They say the best way to get rid of a cold is to give it to somebody. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work if everybody already has it. In which case, it’s best to follow the saying, “if you can’t beat ’em – join ’em”. As I write this, I am coughing up toxic-green phlegm and nursing it with warm buckwheat honey. It’s the only cough suppressant that works and believe me, I’ve tried them all.
Apparently, when you don’t have health insurance, you try all the over-the-counter and homeopathic remedies you hear about. And then there’s also the fact that my grandfather was a doctor and as a result, my mother had ingrained in me a certain distrust of “physicians”. After every doctor visit, in the back of my mind I think, “she doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.” With the exception of my obstetrician because when it came to being pregnant, I was an idiot.
Bronchial congestion, at this point, I am an expert. Aside from the boys, I battle every year with a cold that makes me hack like I’ve been smoking three packs of Camel non-filters. To top it off, I lose my voice, which in the beginning – the “Demi Moore” stage – could be sexy but unlikely when I’m saying phrases like, “Do you have to poop, because you’re making the poopy-face.” Just give me some horrible plastic surgery and I could be mistaken for Joan Rivers.
Seriously, a tablespoon of buckwheat honey does the trick. I’m hardcore and take it straight – actually, it’s because I’m lazy. For the boys, however, I’ll dissolve it in a shot glass with milk. I discovered they’ll drink anything medicinal if it’s in a shot glass, even fish oil masked in mango juice. Great approach, right? But it’s a bitch to clean.
If your kid is of honey-consumption age, I highly recommend it over any DM cough suppressant which tend to give my boys bloody noses. Not that the blood freaks them out – they love it. They think it’s a rite of passage and smear it all over everything. Nothing like trying to get blood and snot off a white undershirt. And should they CONSIDER using a tissue, it’s only because they think it’s a blank canvas to make blood tie dye art. They display it on the dining table, which is appetizing. At least they’re not writing “Redrum” with bloody boogers.
Still it makes me crazy – although not as much since I started taking Evening Primrose during that time of the month when Evil Overlord takes over. Maybe my hormones never rebalanced after pregnancy, maybe it’s living with three guys who among them, the six year old is maturest – but there were times when I just-couldn’t-stop-yelling.
It used to be tears – I’d just start crying for no reason. Of course, I was working then, and my job in itself was a reason to cry. I don’t know when it happened exactly – but I switched to flying off the handle and it was getting harder and harder to get a grip. Thank God I had a friend who doubled as a guinea pig and tried the Evening Primrose to tell me if it’s a waste of money. Under her recommendation (and for the record, she is nuttier than me) I tried it and agree – it works. You may not win any Saint of the Year award, but you won’t be turning into the Exorcist, either.
In the end, when it comes to being healthy, it doesn’t take a professional to tell you that you the best medicine in life is to be happy. Forget what other people say – or think. You don’t have to tell me – I know too well what it’s like to be judged for my vices and my mistakes by people who pretend not to have any. Fuck them – that’s my prescription. At least it’s a prescription you can read.