Whenever I write about remedies I have to include the a disclaimer pointing out I am an animal rescuer, not a doctor or veterinarian. Funny really, since in the situations I address, the medical/veterinary folks are unavailable or don’t have solutions to the problem.
Unavailability has been a big one here in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The new provincial government elected last year (2017) is taking steps to make that better but it is slow going. At this time, many people do not have a family doctor and rely on walk-in clinics. A receptionist for one of these told me gleefully that they are the model for the future, the family doctor of old has been discontinued.
Under the old government, in the walk in clinic under the BC Medical Plan, you see one doctor with one problem. You might get 15 minutes. Other practitioners and vision care are not covered unless you are subsidised, under 19 or over 65. To be subsidised you basically have to be down and out. I was on medical leave a year and a half ago and working part time disqualified me. The phone line to billing is always available but the phone line to the plan itself to question coverage had up to a 45 minute wait back then. A coworker commented that they can’t take coverage away from you but they will ruin your credit rating. All residents of BC are expected to sign up for coverage. If you really want to wiggle out of it, there is a waiver you can sign but it is only available to sign in January of each year. And you have to sign it each and every January. I will be interested to see how or if the new government adjusts any of this.
Besides the above administrative nonsense, subject to the political party in power, I believe the walk in clinic fosters an “assembly line” mentality among doctors. A number of years ago around Christmas time, I saw 4 different doctors about pain in my foot. X-rays were taken, no solutions were given, and one so-called doctor pronounced merrily I had “buggered up my foot”. I just looked at him and he had the grace to apologize. I looked around for an acupuncturist and found none available over the holidays. I dislike needles so this search was a testimony to the pain I was in. I found a naturopath who practiced acupuncture. I stood to greet him in the waiting room, dropped my book and my knees buckled with the pain. An hour later I walked out smiling and feeling absolutely great.
A year and a half ago, the walk in clinic GP dug out my x-rays and consulted only after I referred myself to a specialist. I only went back to her because the specialist insisted the GP does the paperwork. Both told me I have arthritis in my lower back, exercise, lose weight. The GP was gone when I returned for a note to Unemployment Insurance (that’s $40 not covered by BC Medical) and her colleague standing in for her said I could get back to my normal self with medication. He proceeded to make me ill with excessive doses of an over-the-counter NSAID. I didn’t go back. A consultation with a chiropractor last week gives me hope for some effective, though out of pocket, treatment.
I’ve gone into sordid detail on my medical experiences to emphasize why I believe people will be forced to take more responsibility for their own health. And for their pets’ health as well. I find more and more vets keep minimal office hours, are uninformed re natural treatments and get their nutrition advice from the companies selling pet food because they have no training in nutrition.
WHAT TO DO???
1) Learn who and what are commercially available for treatment.
What sort of practitioners are in your area? Does your employer’s extended care plan cover acupuncturists or only naturopaths? Some, not all, naturopaths do acupuncture. If your plan covers acupuncture will it cover Chinese herbs? Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners sometimes use herbs instead of acupuncture and may not be covered unless the plan covers “practitioners” in general. Are there holistic vets in your area or can you find one who will do phone consults?
Check out the health food store but do your research. Products in these stores are not immune to having extra ingredients to justify a higher price. When entering menopause, an older coworker gave me a partially used bottle of supplements. They made me feel normal again! I knew from research that Black Cohosh was a major ingredient, the others were nice but not necessary. When it was time for a refill I just bought Black Cohosh from Walmart — much less expensively. Same with supplements for joint pain. I buy Boswellia (for general inflammation) by itself. If I see it as an ingredient with other ingredients in a supplement, I don’t buy the supplement — I’ve already got the major ingredient.
2) Find out what is available in your environment that can be used medicinally.
If you have a knowledgeable granny, pick her brain! Otherwise read up on food and spices. Honey and garlic are antibiotic, yogurt helps diarrhea, celery is diuretic, salmon oil is anti-inflammatory. And so on.
