med Tale – Pills for the ills

Having just cured myself from my latest ailment with coconut water and probiotics, I find myself asking, are there really too many Pills for the ills?

So I suffered from my GI ailment for exactly 17 days…and yes I counted every day, every hour, every minute, and almost every second of each and every one of those days in which I was tortured anytime food or water passed through my lips. Although a specific diagnosis was never narrowed down, eventually all my Micro results came back negative. Dr’s at this point are speculating it was some non-specific bacterial imbalance in my gut following my surgery. Ya I’d say.

As quickly as I was afflicted, I was fine again and while I am still regaining my energy (can barely keep my eyes open) I am just SO ecstatic I can actually eat all my beloved veggies again. Also, for sure I now know I did right in standing my ground turning down one Dr.’s suggestion in taking a “broad-spectrum antibiotic” as I was harassing her for my results on Day 10 of  living hell.

Hmmmm, isn’t it the antibiotics which disrupted my normal intestinal flora in the first place? It just reminds of what a delicate balance we must maintain, and that yes, each and every one of us are individuals. So there really is no “broad spectrum” cure out there.

Is there?

Not that I am against anti-antibiotics. Certainly not, considering I am a Lab Tech by degree. However growing up my parents were the holistic sort so maybe a little bit rubbed off on me.  Although I remember most of it as complete torture.  I guess it wasn’t all so bad until they joined some Vitamin cult, er I mean clan. Even then, we started out only having to knock down one vitamin a day. Mine was ground up in applesauce because for years I could not swallow them.  After that, out went the Dr. Spock books and in came the Feed Your Kids Only Crap that Tastes Like Crap Guides.

I distinctly remember when Doomsday hit. I was minding my own business, eating a perfectly healthy lunch. Spaghettio’s are healthy, right? So what if the sodium content is like 100,000 mg per serving? Did they even have “Nutrition Labels” back then?  Anyway,  I was eating, happily, just like the kids in those commercials do while Mom read one of her books. Suddenly she looked and snatched my bowl of Spaghettio’s away. “You can’t EAT those!,” she said, “they aren’t healthy!

Well from that day forward I was about to learn what HEALTHY meant.

One vitamin turned into more vitamins than I even could count on both of my skinny fingers. Wait, I think they were actually called “supplements.”  LOL! And didn’t I mention I could not swallow them? That was a-ok because my parents had one of those good ol’ mortar and pestles to grind up every BIG, nasty vitamin they could get their hands on, which they would then mix-up with protein-powder and unfiltered, unpasteurized apple-juice. It was so gross it would gag a maggot. In fact, it did choke our overnight guests, if one ever did dare to sleep to spend the night, as they were also treated to these barftails. My cousin Jenna did in fact nearly vomit at our breakfast table.

Anyway, the food was even more fab. Skippy PB was replaced by the kind that looked like someone chewed up a bunch of peanuts, spit them back in the jar, then dumped oil on top. Tempeh, Tofu, and all those bean-curd yucks were literally like chomping on someone’s sneaker soles. I brought lunches to school the cafeteria ladies sniffed and swore were not at all safe for me to eat.  Meat substitutes seriously resembled cardboard, and the psuedodairy would make your gums itch. It was really was that bad.

Remember this was before all this stuff tasted good.

So what was the BENEFIT on may ask?

For one, as kids my brother and I never got sick. No cavities. Nada. In fact, the no sick thing actually became a concern when we couldn’t even catch the chicken pox (although my mother would take us for a visit as soon as she learned a household had been hit). As a teen I finally did catch them and was actually quite ill. However, to this day, my brother has not. Amazing huh?

The other benefit? I was mini as mini could be, rocking a bod that was absoultely ridiculous and didn’t do a thing for it. Well, that is except dancing. I have since decided genetics had nothing to do with it. I just didn’t like anything I ate. Therefore, I really didn’t eat much. So I suppose I should thank Mom and Dad for watching out for me and keeping me healthy and hot for so many years. I also did develop a true love of VEGGIES.

I also do think long and hard about what I put into my body which brings me back to the pills.

You see well did I remain healthy through most of my teen years at 17 I developed a chronic a recurring problem with my throat. Strep throat. Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus . So often the school nurse started culturing me at school. And so the cycle would begin. The infection – the antibiotics – the infection. My parents firmly believed my tonsils were there to protect me so the tonsils remained. But by the time I was 20 the strep was gone and tonsils were swiss cheese.

It was later in my 20’s I earned my degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. Ahhh, so I came to truly understand the ins and the outs with these pills. To treat or not to treat. That is the question one Microbiology Professor would say. Many of these bacteria are self-limiting. The body will often rid itself of the offender, including Strep throat. However, there is that possibility with strep, even if slight, that it can infect the aortic valve and kill you first. Would you risk it?

But what about these antibiotics? Back when I was in college, the MRSAs and VRSAs were killing people, but it was lesser known because these highly resistant bacteria only lurked in hospitals or nursing homes and infected those who were already immune compromised. However, we who were being in schooled in exactly what pills best treated which ills were warned the overuse and misuse would ultimately start killing the general population as well. Today this is true.

So while I left the bench over a decade ago, I still work with Healthcare Professionals every day. I also carefully consider ALL of my available options whenever myself or my children are sick. Yes, I sure do treat those ills with pills. However, I make certain I am well-informed as to what exactly they can and will do.  And so should you.

Of course I am just speaking of antibiotics. I could tell another whole Tale about me and the OTHER meds. But not today;)

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