Monday, December 5, 2011

Three Little Pigs and the Big, Bad Whooping Cough

Our little trooper

For about 6 weeks our family has been dealing with sickness in some form or another. A cold, a stomach bug, but always this endless, tiresome cough.

The first little pig (a.k.a Abby) got sick but seemed to recover at a more or less normal rate. She struggled with a lingering cough, but it wasn’t anything to raise alarm. 

Because colds are such social bugs, this one passed right along to little Pig #2’s house, even before taking proper leave of Pig #1. Little Rebekah started coughing and spluttering. A few weeks went by. Everybody seemed to be getting well at last, just in time for Thanksgiving. And then suddenly, the cough we thought was dying returned with a vengeance. 

By now we knew we needed to get some medical attention. After several visits from the doctor, a bronchitis diagnosis, and a dose of antibiotics, we comforted ourselves that we were finally going to be well.

But after 6 full days of antibiotics, the cough didn’t go away. In fact it was getting worse. 

That’s when Joshua’s mom heard Rebekah coughing as we were visiting via Skype. As a veteran mother of 6 children, (5 of whom had this cough several years ago) she instantly recognized the culprit: The Big, Bad, Whooping Cough. Sure enough, when we looked into the symptoms, it all checked out.

Rebekah has been such a trooper! She has had night after night of serious coughing fits, and many in the daytime as well, but she hasn’t complained a bit. She feels mostly normal and is able to play and be active when she’s not coughing or vomiting.

We have received a lot of good advice from dear friends and family.  And God has provided exactly what we’ve needed. It “just so happened” that we had on hand some essential oils that would directly target the issue, and we’ve been applying those round the clock. We’re doing lots of vitamin C. We’ve pulled Rebekah off of all dairy and sugar. Tonight we even tried an onion poultice. (Rebekah did complain about that, poor kid.)

Little Pig #3 has not been visited by the Big, Bad Whooping Cough. We are really, really praying it will stay that way. She has had a bad runny nose and a bit of congestion throughout the last week, so we’re definitely keeping our eye on her and doing what we can to boost her immunities. And then praying some more!
Pray for Hosanna to stay well!

God has given me a lot of grace. It’s been a challenging time with dishes and laundry and clutter piling up around the house, sleep schedules totally whacked, everyone needing doses of something or other all through the day and night, trying to pull meals together that don’t have dairy in them, helping Joshua prepare for a big ministry weekend, and in general just being behind and under the pile.

I certainly haven’t been a paragon of patience over the last week, but two words have given me a lot of encouragement and help. 

One is Elizabeth Elliot’s classic: "Do the next thing."  That phrase has been going through my mind as I try to gain focus amidst the chaos.

The other has been, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Psalm 34:8) God is good and has good for me, even today, even when my better judgment wants to write things off as bad. I am blessed if I keep trusting in Him! 

So many of you have been showing concern, sending notes, and praying for us. Thank you so much! We know God has a plan in all of this, and we pray that very soon our family will be back to normal health and activity.


  1. You're the third family I've heard of in Ukraine to get this in the past few months. I've been begging God to let it pass by us. I'll be praying for you all now, too!

    (What essential oils are you using? I've been trying to stock up on remedies, just in case.)

  2. I love your creative wording of all that's been going on at your house with the piggies and wolves and all! Even in the midst of sickness, you still manage to captivate your readers with your witty writing. :) I totally understand the feeling that your patience tank is running on empty. I've definitely experienced that feeling myself; especially when I was sick. The good news is, God is always full of patience and grace for every moment - we only need cry out to Him and depend on Him moment by moment (I know - easier said than done). I will definitely keep praying that piggy number 3 doesn't get this dreadful cough, that piggy number 1 gets better soon, and that Mommy Pig stays afloat! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

  3. Phyllis, I hope and pray that you all don't get this as well! Here are the oils we are using:

    Peace and Calming (this is the main all-round oil we've used. It's been good for helping sleep.)
    Peppermint (anti-bacterial)
    Helichrysum (anti-spasmodic)
    Lavender (for cough-can't find ours though!)

    Vit. C, a good humidifier, & garlic are also good.

  4. Katrina, thank you!! You're the best ever!


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