For Sale, Redheaded Boy, Cheap!

We are all sick. Eric woke up this morning with crusty eyeballs that needed a warm washcloth to unglue (ewww!) and Jeffrey started complaining about his ears. Greeeeaat! You know what the means… Pediatrician, here we come.

The doctor only had an opening for one kid, so I figured I would just take both and then beg her to look in Jeffrey’s ears while we were in the room. It worked. Eric has pink eye, and Jeffrey has an ear infection. Whoopee! At least it is now, and not on Saturday.

So I go to the drivethru pharmacy at Walgreens (gotta love that!) and get the antibiotics, and $60 later, head home. Eric takes the eyedrops with only minimal fussing, and then promptly goes to sleep. What a sweet boy! But Jeffrey, well, that’s another story.

Right now, he is up in his room, whimpering and moaning. I am so stinking mad at him, I don’t want to go in there until I cool off, so thus I write. Jeffrey HATES to take medicine, any medicine, all medicine. I told the doctor this, so she gave him a really strong antibiotic that he only has to take for 5 days, thinking that would make it easier. HA! Even after the doctors warnings to him and my pleading, he would not open his mouth. I was stern, I pleaded, I offered mixing it with 7up, I threatened, all to no avail. Finally, out of frustration (and disgust with myself for begging a four-year old to do something that he really HAS to do), I opened his mouth and poured the medicine down his throat. Which he promptly spit out at me, then barfed. Oh, yes, he did. It is a little trick of his, he is able to barf at will- always has been. So the medicine, day one of only 5 days’ worth, is all in my lap. To say that I am now steaming is mild. I want to mop the floor with four-year-old, so for his own well-being and mine, he is in his room until the doctor call us back.

What do you do with a kid like this? I am at a total loss, let alone that I have to go buy more ridiculously expensive antibiotics now. Anyone have kid with a will of iron and a trick stomach? Any ideas? These are the days that I miss having a paying career- no day at any company I worked for was as crummy or nasty as this!

5 thoughts on “For Sale, Redheaded Boy, Cheap!

  1. Well I know he’s only four, but how would he handle being the one who has to explain his aversion to the doctor? As a child I could always say no to my parents, but other adults commanded at least a little bit more fear and respect from me. Or you can dig out some really grody pictures of infections gone wild for the kid – that’s something my dad would have done.

    Good luck with this one – Hopefully later in life the iron will turns out to be a good thing.

  2. Does he still take a sippy cup? Can you poor it in his sippy cup and then load the rest of it with juice? All of this done ofcourse without his knowing. Even if the medicine tastes strong, full jiuce ought to mask it.

    Some Pharmacy’s will mix flavors into the medicine for kids. Ask if your pharmacy does this and then let Jeffrey pick his own flavor…maybe he’ll be more excited to take it if he picked the flavor and he knows that it will taste good…

    Good Luck!

  3. My daughter will not take medicine. She hasn’t yet taught herself to throw up…so maybe this trick won’t work. We have to hold her down and then one of us pinches her cheecks (making puckered fish lips) and then squeeze the medicine in her mouth with a dropper. She can’t spit it out and they usually instinctivly swollow. We hold her lips like that until she does. If he can barf it up..this might now work….My mom always mixed it into oatmeal with jam in it. That works for my daughter too, but only at grandma’s house.

    My sister has one child that hates the medicine and she give him money! He will do anything for a dollar. This might be a case where a bribe is ok.

    Good Luck….

  4. Hi Tracy,

    I enjoy your writing. You have some great stories. I just wanted to let you know that you’ve been nominated for a BOB (Best of Blogs)award in the Best Mommy Blog category. Scroll down to comment # 125.

  5. Dear Tracy,
    Speaking as an all wise, pediatric nurse, Madame Pomfrey I feel to offer my advice. Having dealt with these difficult situations, I try to educate my resistant little angel patients, so that they fully understand their options.

    It was my hope that they would take the easiest route for them, but they had to see it as such. The doseage and medication wasn’t usually an option for them but the route could be. We usually could call the Dr. and make the minor changes that would be easiest for his orders to be fulfilled.

    Back in my day, there were 4 ways to go about getting medication into kids, willingly or not.

    The easiest and least restictive way would be for them just to take their medicine by mouth. The hard part though is you have to get creative. (More on that later.)

    Another option that has been used would be by injection, “a shotter” intramuscular injections which is painful, not nice, and rarely used. But the threat had a good effect on the older kids.

    Lastly and also not so nice is the medicated rectal route. The older kids really repelled on that one.
    “Hey one way or another, your pick.”
    hhhaaahahaha **********************

    Well, all the above was entertaining I know, but not really helpful for you right now, but maybe with this knowledge you can work yourself a good strategy that might work for you down the line.

    Now for the obvious, children usually protest over the grittiness of the powdered medication suspended in the flavor syrup, or the bitter taste, the volume of syrup they need to take, or their loss of control.

    1) I had the kids use a straw to “vacuume up” the medicine in the little cup’. This way it bypasses the taste buds.

    2)use a syringe for the medicine delivery and let the kids suck the medicine from it. Little by little it gets down and at their own pace. It offers less mess and more kid control. (Its his job “to do it” and be the Dr. or big kid.)

    3) You can do the above and let the child syringe it down while you follow the medicine down with a chaser that they like. (A spoon of icecream, drink of soda pop, bite of popsicle, pudding.) Anything to help get the taste off their tongue.

    4) If you think it is a volume problem, try to break the doseage into smaller volumes with little breaks (5 minutes) between sessions. Don’t forget what the total was that needed to go down.

    5) If he can do pills get the Dr. to prescribe the medication in pill form. They might be big horse sized pills but the good thing with pills are that you can chop them into small chunks and swallow them in these tiny bits. Again don’t forget the total dosage with each session. Sometimes pills are easier because you can avoid the tastebud issue, and even disguise them in puddings, icecream, hotdogs etc.

    6) Take a page from the Vets. Think about freezing dosage puddles and then encasing them in something he does like. (The old vet trick of pills stuffed in hot dogs or cheese cubes, that kind of thing. What ever works right?

    6) Lastly and as a last resort, Gown up, glove up, bucket ready, go at it prepared and ready for throw up.
    Let the kid throw up all he wants. After he is empty and nothing left to push out, let him know he will still be taking his medicine.
    (I wonder how many of these episodes it will take before he figures out that these behaviors will not benefit him like before.)

    If this is still the only way then tell the Dr. your dilema and you will need to account for a little waste from the first tasts that come back. Extra medicine would be needed.

    When you take your real syringed dose, squirt it to the back and side of his mouth, plug his nose and mouth, he shouldn’t be able to spit it back at you.

    Good luck, “Think Harry, what are your strengths? Play to your strength, and explore all the possibilities of the situation.”

    I may add that sometimes to conquer little redhead medicine dragons you have to think outside the box of what usually works and invent a new way for your strong minded little redheads.

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