Monday, February 19, 2007

the never-ending cold

Misaki had a wonderful birthday this weekend. I made a photoshow that I'm trying to link to my blog but it seems like it might take until tomorrow so in the meantime I thought I would take this opportunity to complain about something!!

I find when my kids get sick enough to take to the hospital the medicine that is prescribed doesn't really work (or so it seems). Last week Emi had a runny nose and a couple days later started to complain that her ear hurt. She often gets ear infections so I took to the hospital right away. Her right ear was indeed red but not too bad so the doctor prescribed some medicine. Emi took it faithfully (even at school) but although her ear stopped hurting her symptoms didn't seem to change. By Saturday the medicine was gone and I couldn't decided if I should take her back to get more or not. On Sunday night, as we were going out for Misaki's birthday dinner, she started to cry and complain that her left ear was hurting. I gave her some children's Tylenol and she slept fine at night. She went to school this morning but when she came home her cheeks were red, she was a little warm and she was complaining that her ear still hurt. Grrr! So after naptime we went back to the hospital where they gave us more medicine because indeed now her left ear is infected.

So here's my problem. Why is she not better after taking the medicine prescribed? She didn't have the flu or anything really serious, just a runny nose that affected her ears. Shouldn't medicine that she took for four days in a row be able to take care of that? During that time she had regular sleep and ate well and I was careful with her playtime, etc. so that she didn't overdo it.

Since I never really took my girls to the doctor in the States I don't really know if this is the norm. I know there's not a perfect cure for a cold but it seems like any type of medicine prescribed by the doctor should work better.

Even now Sakura is upstairs hacking away even though she got medicine from the doctor today, too. I swear it's made her worse. She started with a runny nose from Thursday but I had some Children's Tylenol Cough & Cold on hand so I gave her that. It stopped her symptoms completely but by Saturday she'd finished what was left in the bottle. On Sunday her runny nose overwhelmed her. She hates to stop playing just to blow her nose so she used her sleeve (gross!) and by the afternoon the skin on her nose, below her nose and her left cheek were red and irritated.

As a mom it is hard for me to have the girls sick for long periods of time. Especially with four in the house they seem to pass the same cold around for months. But I feel that if I take them to the doctor, get them checked out and give them the medicine prescribed that they should get better. So here's my question - Is this just a Japan thing? Is the medicine prescribed here really not as strong? Or is the cold that a child gets really never-ending?

6 comments:

Heidi said...

Hi there,

I think the medicine here is not strong. Not only for kids, but adults too.

Hope your kids get better soon!

coarse gold girl said...

Oh my, you've hit on a topic that is close to my heart. I hate the fact that they prescribe only a few days worth, 3-4 so that you basically have to go back as that never clears up whatever it is. My oldest used to get ear aches all the time, even had to have the ear drum punctured and drained SEVERL times. I think the meds here are much weaker, again for both children and adults. I used to swear by imported children's medicine for my eldest. It did work well too--like you mentioned the symptoms, runny nose, cough, actually disappear on the American meds. . . but there's a flip side to every story and here's mine: I took my younger daughter to the U.S. when she was just one year old and yup, you guessed it, she got an ear ache on the flight over. The U.S. doctor gave her a large dose of antibiotics but no follow up visit and apparently what happened was the symptoms disappeared but not the cause. It came back. Much angrier than it was the first time. Her fever shot up and wouldn't come down even on the anti fever meds. So they gave her a BIGGER dose of antibiotics. Well, to be honest, she had side effects from several of the medicines that the U.S. doctor had prescribed for her--from nonstop diarrhea to vomiting. Now, with the last mega dose of antibiotics she broke out in an allergic reaction rash--literally every inch of her little body was covered in a fine spotted rash. She looked so terrible! So she is now dangerously allergic to penicillin. When I took her in to her pediatrician here in Japan upon our return to Osaka he commented that the U.S. doctors probably triggered the allergic reaction by giving her too high and too intense a dose of antibiotics. I have no idea if that is true. . . but you wonder. My older daughter has never had any adverse reaction (actually my younger as well) to any medicines doled out by the pediatricians, jibikas in Japan.

Now here's a part of the Japanese system that drives me to distraction--the healthy kid always picks up a bug when we have to all go to the doctor's together. I guess, waiting for about an hour to three in an overheated room full of feverish, coughing and vomiting children kind of is asking for that type of thing, huh?

Sarah said...

UPDATE:
Sakura woke up twice last night. I finally put Vicks VaporRub on her chest and that calmed her cough enough for her to sleep. She was cranky all morning and finally at 12:30pm when she was halfway through her lunch she looked at me with her sad, red eyes and asked if she could please go to sleep. Poor little thing.

Emi seems to be doing OK but she sure is cranky. I can't wait till everyone is better and back to being their happy selves!

Anonymous said...

It's the weak Japanese drugs! Kenshin has a cold and barking cough so his mother sends him some powder to take. It does nothing at all - there is no change in symptoms or length of illness - nothing, but he thinks he has to take the medecine from Japan because he is Japanese!!!!! I give him Nyquil and tell him this is the only thing that fixes Chikara's colds, even though I know that getting medicine down Chikara is not any easier.....

Anonymous said...

Oh Sarah
And i thought i was already forseeing problems with my not yet mother in law. I have given a little thought to how she will be around the children. She is very ?strong? minded and i belive will not listen to a thing i say about them as far as chocolate, pop, and all that good stuff goes. I didn't even think about buying them unnecessary things. I have a hard enough time saying no when she tries to buy stuff for me i dont like. Your situation sounds interesting but frustrating at the same time. For now i think i'll just sit back and enjoy your experiences instead of getting stressed out about my own.
Love Kim!

Anonymous said...

Although this is a old post, just wanted to say that I have read and even had a few friends mention that if i get meds in jp I should double it since I am used to american ones. ^^;