Friday, November 13, 2009

The Good Old Days

Last night around dinner time, with my fever creeping back and body ache inching it's way into my bones, I knew it was time for my next dose of cold medicine. That's about the same time that I remembered I had already taken the last dose of Nyquil in the house the night before. I called Mr. Weasel to ask if he would pick some up on his way home, only to find out he wouldn't be home for hours yet. I couldn't wait for hours.

The suggestion was made that I could drive to the store with Eldest Weasel and have her run in and get the goods for me, but if I had to leave the house anyway I may as well just go alone and run into the store myself. I only needed one item. Besides, I wasn't even sure that Eldest would be allowed to make the purchase of such state controlled and dangerous items like pseudoephedrine here in stupid Illinois.

So off I went to hit the cold and flu aisle of the store. We all have seen the 100's of confusing options we now have in cold medicine. There is cold & sinus, cold and flu, allergy & sinus, pain reliever- fever reducer- stuffy nose & cough. There is sore throat -fever reducing- lottery number- sinus relief. All varieties are made by 15 different brand names and come in formulas such as Childrens, Regular, Extra Strength and Max!

All of these products do have one thing in common though, they don't work! They all have pretty much the same active ingredients, just different packaging and marketing. It made me miss the good old days of a pharmacy aisle being chock full of hard core, artificially colored, sugar filled, alcohol based cold and cough medicines.

Sure, the main active ingredient in the old school cold medicines was alcohol, but they worked to relieve your symptoms enough for you to sleep and your body to get the rest it needed to fight off the germs. Let's not forget that alcohol has many far reaching medicinal qualities and was regularly prescribed by physicians for many an ailment throughout the ages. It works well as an antiseptic germ killer and an anesthetic. It works as a pain reliever and as a muscle relaxant. Black berry brandy can settle an upset stomach better than any antacid and port wine is one of the best cough suppressants ever known to mankind. Alcohol works wonderfully as an anxiety reliever and stress reducer. Yet, it has been yanked from our medicine cabinets because alcohol contains, well alcohol.

So, as I was reading marketing labels of all the cold medicine boxes on the store shelves, they were all sporting "Sugar Free", "Alcohol Free" and "no artificial colors or dyes" on the front of the boxes as selling points. "Pick me, I have no active ingredients!"

It made me long for the days of my childhood. If I had a toothache, my Dad would take out a shot glass and pour about 1 teaspoon of whiskey into it. He'd tell me to dip my finger in and rub it on the tooth and gum, then to pour the rest into my mouth and swish it around before swallowing. By George, it worked and would help the ache until my parents could get me to the dentist.

If you had a bad cough, out of the liquor cabinet came the port wine and you would be given a thimble full every so many hours. If you had a bad cold or flu, not only would chicken soup be on the stove, but hot tea spiked with a splash of brandy, whiskey, schnapps or whatever kind of liquor was in the house that the taste could be disguised with sugar and tea. You were encouraged to drink it down fast and hot and then to go lie down. These old home remedies worked and when cold medicines originally hit the marketplace, alcohol was the #1 ingredient. If a parent were to give a child any of these alcohol based home remedies today, they may get put in front of a firing squad, just for the high-fructose corn syrup factor, before they were burned at the stake for the abuse of giving a child booze, no matter how medicinal or small the dose.

In the end, I picked up my box of alcohol free, psuedoephedrine filled, Nyquil liqui-tabs and headed for the checkout, kicking myself for not having the energy to just go to the liquor department for a bottle of Brandy, port wine and some old fashioned aspirin.

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Loukia said...

Fell better soon!

Melisa Wells said...

Great post! Are you really sick? haha

Hope you're feeling better today!

WeaselMomma said...

@ Loukia ~ Thanks, I hope to.

@ Melisa ~ Glad you liked it. Yes, I am pretty sick, but it does have its upsides.

Wineplz said...

Ugh, don't get me started on the cold medicine police! Besides having to sign away my life just for a pseudoephedrine-containing product (cuz the fake pseudoephedrine that isn't locked up behind the pharmacy doesn't work), I got read the riot act when I asked to verify the correct dosage of cough medicine for my two year old. The two year old that only weighs six pounds less than the five year old who IS allowed, by law, to have cough medicine (regardless if it contains pseudoephedrine). I'm still trying to figure out who decided that decongestants and cough suppressants didn't work on younger kids because they work fine on both my kids and neither have fallen over dead.
At least they haven't locked away the benadryl...yet. ;)

After all that rant, I really hope you start feeling well, and haven't had to sign away your home or the whole litter of Weasels just to get your Nyquil.

