Child Who Is Sick All the Time

Updated on June 13, 2007
D.W. asks from Lenoir City, TN
11 answers

I have a 3 yr old son who has been sick from the time he was 5 months old. He started with 3 rounds of RSV. He also has asthma and allergies. At about 7 months old he started to develop ear infections which he ended up having ear tubes in his ears October 2006. He was on solid antibiotics from July 2006 until October 2006 and then was sent home from surgery with antibiotics. He then started to develope sinus infections and strep throat which he was placed on antibiotics yet again from late November until his second surgery in April to replace his ear tubes and remove his tonsils and to do endoscopic sinus surgery. I was told that he had tonsilitis at the time of surgery so the gave him Rocefin through his IV during surgery and of course sent home on antibiotics. He has had strep throat and developed scarlett fever twice since his surgery in April. I ended up in the emergency room at Children's about 2 weeks ago because he began to have severe diaarea and stomach cramps with a tremendous amount of mucus in his stool,and I was told he had tested positive for C-Diff from all the antibiotics he had been on. Guess what the treatment is,Yep antibiotics. He was then placed on 7 days of Flagyl, 8 ml a day. I am to a point where I don't know what to do. I have almost lost my job because of how much he has been sick and my husband is no help with him. He has never taken off with him when he has been sick nor has he stayed up with him when he is sick or ever taken him to the doctor and didn't go with me to the ER the last 3 times we have been. Did I mention that he is currently sick right now. He has a fever of 101.6 with a cough and chest congestion and complaining about his tummy again with the same stool issues as before. Please help with how to get my son well. I am starting to get depressed as well as being angry with my husband because he won't help no matter what I say or how I ask for help!!!! I feel like a single mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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answers from Jackson on

My sister-in-law was having the same problems with all 4 of her children. They had their a/c duct work cleaned and some replaced and she said that it has made a world of difference. Hope this helps.

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answers from Nashville on

This must be so tough on you! Does he have food allergies? Is he on probiotics? Please email me at and I will try to see if there is any other information I can come up with. My son has been through a lot too..Nothing like this though. Sometimes it takes a while to get diagnosed with things.

Also, do you know if he has any issues with gluten?

Does your son eat normally? Does he have any issues with having trouble swallowing, etc.?

With all the issues with the C-diff. I would make sure he is on some type of probiotic. If you are near Wild Oats, they have some good ones for children. There is a non-dairy form made by New Chapter that is not necessarily for children, but you could look it up and ask about it.

Does your son see a GI? It sounds like he definitely needs to. It took us a very long time to get to a GI because they kept sending us to an allergist...we needed to see both.

I definitely agree with another poster to look into naturopathic and/or chiropractic help from someone with solid credentials who is familiar with working with children.



answers from Johnson City on

Has anyone talked about testing his immune system? I don't know how that would work, but it sure is odd that he's sick that much and for that long.

Also, and this may seem out of left field, you might at least consult with a naturopath or a chiropractor. I know, I know, that seems weird, and I normally wouldn't say that because it's not something I practice for myself. However--I know a LOT of people that don't even go to western MD's and have wonderful luck with natural treatments. It might be worth a try--couldn't hurt--might help!

p.s. Chiropractors aren't just about backs and necks. I know several moms that said their chiro cured their kids' allergies!



answers from Huntsville on

Also you might check to see if you have any type of mold in your house. I know that certain forms of mold, like black mold can cause a person to be constantly sick.

Best of luck...and hope your husband comes around to help w/ you and the child.



answers from Huntsville on

I know how you feel. My daughter was just like this until 6 months ago. I finally got so fed up I threatened her specialist docs (pulmonoligst) that I was going to B'ham or Nashville. Finally, he then referred me to an Ear/Nose/Throat doc - Dr. Castillo in Madison/HSV. He took out her adenoids and took a bunch of blood to do an immune deficiency disorder test. The adenoids were covered in mucus! Oh, and he did a Sinus irragation cleaning where there was a bunch of mucus in her sinus cavity that the CT Skan showed. Come to find out, the blood test revealed that she was missing antibodies to Pneumochocal something?? Remember when he was little he got the "Ear Infection" shot or the real name is Prevnar. Well, it protects against major sicknesses including Ear Infections. My daughters body rejected the shot so she didnt build up antibodies to Respiratory Infections, Sinus Infections, Pneumonia, Ear Infections, Strep Throat and so on... So she had to get another shot that can be given to older children. And we got the news today that her blood work that was taken last week showed that it worked and she built antibodies. I dont know if this is your case or not but I would defintely check on removing adenoids for sure - they hold so much bacteria and are constantly infected. Good Luck! Let me know how things go!



