Cures for Minor Shit: How to survive years without enough official sick days.

Greetings!  I am going through a phase of “Let me post practical, random shit I’ve learned” since I don’t have children to which to set a terrible example of medical self-care.

However, knowing that there is honestly such a thing as “I cannot afford to be sick in this inconvenient way” or even: “I am not going to a doctor unless I’m pretty sure I can die from this.” I realize I have learned a lot of great little tricks over the years to help cure very minor things via trying them myself and talking to random people over the years.  I am not a medical doctor, I am not any sort of “authority” on anything of this sort…but here are the horrible things I have done to cure annoying things over the years with success.

1. Ear infection: That painful, dizzy mess of awful: My former roommate Todd poured Hydrogen Peroxide into my ear for 3 days. One cap per ear, twice a day.  Pour it in- wait 5 minutes with your head on your shoulder, then drain it out.  It worked.  I keep doing it.  Still works.  I will likely go deaf one day from this.

2. Whiter teeth: Use literal hydrogen peroxide to wet your brush and dip it into literal baking soda.  It works well, but tastes awful.  Learned from a former “auntie” in the family, this was disgusting- but I did it for a while.

3. “It hurts when I pee- and there is no chance of STD’s”= 100% cranberry juice- accept nothing less.  Drink that entire bottle in a day with an equal amount of water.  Repeat.  Should be better in three days. (family remedy)

4. High fever-  I was supervising three stores and had no days off at age 25.  I had no days off.  Ancient Fed-Ex lady suggested I bathe “in the hottest water possible, as submerged as possible, and keep it hot for an hour”, afterwards, put on several layers of clothing and nest in all blankets.  Beat the fever at it’s own game by making your body temperature even higher!   Hallucinate you’re a catfish!  Try this for only ONE night.   Either you will be cured in the morning or wake up with bronchitis, pneumonia, and an ear infection (see #1).  Then see a real doctor.  Effectiveness without doctor? 50/50.

5. “Oh shit- I cut myself and the bleeding is inconveniently too strong for bandaids.”  Although I have tried to stitch myself up once to poor result- my Dad has a novel method of curing cuts.  First, wash it out.  if there are debris, use a toothbrush and a leather strap to bite on.  Keep the strap, you’ll need it for what’s next: take a Bic lighter and hold the flame for a solid minute:  After the minute, roll the metal part of the lighter over your cut.  This only works for superficial wounds.   If you want to keep the cool scar- use that flame on your trusty pocket knife blade which will get sooty.  It will cauterize and kill the bacteria, you will smell like burning flesh, it will hurt like hell- but you will feel totally badass.

Speaking of:

6. Tetanus (or other basic) shots:  Avoid the doctor’s visit expense and see if your pharmacy offers them instead.  Way cheaper.

7. Congestion: Generic Guaifenesin. Mucinex is fucking expensive…that is the only ingredient to care about, honestly.

8. Cold/flu:  There is no point in even bothering with the doctor- you need to ride that out. However, it is much easier with a stock of 100% fruit juice bought on sale, granola bars which are fairly easy to choke down even if annoyingly nauseous, and sleep.

9 “I am fucking dying” cold/flu.  Save up $25 and buy that blue Tylenol cough syrup.  One tiny bottle lasts five years because the taste of this stuff is like licking the asshole of a fire demon who lived on Taco Bell.  You will only ever take a swig of this awful concoction when you feel so fucking bad that you can’t remember what it tasted like last time.  (Dad remedy)

10. Lyme’s Disease:  Go to the Doctor, get on shitty antibiotics, but take Bromelain to help break down the virus walls.  Found in any health food store.  One bottle was enough for both my treatment as well as a kinsman’s.- learned via my florist. One of the few holistic supplements that hasn’t been hamstringed.

