It is true. I am a health heretic. I believe in using natural methods of treatment to the maximum extent possible. But no matter how much you know or how skillful you become at self-treatment, getting over the flu is a lot like playing Russian roulette.
A year ago I got such a bad case of the flu that I feared for my life. I was clearly on the verge of pneumonia. The flu laughed out loud at all my potions. Echinacea? Ha ha. Vitamin C? Ha ha ha. Elderberry extract? Ha ha ha ha. Thymuplex? Ha ha ha ha ha. “Man you’re killing me,” the flu cackled as he slapped his leg in delirious glee. The trouble was, I wasn’t killing him. He was building a bigger belly with everything I threw at him. When the flu gets going he can eat bricks and two-by-fours and never even burp.
I went to see my doctor. I love Doc Findley but he never has been able to resist ribbing me. Once when he was at my house for some fun and frolic, he saw my rack of herbs, vitamins and assorted nostrums. Grinning he said, “Right there’s a sure sign of a desperate old man.” Yet, I would be willing to bet you that Rolls Royce I have on order that he sees me less than any other patient close to my age.
When I walked through his door rattling like Curtis Adams gargling up for the big Hannity Show,** he grinned from ear-to-ear. I let him savor his moment because he is a doggone good doctor who has never failed to do me some good.
Over the next week, he popped two big shots of antibiotics in my left cheek and two more in my right cheek and still had to give me a prescription for the latest miracle of pharmaceutical science (buying those pills is why I had to delay delivery of that Rolls Royce). For a while it was hard to tell if I would die from the flu or the antibiotics but at the last minute the antibiotics won out. I was healed, brothers and sisters! That is, except for restoring the friendly stomach flora destroyed by the antibiotics. It only took six months of probiotics to get me back in balance.
Last week the flu got me again. I had been eating well, getting enough exercise, taking my vitamin C, keeping a positive attitude, resting enough, winding my watch just right, sitting straight in the saddle, meditating at least a half hour every morning, reading spiritual things, taking long walks by the lake and driving on the right side of the road (except when I was in England). Still, that old flu just sneaked up behind me and popped me one time like Bertie Hancock popped that drunk woman in a bar, as I wrote recently. When I awoke, my toes were pointed toward the ceiling twitching.
I am not trying to destroy your faith in a healthy lifestyle and all the good natural herbs and supplements available today because I can tell you for certain, if it had not been for those things I would be skipping merrily down golden streets right now.
I am just trying to make the world have more respect for the flu. My scientific son called from Dallas and said, “Falwell may not believe in evolution but that’s because he hasn’t studied viruses and disease bacteria. They are evolving at breakneck speed. Every time we throw a new antibiotic at them, it just creates dozens of new strains.”
This time it looks like I have whipped the flu with my own potions. I can actually breathe again and pick up a cup of coffee without assistance.
If we’d quit trying to conquer the world, maybe we would have enough money to conquer the common cold and flu. It’s the Saddam Hussein of the bacteriological world.
* This article is reproduced with kind permission of the author, Dalton Roberts (“The Downhome Philosopher”), from the Friday, February 25, 2005 issue of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanooga, Tennessee http://timesfreepress.com. To read more of Mr. Dalton’s amusing columns, visit his website at http://www.daltonroberts.com. E-mail Dalton Roberts at DownhomeP@aol.com
** Hamilton (TN) County Commissioner Curtis Adams, a lifelong Democrat, made an appearance on the Hannity & Colmes show to explain why he became a Republican in February 2005.