If you are a faithful reader you have probably guessed that I am a family man, close to my wife, children, and grandchildren. Sometimes too close, too sentimental…
Recently, I started developing irritating pain in my right leg. At first it was simply annoying but over a period of months it worsened, especially while driving. In fact I got to the point where I couldn’t drive for more than half an hour without experiencing severe pain up and down my leg.
And so after several months of persistent symptoms I broke down and went to the doctor. After a check of my vitals and general wellbeing the doc got down to some serious diagnostics. “Stand up for me, please.” OK. “Turn around.” OK. “Let me see your wallet.” Hold on a second, shouldn’t you send me a bill first? “Give me your wallet.” OK.
So I slipped my wallet out of my right back pocket and handed it over to the doctor. I carry a lot of family photos in there, all the way back to my oldest’s baby picture. She’s now 42. I told you I’m sentimental. My wallet is about 1¾ inches thick.
“Don’t carry your wallet back there and call me in two weeks if you still have pain.”, said the doctor. “Whaddya mean? No electro diagnostic tests, no fancy image machines to look into my inner leg, no secret cure for my SGS (sappy grandpa syndrome)?” “No.”, said the doc, “Just remove that 2 pound hunk of leather from your rear pocket and you should be good as new in two weeks.”
Well, it was great. In two weeks I had no pain and haven’t ever since. Which made me think… Maybe we all rely a little too heavily on modern medicine and not enough on common sense and old-fashioned cures. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that health care has gotten so expensive. Sometimes the problems are easy to diagnose if you just use your head.
A colleague showed me an article the other day. It’s about more than 40 different drugs that are being dropped for coverage by some major health care plans. I took it as a sign. Possibly it’s time for us to stop being overly reliant on expensive modes of care, prescription medications, and other expensive treatments, and get back to basics.
A quick search on Amazon pulled up 512 books about home remedies. A second search found 23 more titles on folk remedies. Hundreds of these books had consumer ratings of four or more stars and some of the titles went back nearly fifty years. I can’t imagine that they would continue to sell unless their readers found real value in their content.
I browsed some of the titles and read about a few of the cures. Many of them made perfect sense. Here’s one that I really liked. Got a cough? Eat some dark chocolate. The theobromine compound in chocolate beats many prescription drugs at suppressing coughs and you won’t have side effects like drowsiness.
On the other hand some of the “cures” sounded a little “quacky”. For example, I doubt if next time that I have a sore throat I am going to fry some kosher salt in a pan, pour it into a sock, tie the open end, and then wrap it around my neck for an hour. But most of the ideas were very sound and many of the alternative medicine cures have worked for centuries.
So, other than severe emergencies, the next time that a nagging or annoying medical condition rears its ugly head maybe you should use one of the tried and true home remedies that your doctor may or may not talk about. It might just work and it may decrease your costs along the way. Thanks for reading.
Alan Leafman, President
PS – A word about pending changes to individual health care. There is a bill that has been put forward by the GOP that is being heavily debated. I make it a practice not to discuss information about proposed or speculative changes. Once we have a new bill passed and signed into law you can count on us for the “who, what, where, why, when, and how.”