The Cold of 2015: Where Natural Remedies Met Conventional Medicine.

The last week and a half have been epic, friends.

I managed to acquire a terrible head and chest cold. You know the one: sneezing, snot, coughing, phlegm, puffy eyes, sinus pressure, earaches, etc. This head cold turned into a sinus infection and a double ear infection. I know I caught this from the hundreds of students I encounter each day as I pop in and out of 5+ school buildings.

In my typical fashion, I felt this cold coming on two Sundays ago and forged ahead with my 'plans'. My friend Jenn jokes with me often that I am too busy and nothing slows me down. She's right.

I ignored my misery and spent afternoons out in the garden. The fresh air was wonderful, and a little bit of exercise helped my spirits. But my sinuses were screaming. Did you see how puffy my eyes were in that photo?!

John and I had dinner and dessert by the fire one night, and try as I might, I couldn't enjoy the evening. My ears and jaw and even my teeth were aching.

A week later, I still wasn't feeling better. Of course, that didn't stop me from teaching another urban chicken keeping class.

The next day, John and I were sitting in church and my ears were throbbing, my sinuses completely blocked, my face was puffy, and I felt dizzy from the pressure in my head. To put it politely, I was a hurting unit.

But I still participating in a church service project with our favorite local non-profit, Feed Iowa First. (I know, you guys are shaking your heads in disbelief, like John was doing for a week as I resisted his urging to go to the doctor.)

Later that afternoon, I broke down and went to the an Urgent Care clinic down the street. This was the first time I'd been to the doctor since I visited the ER for my miscarriage a year and a half ago. (You can probably see why I avoided it for so long, eh?)

This time was different. For the first time ever, I was treated by a nurse practitioner who listened to me and my situation completely before recommending a few additional natural remedies and an antibiotic to heal my sinus infection and double ear infection.

The more natural remedies I did at home included:

The nurse practitioner I saw was very, very impressed with all of the precautions I take to prevent illness, and how I handled my initial illness with natural remedies. She recommended I continue all of those things I listed above, as well as upping my probiotic to twice a day and increasing the amount of probiotic rich, homemade yogurt and kefir in my diet.

Sister was speakin' my language.

Sometimes, a visit to the doctor and more 'conventional treatments' are important in healing. This nurse practitioner didn't need to convince me of that. In my situation, I chose to fill the prescription she gave me for an antibiotic. After 8 days with no measurable relief on my own, I knew this was my next step. It's been about 5 days on this antibiotic and I feel so, so much better. My sinuses are almost back to normal, and my ears feel better every day.

Hear me now, sweet friends: I think conventional, Western medicine is important and has a place in all of our lives. The key is finding a medical practitioner that will recommend conventional treatments that compliment the natural remedies you find important. 

Tell me about your recent experiences with natural remedies and conventional medicine. Have these two merged in your world yet? What advice do you have for us? 

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  2. I too went to the doctor not long ago but for another reason. I was going in to get a medication refilled that requires a yearly visit. I take the medication for a number of reasons, 1. Being depression that runs in my family and 2. for the anxiety that comes with it. Anyways, onto the story. They ask what medications or over the counter stuff do you take, I mentioned too the probiotic I take and that I use essential oils. To my disbelief, my doctor knew exactly what I was talking about and wanted to know what my favorites were and how I used them! :)
    I can not tell you how happy I was to hear this. Then a couple days later, we had a teachers visit for my son with his preschool teacher in our home. She spotted my diffuser and then proceeded to tell me that she uses oils in the classroom! This momma's heart was singing, how awesome is that!?
    There is room for both and essential oils help us to be healthier and less frequent visits to our doctors. Amen , Sister!
    Kelli, slow down. Take a day or 2 and NOT volunteer everywhere and chillax for a change!!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jenn! I will do my best to slow it down a bit.

  3. That is so good to hear you found someone to listen to you. As a nurse-hoping to start FNP school- I often feel MDs and FNPs rush a patient and do not always listen, even discount what they have tried. (However, I did have a patient tell the surgeon today they thought smoking pot would stop their heart attack...��...not so much) Anyway, that is awesome that you are feeling better, hope you have a great rest of the week.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      You know, I haven't had terrible experiences with medical professionals in the past (we've all heard some horror stories, I'm sure...), but this one was particularly great. She was a younger (maybe mid 30s?), and I hope has a long career in medicine ahead of her!

  4. Yeah, believe it or not my doctor recommended me some vitamins last time I was there. That seems new to me.

    One factor too for health is stress. That is a killer to the immune system. Many leading nutritionists and food medicine folks are saying it is on par with healthy eating. That seems weird, the guy eating kale and avocados all day that is stressed out is the same as the easy going guy eating peanut butter crunch and pizza.


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