Last month I came down with a cold. Of course this is nothing unusual during the winter months where more people are confined indoors. I am usually miserable when I have a cold, but being pregnant and all I am resigned to whatever homeopathic remedies are available plus time.
I am never one to overmedicate as it is. I have found that the older I get the less nyquil and decongestants I choose to take. Honestly they only make me feel slightly better, and as most medical journals will tell you the only tried and true method to end a viral infection like this is time. I cannot tell you how many people came up to me after only three days of being sick asking if I had been to the doctor yet to get some antibiotics. Seriously people!!!??? I had been sick for three days. No matter how many articles come out people still do not udnerstand that the majority of cold like symptoms are viral, and you cannot treat what is not bacterial with an antibiotic. Sadly many doctors are willing to write out a script just to get people moving. It usually takes about ten days for an antibiotic to work as it is which is usually the point that most cold symptoms start to alleviate. This only reinforces the placebo effect.
Why I am writing this? I am no hippie or anything. I believe doctors can be great and are a valuable asset to our society. I also believe we have become to pill happy as a nation. Our quest for convenience has made us forget that usually the symptoms of common illnesses are our bodies way of telling us it may be time to slow down and rest. REST???!!!! That is ridiculous with work, a cell phone that never shuts down, and a world wide network to keep up with who wants to rest? It seems so much easier to pop a pill. Of course when you read the side effects of many prescriptions you will soon realize a whole host of problems can arise just from taking a pill. The answer to most of these side effects is obviously another pill. Hmmm conspiracy?
Ok I won't go there because I don't know all the answers, but sometimes it seems a bit suspicious.
I for one try to keep my prescription intake to a minimal level as well as my children's. I have had wonderful results with allowing my children to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and let many viral infections resolve naturally. There are times I will take them to the doctor. I will never let them suffer unecessarily when a medication is truly necessary. Overall they are very happy healthy kids who are rarely sick.
We have been given wonderfully designed bodies by God which have many amazing disease fighting mechanisms built in.
I am not advocating not seeing a doctor if you have a serious health condition or symptoms that persist past ten days. I am just asking that you take a step back when illness strikes and evaluate the situation from a hollistic point of view. Could diet or lifestyle also be playing roles in a weakened immune system?