Gunfighter said...

Get well soon, WeasleMama!

terri said...

Nyquil comes in pills now? I liked the old fashioned kind. You know, the nasty tasting, green liquid stuff. Knocked me on my *ss every time, and I loved it!

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the "good" sudafed is trapped behind the counter is ridiculous.

I recently dragged myself to the pharmacy because I was congested and needed the good stuff. We normally get it from the mail order pharmacy that is owned by the hospital my wife works for, but I forgot to add that to my order when I refilled my meds.

The abnormally cheery person behind the counter at asked if I was all stuffed up. I informed her that, no, I just ran out of meth. Stupid people. Feel better soon.

Tom said...

Just think about the reeeeeeally old days when you could buy straight codeine and morphine. Extrapolating, by the time our kids are grown the only legal active ingredient will be water.

WeaselMomma said...

@ wineplz ~ Things have gotten completely out of control with the cold medicine police. Luckily I still have my Nyquil and my Weasels.

@ Terri ~ The green liquid stuff always gagged me, but it worked! They still have the liquid too, but they took out the alcohol about 18 years ago.

@ PJ ~ Good answer, good answer!

@ Tom ~ Ah, to have lived in the day! Back when a pharmacist could dispense freely and you could get a real coke at the soda counter while you waited.

Me said...

I'm glad it works for you. I can't handle the NyQuil... and JUUUSSTT for the record - they took the sudafed OUT of it. Unless you got Nyquil-D. In which case rock on.

Either way, get better! Now.

Mama Smurf said...

Not to mention you can buy a fifth of whisky for almost the same amount it'll cost you for a bottle of Ny-Quil. And it works better and lasts longer. Just get drunk and go to sleep! I hope you're feeling better soon!

Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

As others have stated, the idiot nannies at the FDA took out pseudoephedrine from the over-the-counter meds and now make you buy the OTC stuff WITH pseudoephedrine by asking it for it from behind the counter. Go figure.

And yes, no alcohol either.

Geeze, whenever I had a real bad cold, I'd double to NyQuil dosage... was always right-as-rain the next day. Now I slog through the cold season, whenever I get a head cold. As if that is supposed to be better!

seashore subjects said...

My sis and I were just talking the other day about whiskey and honey being heated on the stove. Dad would give us a spoonful when we were coughing all night and poof we were asleep.

Mrs4444 said...

This explains a lot, HAHA! Hope you're feeling better.

Reservoir Dad said...

With you in sickness. Codral covers the cold symptoms for me. Panadol the fever. Still feel crap though. Get well soon.

Scott said...

I hope you're feeling better. I figure the old remedies are best too. However, in my lifetime I've never seen my parents drink a drop of alcohol, so I missed out on the whiskey for toothaches :(

WeaselMomma said...

@ Me ~ I hate that they took the good stuff out of everything and that we have the crawl and grovel to the pharmacist to get goods.

@ Mama Smurf ~ Great point.

@ Charlie ~ It's time to go back to home remedies.

@ Seashore ~ That sounds like a good mixture.

@ Mrs4444 ~ You've found the missing link.

@ Reservoir ~ Hmmm, so things aren't any better on your side of the world.

@ Scott ~ Now, as a grown up, you know what to do the next time you have a toothache!

Jason @ The Devoted Dad said...

You're right about them not working now a days. The only one that seems to really get me some sleep is the liquid NyQuil and it does have alcohol and an anti-histamine- together help knock me out- it's the getting up the next day that is the problem. I hope that you feel better soon.

Tara R. said...

Sorry you're still down for the count. Hope you can get some of that old-fashioned Rx soon enough to knock out the sickies. Sending get well wishes.

Melissa Haak said...

So funny, probably would have been even funnier if you actual let the older weasel try to buy it! I can just imagine it on the 6 oclock news know...teen arrested for trying to help sick mom!

I featured you on the Sunday Funnies too:

Michelle said...

I kept reading waiting to see what bottle of alcohol you were going to come out with. Regardless, the Nyquil apparently worked, as you were fine yesterday. Then again... maybe it was the alcohol you were ingesting? ;)

Bad Momma said...

Hope you are feeling better by now!

Love the Home Remedies, although I think if you had to have Eldest go fetch for you, she'd have a better chance at the Pharmacy!

I've been popping the Benadryl & Advil for my cold & sinus symptoms. Knocks me right out. Although Liquor would be Quicker! mmmm...something to think about for next time!

de-I said...

I'm with you - aspirin and alcohol works for me.

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