rehydration fluid

It has been a terrifying week. On Sunday night Brighid came down sick. By Wednesday night, we'd been to the doctor's twice, she'd thrown up countless times on multiple days, she'd eaten only part of a piece of toast in 72 hours and she had signs of very significant dehydration. I rang the medical centre and got through to what appears to be a national helpline as it was after hours. The advisor there (presumably a nurse) gave me an action plan to rehydrate her at home and said it was preferable to putting a needle in her at hospital.

Empty out your cooled boiled water from the jug into a clean container. Boil the jug with fresh water. In a small amount of that freshly boiled water, add 8 teaspoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Dissolve and then use the cooled water to make up to a litre. Give two soup spoonsful to Brighid straight away and then again in five minutes. Wait ten minutes and give 2 more soup spoonsful and then give again after five minutes. Repeat until things are a LOT better. She said to feed her in spoonsful to make sure it goes down to where it is needed most, which sipping on a bottle or cup won't do in this situation. I will keep this advice with me forever.

Actually she did give me an amount to give before it was okay to let her sip as she needed to, but the haze took over and she slept in the middle. The difference the rehydration fluid made was wonderful.

On Thursday, we had the fluid thing going well, but no food and she was another day weaker. As I was on the verge of taking her to hospital in the late afternoon, I spoke again to the wonderful Laksmi who advised me she would be okay and to make raspberry leaf tea and add in thirds to juice and the rehydration mixture and it would be generally good for her and specifically stimulate her appetite. It WORKED! First she threw up (cue scary) and then she asked for an ice block, got out of bed of her own accord for the first time all week and started to perk up.

Friday (yesterday) she played outside and yet still lacked interest in food, beyond the smallest morsels. In the late afternoon we had an appointment with Laksmi which helped us both. She has a ways to go to recover, and when day breaks (it's 3.40am now), I'm going to make some more raspberry leaf tea and focus on building her up. The raspberry plants in my garden have never produced raspberries, but now I know why I've kept them, as they do produce leaves.

As she slept during the week, I read Isa Ritchie's thesis in its entirety. I loved it. The link in the last sentence includes Isa's offer to email her thesis to people interested. I recommend it. She is very good at linking theory to food and I learnt a lot. I had begun a post responding to her arguments about food praxis and dispraxis but that will have to wait. The recipe for rehydrating my daughter turned out to be the single most important food related thing I have learnt this week and just has to crowd everything else out. I also began in my head a post about the challenges of working, mothering and sick children. It may turn out too personal to write up. I've known all week that I am doing the most important thing - keeping my daughter alive and hopefully this coming week will involve returning her to good health. Everything else had to stop. But around me, not everything stops, because it can't, and I found that tough. What really really helped me was my wonderful friends Carolyn and Gayleen, who brought us soup and rang me and listened to the updates and kept me going. Thank you.


Joe said…
Wow it's a bit scarey seeing how early you are awake posting this. Glad things are getting better and I hope you know you are doing a great job.

I'm not sure whether there is a medical correlation, or just a personal one, or I could just be making inappropriate links but I have found that anesthetics destroy my appetite. If you find that Brighid is picky about food for ages you could try what my physio recommended which is that the single best way to get one's calorie intake up is to drink a glass of milk a day. Because you are drinking it your stomach/brain doesn't register it as food, so it is in addition to whatever you are eating. As I find milk disgusting I have been substituting with icecream.
Anonymous said…
Our oldest son got sick when he was about a year old. Threw up for 10 days in a row and wouldn't eat or drink. After doctors giving every 'medical' re-hydration drink, none of which he'd touch, the nurses gave him lemonade iceblocks. Worked perfectly! It was a great relief as it was day 5.
Megan said…
So glad she is finally feeling better! We had Leo in A&E with a similar thing when he was smaller - thank the universe for getting fluids into them! Hope to catch up soon - keep up the naps you'll need recovery too!
Sandra said…
Thanks all. Rachael and Megan I can imagine your relief when the fluids finally started going in and staying in. Joe I had a weekend of rest and sleeps and feel immeasurably better.
Isa Ritchie said…
Wow, thanks for reading my thesis. I've been so distracted I haven't been keeping up with my favorite blogs. I look forward to reading your thoughts and reflections on it :)

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