Silence fell on the blog this past week. I wish I could say the same for my home but alas, it has been coughing and crying and sick children everywhere, all day and night long. Yes, the Ewert house was taken down by what seems to be the same sickness that everyone else has. It starts with a high fever lasting days, even a week, accompanied by GI issues, followed by cold-like congestion and a rip-roaring cough. I have had two or more children home everyday for almost a month now (okay, there was a week of travel in there).
So today, even though they were not 100%, I sent both Jakob and Ella to school because, quite frankly, I was about to lose it. You know that point when they are not well enough to go to school but well enough to drive you up the walls at home. Yup – that’s where we are at. It was bound to happen really. I think my husband was the first to come down with it and from there, between airplane rides, packed schedules and fluctuating weather it was inevitable. Knock on wood, I seem to be the only person left standing – which is just as well since we all know what happens when Mommy is sick…chaos ensues.
That being said, sick children are the only thing that can completely unnerve me. I remember when Jakob was about three years old and Ella was one, we went through a winter when one or both of them was sick all the time. I even wondered if Jakob had leukaemia or was anaemic or something more serious like that because he looked so pale all the time and just couldn’t seem to shake the sickness. Ella had oxygen saturation levels that would normally be considered close to death on a regular basis and was admitted for pneumonia. That year, I also had strep throat about four or five times. It was awful. I fell apart. Then we moved to Cambridge and everything changed.
But what changed Krista?
Well, our lifestyle changed. It was easy for us because we moved to an entirely different country and didn’t know a soul. But I am thankful for the changes and that they have more or less become habitual and easy and kept us generally healthier all year round.
Here are just 3 of the lifestyle changes that changed our lives:
We eat organic
Living in Alberta (before Cambridge) we had a lot of people in our lives for whom pop, chips and other nutritionally void foods were a regular part of their diet. Subsequently, our children were able to partake often but when we moved to Cambridge, I was able to have more control over what they ate. I quickly hooked up with Abel and Cole. We didn’t have a car so the idea of grocery shopping seemed a bit daunting. Abel and Cole supplied, to my door, healthy organic fruit, veg, milk, bread and eggs. I loved it! Here I use SPUD and it is the same type of thing but without as much swede or celeriac…unfortunately. It makes grocery shopping less painful and I know that the food I am buying is good for me and my kids.
When your body isn’t constantly working to process the chemicals, hormones and pesticides used in farming these days, it can spend more time fighting off viruses and strengthening your cells making for a healthier, happier you.
We take a high quality supplement and probiotic
The year of the “great sickness” I took Jakob to a homeopath for the reasons mentioned above but also because his eczema got really bad. I had a hunch that the two were related and in fact, they were. We are learning more and more about how eczema is actually an auto-immune disorder and worsens when the immune system is activated. The homeopath suggested we do an elimination diet (which we did) as well as give him a good quality supplement, fish oil and a non-dairy probiotic. To this day, my kids know that every morning, along with their breakfast, they need to take their vitamins (just like mommy and daddy;) )
** Probiotics are especially important for replacing the good bacteria in the gut if you or your kids have been on antibiotics. During this round of sickness, I also doubled up to take care of their diarrhea issues **
We [try] to slow down and get plenty of play and fresh air (okay that is a 3-in-1)
Part of the appeal of Cambridge was that I was going to do nothing. My plan was to commit to nothing and just take care of my kids.
“Oh, but Krista,” people would say, “that isn’t nothing!” No, really, to me, at that point in my life, that was SO much less than what I was doing before. Not only that but because we didn’t know anyone in Cambridge and had no connections life became SO much simpler – no school commitments (beyond Ben), no extra curricular activities, no church commitments, no family responsibilities or social events. My rule was, if I didn’t feel like going, I didn’t. To some, this may sound empty and sad but for this introvert it was a welcomed Sabbath. Almost everyday after I picked Jakob up from school, we would walk to Parker’s Piece, which was essentially a big field in the middle of the city, and just sit there while the kids played. Sometimes, we would sit there for an hour and half until my friend Jessica would say she had to go home and actually do something like make dinner or clean the house. I felt no such responsibility. There was always tomorrow…and I believed it.
I don’t have to tell you that stress wears on your body. I’m sure you have heard it all before but managing day-to-day stress is a lot harder than it sounds. And that my friends, I will save for an entirely different post.
I’d love to know what you do to keep your family healthy? Comment below and let us in on your stay-well secrets.