I'm generally pretty careful on this blog about my opinions on things. I will start off by reminding everyone that I am no doctor, I'm "only" a Mama, partner, friend, lover of natural medicine, and avid essential oil user. We rarely get sick in our house. We almost never go to the doctor. We've been incredibly lucky to never have conditions, illnesses, or anything more serious than the flu, colds, and occasional injuries. I know this isn't the case for all, but I firmly believe there is a time to go to the doctor and a time to ride it out. I hate going to the doctor. I hate taking my kids there more than myself, simply because hospitals and doctors' offices are so germ-ridden. You are almost sure to pick something up, especially if your immunities are already down. Little hands like to touch everything. As long as you have a healthy person to watch over you, let your cold or flu run its course at home.
Remember you have the most amazing tools right at your finger tips. Any local health food store has a wide array of homeopathic medicines that are great for fighting sickness. We love our Oscillococcinum. We have doses of this for big people and little in our "medicine" cabinet at home, always available. We have some homeopathic remedies that we use for coughs, gas, belly aches, cramps and other common ailments that arise from time to time with school-aged children. We also use a lot of tinctures, teas, herbal remedies and food to keep us healthy. Garlic, onions, broth, citrus fruits, & honey are all foods we keep our winter home stocked with. Even dark chocolate is said to aid a cough - who wants to deny that?
Remember how I said I was careful in that first paragraph - well I have a really strong opinion about the flu shot - and I'm about to stray from that careful space. The most 'wonderful' time of the year has arrived. Colds abound, flus abound, and flu shot ads are flying around like CRAZY! So many health professionals recommend it, every radio station is talking about where you might track one down, elderly and pregnant mamas get first dibs - to be completely honest it makes me cringe.
I have only had the flu once - that I'm aware of. I lost 15 pounds in a week and laid on my mom's couch motionless - I couldn't even call myself into work - I missed a week of classes (I was in college); I checked out. When I felt well again I had no idea how much time had passed. My mom didn't take me to the doctor - for which I'm grateful - but I'm pretty sure that was the flu. I don't have time to be knocked down like that these days. You think when you are college you are 'so busy' but when you have kids you are so busy!
What does this shot protect you from? Here is what the CDC says. Here is something else I found on their site. "Findings from early data suggest that this season’s vaccine so far is reducing the risk of having to go to the doctor for influenza by about 60% for vaccinated people. The data are published in “Early Estimates of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness — United States, January 2013,” in the January 11, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report."
What I gather from this is that you can get a shot and flip a coin. Or, you can not get a shot and boost your immune system during these months. Injecting bits of the past flu viruses that have passed through our country and possibly getting sick, from that action alone, seems asinine. Maybe you'll get the flu. Maybe you won't. Maybe you'll get it because you got the shot. Many people, I personally know, have told me that they got the shot and were sicker that season than they've ever been in their lives.
There is no guaranteed protection. This also comes from the CDC: "Flu viruses are constantly changing so it's not unusual for new flu viruses to appear. CDC analyzes influenza viruses that are circulating each season to see whether they are like the viruses included in that season's vaccine. This so-called “antigenic characterization” data is published weekly in FluView. So far, most of the influenza viruses that have been analyzed at CDC are like the viruses included in the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine. However, some influenza B viruses that have been analyzed by CDC do not match the influenza B virus included in the 2012-2013 vaccine." Maybe that shot won't give you the antibodies that you need, and you'll get a brand new flu.
Maybe you'll get the super flu! I don't want that for you, or your kids.
Here are my little loveys...I'll take any opportunity I can get to throw a photo of them in. Oooh - How about smack dab in the middle of this sick blog post?
Oh man, aren't they cute?!
Here is what we've been doing the past 2 weeks. We got a letter from the school saying last "Tuesday 49 children called in sick". I can tell my boys are right on the brink of coming down with a cold, but I've decided to keep it at bay for now. We've upped our doses of Vitamin C, ever so slightly. We're taking Vitamin D, and have been since the sunshine doesn't show her pretty face as frequently during the fall/winter months. We're taking pro-biotics since your gut is where many of these nasty things take hold and devour the rest of your body. And, we are using our oils A LOT! Every night at bedtime my boys each get Oregano on their feet, and in the mornings I've been applying it, when I can remember to. This has been keeping our bodies healthy and making us stinky. One of the Kindergarteners asked me "What smells so good?" when I dropped Mr. Gus off yesterday morning. I'm happy some people think Oregano smells good, I don't particularly care for it, but it is doing wonders for our bodies. In addition to be an anti-viral/anti-bacterial giant, Oregano also combats candida in the body.
Another biggie is going to bed on time. We're keeping everyone well rested in our family. Sleep is so important to your immune system. And, Water. Water is your friend. Drink a lot of it!
Make sure you do your own research, but the CDC shouldn't be your only source. There are many other places you can search for information on natural vaccines and natural flu shots. Google. And, please look into the effectiveness of the flu shot on your own. I personally think that with a 60% chance of still getting the flu, or rather, having to visit the doctor because your flu is so horrible, you should find some other resources.
If you get the flu, make sure you use your oils, it will shorten the length of your flu and ease your symptoms. If you aren't sure what to use, please message me, we can work together and make a plan.
There is my rant, most of it anyway.