answers from Knoxville on


You poor thing ... and poor little guy, too! I wish I had some wonderful piece of advice to give you to help, but I don't know what to tell you.

My son who turned two in February was sick constantly when he was younger. It was when he was in daycare at a particular place (he went to daycare at this place from 7 months to 13 months). When he was there, he had 9 ear infections, RSV and pneumonia in less than 3 months.

Needless to say, my husband and I were so at wits' end and we were both taking off from work constantly to stay home with our son. Plus, I'm pretty sure our doctor could have bought himself a really nice present with all the money we were spending (he was going to the doctor once or twice a week on a regular basis for some illness or other).

After a visit to a pediatric ENT to discuss tubes for my son, the doctor told me that his biggest risk factor in my son constantly being sick (especially with ear infections and the like) was the fact that he was in daycare.

I cried and cried, and my husband and I talked that night. We decided that it would be best for my son for me to stay at home with him full-time (and keep him out of a daycare setting to see if that helped with his health). The doctor told me I'd see a marked improvement in my son's health in 3 weeks or less.

We avoided putting tubes in his ears, and I've now been staying home with him (and we still get out a lot and are involved in playgroups, etc.) for 15 months. Since, I've had another baby (who is 5-months-old), so I stay home with them both full-time.

My son, who used to always be sick, has only been to the doctor 3 times for illness in the past 15 months (and with nothing nearly as serious as his previous illnesses). So, it was a great solution for us ... one I didn't believe would make such a big difference for my son in the beginning.

I know not all children in daycare get sick a lot. My son is just one of those kids that if he's even around kids with colds too much, he gets ear infections, sinus infections, etc. Again, we do NOT live in a bubble, and he has gotten sick since then ... just not nearly as much.

Again, this is just what worked for my family in this situation. It's certainly been a life-changing decision. And, it can be very financially straining sometimes. But, the money we save in daycare, gas, work clothes, and doctor's bills is significant. So, it's not quite as big of a difference as I had once thought.

I will keep you, your son and your family in my prayers. I hope that he gets well soon (and stays well). And, I hope you find an answer to your dilemma. I know how very stressful, heartbreaking and frustrating it can be to have a child who is sick (especially if you feel like you're taking care of everything all by yourself)!

Best wishes to you and your family!




answers from Chattanooga on

Hi D.. I am so sorry you and your family are going through all of this. I wish I could find my magic wand...

First, take a deep breath about the husband issue. I know it's hard, but try not to get angry at your closest ally. Men deal with helplessness very poorly in general. They are supposed to be the providers and the "fixers" for their family, and when they can't fix a problem....well, in general it becomes a hard thing for them to think about because being helpless diminishes their manhood in a way. It's a generalization, I know, but often true. You can already see how differently the two of you are dealing with it. You need him on your team for this. It's too hard on your own. Maybe ask him (lovingly) for specific help and tell him what problem it will help solve and see if he responds better.

Also, I think the others are really on the right track suggesting another doctor and/or another approach completely. It just sounds crazy to me that his doctors are treating him with antibiotics to alleviate a complication from...antibiotics! Those things destroy all the bacteria in a body over time- even the ones we need. It sounds like his body is losing its ability to defend itself against anything because he hasn't regained an internal balance without the medicine.

I'm sure you know so much of this already, as long as you've been dealing with your son's illnesses. Many of the other medical specialties recommended make sense to persue. Maybe you could do a phone consult or some pointed research online first to avoid dragging your son to 15 new doctors for the full work-up. But, if that's what it takes, and it gets him healthy, then so be it, right?!

