When I was raising children this was often the beginning sentence of late night calls to my mother. My Mom was an immigrant with a grade seven education. Don’t let that fool you. She was an avid reader and just as nut nut about current events as my hubby. If something was happening in the world, she knew about it and could discuss it. Plus she raised a mittful of kids so I called Mama Ditte when worried. Not my university educated health nurse mother in law.
There was always a divide with Rene’ and I in childrearing but being the stronger personality, I usually won out. So it also was with medical care. First of course was my aversion to immunization. Big can of worms, that one. I’m just stating, not debating. Needless to say when your mother in law is the person whose very job is childhood immunization, there may be a few bumps. Inevitably we call who we trust and that is usually our own Mom. Ditte had lots of home remedies in her arsenal. The favourite for her, myself and now my family is grated apple. Any sort of digestive or intestinal issue is made better with grated apple. Grate it with the peel on and let it oxidize a bit. Turn a little brown. Then eat chewing well. It works. Or maybe our trust that it works causes the placebo affect. But then it works. Either way. I have long thought it has to do with the pectin in the skin of the apple. My allopathic leaning husband actually followed this advice when not well. Not because he was a believer but because it couldn’t hurt. If you are unfamiliar with the term Allopath it is what we Holistic types call “real” Doctors and their medical system.
My own children have suffered natural cures at every turn. The most insulting to them was garlic oil in the ears. Garlic has natural anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. So when they had ear pain or infections I would warm some oil and squeeze garlic juice into the oil. Which I then dropped into their ears. My daughter Drew often complained about the smell. Yesterday I was at her house and the twins were tugging at their ears. They have been fighting a respiratory virus lately and most likely there was some pressure in their ears causing some pain. When I pointed it out, Drew immediately started to look to see how much garlic she had on hand. We all turn into other mothers in one way or another. I am not a fan of Tylenol and I did not like to give it to my children. It was a very last resort for pain relief but never ever used for lowering body temperature, which one of the things it is used for in children. We used the Ditte method for temperature control. expose the child’s chest area and wipe them down with a warm washcloth. As the moisture evaporates, the body cools somewhat. If the temperature was quite high you removed more clothing. In the end the body uses heat to naturally kill off some of the bugs that infect us. Its good to keep the temperature a little bit higher. Funny story. A few months ago when Drews twins were sick and their temperatures rose, Drew called me. Of course. I gave her the Ditte spiel and she went about cooling her babies. Her hubby, much like her father was not convinced. They called the health link line for medical (allopathic) advice and guess what. The Allopathic community gave the same advice, even so far as saying to not give Tylenol until the temperature was at a specific point as it was good to be a little high. Imagine that. Doctors coming around to the natural methods. How long did that take?
Which brings me to my point, which some may think is long overdue. Yesterday I was going to my daughters house. She mentioned she was out of baby wipes and asked me to pick some up for her, along with a bottle of dish washing liquid. First Costco. Then Safeway. Then another Safeway. What??? No baby wipes. And for that matter, no toilet paper? I am not up on the news since Rene’ was my source so I was surprised on the run on toilet paper. Turns out people are stockpiling this just in case they are quarantined due to exposure to this RESPIRATORY virus that has people gripped in fear. Respiratory. You know. Lungs. Breathing. What has this to do with toilet paper? Anyways, the good news is they keep bringing more and more to the stores. What I find hilarious is there are shelves and shelves of Kleenex. Or, toilet paper in a box. I did find baby wipes in my neighbourhood Family Foods, but in reality a warm washcloth is quite suitable. That’s what I used back in the olden days.
Speaking of the olden days, another area we have returned to is one of good hygiene. One of the arguments between anti-vaxxers and you other guys regarding historical proof is why and how common childhood diseases were slowed or eradicated. The anti-vaxxers claim that deaths slowed due to an increase in good hygiene practices. Sterilizing, soap, cleaning. You know. What is sort of common sense today wasn’t always that way. It was once believed that the smells were what caused disease. Anyways, it also corresponded in time with the use of vaccines so the vaxxers claim a win. In New York city at the turn of the last century, childhood deaths were reduced due to pasteurizing of milk. Heat kills the greeblies. Today Raw milk (unpasteurized) is illegal for sale in Canada. I am of course, one of those who believe raw milk should be available and that the pasteurization removes most of any goodness milk could provide. As a conspiracy theorist, I also believe pasteurization is a cheap alternative to more laws and rules and enforcement agencies which would keep raw milk safe. I for one am always willing to pay more to purchase the food I deem the best for my body. I am not trying to disparage farmers although I do argue with a few and disagree with many. Rather than tell me I am stupid for not buying their products, perhaps they should stay current with society and produce what I want to consume. Consumers have a lot of power. It is just slow in the evolution.
Back to the point, and I do have one. I think. Sometimes I lose track of where I have been and where I am going. With society collapsing all around us I am reminded of the late 1930’s radio broadcast of the HG Wells classic “War of the Worlds”. Some say there was panic as many did not know it was just a book being read on the radio. If you don’t know the story, it is about a Martian invasion in the late 1900’s. Bad stuff happens. People are scared all around and eventually all the Martians die due to a disease they had no immunity to. See even back then immunization was a thing. Mr. Wells was a genius and a man ahead of his time. He wrote many futuristic books and is said to have foretold many future inventions. And yet fourty years after he wrote this particular book it scared the daylights out of society. Mainly because people didn’t know what to believe. Just like today. This virus has people in a panic. And there are those who just shrug their shoulders. Yet here we are with a new strain of a pathogen we have not seen before. Fear of the unknown. No cure. No vaccine. So… panic. We are conditioned to think a vaccine will save us. That could take a year. So what do we do in the meantime? Well. What would Ditte do? Or naturopaths. Or us odd anti-vaxxers? Wash our hands. Keep our distance. Stay home when we are sick. Rest. Drink hot fluids. Stay in bed. Seems that even with all of the new terminology like social distancing, the allopaths are recommending just that. The natural methods to controlling disease. If this sounds familiar to others in my age group, this is how things were done when I was a child. The old ways from the 1950’s and 60’s. Luckily today as a hippy weirdo I also have something called Immune tincture that my naturopath makes. It is the go to for any illness. I use it more now as my grandchildren are germ carriers and the younger two are big mucous factories who love to cough straight into my face.
As for the current panic, my son put it well when he said “Us introverts have been preparing for this our whole lives.” We get to stay home and avoid the world and it’s not just ok, it is preferred. There is such an incredible feeling when you find the world is finally thinking like you. It won’t last but it is a step in the right direction. I learned a long, long, time ago that I am ultimately responsible for my own health. Putting too much trust into others can cause dire consequences. Even if it is your Doctor. They are just people who pass along what they are told. Do you trust who gives them their information. In the end it is all about source credibility. Ditte had it going on a long time ago. As she aged she put too much trust in the wrong places and it wasn’t good for her. Remember this though, the directives put into place for our protection by governments are not to erradicate this new virus but to slow the spread. This allows those who are seriously affected to more readily receive treatment. Panic doesn’t help anyone and in the end you may feel a little foolish for your reactions. Get off of Facebook, go to a Government website and calm down. As for me, I have learned I need to be more prepared for the fallout of these situations. Perhaps a book. “One thousand uses for toilet paper.”