Sunday, January 31, 2010

Laughter Isn't the Best Medicine

I love modern medicine and wouldn't want to have been born in any other era. I can't imagine life without Tylenol. Today I am especially thankful for the grape-flavored infant drops because my little one has a fever.

I don't know how people survived before acetaminophen, which wasn't introduced until 1894. They had to rely on their home remedies that may have worked even better but I would never know. Whenever anything ails me I run to my red and white bottle. But if I'd lived in the early 1800s, instead of popping a few capsules for relief from a sore throat I'd be tying bacon sprinkled with pepper around my neck and smoking in an attempt to cure tuberculosis. (Which is another thing I'm grateful for: vaccinations.)

In a time when it was considered unhealthy to bathe, the bacon necklace remedy wasn't so bad, comparatively speaking. Doctors used mustard plaster to burn patients with infections, hoping to draw out their infection through the blisters. They used laxatives and ipecac syrup to cause purging and puking. They thought nothing of bleeding them with leeches or cutting their veins.

Kinda makes you feel better about the offensive taste of Robitussin. I'm so glad I was born in the 70s. Even if I was a victim of the hideous hairdos and fashions of the 80s.


  1. Dear Away,
    I read it all, I like it all. Keep up the good work!!
    Your MIL