Teething and Fevers and Thrush, oh my!

And fireweed?

I just couldn't resist this post title. (Sorry.) But we have had all of them happening at once. AND some vomiting. It leaves us wondering where our happy little girl went and how long it will be before she feels better and is acting like herself again. And the vomiting is a mystery - both times she has been teething, not feeling well, feverish, and in the car. Perhaps she is simply motion sick? Maybe she is overly full of milk when this happens? All the speculation is exhausting. [See Tracy's blog for more evidence of a teething and puking correlation.]

I feel especially devastated by the thrush. We had a bout with it before, when June was only two months old. We beat it then and we can beat it again (right?).
I have had a long struggle with Candida since taking a heavy dosage of antibiotics when I was 17 years old. To put it in perspective, in two more years, this will be half of my life. Also, I am not talking about a localized infection. Mine is systemic, and the yeast have made a happily overgrown life for themselves in my large intestine. Whenever I consume a lot of alcohol or sugar I feed them. I've tried Candida diets. I've tried several rounds of Diflucan. I've tried numerous alternative and herbal remedies. You name it, I've done it. Probiotics are the tip of the iceberg. It has become something I think I just have to live with, an insurmountable obstacle. Yes, this makes me cry sometimes.

Thinking that my daughter at a mere ten months old is already fighting a yeast imbalance makes me worried. It worries Adam too, since he has been by my side through my struggles. We don't want June to have to go through this.

We needed a plan of attack, something better than Nystatin.

Here is what we are doing to treat her: swabbing her mouth with a dilute suspension of grapefruit seed extract and giving her probiotics. So far she has rejected her milk when it has added acidophilus, but she accepts a little bit of Threelac on her tongue, so that should help. For info on Candida symptoms and Threelac go here.

Last night we went on a family walk down to Fourth Avenue. It occurred to me on the walk that there is an herbal remedies shop that I had heard about and perhaps they would have some knowledge of an additional, gentle treatment for June. My jaw dropped when she recommended a tea brewed from fireweed. I bought some and thought about serendipity. This flower, weed, and allergen that I have lived with all my life in Alaska, has medicinal properties good for thrush. I've written poems that involve fireweed. My sister has painted fireweed. I gave my dad a hideous allergic reaction by bringing home a bouquet of fireweed. How did I never know it was a medicinal plant? And that it helps with Candida? (Especially since I am such a Candida know-it-all.) Perhaps it is silly to have hope in this, but it seems to me that fireweed could be helpful, just like often what we are looking for is staring us right in the face. That is what I mean about serendipity.

The proprietor also had a slightly different take on treating Candida, instead of the typical eradication approach, to think of it as coming back into balance. The Candida is there for a reason. Perhaps the gentle approach will work.

I love fireweed. We haven't tried using it to treat June yet, but I will post an update I'm sure.


  1. As someone that has had my entire large intestine, my appendix (which attached to the large intestine), my gallbladder, half of my stomach and parts of my small intestines removed due to disease, I recommend trying VSL 3, which is considered the Big Daddy of probiotics. It is expensive but for those of us who keep GI docs on our speed dial, it is the only probiotic that is worth spending time and money taking. It's the most widely studied probiotic in the medical community, too. I'll talk to you about it more when I next see you.

  2. Sorry to hear you are having issues with the teething & puking too. I do think there is some sort of correlation between being overly full of milk + the car. We've had two big pukes recently under those circumstances.


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