Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vicks on Feet


Last week, Maya's cough began keeping us her up at night. It was awful. She was fine all day, but by night, she would hack like a werewolf howling at the moon.
We tried propping her up on pillows, giving her over-the-counter cough medicine (which is kind of a no-no), and bringing her in our bed so that we could hold and comfort her as her lungs tried to eject themselves through her mouth.
Wendy mentioned that I should try putting Vicks on her feet. When I asked her if that really worked, she didn't know, she had never tried it. I dismissed the suggestion as an Urban Legend.
Last Sunday Maya climbed up on my lap during our small group bible study and coughed herself to sleep on my chest. Afterward, one of the women timidly approached me and offered a suggestion, "I've heard that putting Vicks on the feet can help" Then she quickly offered a disclaimer, "I don't know if it works, I've never tried it, but it may be worth a shot".
Urban Legend-Believer. Ha. I'm so much smarter than everyone else in the world. Really people.

Sunday was a terrible night. Since the girls sleep together, we felt it was only appropriate for Maya to keep us awake all night instead of Amelle, so Maya snuggled up in between Dirt and I and coughed away. We felt so helpless, we just didn't know how to make the coughing stop. At one point she coughed so hard that she threw up.

On Monday morning I was complaining to Wendy about my sleepless night and she again, mentioned Vicks. "Wen, I'm sure it's an Urban Legend - look it up online". So she did. Urban Legend listed it as "unconfirmed". Then she did a general google search and found rave reviews from moms everywhere. I decided to try it.

That evening I told Maya that I had some medicine to stop her coughing and she was as anxious as I was to try it. I showed her the jar of Vicks and told her that I'd be putting it on her feet. I told her that it "smells kinda funny", but it would help her cough.

We were so excited to try it that we went upstairs early, I thought I'd put it on and then we'd just relax and catch up on some Tom and Jerry before bed. I twisted open the cap and smelled that old familiar, unforgettable Vicks scent. After I took a 3 second voyage back to my childhood (my mom was a proponent of Vicks on the chest), I dug my finger in the soft gel and slathered it on Maya's little feet, and then covered them with socks. Things were great for about 2 seconds. Maya isn't normally a sock girl, so she immediately wanted the socks removed. I told her that we couldn't remove the socks and she was okay with that....until the full Vicks aroma made it's way to her nose.

"That smells gwoss!" she proclaimed. She tried covering up her nose with her blanket, but the strong Vicks aroma had spread itself onto everything in close proximity - her blanket was saturated with Vicks. She began to cry and repeat, "that smells gwoss", "take it off", "I want to cough". I then tried to quarantine her feet by wrapping them up in blankets, but to no avail, the Vicks odor could not be contained.

After 30 minutes of crying, I had no choice but to remove her socks, wipe the Vicks from her feet and re-sock with clean socks. This by no means, eliminated the Vicks aroma, but it did make Maya feel that I had taken the proper remediation steps and she was content with that. She fell asleep next to me without coughing. When Dirt came in, he carried her into her bed, where she slept soundly all night.

I woke up with one thought on my mind, "it works".

The next night I changed my strategy. I put her to bed as normal, she fell asleep and began hacking. I ran up to her room before she was fully woke and quickly rubbed some Vicks on her feet, no socks. Moments later there was silence. She slept for the rest of the night in her bed.

On the third night, I awoke hacking. In between coughs I reached my arm out from my warm covers and felt around for the Vicks jar on my nightstand. I sat up, de-socked, and applied the Vicks to my own feet. I re-socked and fell back to sleep; the coughing spell had ceased (note: I had to reapply later that evening).

So, given my experience, Vicks on the feet works.

Go, try it - report back with your findings!


10 comments:

~Seth and Nancy~ said...

reminds me of that mythbusters show :-) glad you could find something to find some relief.

The Graham Fam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Graham Fam said...

Huh, very interesting. If it were just you, I would suspect the placebo effect. But the fact that Maya stopped coughing makes me think you're onto something!

Carole Turner said...

Girl, I will so be trying that!!! My grandma used to do the chest thing, I still rub Cormex under my nose when it's stopped up and it does help.

Thanks for the tip.

MaineMom said...

I'm glad you tried it. You were my guinea pig (well, your daughter was first).

I'm going to rub Beano on Shaun's feet to see if it stops his horrible gas problem.

Grandma said...

"It smells gwross!".........the only mistake you made in regards to colds, is that you didn't introduce your children to Vicks from birth. I still use in and you should be too!

Mark D said...

Love your blog Erin!! Your photographs are simply amazing. You gotta email me the kind of camera you use. I'm truly awed by how vivid they are!

I'm gonna do the same "Ethiopia team members" thing on my blog - great idea!

Janis said...

I have personally been using Vicks on my feet for over 2 years and I am 51 years old. I have found that if you use the Vicks as soon as you feels symptoms you may not even get sick. I have had 1 cold in 2 years that I did not use the Vicks right away and had symptoms. I continue to use it right away, trust me everyone around me recently is sick, I keep using my vicks. You don't need to use a ton of it either, wear socks for about hour before bed. I use it 2@ per day, AM and PM. Also my daughters pediatrician told for under a year old apply vicks to the socks and definatly a no no on the chest.

Janis said...

I have personally been using Vicks on my feet for over 2 years and I am 51 years old. I have found that if you use the Vicks as soon as you feels symptoms you may not even get sick. I have had 1 cold in 2 years that I did not use the Vicks right away and had symptoms. I continue to use it right away, trust me everyone around me recently is sick, I keep using my vicks. You don't need to use a ton of it either, wear socks for about hour before bed. I use it 2@ per day, AM and PM. Also my daughters pediatrician told for under a year old apply vicks to the socks and definatly a no no on the chest.

Janis said...

I have personally been using Vicks on my feet for over 2 years and I am 51 years old. I have found that if you use the Vicks as soon as you feels symptoms you may not even get sick. I have had 1 cold in 2 years that I did not use the Vicks right away and had symptoms. I continue to use it right away, trust me everyone around me recently is sick, I keep using my vicks. You don't need to use a ton of it either, wear socks for about hour before bed. I use it 2@ per day, AM and PM. Also my daughters pediatrician told for under a year old apply vicks to the socks and definatly a no no on the chest.