As any of you who have read my blog in the past week are aware, Kiddo has RSV. With the RSV has come thick-n-plentiful congestion and a frequent cough. I'd posted about this on my Facebook status the day before yesterday (because if one is going to whinge on about something, one might as well whinge on in any available forum, eh? I Twittered about it too...). Within an hour, I had no less than three of my friends reply to my FB status update to suggest that I rub Vicks on the soles of Kiddo's feet at bedtime.
Now, I'd heard of this practice before and dismissed it pretty much out of hand. I mean, when I was a kid, sure, Mom would slather my throat and chest with Vicks (then wrap a dishtowel around my neck, safety-pinned at the back, under my jammies) whenever I had a bad chest cold/cough. But that makes some amount of sense, what with the vapors having good proximity to the breathing and all. How on earth could having Vicks on the bottom of one's feet be beneficial, if one sleeps like a normal human (or even like Kiddo, with her various contortions and shiftings about in her sleep) and not pretzeled up like some master yoga practitioner?? Plus, the instructions include covering the Vicks-slathered feet with socks (for bed linens-protection purposes) which adds a further layer of vapor-blocking to the enterprise.
But still, THREE people. Three mothers who I find to be not only quite sane, but utterly trustworthy, no less. All three of them were telling me of their first-hand experience doing this and swearing to me that this Vicks-on-feet thing worked. I told Hubby about it, and he scoffed. I told him I thought I might try it, and he rolled his eyes and scoffed further, then remarked that it would "ruin the bedding" before considering the matter closed. I googled it and proceeded to read the Snopes article (oh Snopes, how I adore thee and thy debunking ways) which didn't give a solid confirmation or denial. I clicked back to my google search results and proceeded to read blog after blog after message board after message board post about how mom after mom tried this with much success. (Of course no one hopped onto the interwebz to announce they'd tried this method and found it to be full of hooey....) It sure seemed like a lot of anecdotal evidence... I considered the idea some more.
When I announced my intention to Vicksify her feet at Kiddo's bedtime, Hubby threw his hands up and shook his head, as Hubby is wont to do when I'm on to one of my "crazy schemes", but I persisted. I slathered the bottoms of Kiddo's feet with Vicks (well, actually, with Generic Mentholated Rub Goo) and double-socked them, just to be sure that the linens and vast horde of stuffed animals that share Kiddo's bed wouldn't be too camphortastic come morning. We also ran the cool mist humidifier (set to "tropical rainforest") with the Vicks scented pad thingy in the holder for additional mentholated effect. Hubby was rather skeptical, and to be honest, so was I, but I figured it wasn't going to hurt anything, except maybe a stuffed animal or twelve who might need a bath come morning.
Kiddo fell asleep. Time ticked by. Nary a cough sounded from her room. I was up until almost midnight (thanks to an afternoon nap that threw my schedule totally off) and still, not a cough. Kiddo is an impressive cougher, too - it rings out through the house, reverberating off the walls in such a manner as to make our house seem like one of those sanitarium tuberculosis wards of old. All I heard was silence. I checked on her before turning in at twelve. Sleeping soundly and breathing pretty well (she was snoring, as she does whenever she's congested). Hmmmm.
This morning, Kiddo woke us up shortly after seven. Not by coughing up a lung, mind you, but by scampering into our room, relatively bright eyed and bushy tailed. Well, bushy haired at any rate - the kid does an awesome "bed head" look, even with her hair secured in a pony tail or braids before sleep. No coughing. None. Her nasal congestion also was markedly improved - I did the "squirt squirt" routine (nasal saline spray and much nose blowing) with her this morning and there was hardly anything produced compared to the floods of ick that scoffed at the Puffs Plus and exploded over my hand of yesterday.
Now, it is entirely possible that this is all coincidental, that Kiddo would've been this much improved without any wacky old wives'-urban legend remedy. Hubby thinks it was just the added presence of vapors in the room and posited that had I done as my mother did and rubbed it onto Kiddo's chest/throat instead, it would've worked as well if not better than the feet. Hmmmm. All I know is that 24 hours ago I was thinking there was no way Kiddo was going to be healthy enough to go back to school tomorrow, and now today? I totally think she could. She has no fever, hardly any congestion, and has only coughed once since she woke up. We're staying home again today and having one more day of "taking it easy" just to be safe, but all signs point to YES on the return to school, and you'd better believe I'm rejoicing over that.
Either way, you can be darn sure I'm going to Vicks her feet again tonight!