11. Yeast infection:  Before I had more surgery on my internal female organs than Jenner, yeast infections come as a bonus gift with any genetic, gynecological condition.  Monostat is fucking expensive:  some hippies I know take a clove of garlic and shove it up their hoohahs like a tampon.   You will always know which of your female friends has “the itch” by the reek of garlic about them for several days.  Patchouli can’t even cover the stench, but at least it’s (alleged) 100% effective.  If you want to get “fancy”- cut a small groove in your clove and attach a string.  Cry when you lose half your clove of garlic. (High school friend)

12. Things To go to the hospital for in 2015:
a. “I can’t Breathe”
b. “It’s amputated/fell out, put it back please”
c. “My chest hurts randomly and I was not just doing dumbell flies.”
d. “I am in so much pain in my torso I crumpled into fetal position and prayed for Death.”
e. “I’m suicidal”
f. “Hey! I can see my own bone!”
g. Bad Car accident. Even if you don’t hurt…yet.  Just accept the ambulance. You have whiplash. Trust me.
h. “I ingested something, my fingers are numb” or other poisonings
i:  Scorpion/snake bites.
j. Anything that occurs within 3 days after surgery listed on the post surgical instructions to see the ER.
k. Fever of 105 degrees.  Don’t be me, don’t drive yourself.
l. Being abused: The ER will help with this oddly enough…but won’t help people who are fucking hallucinating.  When you        realize you’ve made some hardcore shitty choices in life, the ER is there for you.

…or anything else you think can kill or maim you if not treated immediately.

13.  Things not to go to the ER for.
a. “Just checking to see if it’s “Okay”… Nope.  Not anymore, they don’t care.. especially pregnant ladies. Please see an Urgent Care, not an ER.  I watched a woman miscarry in a waiting room of an ER and no one cared but her and I.  It was fucking awful because I was experiencing “d” at the time, and she just wanted a “safety check” after a fall. Well, so much for that- If she wasn’t taken in before I was, I was going to give my spot up to her.  Holy shit, our healthcare is terrible now!
b. “My kid shoved something up his nose but seems perfectly fine”- call a pediatrician, the person with “f” is below you in triage and is bleeding to death because your child decided to play “piggy bank” with your collector’s dimes.
c. “I’m hallucinating”- again, seems like something to go to the ER for, used to be, now is not.  Make an appointment with your doctor.  The ER won’t do shit for you unless you are poisoned or have a fever above 105 degrees.
d. “I’m bleeding a lot over a superficial wound” – suck it up, get the lighter.  Hands especially bleed because of the excess of capillaries.  You are not dying- you will wait 8 hours slowly bleeding at the very bottom of triage.  The webbing bleeds the most- the webbing between your fingers is the least important part of your hand if you didn’t cut into muscles.
e. Fever under 103.  I go at 105, but under 103 is a doctor visit.
f, Bronchitis.  WTF.  If you are familiar enough to diagnose yourself with it, you should know by now you just need Zithromax and a week off.  Family doctor Rx.
g, “My throat is itchy”- Benedryl.  It’s 4.99 generic.  Fuck you, lady who was speaking perfectly fine who claimed her “throat was closed”.  Me and Miscarriage lady were going to murder you in that ER that day…if we were able to stand up and walk over to you to slap the stupid out of you.  Seriously.
h. “Well, looks like I need that super-specialized surgery I’ve known about for years afterall..” despite reassurances from the on-call line for my doctor’s office, No.  Do not go to the ER, they will not have the specialist, they will not keep you and give you the surgery unless you are literally septic.  Go to the specialist and get a thousand unnecessary tests your insurance calls necessary.
i. Chest pains after doing dumbell flies with too much weight.  You didn’t give yourself a heart attack, you tore your pecs.
j, Kidney stones:  If you know you have them, you have painkillers.  The ER will do nothing, call your urologist in the morning and suck it up for the night.
k. A doctor’s note. Everyone in the waiting room assumes you are there for someone else…until you said your ankle “kinda hurts and want a doctor’s note”.    You will be in our prayers….to be devoured by a pack of small, yippy dogs.

Basically, do not go to the ER if you are not in fear of dying or maimed without immediate attention.  ER’s suck.

14. Get FMLA as soon as you or an immediate family member has a condition that requires it.  Even if you don’t technically have “sick days”- you will not be fired if you have FMLA- Family Medical Leave Act.  We are no longer a first world country- we have 3 generations of debt-slaves.   This is one thing the government has in place (for now) to protect you, kind of.

15. If you can afford great medical care- take none of this advice

420.  Nausea/vomiting/anxiety/flashbacks/depression= Medical Cannabis.

Pi: OJ or hot tea with honey and lemon.  Drink this when your immune system sucks.  Eat garlic.  Live another day.

Other obscure tips:

Before any bowel prep for a colonoscopy or other surgery, go on a liquid diet 3-5 days prior to the proceedure. Your anus will be happier for it- but buy some Tucks medicated pads anyway.