There are some unusual ones. When I first moved to Vancouver Island I was living in a campground and working in the campground store. A woman came in looking for over-the-counter antihistamines. Her daughter had been stung by a wasp and was developing an allergic reaction. The husband was gone with the car and they had no way to contact him. I advised her that caffeine is a natural antihistamine and she fed the daughter coffee til Dad returned. It was only later when I began working night shifts that I found out that coca-cola has more caffeine than coffee.
Same summer, same wasps different victim. The boss got stung. He came to the store window moaning when I was working. He wasn’t allergic, he was just in pain. I decided to test on him something I read about in wilderness first aid (didn’t tell him that). I went to the lawn in front of the store and hunted til I found some plantain (not the kind that looks like bananas, this kind). Plantain grows in a lot of yards, maybe even yours. I picked some of the leaves, had him chew them up into a green glop and put it on the sting. His eyes and mouth got round with his “WOW”. It took the pain away and I was a legend in the campground for a week.
In the past, soldiers in war had to use substances from their environment. They staunched wounds with cobwebs or gunpowder to prevent infection. The cobwebs worked because of an antimicrobial coating plus high vitamin K content to help clotting. Gunpowder apparently prevented suppuration. These days there is a homeopathic remedy of gunpowder, widely used by animal rehabilitators to prevent infection of injuries.
3) Check out homeopathy.
The concept behind homeopathy (very simplified) is that an infinitesimal amount of what makes you ill will cure you. I realize it goes against some ideas about medicine but I regularly use it successfully for myself and my cats. It is well accepted in many parts of the world outside North America.
Homeopathic remedies for common ailments are sold in some of the grocery stores here and have made believers out of some ill people I know. There was the office manager who had eaten too much turkey around the holidays and felt so sick to her stomach she thought she would have to go home. I gave her 2 pellets of Nux Vomica, also called Colubrina. Just before my quitting time she came flying into my work area saying “OK what is it and where do I get it?”
More recently, the security guard came through on his second check of the night, sniffling and snorting. He hadn’t been like that on the first check, it had just started. Aconitum Napellus is a homeopathic remedy for illness that has just started. If you catch it early enough, it short circuits the illness. I gave him 2 pellets. Next time I saw him he said “What was that stuff?” and commented that by the time he’d finished his shift and reached home, the illness was gone. Now when he has an ailment he asks if I have anything for it and always wants the name of the remedy written down.
Nux vomica is poison nut and aconitum is monkshood. Both are poisonous plants. They are diluted to the point where no physical substance remains — which is why they are considered vibrational medicine. Which is probably also why Health Canada allows them to be sold.
This is all quite handy, just go to the store and grab a vial of pellets. But what if you are caught in an emergency, a disaster, there is no way to get to the store or the store is gone? Well then, you can make your own homeopathic remedy!
Savely Yurkovsky, an MD, wrote a how to book with a very long title: Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Warfare Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones: The Power of Digital Medicine. (Yeah I know, even the bookstore clerk raised an eyebrow when I ordered it). He explains the principles and then gives step by step instructions on making remedies. I ordered this book during the Fukushima nuclear crisis. I was particularly interested in the remedies he made for both anthrax and for radiation fallout in Long Island New York.
4) Check out autopathy.
I was looking for a recipe to create a nosode for one of the cats. A nosode is homeopathic but dilutes a body substance rather than a plant, animal or mineral substance. I found such a recipe but my homeopathic mentor advised that the process was actually autopathy not homeopathy even though the dilution is done the same way. Autopathy does not try to diagnose or even match a homeopathic symptom picture. If my cat is sick, I can dilute some of its mucous or even hair and remedy the problem without knowing what it is. Imagine the power of this in an emergency situation! Don’t worry about what it is, just make the remedy! I am still exploring autopathy but one reference is here.
5) Check out audio frequencies.
People who have read my various writings will have expected this one. But hold on. I usually write about frequencies individually purchased for individual situations. Wouldn’t it be handier to be able to just dial up the frequency you needfor a particular problem? You can! Ken Uzzell in Australia created software that plays frequency sets for a database of disorders. The software is free but there is a fee if you want to register it. I have been experimenting with this for some time and have had very good results. There is a user group on Yahoo searchable by Google. My ebook and this post go into more detail about its use.
In conclusion: we can take responsibility for our health and that of our loved ones.