At first I thought it was just a mild case of heat stroke, but it hit again the next day as well and that time it was worse.
The day started normal with Marin laughing and playing the way she always does. Morning nap went well, then she went down in the afternoon and everything changed. She woke up burning hot, cranky, thirsty and tired. She would fall asleep nursing, only to wake up fussy and uncomfortable, hot as a fire to the touch.
Night was restless for her, wanting cuddles but too hot to lay next to me. She woke up fine in the morning though, so I thought maybe she was over it, until she woke up from her afternoon nap again. It was the same thing all over again, burning hot, tired and just plain not feeling good. There were no emergency signs though, so I kept her as hydrated and cool as possible until we could go to the health store in Cortez the next morning.
As I figured she was suffering somehow due to the heat that is hard to get away from while camping outside in Colorado, it made sense that electrolytes, hydration and maybe some vitamin C would help her recover. But I wanted to talk to D. at the health food supplement store, and see what she might suggest.
It didn’t take a second glance for D. to see that Marin was under the weather, and after a few questions and a simple muscle strength test she had narrowed the cause down to a mineral deficit. A few more tests and she had found not only the mineral Marin needed, but also the dose, which was a little higher than she originally thought it would be for such a wee little girl. I teared up and nearly cried when the right “medicine” (calcium lactate) was found for my little girl. I could have tried all sorts of pharmaceuticals and known that it was only covering up the symptoms but not mending the cause. This mineral on the other hand gets down to the root and fixes the cause, thus then relieving the symptoms. Best part, these calcium lactate tablets do not have random chemical fillers with unpronounceable names or paint products to make them look pretty like pharmaceuticals do.
Upon arriving back at camp with my precious little girl and bottle of minerals, I crushed two tablets into a powder and mixed it with water to make a paste then finger fed it to Marin who really didn’t like the taste of it at all! I think at least one quarter ended up all over she and I instead of in her mouth as she fought the taste. Within an hour though she was perking up and visibly recovering. Her eyes looked brighter, she smiled more, (before it took all her energy to try cracking a smile) and she started toddling around holding onto her aunt’s and uncle’s hands again. She still slept most of the day away, but her fever receded and her colour paled from it’s fiery blaze. She slept well that night and seemed normal the next morning. Through the day she obviously still didn’t feel 100% as she cuddled lots, was crankier than normal and took more naps, but it was a vast improvement from the previous day and her skin was comfortably cool to the touch instead of hot like a well stoked furnace.
Marin still doesn’t like taking her crushed minerals, but it is worth it to me to fight with her for a few minutes each morning, to see my happy smiling girl the rest of the day. Today in particular I found that it was easier if I snuck it in with a green smoothie, which Marin especially enjoys sharing with me each morning. This is not something that she will have to take for long periods of time. As long as she is suffering then she will have it, then as soon as she is better and back to her normal self then I can stop, as she then obviously has enough of the mineral for her body.
Live and learn! I had no idea that calcium could be something that breast feeding children could be lacking in. I also found that not only is muscle testing more specific and un-invasive than going to the doctor, it results in precise tailoring of prescriptions and doses for each individual according to their specific needs, instead of “this is the norm so this is what you have to do”.