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Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Large Family and Whooping Cough

As there seems to be so much whooping cough going around D,I thought I would post, in the event it might help, as when ours had it I had little info at all. Also, no internet!
When I was seven months pregnant with our eight child all of the children and I came down with it. It had started in our eldest, who was developing a very bad cough after what seemed to have been a rather dragged out cold. When she lost consciousness briefly after coughing, and complaining she couldn't breathe we became quite concerned. It was my mum who first suggested whooping cough. It starts after a two week incubation and the only symptoms for first couple weeks are like a cold. Runny nose, etc, and general malaise. After the second week a cough had appeared, which got gradually worse. I found it would make them sick afterwards, and was particularly bad in the night, so it helps to elevate their bed.
We tried incubation, but a week later it clearly hadn't worked. Apparently this is one of the most contagious illnesses. We found cold air, and exertion outside exasperated the coughing, so had to watch them. At night the nightmare began. I slept with hosanna, who was then around sixteen months, and Tim slept in with all six of the other children. It was important not to leave them alone in the coughing fits. As Hosanna was so young I covered the bed with terrynappies to absorb any vomit as she would often miss the bowl. I can remember being too weak myself, and never able to get out of bed before 4 pm the next day. When the midwife was finally able to call, she found us all in bed!. Exhaustion was an understatement, and don't know what I would have done without my husband helping. It was two months to three months before we were really over the worst, and we still had coughs for six months. We had antibiotics for the last few, the Dr finally convinced after hearing Eli coughing, there was that distinctive whoop after it. The antibiotics helped them get over it, and after a five day course they were no longer contagious.

Now, you may say why didn't we vaccinate, however we caught off those who had been vaccinated, and reflection made me still realise we were right not to. Esp as the vaccine is not always that effective.
What advice? Well, record the cough, because the doctors are useless, and often have no experience of it. Make sure they have a really nutritious diet. No junk. Don't be selfish and infect others. We told our midwife, and she didn't visit. New babies up to a year are very vulnerable. Also don't expect vaccinations to protect. I was vaccinated. I still had it bad, and my stomach felt like it was bursting. Also, if we had known what it was earlier, it would have enabled the treatment quicker. Click on link to view a youtube video of the children's cough.

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