Emily Is Sick
I got a call from my sister-in-law, Susan. Her younger daughter Emily had a gastrointestinal problem. The poor little girl had been vomiting and was having diarrhea. The call was to ask me what she could do to make things better. I told her that she should give Emily clear liquids only until she stopped vomiting. If the vomiting continued, she would have to call her pediatrician, before Emily became dehydrated.
Clear liquids would include ginger ale, Sprite, 7-Up, etc. with some of the fizz out of it.
Once the vomiting stopped, I told Susan that she should progress Emily to crackers and ripened bananas. We talked about a few other things, and then hung up.
I was praying that everything would be okay. As a parent, I was always tender hearted when one of my kids were ill, wishing that I could something make them better.
It wasn’t to be. I got another telephone call the following day. It was Susan. She told me that the vomiting had stopped with the clear liquids and the diarrhea had slowed. She started to give Emily the crackers and the bananas to eat as I suggested.
Then all of a sudden the diarrhea had returned, as bad as before, if not worse. I scratched my head, wondering why? A child could get dehydrated with extreme diarrhea as well as with vomiting. I asked, “Is Emily still able to take liquids?” It gave me some more time to think what was happening.
Susan replied, “Yes.”
I started to tell her to go back to giving Emily the clear liquids, since that had seemed to help. I was out of ideas. It was then I something popped into my head. I asked the question, “What kind of cracker are you giving her?” I was thinking that possibly she had been giving Emily Hi Ho or Ritz crackers that have oils and grease in them, but when she said, “Graham crackers. Emily just loves them.” I thought, “No wonder the diarrhea returned.”
Graham crackers are made of whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour still includes the wheat bran. Bran can be used to help people to move their bowels by adding bulk to the diet.
I hadn’t explained clearly enough. I hadn’t said, “Saltine crackers.” I thought that Susan would automatically know to use saltines.
I said, “Keep Emily on the clear liquids for now. Be sure that she is drinking. Then give her saltine crackers only. You can add ripened bananas when the diarrhea slows.”
No more calls and my little niece was feeling better.