"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

~Robert Frost

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sleepless in St. Maries

It was a looooooong night here in the Miles household last night -- at least it was for my little Hannah, and therefore also for me. Out of all our girls, Hannah is the one who catches every.single.thing that is going around. Sometimes it seems like she finally gets healthy and we're lucky if it lasts for a week before she's coughing or sneezing again. I know that there are lots of times she's healthy for a few months at a time, but in the middle of a long sick spell it's hard to remember. And winter is usually worse for her, which is proving true again this year.

Anyway, she has this terrible cough that comes and goes, and no matter how many times I take her to the doctor they always dismiss it with, "Her lungs sound fine, so here's some prescription cough syrup to help her sleep and you don't need to worry about it -- sometimes kids just cough." The codeine cough syrup doesn't seem to do a thing for her. Not only does it not help the cough, but it doesn't make her sleepy, which is a side effect they always tell me about that sounds like it would be wonderful for both her and me!

I have certainly tried other things for her as well. I searched high and low and found an all natural, honey based cough syrup. I make her warm honey-lemon tea, and give her fresh orange juice, as well as just lots of water. Night after night I've tried running a humidifier by her bed, using vick's vaporub on her chest, or helping her breathe warm steam. None of it seems to help her! So this is my cry for help...do any of you moms have tried and true tricks that help your children overcome a cough and get a good night's sleep?? Hannah and I would be so grateful for any ideas that might help her.

Last night she coughed so hard that it repeatedly made her throw up, at least 4 times throughout the night. She always is considerably better during the day, but I dread night time for her when she's like this. She trusts me completely and clings to me in the night...it is so humbling that she lets me comfort her, and such an honor that she wants me to hold her when her poor little body is being wracked like that. I want so badly to be able to do more to help her, and will gratefully try any suggestions.


  1. I use a tincture of lobelia for my kids it tastes awful but its better then coughing all night long and making her sick. what it does is it relaxes the throat which sound like might be hannahs problem as she coughs more and more it then gets more and more irritated. try using some when she starts to cough or before she heads to bed one dropper full in the back of the throat or put in a glass of orange juice. you might have to give it to her a few times if the coughing is real bad. also keep her immune system up with vitamines chewable vitamine C, Vitamine E, Vitamine D, Omega 3 oil. Get them in the gel form and have her chew them up. Way better for her then childrens vitamines. I also have heard that honey, water, and apple cidar vinegar works as well never tryed it as the lobelia always works for us. I hope you find something that helps her. Have you had the Dr. look at her throat maybe its that and not her lungs?

  2. I wish I had some great advice, but I don't :-(
    My kids have asthma, so our best attempts at getting through those dreadful nights are with a nebulizer or a trip to the emergency room! The one other thing we do is close the bathroom door, turn the shower on extra hot and get the bathroom all steamed up. Then bring in the little one and stand in the steam for a while. I don't know if this will work with Hannah's coughing, but it might be worth a try if you're really desperate! Will be praying for you tonight.

  3. Poor girl! Do you think maybe it is an itch in her throat that is giving her the cough? I have had that before, where it will make me vomit repeatedly due to my throat being what's making me cough. Even if it that was it, I don't really have any good ideas for you, since I just live and sleep on cough drops. As far as preventative, my midwife suggested vitamin d3 for all of us, especially during the winter months when we don't see much sun. In addition to a regular multi-vitamin, the kids take 2000 iu of D3 (it's chewable). Turns out the usda recommended level is only the bare minimum; having more than the minimum is healthier and gives your immune system a boost. I have only found it online or at the midwifery, not in stores. I have had us all on it for about 2 years, and I would like to believe it's helped :)

  4. It could be a food allergy. I know, sounds weird, but a food allergy knocks out the tummy where our immune system is making us susceptible to EVERYTHING. :) Silas used to have a constant runny nose and random BAD allergies. Decided to take him off gluten (because I read that in kids it can do everything from asthma to flu like symptoms) and three weeks later... NO RUNNY NOSE!!! He has literally had it his whole life. He also has not gotten any of the colds or the flu that everyone seem seems to have right now. Just a thought! Such a bummer when the little ones do not feel well and we cannot fix them instantly like we want.

  5. Thank you ladies so much! I appreciate the ideas more than you know, and just the encouragement that we are not alone. :-) I will definitely be trying some of these, and really appreciate the preventative ideas as well! My girls take daily children's multivitamins and vitamin C, but nothing else at this point, so I'll be looking into some of these.

  6. Oh, poor girl!! I don't have a lot of experience with kids with coughs, but like Josie, we take a lot of D3 for preventative maintenance, and I think it makes a big difference. The other things we do for coughs are abstain from all sugar... it makes them go away much faster... and gargle with peroxide, although I'm not sure if that would be doable for someone so young. Maybe drinking orange juice? For some reason that helps me. Anyway, I really hope you find a solution soon that works for Hannah!

  7. I'm sure you are elevating the head of the mattress? A little hard to do when their bodies are so small; they tend to just scoot down and sideways in bed. How about making up a bed for her in the recliner on your couch. If you take the other recliner, you'll be available and maybe you can both get some sleep. And if she ends up throwing up again, at least you won't be changing her bed and disturbing the other girls. Poor munchkin. And poor Hannah, too!

  8. Aw, poor Hannah! And poor you...you must feel so helpless! :~( There's something that I heard worked great for congestion/coughing...I have yet to try it, but figured it couldn't hurt to throw it out there! This is an email I received that I'm just gonna copy and paste. You said you tried the Vicks Vapor Rub on her chest, but what do you think about this...?

    During a lecture on Essential Oils, they told us how the foot soles can absorb oils. Their example: Put garlic on your feet and within 20 minutes you can 'taste' it.. Some of us have used Vicks VapoRub for years for everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I've never heard of this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of the time, although the scientists who discovered it aren't sure why. To stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks VapoRub generously on the soles of your feet, cover with socks, and the heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly.
    Just happened to tune in A.M Radio and picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do more harm than good, due to the chemicals in them This method of using Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet was found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bed time. In addition it seems to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.
    My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100%! She said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her, coughing stopped in a few minutes.So she went from; every few seconds uncontrollable coughing, she slept cough-free for hours every night she used it.
    If you have grandchildren, pass this on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be amazed at how it works.
    Hope this helps Jen! <3 you two...will be praying for relief! :~)