Thursday, September 24, 2009

Take two tinctures of time


Melinda Beck (WSJ, Sept 22, 2009) says colds, flu, sore throat, sore muscles, headaches, diarrhea, cramps, blisters, tennis elbow, colic and a ton of ailments usually cure themselves or go away with time.

One doctor told her, “I tell patients you can go more for yourself than I can do for you.”

This is my philosophy—screaming gallbladder pain, blood ballooning inside your eye, or loss of consciousness excepted—give it a year or two before you plunge into Sick World and get all tangled up in there.

My feeling is the body wants to right itself—to be well. Give it a chance. Check on www.familydoctor.com to see what symptoms might require a look-see.

If you have a decent immune system, most viruses will resolve on their own. Infections in the nose, throat, stomach and upper respiratory tract are usually viral.

Eighty-percent o urinary tract infections resolve..if you run a fever, you may need an antibiotic.

With kids under 3 mos, check with the doc if there is a temp over 100.4 degrees. With older kids, lack of energy, sleepiness, and refusal to eat or drink might warrant a call to the doctor.

75% of sciatica resolves in three weeks. It’s miserable, but 90% of back pain goes away with rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, or chiro.

Yet, some people are embarrassed when a doctor says wait and see or “just rest.” They may not even want to pay the copay.

One doctor says: “I can tell you what it isn’t—it isn’t cancer or a brain tumor.” Ought to be worth a copay.

You have to use your own judgment, not mine, of course, but you might want to hold off unless it’s a crushing chest pain or in women, a left shoulder pain or unexplained indigestion, numbness or weakness esp on one side, sudden severe headache, lost of consciousness or inability to remember events right before a head whack, or flashing lights in your vision (my friend detached retina).

You kind of know if you have to go to the ER—it sort of announces itself in your head. "Time to go."

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