I Can't Keep Living like This............. I Want My Old Life Back

Updated on November 10, 2011
J.P. asks from Brooklyn, NY
21 answers

I can't eat,sleep,or even think right now. DD was in the hosp for 3 days with pneumonia and eventhough the doctors said it was not that bad her right lung is very congested. She has lots of phlemg right now and I hate seeing her like this. Im scare of taking her out now when the cold comes, Im in NYC so it gets really cold. You won't believe how much I cover her up and she still got sick. Im so stress and depressed that she keeps getting sick and not just a regular cold but pneumonia after I take such good care of her. I dont' know what to do anymore.

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So What Happened?

Moving is not an option right now, we just don't have the money for it. Plus I don't drive and mostly all the places that have milder weather don't have transportation like here. Im thinking of moving from my apt cause we do have cheaping paint and is an old building but right now NYC is the only option

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answers from Washington DC on

My sister got really bad colds. She never just had a cold. It was walking pneumonia or bronchitis. My mom got some rotten looks from doctors who didn't know Sis well, as if Mom let Sis get so sick. Sometimes kids are just that way.

Try to find out what may be causing her to be more susceptible to catching illnesses from people. My sister in general has issues - very sensitive skin, allergies, catches everything.

My stepson is also one of those that seems to have a bad immune system. He's sick from October to Feb, it seems. In his case, part of it is rest and poor diet/health. Is she eating well? Getting enough rest in general? Does she have any underlying issues like allergies or asthma which might make it harder for her when she gets a cold?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My son had pneumonia when he was 1 yr old.
It was scary for me, but he never got bad enough so he had to be in the hospital.
I religiously followed him taking his medicines.
He had to take albuterol and I had to hold a mask over his face so he could breathe it in (which was tough with him screaming and crying).
He had a liquid antibiotic I had to squirt down his throat (I invented a hold to pin him down arms/legs, pry his mouth open and squirt the medicine into his cheek so he'd swallow most of it) - again with the kicking and screaming.
And after all the fighting over the medicine, I'd hold and sooth him and try to have a bottle ready so he'd have something to drink.
We got through it, but it was nerve wracking.
A little bit of being out in the cold won't make a difference in her being sick.
I almost think being out in the cold (a short walk around the block), then coming in to a warm steamy shower might help her cough up more mucus.
With pneumonia, it often sounds worse as it's getting better.
The phlemg is easier to cough up as long as it's loose, but the noise of the coughing scares us.
If she's too young for a heating pad (on low) on her chest, you can try one of those air activated heat patches.
Keep up with the fluids (water, juice, chicken soup - avoid dairy if it thickens her mucus).
Hang in there!
It will get better.

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answers from Denver on

It doesn't matter where you live - germs are everywhere - and in fact being "cold" really has nothing to do with actually getting sick.

If it makes you feel better my daughter had pneumonia last year - I had no clue - she just suddenly got crabby on a Friday (had a cough but it didn't sound that bad) and by Sunday she was a bear. I took her on Monday just to be safe and found out she had pneumonia - there is nothing you can do to protect them from things like that other than be as pro-active as possible without being over the top.

Cut yourself a break - I'm sure you are exhausted and run down from being at the hospital and worrying - take a hot hot shower and a good long nap.

Good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

J., we're thinking of you and your daughter too.

You say you're depressed and stressed -- and you also say up front that you aren't eating or sleeping. Even if you need to see a doctor about it, please, please DO force yourself to eat and force yourself to rest even if sleep is tough. You will not do your girl any good at all if you are so tired and weak you can't be there for her. So, first, even if you have to force it, get rest and food. If sleep is a real and chronic problem, see a doctor right away but be clear that you can't be "knocked out" by some heavy sleeping pill since you need to be able to hear your child.

Second, covering her up won't prevent pneumonia. Talk to her doctors in detail and get them to list specific ways you can help your daughter improve her immune system -- Ask about change of diet, medications, supplements, whatever it takes to make her stronger over time. If she has weak lungs and is prone to lung issues, get her to a lung specialist and be assertive! You say she "keeps getting sick" but is this really an ongoing thing or is this just the first time ever she's had pneumonia? If it's the first time, bear in mind that -- especially since you are so tired and stressed -- you may be letting your fears run away with you. Of course you're scared, and any of us would be, but she has had good treatment, and you will be on top of things IF you replace some of the fear with solid information and a plan for how to cope from now on. TALK to the doctors and if they seem too busy, don't take no for an answer.

