Sam is sick. She’s been sick since Sunday evening. We were in holed-up in a hotel per her request for her birthday and we had a long list of food tripping venues lined up. She wanted Japanese for dinner so we went to a Japanese restaurant. Then, she didn’t finish her catsudon dinner. I even thought there would be leftovers of the California maki that she loves so much but Alex and Speedy attended to that.
By Monday morning, she refused to go down for the buffet breakfast. She said she just wanted ice cream. She hasn’t eaten a lot of solid food since. Last night, I cooked lugaw for her. She skipped much of the rice although she consumed a substantial amount of broth. She missed school for two days already and she doesn’t seem any better. At least, there’s no fever. She’s been doing her school project and she entertains herself with my camera which I finally relented to let her use. The bad news is that her voice is much hoarser today than it was yesterday. And she’s still not eating well. Time to bring her to the doctor. I’ve set up an appointment and we’re going tomorrow morning.
Normally, I’d think it’s just a bad cold. But we have a history of tonsilitis in my family (my brother’s tonsils had to be removed surgically when he was about 6) so I can’t take this too casually. It’s the age of bacterial and viral mutations. Well, strictly speaking, viruses and bacteria must have been mutating over the centuries and we probably just weren’t aware of it. But, these days, it can be alarming. When a drug is developed to fight a strain of bacteria, a new strain is discovered. When I was a kid, there was H-fever. Today, there is a difference between dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Not too long ago, there was just Hepatitis. Today, there is Hepatitis A, B and C. It has come to a point when it’s difficult to determine if a child has a simple cold or if the symptoms are part of a more serious problem.
I just don’t want to take risks with Sam’s health. Some mothers automatically turn to antibiotics — I don’t.
I’m not really a believer in antibiotics. My brother and I grew up in a house where antibiotics were as common as cough syrup. My mother’s answer to every little ailment was antibiotics. Doctors would tell us much later that our not-too-white teeth was partly due to large consumptions of an antibiotic called Papase with Tetracyclin during our childhood. And I suppose that’s just among the less serious effects.
So, I raised my kids without antibiotics — unless the pediatrician had clearly isolated the problem and the proper solution is to take a specific kind of antibiotic. And I learned early on that antibiotics work only against bacterial infections — not viral infections. Hence, no antibiotics for common colds and coughs. Fluids and rest are better alternatives to decongestants and cough syrups.
In Sam’s case, well, we need to know first if it really is just a common cold. I hope it is.