We have had more than our share of germs in our house lately. As I type this post I can hear my poor four year old feverishly hacking away in her bedroom.
A few weeks ago, my daughter was complaining about her ear. I brought her in (I really want to invest in one of those pediatric ear instruments) and she had a mild ear infection, which our doctor said I could treat with Ibuprofen. The next day I'm back on the phone with the doctor as her ear infection appears to have turned into an eye infection. He prescribes drops, I'm frantically spraying the couch with antibacterial Febreeze and wiping down the remote and phone with Lysol wipes as we ALL know how contagious eye infections can be. Two days later, she's complaining about her other ear, my son's eyes are oozing green stuff and we're back at the doctors. Double ear infections for everyone, and the antibiotics are dispensed.
When I drag my poor sick child into the pediatrician's office and leave without a prescription, I feel two things. First, I'm convinced we are leaving with worse germs than we actually came in with and two, I'm pretty sure that the ride it out approach is going to mean I'm going to have to drag them back in a few days later when the illness has kicked up a notch.
But the overuse of antibiotics has become a serious problem. The frequent and incorrect use of antibiotics over time can cause certain bacterias to resist responding to antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic resistance is one of "the world's most pressing public health problems." People are misusing antibiotics by taking them longer than they should, holding on to leftover medication for the next time and taking medicine that wasn't prescribed to them, all contributing to the overall problem.
In the meantime, we got over our ear infections. In fact we had ten glorious antibiotic filled days where no other germs invaded our lives. I had a feeling that the germs would return ASAP, and boy was I right. Two days after the antibiotics ended my son came down with another double ear infection. My daughter had a fever at that appointment and had her ears checked to find nothing. We left the office with another round of antibiotics for my son and nothing for my daughter. As her fever blazed on and she developed a serious chest rattle we headed back in three days later for a chest x-ray. No pneumonia, no antibiotics. Time to ride it out. That night and the three nights before that, as she sweated and cried and coughed every ten seconds in her room, and I had nothing to give her, I have to admit, I was really wishing for an antibiotic.
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How do you feel about antibiotics? Are you eager for the doctor to pick up their pad or do you prefer the ride it out method? Because let me tell you, we've been riding, and I'm really ready to get off the ride.