July 22, 2008

desperate times call for desperate measures

have you ever done something a bit over the top in order to try to find some relief from physical discomfort? i have nothing against sinus buster , "the world's first hot pepper nasal spray," but really, should one stick something up one's nose that has a picture of two hot red peppers on the bottle? i did. and i will never forget the feeling of vaporized capsicum hitting me deep inside my sinuses. have you ever produced noises that you didn't know you could make? have you ever laughed and screamed at the same time because something is sort of ridiculous at the same time as really painful and you wonder why you ever thought it might be a good idea?

why not try an electric bath? that might help!

my sinus misadventure got me thinking about other things i have tried in a moment of desperation. as a teenager in pain, i tried coca cola and aspirin and ended just being super burpy and nauseated. i also tried a handful of little blue pills a classmate stole from her sister that were supposed to be good for back pain. i took them at lunchtime and they were good for nearly getting me expelled! as an adult, i have done many things that temporarily seemed like a good idea. there was the time i put tiger balm in a pot of boiling water and inhaled deeply, hoping to ease my sore throat and stuffed nose. let's just say that a topical analgesic made with camphor and cloves should stay well away from delicate mucous membranes. and how about the time i tried a carrot juice fast and persevered far too long and ended up weak and tinted orange? not the brightest thing to do. last summer, i saw a chinese medicine doctor and i boiled up things like chicken skin, fungus and clam shells to make the worst tasting tea ever in order to try to cure my stomach pain. oh, the list goes on and on.

then there's the stuff that just hurts the pocketbook but fails to effect any physical change (good, bad or humourous): i've bought magnets and wonder pain killing cloth and expensive, odd supplements. we all have our moments of weakness, right?

what have you done in search of relief that you shake your head at and laugh?


Michelle said...

I can relate to desperate measures taken especially when one has a cold or flu on top of being chronically ill. I think that's when I really lose all sense. I heard raw garlic helps and I ate so much I ruined my stomach for weeks and no one really wanted to come near me! My cold continued on its merry way. A friend of mine in University actually ate Viks, if you can believe it, for a sore throat and congestion.

I would not like to try your nasal pepper spray! Nor the electro vibro thingy. Did people die using that?

cusp said...

Magnetic inner soles, mineral pendants, pineapple and sliipery elm diet, bioflow, sticking your feet in a bowl of water with a current running through and all the sludge that comes out is supposed to be toxins......on and on. Who wouldn't ? who doesn't ? who hasn't when they're desperate ?

Take a peek at this in today's paper


You can't blame us...we're desperate sometimes.

Donimo said...

michelle: it's true what you say about getting a losing your grip when you've got a virus on top of everything else. i think colds and flus bring cloud my judgment. i do have you ask you though, what happened after the person ate vicks??? i took "white flower" (a chinese clear camphor liquid) internally years ago because someone told me it was good to get rid of a cold. i knocked the bottle over one night and by morning, the paint had been dissolved on my bedside table. no more white flower for me!

cusp: i hadn't heard of the current-in-the-water trick! it's true, we're all a bit desperate at times.

here's the rest of cusp's link:

the article is interesting but i find it horribly biased against complementary medicine. it says "alternative medicine finally gets the reputation it deserves and is seen for what it is - a massive social and intellectual fraud..." that lead us into the article and tells us what the reporter thinks. i mean, how many people have been rendered brain damaged or worse by surgeons? how many by poorly prescribed medications? i know i joke about a lot of stuff on this blog, but i do really believe that complementary (sometimes called "alternative") medicine is a powerful tool for well-being and combating illness. i don't think it's unregulated and i do know that there are fake and frauds out there who are both licensed and non-licensed. i don't think, as the guardian reporter does, that "alternative" medicine is "founded on lies and falsehoods..."; however, we need to be careful with our health treatments and be watchful for people who would lead us toward unhealthy treatments.

FridaWrites said...

$800 cheap scooter rather than the one I need (which I'm ordering next week). Something called a sacrowedgy to produce traction on spine and attempt to self-mobilize my SI joint, which did some but not nearly enough (rheumatologic rather than just biomechanic).

Injection for SI joint diagnosis to satisfy doctor, while I already knew I had; I just got memory lapses, bronchitis, PTSD, and a big bill out of the deal. Injection of steroid to neck in an attempt to avoid surgery for cord compression, thereby increasing compression and pain 10fold and necessitating the avoided surgery more immediately.

