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The Medicine Diaries: My Son Refuses To Take Medicine. Help!

I’ve blogged before that JD refuses to take medicine. I know what you’re all thinking: How does a four-year-old overpower his grown mother, actually win the fight and not ingest medication when he is ill??? I DON’T KNOW. All I can peg it to is he doesn’t like the flavor, because my son, other than the occasional meltdown, nonstop energy is a normal kid. He aced his recent well checkup and the parent-teacher conferences always go well.

But, I gotta blush, and admit that I feel like a horrible mother, because my kid won’t take his meds. He JUST started taking Tylenol Meltaways, or “candies.” Prior to that I had to reduce his fevers with a bath, because he’d spit the meds out. I’ve tried everything too: sneaking liquid medicine into similar tasting juice, offering him a sticker for taking his dose, staring down the cup for twenty-minutes, then tackling him to the ground, injecting the dose little by little into his cheek, only for him to gag and puke it all up—PUKE IT ALL UP. I even tried Sippy Sure (a cute product, but not JD’s cup of tea medicine).

Last week, when JD was fighting a chest infection, Strep and a 103+ fever with Tylenol Meltaways and ice pops, I called the pediatrician and yes, folks, I CRIED. “He, sniffle, won’t, sniffle, take, sniffle, his antibiotic. He’s, sinffle, getting worse. What do I do? Sniffle. I tried everything. But he’s been, sniffle, sick for a week. I haven’t worked, or slept or ate. Please help me, please help me.” The doctor was so sweet. She didn't think I was having a nervous breakdown. This was comforting.

There was only one thing left to do: Antibiotic shots. As in giant needles, two at a time, straight to his little thighs. The doctor warned me that Strep cannot go untreated because it will turn into a heart infection, and/or Scarlet Fever—omgomgomg! Dealing with this all alone, btw—so not fun. This tiny human is MY responsibility.

So, the next morning, I marched him into the Ped’s office and I even brought the antibiotic. I had both versions, too. The classic pink liquid that was flavored to taste like cherry and the chewable (that, OK, smelled kinda gross). I even brought juice to mix the liquid in and applesauce to crush a chewable in. The nurse couldn’t get him to take his medicine—even when she said: "Then I have to give you a needle." JD didn't flinch. I mean, really? So, two nurses held him down, I held his hands and BAM—kiddo got two shots/same time to the thighs. Now, you’d think the pain (and, oh boy, did he scream) would convince him to take his medicine orally the next day, right? Wrong. We went back and he got two more shots. And wow, talk about magic medicine. He was back to his normal nutty self within a day.

Me? I sprouted about seven grey hairs, lost three pounds and have since been applying extra eye cream. JD is still doing his nebulizer treatments to ward off here and there wheezing and even that’s a battle. “Sit down. It’s time for the cloud machine!” The only thing that keeps him participating? I allow him to decorate the machine with a sticker each time. “When Uncle Bri was little we decorated his machine with dinosaur stickers,” I said to him as he slapped a Superman sticker on the side. (Uncle Bri has Asthma. JD does not.) “I sat with Uncle Bri all the time and we colored at the kitchen table while he did his treatments. Just like we’re doing right now, bud.”

These days, I have anxiety about him getting sick and going through this ordeal again. Please, no.

Do your kids fight meds? Have your kids gotten antibiotic shots because they wouldn’t take their meds? Share. Please share.

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Full disclosure: I do not endorse Tylenol for pay or products. Thank you Sippy Sure for sending me a sample.