Dr. Mom: Medicine Woman

Just Thinking…..

Our eight year old grandson, Bradden, called us five times yesterday to ask questions about his illness.

Ring Ring!!
Me: Hello?
Bradden: Grandma, I’m in bed with diarrhea,
Me: (gross picture forming in my head). I’m so sorry, sweetheart.

I know he probably means that he had diarrhea and now he is in bed. Grandmas just have to interpret these things.

Later in the evening:
Ring Ring!!
Bradden: I puked up my popsicle; I puked up my pill; I puked up my ramen noodles. Grandma! What do I do???

My ready answer is to sip water and more water, even if you throw up again. I have this horrible vision of little dried up guts and cracked innards because of dehydration.

Now…. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. But for some reason, my family comes running (or calling) to me when illness strikes. They expect me to don my white lab coat, hang my shingle, and diagnose and prescribe. But honestly, my medicine woman skills are limited to “drink more water”, “soak in a hot tub”, and “take a nap”. Not very high tech, eh?

My mother was a much better medicine woman. She would look at my brother’s ears, pronounce them to be red on the tips, and therefore my brother was sick. “You’ve got red ears, Brother. You must be sick.” She was a master of temperature. “Put on a sweater; you are cold.” Hot packs, cold packs, thermometers, sweats…. all part of her medicinal vocabulary. I spent much time in bed with nasty Vicks rubbed on my chest and watering my eyes, and a hot water bottle wrapped in flannel topping it all. I had to swallow this nasty stuff called “Beef, Iron, and Wine” from Rexall drugstore that gagged me, but was supposed to stimulate my system. But despite all these remedies (or maybe because of them), I lived!!!!

My personal medical routine is pretty simple now. Every morning I take a handful of vitamins and supplements, and eat fish. I take a hot tea break in the afternoon. I work out at the gym 4-5 times a week. I try to watch my weight (a never ending process…. sigh…), and go for regular check ups to my doctor and dentist. I try to have an optimistic attitude and a healthy spiritual life. But if I start to feel puny, or my joints hurt, or I have a headache, stomachache, leg ache….. then I soak in the hot tub.

There is nothing like a hot tub for total relaxation. It’s my physical therapist, psychologist, doctor, chiropractor, masseuse…. all in one! I wrap up in my swim suit and robe and grab a couple of towels and it’s off to the back deck to just slide in and say “ahhhhhh….. oooohhhhhh…..” as my muscles melt and my troubles just slide away. Just give me 15-20 minutes there, and I am a new woman.

Hubby’s major item in his medicine kit is a nap. He swears that it cures whatever is wrong with him. And he has the uncanny ability to nap anywhere, anytime. Me? I’m wound a little too tight. But I’m beginning to appreciate his drug of choice, and occasionally slip in a nap myself. And I must admit: I feel better afterwards!

Finally, there’s the “drink more water” prescription. Somehow, I just keep thinking that if I can flush this virus, this bug, this bacteria, this poison out, then all will be well. And the fact that it makes me get up more in the middle of the night just adds to the exercise, right?

So…. how’s my health? Well, I’m of Social Security age, and I don’t wear glasses or contacts. I’m losing my hearing, and my hip joints ache at times. I have allergies. My cholesterol is on the high side of normal. That’s about it. Maybe I should prescribe another soak or nap.

And when the grandkids call, I’ll still suggest water…..

Father, I praise You for the gift of health. Despite all that I do, I know that it is not of myself. It is a gift, and I only try to maintain the gift. Forgive me for the times that I do not care for myself as I should.

To God be the glory….

Published in: on January 10, 2012 at 4:06 am  Comments (1)