You also don't mention a husband or significant other in your household. If there is a dad in the picture, he needs to be helping you out here, enabling you to sleep and taking on some of the care himself, as well as talking to doctors for and with you. If not, are there other support people in your life, like siblings, parents or friends, who can come and stay for even a few hours with your child while you sleep and go get a good meal?

If you continue to feel this depressed, please do consider counseling, but it's possible that with some rest and food and support you will bounce back so you can be there for her. Don't go it alone if at all possible. As for being scared to take her out -- Someday you must; she can't stay indoors forever and I know you know that in your heart. Just get past this period of exhaustion and ASK FOR HELP wherever you can get it. Give us an update!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I can understand why you feel afraid. You are coming out of crisis and your maternal instincts are in overdrive. While our children are at risk (perceived or real), it is very difficult to feel balanced. As mothers, it's easy for us to think, "What could I have done to prevent this," / "What can I do to make sure nothing bad happens again" / "If something goes wrong, it's my fault", and that's all just fine and even wonderful up until a point.

We get to do what we can do. We can speak with professionals to gain as much information as possible. We can trouble shoot our plans and create safety plans / wellness plans based on good information. We can advocate for our children's well being, get them the best care that is possible, and can do what we *can* do to keep them safe/well.

That's what we can do.

Sometimes, even when we are doing as much as we can do, our kids still get sick / bad things happen. Please try to not blame your daughter's illness on yourself. You are coming out of crisis and it is *normal* to panic afterwards. It's normal to feel anxious about their well being. Still, it's not your fault. It sounds like you are doing what you can. You are caring for your baby, seeking medical attention, and you love that child of yours with every cell in your body.

Take good care of yourself too, J.. As much as is possible. A hot bath now and again. A phone call to someone who you trust. A journal where you can spill your most intimate concerns. Regular snacks - even if only a bite or two. Start small and give yourself pats on the back when you accomplish a small kindness for yourself. Try to rest. If you can't, that's okay. No need to beat yourself up. Just care for yourself as kindly as you can, so that you *can* be strong for your daughter.

This isn't your fault. Biggest hugs. Sending you prayers of health and healing and rest.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

First of all, you cannot catch pneumonia from being cold. No amount of bundling up (or not bundling up) causes pneumonia or a cold. As a nurse, I can tell you that is simply not the way it works. She won't catch a cold because it's cold out or because she's not properly bundled, so try not to stress yourself out over that.

Cold and flu season happens in Georgia just like it happens in NYC -- moving out of the city won't change that. Remember, H1N1 was most serious in MEXICO, and it wasn't that big of a deal in the US. Being in a warmer climate won't change that.

One thing to watch out for no matter where you live is crowds -- during cold and flu season, being around crowds increases your likelihood of getting sick. If you lived in the suburbs, that would mean you want to avoid the mall or supermarket as much as possible. In the city, it probably means avoiding the subway as much as possible, or trying to ride it at off-peak times. Depending on her age, there may be different things you can do -- the supplement Emergen-C is great, although I would only give it to an older child. If she's a baby, try to wear her in a carrier facing you (helps to keep her insulated from germs) or use a rain shield over her stroller. Red bell peppers are super high in vitamin C, and oranges are pretty high as well.

Ultimately, though, I think this is an issue of you being depressed more than it is of her getting sick. You did NOTHING to make her sick. You could not have prevented her getting sick. Kids get sick, A LOT. They may be sick almost continuously epsecially if they're in daycare or starting school. Their immune systems get stronger, and they will fight stuff off better as they grow. I would see a counselor or talk to your doctor about your depression, though. I have been there. It is miserable, and you start obsessing over things about your children that you cannot control. It is not healthy or helpful.

