Friday, October 25, 2013

No Antibiotics For Me

I'm sick.

It sucks.

When I was little my mother used to say that I was allergic to the change in the weather.  What she meant was that I got sick every time the weather changed.  Earlier this week the temperatures dropped considerably, plummeting eastern North Carolina head first into Fall.  And right on cue, I got sick.  So for several days I've suffered through nasal congestion, a severe headache, sore throat, and watery eyes.

When I was little, it would have meant a trip to Dr. Price, my pediatrician.  Dr. Price and I were pretty familiar with one another.  How could we not be with all of the time I spent visiting his office.  I was a pretty sickly kid.

As a full-fledged card-carrying grown-up, I won't be heading to the doctor, though.  Instead, I wrapped myself in some warm clothes, made myself some herbal tea, and taken several very long naps.  I've also been chugging the vitamin C and zinc and drinking lots of water.  Instead holding my hand out for a prescription for antibiotics, I am giving my body the tools it needs to fight whatever crazy autumn virus thinks my body is a good place to hang out.

I know that when I'm feeling bad, all I want is to feel better.  And that's why people run off to their doctor's office the minute they start exhibiting symptoms.  But let's face it, most colds aren't a serious health risk.  They're just annoyingly inconvenient.  A cold or other minor illnesses are just our body's way of reminding us to slow down and take care of ourselves.

But we don't really have time for that do we?  So our doctors have to make us think they are doing something to help us get better faster, so they hand out symptom-suppressing drugs (which aren't helping you get better, by the way.  They only fight against your body's natural defense responses by blocking "symptoms", also known as your body's immune response.  Symptoms are what your body uses to fight infection.) or antibiotics.

And for most colds, which are generally viral, antibiotics do nothing good.  But they do plenty of things that are bad.
Did You Know?
  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the world's most pressing public health threats.
  • Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to combat life-threatening bacterial disease, but using antibiotics can also result in side effects.
  • Antibiotic use leads to new drug-resistant germs and increased risks to patients.
So next time your feeling bad, maybe it would be better to just grab a snuggie and  hot cup of tea.  Do the world a favor, slow down and suck it up for a few days.  That's probably all your body wanted you to do anyway.

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