Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Doctor Is In

I just saw a segment on the news that I found very interesting. Apparently people with Parkinson's don't experience shaking when they dance. After the music stops they remain free from the palsy for awhile and they can enjoy feeling normal. I've also seen reports on Alzheimer's patients who can't speak anymore, but they can still sing the words of songs. Makes you wonder if the part of our brains that stores music and dancing is immune from the ravages of some diseases.

Recently Sixty Minutes had a piece about the overweight folks who get gastric by-pass surgery. I believe Leslie Stahl said that eighty percent of obese people with Type I diabetes are cured after having the surgery. Cured quickly too, since most claimed that they were able to go off their medication within days of surgery. Or even before they went home.

Some Italian physician discovered that removing the duodenum was the strange key to unlock a diabetes cure in his experiments with mice. Unfortunately, in the US of A, only fat people are permitted to undergo gastric bypass surgery. If you have Type I diabetes in Iowa City and you're not fat, too bad.

Makes me wonder if the medicos ought to be thinking more creatively when they're trying to come up with cures.

We already know that dark chocolate is full of antioxidants which are good for your circulatory system. Not to mention all the endorphins released when you eat it.

But have we explored ALL the therapeutic possibilities of its cousin, milk chocolate, yet? Especially those little Dove squares that taste so good at three in the afternoon. 

How about looking for the miracles that surely lie within Chunky Monkey ice cream. Or the healing properties of Slurpees.

I will personally fund the studies for anything with steak. I'll pop for a filet mignon's worth at least.  And while we're at it, I'm happy to throw in a pound of butter.

I'm only half kidding, since there have been plenty of home remedies for everything from soaking your feet in Listerine for toe fungus to putting hemorrhoid cream under your eyes to remove puffiness. Using products originally intended for other things -- or as the pharms say, "off label" -- is nothing new.

Many years ago I got a severe sunburn in Hawaii the day before my girlfriend's wedding. I took a bath in ice cold water just to get away from the fire on my skin. Afterward, the bride went out into her family's backyard and sliced open a huge leaf from an aloe plant. She took her hand and scooped out the viscous, clear jelly inside and slathered it all over me -- everywhere except for my face. Aloe has been a native Hawaiian remedy for burns of all kinds for centuries. As a result, I never blistered and never peeled. From my neck down.

When I was flying back to the mainland, I wondered why the sailor next to me was looking over a lot. I wasn't THAT gorgeous. Until I went into the lavatory and discovered that the skin on my face, which didn't get any aloe, was all cracked, like marble. I got some lotion from the flight attendant, used it to glue my face back together and then peeled it off.  I was left with a dark brown edge from my forehead to my chin, and fresh, pink baby skin in the middle. Ooh la la.

Within a few years I noticed that aloe started showing up as an ingredient in moisturizers. But there's nothing like the real thing fresh from the garden.

Let's see, maybe now's a good time to evaluate the therapeutic properties of cheese popcorn.


screaminremo303 said...

My Dad's former business partner claimed he cured his hemmoroids by making a puree of aloe and giving it to himself as a suppository via basting syringe. Personally, I think he just had something else going on. Either way, I made sure I never ate Thanksgiving dinner at his house.

I have a co-worker who suffers from a speech stammer. He has problems talking to people on calls until the poop hits the propeller. Then he comes through without a hitch. Go figure.

mombzbe said...

My Nana was full of all kinds of home remedies that I'd heard about my whole life growing up.  
I kind of blew them all off, being a woman in modern society who loves science.  
Then I had a baby.  A colicky baby.  Nothing I tried worked, I was certain I was going to lose my mind, but then I remembered something I'd heard....

*ring ring*
She patiently described to me how to make manzanilla tea, her cure for colic.

And I listened to every word.

jevanslink said...

Camomile tea is manzanilla's American cousin.  I didn't believe in it until my stomach felt like I'd swallowed a cactus.  And it worked like gangbusters.  

Mrs. L

suzypwr said...

Lucky you. My mom put calomine lotion on my burns. I guess that explains a lot, doesn't it?


ksquester said...

Here's the therapeutic prperties of an auto accident that has your airbag go off. You get a FREE adjustment AND a chemical peel.   I love a bald headed man in a convertible!    Anne

fdtate714 said...

Your introductory paragraph conjured up a memory of Mel Tillis, the old country singer.  His stutter was so bad it'd take him five minutes to get a sentence out, but he sang beautifully without a trace of a stutter.  Every now and then, while speaking, he'd sing a syllable or two that he was having trouble getting out.  Something to do with using different parts of the brain to converse and sing.