I will add that seeing a nutritionist might help, also. I'm definately not a doctor, but I have for years dealt with serious skin allergies and very bad asthma of my own. I tried so many things for both and could never count on anything to work well or completely or reliably or for very long. It's exhausting, I know, and so many doctors had me running in circles. I took many medications that made my symptoms worse. In the last 6 months I have made what I must call a near miraculous turn around in both, all from pretty signifigant dietary modifications. My skin has healed and virtually lost its sensitivity. I haven't had an asthma attack in over 3 months. If you are interested in specifics, email me at's nothing bizarre or complicated, just very different from the average American diet. In any case, the food your son eats, especially given his young age, small size, and extreme sensitivity, could make a world of difference. It might not "fix" everything, but it could make him better able to heal and allow the doctors to get a clearer view of the problem(s).

I wish you so much luck. I hope you find what you need to to get your son better very soon!



answers from Jackson on

Do you or your husband smoke? If so, that could be the problem. If not, then that's great and you'll have to consider something else. I am allergic to smoke. Anytime I am around someone smoking, my sinuses get infected and I get a terrible sinus headache and can't breathe. I think if that's not the problem, you may want to find a different doctor and get another opinion about things and maybe take a different approach. Another thing-my son is allergic to dust. He would cough and have terrible respiratory problems if there was any dust in the house, still does. It took me a while to figure it out, but we finally did. We took him to several doctors as well. He was on breathing treatments and one doctor even gave him a codeine cough syrup and he was only a little thing. My pediatrician almost flipped out. He said you don't give babies that find of cough medicine. I'm sorry you are having such a rough time. I hope you both are better soon, him physically and you mentally and emotionally!



answers from Memphis on

Have you considered food allergies? Gluten allergies and dairy allergies both manifest in intestinal problems. A friend's nephew was allergic to just about all foods other than fruit and was sick constantly with pneumonia and other respiratory problems.



answers from Chattanooga on

Have you checked with your doctor to see if he has any allergies to milk or dairy products? Also, a friend of mine had a problem with re-occuring ear infections with her son and found that where his bed was placed he was getting drafts from the air vents.

It could be that he is antibotic resistant as well and they only serve to compromise his immunue system. I would start looking into some natural treatments (activated Charcol is good for upset stomachs)

It may be a good time for you to consider counseling with your husband as well. It sounds like you are frusturated and this is likely to take a toll on your marriage as well. You might want to sit down with him and say you can't take any further time off of work and he needs to step up to the plate and help you out otherwise you will have to live on one salary.

I hope you little boy gets better. - J.



answers from Gadsden on

A co-worker has dealt with a similar situation with her Boyfriend recently. And he is still recovering from the C-Diff. He was also on Flagyl, but as soon as he stopped using it he would get sick again. He did alot of research and found that this pill alot refer to as "The Buttermilk Pill" has tremendously helped him. It is simply an Acidophylis sp? pill. They can even be purchased at Wal-Mart or any other place that sells vitamins and supplements. In your case, I would go to a health/herb store and speak to the person there about how this might help your 3 yr old. He did Flagyl for 2 days then the Acidoph for 2 days alternating, for 3 months. He is now off of the Flagyl (which he said made him very, very weak) and still taking the Acidoph twice a day (AM & PM). He lost 40 lbs from being so sick and has now gained back 15 lbs...looks much better and feels tons better.

C-Diff destroys all the good bacteria in the body. So, what you have to work at after that is putting all the good back in there. C-Diff is passed through feces. Which would make me wonder some things about my daycare. Do they follow proper procedures for diaper changes ....and other things.?

I have had the same ear infection problem with my younger daughter. The word "tubes" was mentioned at our 1 yr checkup. I wish I had the stamina to stay at home full time with my kids. However, between a rambunctious 3 yr old Daughter and 1 yr old B/G Twins.....I consider work my downtime.
If you are financially able to stay at home, it may be just what your little one needs to recuperate. With his "good" bacteria gone out of his body, his immune system is very compromised. Making him susceptible to the even slightest sneeze.

I pray you are able to find a solution to give you & your son the relief that you need so much. Sickness is hard on Mom too.
Please keep us posted on the outcomes of your treatments.
In His grace,

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