Fear of Fevers
When I was a young mother, nothing struck fear in my heart so quickly as when one of my children would become ill and develop a fever. The warmer my child felt, the higher my anxiety level would climb! My immediate goal became doing all I could do to bring the child’s body temperature back down to “normal.” My plan of action was to get out the thermometer and begin monitoring the child’s temperature. I would administer fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen and hope and pray that the fever would come down quickly.
Often the over-the-counter medications reduced the fever, and I considered it a success when the thermometer read somewhere close to 98.6 degrees fahrenheit. Much to my frustration however, I often found that before long, the fever would return. Over the next few days, additional symptoms would develop, such as earaches or coughs, and we would end up in the pediatrician’s office being prescribed a round of anti-biotics.
In my mind the fever was the “bad guy” and I was determined to fight it and win! Fear was always my chief emotion during these times. I was terrified that if I didn’t do something my child might die from the fever. Back then, I did not understand that the body has an innate ability to heal. I certainly had no idea that fevers are a healthy immune response and part of the body’s defense against disease.
Fevers are our Friend
I now know that the reason my children’s symptoms worsened was because by suppressing their fevers, I was disabling the body’s own defense system. The fever was the body’s way of “cooking off” the illness. By giving them fever-reducing medications, I was essentially shutting down their healthy immune response and leaving them defenseless.
In How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, Dr. Robert Mendelsohn explains that the fear of fevers is based on misinformation. He devotes an entire chapter to the topic of fevers and explains that in most cases, fevers are beneficial and should not be interfered with. Except for extenuating circumstances, a doctor’s visit is not warranted and the fever should be allowed to run its course. Needless treatment will do more harm than good.
Facts About Fevers
Here are some facts about fevers taken from Dr. Mendelsohn’s book, Chapter 7, “Fever: Your Body’s Defense Against Disease:”
- Most fevers are caused by viral and bacterial infections that the body’s own defense mechanisms will overcome without medical help.
- There is no consistent relationship between the height of a child’s temperature and the severity of a disease.
- Untreated fevers caused by viral and bacterial infections do not rise inexorably and will not exceed 105 degrees.
- Measures to reduce temperature, such as drugs or sponging, are worse than unnecessary: they are counterproductive.
- Fevers produced by viral or bacterial infections will not cause brain damage or permanent physical harm.
- High fevers do not cause convulsions. They result when the temperature rises at an extremely rapid rate and there is no evidence that those who do have convulsions suffer any serious aftereffects as a result.
Fevers do not usually require medical attention, except as recommended below.
When to seek medical attention for a fever:
- If your child is less than two months old and his temperature exceeds 100 degrees, call your doctor.
- For older children it is unnecessary to call the doctor unless the fever fails to abate within 3 days or is accompanied by other major symptoms such as vomiting, respiratory distress, persistent cough lasting several days, and other major abnormal symptoms.
- Call your doctor regardless of the temperature level, if your child is experiencing difficulty breathing, is vomiting repeatedly, or has a fever that is accompanied by twitching or you are concerned about any other alarming element of your child’s behavior.
- If you have reason to believe that the fever is a result of a cause other than infection, such as heatstroke or poisoning, take your child to a hospital emergency room at once.
Homeopathy does not suppress symptoms, but instead assists the body in completing the natural process of healing.
In studying homeopathy, I have learned that unlike chemical drugs, homeopathy does not suppress symptoms. Rather than disabling the body’s ability to mount an immune response, homeopathy helps the body to complete the need for the symptoms more quickly. The result is that symptoms are allowed to express themselves, but they do so with less severity, frequency and duration.
Often when the correct homeopathic remedy is administered the patient falls asleep. This is a good sign because it means that the natural process of healing is underway. Sometimes the patient will need another dose of the remedy upon waking, but often the patient will wake feeling very much better.
Now I’m a Grandma Who’s Prepared and Not Scared!
Not long ago my daughter, who was living with her family in another state, texted me a picture of my grandson. He looked very sick. His eyes were glassy and he had a very red face. She told me he was running a high fever that had come on quickly. I knew from taking homeopathy courses that Belladonna is the premier remedy for high fevers that come on suddenly. It is commonly used for fevers that present with a red face and hot skin.
Belladonna from Cure Yourself & Family with Homeopathy by Joette Calabrese, p. 31
- Best remedy to try first (for fever)
- Give during early stages
- Most commonly given for fever
- Red face
- Hot skin
- Glassy eyes and dilated pupils
- Restless and agitated
- Can be a bit incoherent
- Nervous excitability
I texted my daughter that it looked like a classic “Belladonna fever,” meaning that the symptom picture matched the set of symptoms that Belladonna is known to address. My daughter was able to quickly locate and purchase some homeopathic Belladonna from her local grocery store. She texted me that after one dose, the redness began fading away and his fever started coming down. One more dose and he slept soundly through the night and woke up happy and healthy the next morning!
It’s important to note again, that homeopathy does not suppress the body’s ability to heal. Instead, it helps the body along in the natural healing process. Unlike my own children, my grandson never needed a doctor’s appointment nor an antibiotic because the symptoms did not return.
I wish I had known about homeopathy when I was a young mother. I am so thankful that I have this knowledge now so that I can be a grandmother who knows what to do! Even from several states away, I was able to help my daughter and my grandson. I urge you to learn about homeopathy too!
The Gateway to Homeopathy Study Group curriculum, by Joette Calabrese, is an excellent way to learn the basics of homeopathy. I lead several Gateway to Homeopathy guided study groups throughout the year. If you would like more information on how to join a guided study group, contact me.
I recently had the honor and privilege of sharing some of my homeopathy stories on the Mom’s With Moxie Podcast. The interview is Podcast 109 – Symptoms as a Gift and a Guide. You can listen to the interview here.