MANAGING HEALTH IN OUR LARGE FAMILY
is part of the Write 31 2017 Challenge.
Read 31 Days of Life in a Large Homeschooling Family for more details.
Healthcare in Singapore isn’t cheap as we all know. So, you can imagine what healthcare can cost for a large family. That plus allergies mean managing health in our large family can be rather challenging.
So how do we manage health in our large family?
Well, prevention is better than cure for sure. Sounds idealistic but we do try our best not to fall sick. Because once someone in the family falls sick, it is basically a domino effect here.
But, since we live in such close proximity with each other, we share bedrooms and study, it is rare this has worked though! Keeping it real!
By the way, do you also roll your eyes majorly when the doctor says things like “You need to separate the sick child from the rest of the family?” Like I have a mansion izzit???
Or better still when I am the sick one, “You need to sleep it off.” Yep, sure doctor, sure.
I remember one dermatologist telling me not to cook or wash dishes when I was attacked by a very bout of eczema on my hands. I laughed. Even his own nurse laughed and said, “Aiyoh, dr! Not everyone has a maid you know?”
Medication and me
If you know me, you will know that I really, really prefer not to take any medication for common ailments if I can help it. Yes, antibiotics are lifesaving and so is Panadol when the head is pounding relentlessly.
But that is not my first choice. Instead I will share what I use for our family.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nor am I trained in any medical stuff. I am just a mother trying her best to keep her family healthy and strong.
Sleep and rest
The first thing I try to do is make everyone rest as much as possible. Sleep and rest become top priority.
This is the next critical thing. Drink and drink and drink some more water. Preferably warm water. Not soda, not juice and not tea (unless it is rooibos or chrysanthemum tea), and definitely nothing milky as dairy increases mucous and phlegm formation in our bodies.
Avoiding sugar is a must when sick as sugar does depress the immune system. But I also know it is hard to monitor when the children are out. If they really want something sweet fruit is a good option.
We will increase our intake of Vitamin C. When having a sore throat or bad bout of flu/cold, I will make all of us take 1000mg of Vitamin C every 2 hours. Yes, you read that right.
We take Pure Planet Amla from iHerb.com (You can use the code LIM018 to get a 5% discount). But any brand will do. Just check that the ingredient list that it does not have sugar listed as one of the top 3 ingredients! I would avoid artificial sugars as well.
Kiwi fruit is high in vitamin C if you want to go natural.
We do add garlic to our food but when sick that is obviously not enough so I give them garlic capsules. 1 capsule every 2 hours with the 1000mg of Vitamin C. We take the Kyolic brand.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Not grapefruit extract. But grapefruit SEED extract. It is bitter. No matter how you disguise it, it is bitter. So, I bought empty capsules from iHerb and drip GSE into them.
Depending on the age and weight of the child, I give 10 to 18 drops three times per day. For at least a week and then I would taper it down to twice a day and then nothing. It is supposed to work like antibiotics without the side effects.
We use Nutribiotic Liquid Concentrate Grapefruit Seed Extract and put them into Now Foods, “1” Gelatin Caps.
Zinc helps with healing. So I give them zinc twice a day for the duration of their illness only. You want to be careful with zinc. Long term intake of zinc depletes our copper stores. But generally, I only give when the children are unwell.
We use Jarrow Formulas Zinc Balance.
Pee Pa Gao and Manuka Honey and Coconut Oil
For sore throats, we have found these (used alone or in combination) to help. The sick child get to choose the one they prefer. Pee Pa Gao and Manuka Honey can be easily found at Chinese Medical Halls as well as Unity or Guardian Pharmacies around the island. For coconut oil, we like Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil or Garden of Life’s Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. We like these 2 brands because of the taste factor. The other cheaper brands taste awful when you have to take the oils neat. But your family may be less fussy then you can just buy any brand you like or is convenient to get hold of.
That’s what I use when we fall sick.
You will notice I did not mention essential oils at all. Many of my naturally-minded friends swear by them. I have not found them effective for us. Except Lavender for burns. And tea tree oil for pimples.
I recently read that one can become sensitised to the oils. So just be careful you do not overdo it if you are using it. Remember, just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is safe. Poison Ivy is natural.
What about medication?
Yes, I will give Panadol if the fever is uncomfortable enough to cause a headache or if the throat is super painful. But fever is not the enemy here. A low grade one for someone without a history or seizures is actually good for the body. It kills off the bacteria and virus causing the illness.
I also give antihistamines and over-the-counter nose drops to relieve congestion of our noses.
But I almost never give cough mixtures/syrups. They are totally ineffective! The only “good” thing about them is that it knocks most of us out so we can sleep despite the coughing. But then, the side effect is grogginess.
And of course, last but not least, whether we choose to go all natural or use a mixture of medication and vitamins, we always pray for healing for the sick and protection for the well.
And that is how we have largely avoided taking unnecessary medication and kept our health bills down. That and a large dose of God’s mercy!
It is really cheaper to stay healthy than to get sick. And less stressful for everyone!
I hope you found something helpful in this article. Do share this post with your friends if you think this can help them care for their family!
Gatekeepers of Our Children’s Health
Slaying the Eczema Monster
My 7 Birth Stories
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