Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dr. Mother Nature

I got sick this summer. This is something I do on a semi-regular basis. I'm kind of a collector of diseases. I won't list them for you here, but it is safe to say I pretty much have had most of the terrible/awful/disgusting/embarrassing diseases. I've warded off the really bad ones as of late, but this year I got this nasty head cold that wouldn't leave.
If your anything like me (and god help you if you are) you probably wait too long to go to the doctor. Nobody wants to go to the doctor on the first day they are feeling sick only to have the doctor make fun of you for being a hypochondriac. But on the same token I tend to wait until the disease has almost completed its course and prescription drugs are pretty much not needed.
This happened with my head cold. It was a head cold, that became a neck cold, and then a chest cold. I finally went to the doctor and he asked a couple of questions. (What color is your phlegm? I don't know doc, Magenta?) Then he prescribed me the beloved Z-Pac. This is the equivalent of the baby Jesus of the antibiotic world. It is the savior of all.
Except for the fact that Z-Pac is kind of like carpet bombing your system. It's like if you are trying to find an escaped felon in Disney World, but instead of just targeting him, you blow up the whole theme park.
In this scenario the felon is the disease, and my body is Disney World. Don't ask me why, it just is damn it.
Anyway, doc gives me Z-Pac, and the cold goes away. Not really totally but most of the way leaving me with a little cough that lingers.
A couple months pass before the same cold comes back. This time the doc doesn't even ask any questions before giving me a Z-Pac prescription again. He literally asked me no questions. It made me kind of nervous. I mean I could have been some kind of antibiotic junkee looking for my fix of germ killing drugs. Maybe that's the kind of sick thing that gave me the thrills. I don't know.
But doc gives it to me again. I blow up Disney again. The disease goes away again. But not totally, it came back last week. By this time I had had it with the "doctor" as his diplomas refer to him. So I said screw it. I'm going native.
I don't really know what that means but I figured it meant natural. I thought I would try out mother natures cures at the Natural Store. I used to think that Natural Cure stores are for stinky hippies and people without health insurance. People who can't afford to pay 185 dollars to have a doctor write them a prescription for a 10 dollar medication that makes zero dollars of difference.
Anyway I go in, and I'm just as baffled as being in the regular pharmacy. So I go up to the "pharmacist" (as his name tag calls him, where did this Natural pharmacist go to school, The Academy of Leaves and Moss?) and I tell him I have magenta phlegm and ask for a recommendation. He hands me a bottle that looks like a speakeasy flask full of something with elderberry (older wiser berries?) and some other crap in it.
I tell him my friend (who is not a "pharmacist") recommended Osha root. I don't know what that is but she said it would clear me out. He thinks this is a good idea. I'm not sure why he didn't recommend it right of the bat but hey, as long as I get healthy.
So I buy the berry juice and the Osha root from some hippy looking woman who walks like she'd been riding a horse for 8 days straight.
I take them home and give them a shot. The berry juice is surprisingly sweet, and I find myself taking more than just a teaspoon. I take a swig from the bottle. Kind of like when I used to eat 3 or 4 Flintstones vitamins at one time. If I was only supposed to eat 1 you shouldn't have made them so damn tasty Flintstones folk!
The berry juice needs to be kept in the fridge after opening. So twice a day I'm sneaking off to the office fridge to take swigs of what looks like moonshine. I even felt like I was doing something wrong.
The Osha root on the other hand... is awful. It smells like bad scotch. I dilute a spoonful in a glass of water and take a sip. It tastes like old dirty socks boiled in ass. It defies foul. But because I want to get better, I take more than the recommended dosage.
Each time I take it I use less and less water until I am just pouring it directly into the back of my throat with an eyedropper. I try to follow it with the elderberry juice but the only appropriate chaser would be a box of jelly donuts. After I swallow it, I cough like a cat trying to cough up... another cat.
It is now a couple of days after I finished consuming my plant and berry medicine. Do I feel better? Yes. Do I still have a cough? Yes. Am I able to see any discernible difference between drinking boiled sock water and antibiotics? No.
So what the hell did I figure out?
Well, I figured that that Osha root is probably an awful drink mixer, while elderberry juice would taste wonderful if mixed with Vodka. And as for what I'll do the next time I get sick? Considering it will probably be in a couple of weeks, I'll have to figure out something soon.
I'm thinking a combination of Oreos, Nutella, and Milk. It may not seem effective to you Medical Pharmacists, or you Natural Pharmacists. But I am a cookie Pharmacist, and if I'm just going to get better anyway, I might as well enjoy the process.