The best lotion ever for weird dry skin is called “Udderly Smooth”- it has a cow print on all packaging, your pharmacy will order it.

The best coldsore treatment I’ve found is called “Nose Better”- it is either in-stock, or can be ordered by the pharmacy.

The expensive sudafed you can take off the shelf doesn’t work.  Suck it up and take the card of the real stuff to the pharmacy.  One box of sudafed will not get you on a watch list.

Most holistic supplements are complete crap from the stores and are mostly fillers.  The only way to get good Valerian or St. John’s Wort is to grow it.  Triptophan comes from a turkey dinner.  Chamomile is best when picked and dried yourself.  Your teabag is also a liar.

Bad things I’ve learned:

Everything you enjoy causes kidney stones if you have kidney stones.  Make your own choices.

If you cannot afford a second opinion, call your insurance company/hospital for advice.  There is always a way to get a second opinion without a second copay- and it’s always complicated and obnoxious.

If you are not a medical marihuana patient and believe you accidentally smelled some burning bud, drink a gallon of water, avoid fats for 48 hours, and have some “cleanse tea” from pretty much any grocery store.

If you are not a medical marihuana patient and you are still smoking at a job that drug tests: You know your risks.  If you “need” it, go to a fucking doctor.

Basic First Aid supplies Everyone should own:
Rubbing Alcohol
Bandaids
Hydrogen Peroxide
Benedryl- generic
gauze
a good ace bandage
an exacto knife (in package) if you are brave enough to remove your own splinters/cysts/warts.
Topical antibiotic for those who are as reckless as I am with the exacto knife.
Tums/Pepto Bismal – or something similar (Stomach calmer)
Imodium- or something similar (anti-diarrhea)
Ducolax pills- or something similar. (anti-constipation)
Basic painkillers: Aleve, Aspirin, Tylenol, and ibuprofen.  Depending on your other medications, at any time, 3/4 on this list will be excluded from your life.  Which 3 will change every. single. time.
Generic Halls- like cough drops with mentolyptus and the gross gooey centers in a flavor you tolerate.
Best flavors for me: Honey Lemon, Gingerale, Strawberry.  Worst: Cherry, grape, and cough syrup flavors.
Valium- if you can get it prescribed.  (Other countries have it over the counter in low doses)
Good tweezers.
Ginger ale- it keeps forever.  I drink it when I don’t feel well.  Heck, craving ginger ale after all these years is a pretty good indicator I am about to feel miserable in less than a day medically speaking.

Necessary medications and some sort of indication they are necessary: Inhalers, epi-pens, and daily medication necessary to continue living.  For me, that would be my heart pills, my inhaler…and I can die if I get stung by wasps and should have a new epi-pen.  I don’t have a new one because I used the old one 6 years ago.

Running from wasps instead of staring them down is humiliating…but pulling a huge needle out of your thigh is also something I do not enjoy.  I should really get that epi-pen.

Minor medications are minor: hormones, valium and other “take as needed”- instead of on schedule, and pills needed for specific situations like narcotic painkillers, strong prescription antacids, etc… you will not die for not having these if you do not have the ability to pay for them.  It sucks.

Get a med alert bracelet made by buying a cheap laser-tag at your local pet superstore and list your allergies.  Med alert official bracelets are bloody expensive.   As an alternative, I have considered tattooing my allergies on me since doctors are rushed, scarce, and do not care about you in an ER and wonder why I don’t improve when they give me medication I have always been allergic to.  Sadly, I am allergic to most antibiotics.  That’s kind of a pain in the ass- Also, it means that the ‘wrong’ one’s not only do not work, they can kill me (either by “not working” or anaphalactic shock)

This post today was inspired by the flu.  My immune system is absolute shit from the surgery and I get every single contagion that comes within 10 feet of me.  It sucks, I can’t sleep. I ache, and I am smart enough to know there isn’t shit to do about it except rest and maybe take a shot of that terrifying blue cough syrup.

I despise feeling sick.  I noticed many Heathens get weird about common sicknesses and hate that “helpless” feeling.

I can’t decide which is worse, feeling sick or feeling helpless.

Feeling both at once should be avoided if possible.

Got a fever?  I do not recommend setting yourself on fire.  Unless I hate you, then, DIAF. (Artist unknown)

Got a fever? I do not recommend setting yourself on fire. Unless I hate you, then, DIAF.
(Artist unknown)

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