Finally, regarding the chipping paint in your apartment. Go to the hardware store and pick up a lead tester. You can test the paint in your apartment to see if it is lead-based. If not, don't worry about it. We had a small area of chipping paint that exposed an old lead-based layer, but it was one small area, so we didn't worry about it. Our child's lead levels were fine. If there is lead paint chipping, you can consider moving, or to bloodwork to see what the lead levels are at the 1 year appointment (if your pediatrician doesn't do this test automatically, ask for it. It's standard for 1 year).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Some children just are more prone to lung infections, some more with strep, etc. and so on. I know when our first kids were sick so much with upper respiratory infections and one had pneumonia they told us to keep the house cooler in the winter ( like 66 or so and never above 70 ), fresh air was not bad for them and to moisturize the air with a humidifier or something to put more water in the air. When we did these things they were not sick much at all. Maybe a coincidence though.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Your post, and feelings, are somewhat familiar to me. Not so much with pneumonia, but just one illness after another, including pneumonia, stomach virus, strep, etc. Last winter and spring were so bad for us, I can't even begin to describe. It really got me angry, upset, I felt like I must be doing something wrong. I do want to tell you that my son had pneumonia last month, and I've talked to others who have had it recently. Our pediatrician told me that he's been seeing a virus lately that turns into pneumonia in lots of kids. So you're not alone in that. I did ask him what I can do to strengthen my kids' immune systems for this winter, because I cannot bear to have another year like last year, especially since I am having baby #3 in February. My ped said the two most important things to give my kids, in terms of supplements, is astragalus, and a probiotic EVERY DAY. I don't know if this is what's doing the trick, but my kids have been healthier so far. They are not the best eaters, but I do what I can and try not to stress about what I can't control. I do feel like I give them a lot of supplements, and I asked my ped about that--he said it isn't too much, and that I seem to have all the bases covered. Here's what I give them every day: multi-vitamin, vitamin C, probiotic, astragalus, and vitamin D. And then probably once a week I give them elderberry extract, which is an amazing immune booster. If you want to know what brands, forms I use (some are liquid, others are chewables), send me a message. I get my stuff from iherb. Just so you know, I don't sell anything, and I don't use one brand for everything--rather, I've researched and tried reputable brands, found what I've liked, and stuck with it. It's really not expensive either. Good luck and hugs to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

could be mold or spores from the older building, you mentioned chipping paint - could be lead in the paint... also she could have asthma or an underlying immune deficiency issue.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

People dont' get sick from going out in the cold. They get sick from germs, bacteria. She didn't get pneumonia from being out in the cold or from you not taking care of her. Lots of hand washing, vitamins, etc can help, as can limiting her exposure to other people/kids while her immune system is low. If she's very congested, make sure she's drinking lots of water, let her sleep with her head raised. Be sure to take care of you, too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spartanburg on

I am very sorry about your daughter, but you won't help her by feeling so down. Is there any chance you could move down south? Finding a job and move where the weather is more forgiving? In Europe doctors recommend sick people (lungs problems) to move in the Mediterranean area, where they can enjoy the benefit of the mild air. If this is an ongoing condition with your daugther I would definitely consider a BIG change. If not for things like these, for what else, then? Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Sometimes getting out in the fresh air is good for people, inside air is really dry, dirty, and just plain nasty. There is research to show that inside air has more pollution that some cities that have smog alerts often.

I would think going to a lung doc would be the next step. They can tell you if she has some disease that makes her lungs weak or more susceptible to the virus'. A friend of mine kept getting pneumonia and one time she went to the ER right when she felt sick, she didn't wait for the full blast before going and the X-ray showed she had an 8cm growth in her lung, it had been hidden by the pneumonia stuff each and every time. They treated it and it shrunk away. She has not had even bronchitis since.

Follow the docs instructions and make sure she is getting lots of foods rich in the vitamins she needs to fight off illnesses. But still, getting outside in the fresh air is not a bad thing, even if it's just a few minutes each day.

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answers from Houston on

I would continue to pump her full of vitamin c to help her immune system. Some people are more predisposed to illness. I'm very sorry. I hope you can have a very safe space heater in her room. Make sure you don't have any mold or like you said, old chipping paint can contribute to sickness as well.



answers from Amarillo on

Stop beating yourself up. She could have had a cold that turned into pneumonia within a day. Yes the breathing thing sucks and getting the air in the lungs is lots of work but she will get better. As others have posted you sound worse when you are getting better.

As far as living in NYC the climate is wet because of the rivers so that brings in lots of moisture. Make sure she is covered but don't over dress her so that she gets hot and sweaty. Once she sweats in winter clothes they get colder and can get sick.

Make sure that she continues to bring up the phlegm in her lungs so that they can clear out the mucus.

