks came back. The last doctor I seen recommended that I start bring J to the pool two to three times weekly to strengthen his lungs. I know this is going to be taxing on me, given that I do not live near a swimming pool. For his health, I will try my very best. He also advised me to cut off diary products (gasp) and “instant” food. I am gradually weaning J off cow’s milk and starting him on goat’s milk. In fact, I gave him pure goats milk without mixing in his usual formula and he was fine with it. The downside is the cost – goats milk is super duper expensive.

Although somewhat apprehensive, I’m now determined not the let J take any more medication. I have started bringing him to Herbal Basic TCM, a clinic that specialised in paediatric treatments related to cough, rhinitis and sinusitis. The clinic seems to have a constant flow of young patients, perhaps having similar problem with J. I am very worried that he may get asthma and weak lungs like me.  As J is resistant to treatment as he is awfully slow to warm up to new things and experiences, we only did the tuina (Chinese massage) and nose spa. As agreed with the doctor, he would not be receptive to the light therapy to soothe his cough as he would not even lie down *sigh*.

After two sessions, his runny nose and cough did appear to have lessen. I’m planning to bringing him there as long as my schedule allows and if I can get an appointment slot. In terms of cost, I spent about $25 on return taxi fare, and around $40-$50 for the sessions. Pricey for long-term management, but to me, anything to help my little boy get better and avoid long-term complications.

I am also giving vitamin C to him daily and up his fruits and vegetables intake whenever possible. It is a blessing that he likes both. I understand the anxiety and stress that parents go through with a sick child, so any sharing on positive experiences in illness management and prevention would be much appreciated. I will update again on the efficacy of the nose spa and tuina after a few more sessions.

Meantime, I must stay strong and healthy and try not to feel fatigue.



    • J’s nasal congestion did improve after 3 day treatment. I did not bring him for longer term treatment I.e. Once a week, as I am not always able to take vacation leave. Nevertheless, he gets the bug quite frequently so we went back again the following month, for me, I just hope to relief his symptoms so that it’s more bearable. Effect may be different for individual cases depending on the underlying ailment. If it’s allergy, then long term treatment might be impt. If cold, likely that still need the cold to run its course.

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