WEEK 36 (2023) – A Week of Gastro/Stomach Bugs

It’s been a week and a half of gastro (stomach bugs) here at my house in Melbourne, so I apologise for the brief email! The usual domino effect occurred: one child gets it, then the next, then my husband. For some reason, I have managed to dodge it, but I have felt ‘off’ all week. It just means that these illnesses take over your life for a while, and you don’t get much done. Needless to say, this week has been quite tough…

For us, it started at a school friend’s birthday party. The usual mass of children in close proximity, eating snacks from the same bowls and generally getting in each other’s business. The UK and other parts of the northern hemisphere are back to school this week, so gastro and other illnesses may be making an appearance soon enough.

I can’t really spout a load of advice on this one. I find my sick children will not cooperate. Me sitting here saying, “Give them plenty of bone broths, coconut water, blah blah”, is not just not authentic. These are obviously ideals, but realistically, we just have to try our best and hydrate as much as possible.

We can purchase over-the-counter rehydration powders and the like, but making a homemade rehydration drink is pretty simple. Take some filtered water, add a squeeze of lemon, a pinch of good-quality salt, a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, and a small amount of raw honey. It’s best to avoid dairy and fruit until the diarrhoea has subsided.

I find that being stuck inside adds to the general awfulness of the situation, so get out in the sunshine when you can. My favourite is walking or sitting barefoot on the ground to help ground myself and feel the earth. My kids love this, too.

Hygiene is essential, ensuring everybody washes their hands properly, cleans toilets after use and avoids contact with each other as much as practical. I don’t advocate going crazy with sterilising and sanitising, though, as these things often have nasty chemicals in them.

As ever, it is all about doing what you can 80% of the time to be the healthiest version of you! Fingers crossed, this bug leaves our family soon, and I manage to continue to avoid it. Wish me luck!

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Wishing you good health and happiness.

Warm regards,
Olivia Redfern

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