Stop stressing and pray for a quick recovery. You being stressed does not help your daughter as she can feel the tension in your body. Take a few deep breaths, a hot bath, and relax. Make sure she has vitamin enriched meals or takes a nice multiple vitamin. Getting outside in the fresh air helps to clear out the air in the lungs and get some sun. Take a walk around the neighborhood for about twenty minutes a day.

Here's to a speedy recovery and a happy holiday season.

The other S.



answers from Phoenix on

Your immune system is your blood cells. If your cells are weak or damaged they cannot fight off an infection very well. What weakens them? Eating too much processed or cooked food. The simple act of cooking depletes 50% or more of the vital nutrients and vitamins that our blood cells need to regenerate so that they can keep us healthy and combat virus and bacteria.

So think of food in terms of regeneration. Are you feeding her high potency real food vitamins? Or is the majority of her food cooked, or comes from a box or bag? If the latter is true, then it's no surprise she is sick.

Some suggestions: get your hands on a juicer. Buy as much juiceable produce as you can. For a child, carrots and apples are usually big hits. With that base, you can mix in beets. Or try a little spinach and kale. The more green you can get into her the better. Why fresh juice? It is the fastest way to get her cells concentrated nutrients. Organic is best of course, but do what you can.

Try eliminating dairy for a while or forever. Dairy is inherently mucous and imflammation causing. Those two things in the body means longer healing time.

I am not saying that you can't eat cooked food. Especially in cold climates like NYC in the winter, cooked food is necessary to keep the body insulated and satisfied. But add in raw foods whenever possible. You can always do a partially raw soup. It's a cooked base with finely chopped raw veggies for texture. Two slices of whole grain bread on the side. Very filling and delicious.

High nutrient potency foods you should try to include whenever possible:
avocado, kale, carrots, cabbage, spinach, sweet potatoes, celery, nuts and seeds...etc.

If she's had pneumonia, she has likely been on a lot of anti-biotics. Anti-biotics are known culprits that produce or inflame candida. Candida is fungal yeast in the blood. It is a common cause of yeast infections, longer healing time, fatigue, fibromyalgia symptoms, etc. It may be worth your while to talk to a holistic health practitioner locally and see if you can get her on a short term candida cleanse. This will help her body get off the anti-biotic cycle and clean the blood.

Good luck, I feel what you are going through.



answers from New York on

it might be asthma. have her checked out my a pediatric asthma specialist.



answers from Dallas on

Don't keep beating yourself up. Pneumonia can come on so quickly. I have had it 6 or7 times in my life - the 1st being at 3 mo old. And after having it once, you tend to be prone to get it again. Ask the doctor at her followup what can be done to help prevent this again. See what they say. But let her get some fresh air each day for just a bit. Oh - and it sounds so much worse as you get better. The coughing is a good thing - she needs to get the phelgm up.



answers from Raleigh on

I am so sorry you are going through this. Please take care of yourself and don't get too stressed out. You'll be sick next and no good to anyone!
You don't mention the age of your daughter, but did they test her for RSV by chance? It's common and small children and can cause secondary complications like pneumonia.



answers from Chicago on

Your daughter got sick from germs not from cold weather. Germs are everywhere. If she attends daycare or preschool - that is the first place where she picked them up from other kids. Kids spread germs like you will not believe.
Hand washing is important in prevention of future illness. As well as good balanced diet and good amount of exercise and fresh air. Make sure her face is washed frequently and that she blows her nose few times a day and brushed her teeth.
At this point you need to make sure she drinks a lot, rests and clears the junk out of her nose and throat. You can also flip her slightly upside down and lightly pat her back to help her expel the congestion in her lungs. She will cough right after that with a lot of moisture.
Hope that helps.


answers from New York on

It's so frightening when a child gets sick enough to be hospitalized. As a parent you always feel like there's something you could have/should have done to prevent it. But really it's not your fault. You are a good mama who is probably emotionally overwhelmed with worry right now. Talk with your pediatrician and see what you can do to help things along. And remember to be kind to yourself because you are doing your best.



answers from New York on

First let me I am sorry your daughter has been sick.
How old is she, maybe you should consider getting her a pneumonia shot... You have to ask your doctor about the age.
If you are not happy with what your dr. is telling you why don't you get a second opinion.
The cold is not what makes people sick, it is the germs that linger everywhere. Make sure you wash her and your hands regularly... When ever I get home I immediately wash my hands. Also, spray your door knobs, light switches, railings etc. regularly with lysol.
Good Luck

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