I've tried a lot of herbs that have worked (mullein, shepherd's purse), but some that work but taste too terrible to use (olive leaf extract). And chamomile for mild skin problems, which I discovered I am strongly allergic to, giving me strong skin problems. Glucosamine/chondroitin. Didn't do much. Whatever the doctor tries to put me on, which I sometimes buy and then ends up in the medicine cabinet unused.

Physical therapy, which does not improve my pain (it does work postsurgery), though it improves strength. But I keep trying it anyway. Hypnosis, which found out that I can't be easily hypnotized.

Donimo said...

fridawrites: yeah, i guess going cheap on scooters is not a great plan. oh, if we could only somehow get that money back! i spent $2000 on a treatment my physical rehab specialist has (it's some big machine that emits a kind of magnetism) and it did nothing for me. i spent 4 weeks going for treatments and 6 weeks hardly using my arms (as he directed) and didn't benefit in any way. it was actually my naturopath afterwards who said she had read about this machine and she didn't actually think i was a good candidate. arrgh! if i had only spoken to her. allopathic (western) medicine vs. naturopathic: we don't always benefit from sticking with what we're told is the best or only choice!

i cringe and can relate to doing shots that backfire and procedures that are done to prove something you know and end up screwing up your body somehow. i had an angiogram to look further into my thoracic outlet syndrome and mostly i did it so that the insurance company would have yet another piece of proof... well, my artery ended up bursting and i now have nerve damage and scar tissue in the groin area. bonus!your injections sound horrible.

i guess we just have to look ahead and mind the bumps and detours and the faulty road maps.

FridaWrites said...

A lot of it was for insurance co proof in my case, too--apparently you can't do certain treatments until you're more definitely diagnosed, even when it's really, really clear.

Angiograms, yeah, another one of my ideas of nightmarish procedures, along w/lumbar puncture.

Yeah, you're right, trad med can be fraud as well, and there are alternative approaches that the clinical trials say work for certain kinds of problems.

cusp said...

Well actually......my pointing to that link didn't necessarily mean that I agreed with it ;0)

I have tried my own share of complementary medicines too and I do find Reiki and herbs (proper prescribed herbs made by a qualified herbalist: not some old stuff you picked up from the health food store) quite helpful. Similarly, homeopathy has been very good and I use osteopathy and cranial osteopathy which is very subtle yet powerful.

I think complementary medicine can be very helpful and has helped me more than allopathic medicine for a number of issues. What you have to be careful about, as you say, is that the practitioners are properly qualified, experienced and if possible, recommended. There are a lot of charlatans out there and let's face it, you can get a 'qualification' to be anything off the Web. However, there are some treatments which are very well established in other cultures (acupuncture for example)and the slating of procedures like that by Western allopathic medicine is often a testament to the overbearing snobbery, conceit and feeling of superiority by that more established branch of healing.

Donimo said...

fridawrites: don't you just love those insurance companies? the money they spend and the things they put people through just to be really, really, really clear... i think they also do these things because it is a chance for them to eliminate people who can't manage to go through that extra hoop.

cusp: i honestly didn't think about whether or not you believed in the viewpoint of that article! i was just so stunned by the reporter's stance that i had to write about it. i think that the story about karadzic is horrible and interesting on many levels. how about that south american doctor who injected automotive grade silicone into stars such as priscilla presley? yikes.

yup, picking something up from the health food store can be a risky thing. the pepper spray is a good reminder of that!

it's interesting which complementary medicines manage to withstand allopathic bullying (motivated by money just as much or more than snobbery). for example, homeopathy seems to be strong in europe but is frowned upon in north america.

thanks for your comments, i love hashing through this stuff!

michelle said...

Re: Vicks taken internally. I couldn't remember what happened to my friend (who shall remain nameless), so I emailed her and she told me that she threw up about an hour after ingesting the petroleum based wonder. She said that experience(throwing up Vicks) dwarfed her University hangovers. You asked!!!

samantha said...

Hahaha I do sympathize with you but at the same time I am suprised too because Sinus Buster worked great for me. I love that feeling you describe as rediculous or whatever. When you have headaches as bad as me something like that isn't going to bother me. If I can take it then any MAN should be able to as well ;) Bottom line it worked for my family and I.