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I was half listening to the advertising for Tamiflu on the television as I waited for the weather. When the “fine-print-calming-disclaimer voice” listed the possible side-effects, I perked up. Say what? We are talking about having the flu and taking something to ease the problems wracking our system so we can return to normal life. How is this helpful?

Side-effects may include:

More common
Diarrhea
nausea
vomiting
Less common
Abdominal or stomach pain
bloody nose or unexplained nosebleeds (occurs mainly in children)
burning, dry, or itching eyes (mainly in children)
dizziness
ear disorder (occurs mainly in children)
excessive tearing of the eyes (mainly in children)
redness, pain, or swelling of the eye or eyelid (mainly in children)
trouble with sleeping

Psychiatric side effects have included abnormal behavior and delirium (including symptoms such as altered level of consciousness, confusion, delusions, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety, nightmares) during postmarketing experience. Mania has been reported.[Ref]

Delirium and abnormal behavior leading to injury, with fatal outcomes in some cases, in influenza patients receiving oseltamivir have been reported during postmarketing experience (mostly in Japan).

I’ll take my chances with the flu.

So what are we doing to ourselves that we medicate to the point of vomiting? Wasn’t I looking for cure for that exact symptom? It doesn’t seem to make much sense. Since leaving the world of health care insurance, I have paid more attention to the rhythms of my body and made changes to what I become worried about. We all age, teeth don’t last as long as other parts of the body, even if you grew up in the ’50s when fluoride was pumped into the water to make our teeth strong. Joints become less pliable and have quicker stopping points in range of motion. Eyesight becomes soft and fuzzy around the edges. Skin seems to sag and shift.

I also live in a world where many of the people I interact with all day are my age and have stepped away from contemporary medicine. We share what works for the small stuff and how diet can have a positive  impact on the degeneration occurring in our systems. When I have ground my teeth all night in stress and they feel so loose it is scary, a few days of dedicated oil pulling with a rich tablespoon of Butternut Squash Seed oil will ease the pain and tighten my molars so eating is once again enjoyable.

And eating should be enjoyable. There are so many wondrous ways to cook the same healthy balance of fish, meat, veggies (even in the dead season), and cheeses to explore. Food is comfort and sustenance but also requires creativity for budgetary and availability reasons.

As to the stiff joints and small aches, they are part of life. That little finger I broke years ago when I jammed it on Night’s neck over a jump, was always slated for arthritis. A teaspoon of honey and Saigon Cinnamon every few days loosens and relieves for now. As to the flu? I did get a shot this year as always. It is required for Hospice and so far I haven’t had a flu in years. If I do succumb you can be assured I will not be taking a drug for it that has side-effects worse than the actual malady.

tamiflu-logo

14 comments on “Here’s To Your Health

  1. ann knisell says:

    I agree 100%. Very well said! I too have had my flu shot and hope it works like it has in many past years! I am also required to get one due to my asthma. I have changed my diet so much in the last year and took myself off many meds. I feel great and have lost 30 pounds! Love your blogs!

  2. People are far to ready to pop any medication in their mouths. If they would only read the entire page. Pretty scary stuff. (And not the feds here want to reduce the amount of warnings posted in tv ads? Because they say nobody pays attention/reads that print anyway? How much did Pharm Co. pay them for that decision? I wish they would ban all tv and magazine ads for medications – too many people to easily take suggestions and don’t investigate.)
    Oh, I also have a bad finger (from nutsy dog leash jerk) – will try your remedy. Thanks

  3. Doppleganger says:

    How about you compiling a healthy eating remedy pamphlet. I know there are lots out there, but, you have traveled to so many interesting places, waded into the deep end of healthy cooking and eating world through being the Vinegar Lady, I bet you have several up your sleeve you could share that are unique to your life and travels.
    (I know, you want me to stop giving you projects, right?)

    1. Luckily, someone has written the Oil and Vinegar cookbook you suggested! I’m so swamped with projects for the store and a new “secret” project I wish I could just sit and write…

      1. Doppleganger says:

        Secret???? I hope it has something to do with a perfect paint pony..!

  4. Beth says:

    Martha, if you have the inclination, someday I’d love to hear more about the folk remedies you know about that work. I’ve read about natural remedies over the years, but so many of the ingredients aren’t readily available. It’s surely discouraging how much of an effect advertising has on our culture and as a lifelong RN I saw how medicated a society we are.

    1. Hi Beth, thanks for reading and commenting! I will give it some thought. My Doppleganger suggested something along the same lines. I’m afraid I’m no expert and wonder what the ramifications are if someone tries something I suggest and have a bad experience? If nothing else, I can pass along what I try and what works for me, right?

  5. Touring NH says:

    Used to care, but now I take a pill for that! Isn’t that our society now? I have stopped several medications because of the side effects. To ease my near constant pain, I am willing to put up with some effects but not when they disrupt my life more than my condition does. The warnings on the boxes, TV and magazine ads are about as affective as telling someone not to go to a loan shark because if you don’t pay them back – bad things happen. When people are desperate enough to take what they consider acceptable risks, they can only hope for the best. Personally, I plan to stay away from Tamiflu (and loan sharks)

    1. Good points Laura. I know there are times you have to weigh the alternatives and the pills may be what works. On the other hand, I find it fascinating to read about the benefits of simple things like local honey and ancient remedies…of course, those were never meant to “cure” cancer and such as many illnesses didn’t exist then…hmmm wonder why?

  6. Every single person I know who has gotten a flu shot has gotten sick afterwards. I find the best “remedy” is to not get it in the first place, and I manage that by spending time outdoors each day no matter what the weather is.

    1. A good philosophy and also not spending time around small children, petri-dishes that they are for germs, and those who are sick…

  7. julieallyn says:

    SPOT. ON.

    I’m always amazed too, how these ads urge us to ‘ask our doctors if XXX is right for you’. Hello? I’m pretty sure our doctors know what to prescribe. I don’t think they need some snot-nosed kid (or adult) telling them what to prescribe for us!

    Public Service Announcement: Do, always, though get your flu shots, folks!

    1. Agreed Julie. I’m sure doctors don’t appreciate the drug companies asking us to do their marketing for them…

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