© Cindy Beck, 2009
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, illness, accident, cold, sore throat, black plague, medical theory, NyQuil, Band-Aid, Scope, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)
It’s that time of year when illnesses and accidents abound, and when we rely on doctors and medicine to get us through colds, sore throats, and the black plague. However, I have noticed, on occasion, that the theoretical world of medicine and the real world of … well, the real world … clash.
Medical Theory: A cold will dissipate in seven days and an over-the-counter cold remedy helps alleviate symptoms.
Real Life: My cold improves in six days, but only to lull me into complacency. It leaps out in full force on the seventh day, causing my nose to drip—in church—when I have no tissues. I rush home and hunt for an over-the-counter remedy. I throw fluffy cotton balls and sturdy Q-tips onto the floor in my haste to find something that will help. Then a thought occurs to me. Pulling two Q-tips from the container, I stuff them halfway up my nose to temporarily stop the drip, and then go back to the hunt. Finally, in a dark corner of the linen closet, I find it. Aaahhh, NyQuil (sigh of relief), wonderful NyQuil, blessed NyQuil ... with an expiration date of January 2, 1964. I mumble, “Who cares? It will only work that much better,” and chug the whole bottle. Yes, now I feel less drippy. I explain to my husband, Russ, that he’ll need to fix supper because I’ll be too busy watching the pretty lights that circle my head like a halo. Sighing contentedly, I realize it’s better living through chemistry. I reach to scratch an itch on my upper lip …and accidentally poke myself in the eye.
Medical Theory: A minor cut, such as an accidental, shallow slice with a kitchen knife will heal with ointment and a Band-Aid.
Real Life: My shallow, minor cut drips a blood trail as I rush to the bathroom. I elevate the finger to avoid a significant loss of life-giving fluids and as the blood runs to my elbow, I try to open—one-handed and with my non-dominant hand—a box of Band-Aids. The box won’t open. Forgetting that I have a shallow, minor cut, I pound the box with my dominant hand. A pattern of blood spatter, worthy of a CSI Miami episode, flings across the wall. Electing to leave it there until my minor cut heals, I look for the first aid ointment. It’s a new tube … in a box. Giving up, I suck the blood from my finger until it quits bleeding.
Medical Theory: A facial blemish will heal quickly with an application of a topical anti-acne ointment.
Real Life: I wake up to a blemish the size of the Staten Island Ferry. Remembering the medical profession’s advice, I apply an anti-acne cream. My face turns red and develops blotches from the stuff. The blemish pulsates and burns. I wash off the cream, hoping that will help. The blotches on my face spread to my neck, and my lips swell. I look like an African Ubangi warrior.
The blemish, however, still shines like a lighthouse in the fog, so I try an old pioneer remedy—mouthwash. I pour Cool Mint Scope onto a cotton ball, and dab it on the blemish. Holy cow—it stings like fire! In a knee jerk reaction, I fling the bottle of Scope and the cotton ball. The mouthwash splashes all over the floor and the cotton ball sticks to the mirror. Stepping forward to remove it, my foot slips on the mouthwash. In a manner resembling Wile E. Coyote when he’s been bested by the Roadrunner, I flip in the air and tumble to the floor. A bump the size of Manhattan raises on my forehead, but at least now, no one will notice the blemish on my nose. I stagger out of the bathroom and down the hall, where I encounter Russ. He says, “Did you know you have a blemish? And how come you smell like mouthwash?”
Whereupon, I realize that Dr. Gregory House of the TV show, House, is actually just an actor named Hugh Laurie, and the medical profession's suggestions aren't really any more effective than a bottle of Scope.
(Disclaimer: This blog post is all in fun. Please do not chug NyQuil or stick Q-tips up your nose ... unless advised to by a member of the medical profession.)
What's playing in my head: Lime in the Coconut by Kermit the Frog.
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