Friday, November 13, 2009

Nothing In Moderation

My dear friend Meleah put up a post the other day about her unfortunate and inappropriate use of some ingredients and the consequences. Go here to read the very funny story. This lead me to a story of my own.

Since starting on Enbrel, I have found myself with a cupboard full of creams that I no longer use. One of the medications is called Tazorac. Tazorac is not only used for psoriasis but also for acne, fine lines and wrinkles, and to help skin tone and texture. Considering I am a woman-of-a-certain-age, I figured it would do me good to begin using this regularly. At least it couldn't hurt. So, for the past few months I have been using it on a fairly regular basis until I got the flu, when everything went by the wayside. A few nights ago I decided it was time to get back on schedule with the stuff, so I applied it before going to sleep. The way Tazorac works is almost like a mild chemical peel--and this means that the skin on your face will peel like after a sunburn. Of course, this presents a whole new problem: how to rid your face of the peeling skin. I figured I had the solution when I used an exfoliating sponge to scrub the peeling skin off. WRONG!!! I found that scrubbing at new, tender skin is not a good thing. I managed to scrub right through the top layer of skin--in places--and was left with areas that oozed. AND my face was the color of my Red Wings jersey: stop sign red. I probably would have been better off having a flaky face.

Now, while thinking of this story--and berating myself for being so damn stupid--I realized that I come by my stupidity honestly. My family has the tendency to do nothing in moderation. I think the family motto is "Kill or Cure." And I have stories to back this up.

The Mother has always been one who does nothing in moderation. One day she woke with the beginnings of a cold. By the afternoon, she barely was able to stand, so she needed to do something. While I'm not sure what the reason was, she called our neighbor and explained her situation. Our neighbor told her that he had some homemade wine and if she heated it up and drank it, she could take a nap and feel better in a few hours. She sent The Brother to pick up the more than half-full pint-sized Mason jar of homemade wine. Once she got this jar, she proceeded to pour the ENTIRE amount of wine into a saucepan, heated it, and drank it ALL down in one long gulp. The Mother is a teetotaler and the wine hit her quite hard. She literally CRAWLED the ten feet from the kitchen stove to the living room couch, where she passed out for about four hours. And she felt fine when she woke up. Of course, she could have KILLED herself, but the end justified the means, so all was okay in her mind.

My great-grandfather also believed in kill or cure. Just before he went into the medical care facility, he was pretty much confined to his upstairs bedroom because of rheumatoid arthritis. The Mother went to the house almost daily to help out my great-grandmother in taking care of him and the household. One day he was suffering from a chest cold and had asked The Mother to get him some Troutman's Cough Syrup. I'm not sure how much alcohol was in this stuff, but as a child, I thought it was pretty vile tasting. The Mother brought the bottle of Troutman's--the BIG one, so she wouldn't have to get him another bottle too soon--and a spoon and left it with him. When she was halfway down the stairs, he called for her to come back. When she got to his room, he handed her the spoon and the empty bottle. He had drank it all. He, too, was a teetotaler. He, too, slept it off.

And then we get to my great-aunt. Where do I begin and which story do I tell? How about the time she almost caused her nose to become frostbitten because she kept rubbing it with ice cubes. She did this to 'shrink' the pores. Or the time she caused her feet, up to her ankles bones, to turn brown by soaking in hot water with way too much bleach poured in. THIS she did in order to soften the calluses on her feet. I guess the best example of kill or cure is when she had a chest cold. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) She was feeling poorly and had quite a tightness in her chest, so she figured the best thing to do was to make a mustard plaster, place it on her chest, and lie down for a half hour. Everything worked out well except for the fact that she fell asleep--for several hours. When she finally woke up, her chest was covered in first- and second-degree burns--along with very large blisters all over her breasts. For a week afterward, she couldn't wear a bra and had to pin soft cotton handkerchiefs to the inside of her dress, just so she could continue to do what she needed to. Of course, she didn't see a doctor, but with all of the self-medicating my family did, is this a surprise?

So, as I said, I come by my stupidity honestly. I have had great role models.


Anonymous said...

Now I don't feel so bad about myself and all the poorly-thought-out things I do!

I'm guessing NyQuil would have been a big hit in your family. ;-)

cmk said...

They sure liked their alcohol-based meds, that's for sure. ;)

And yes, I think a book could be written about the stupid-ass things my family has done.

meleah rebeccah said...



And now, I feel better!