Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I was in the drug store, trying to predict which ailment my kids would come down with next.

I started off by choosing Tylenol Cold, Tylenol Dry Cough and Runny Nose, Tylenol Cough, Cold, Sore Throat, and Runny Nose, and Tylenol Mostly Phlegm medications.

Then I got some Tylenol Zits, Tylenol Smelly Pee after Eating Asparagus, and Tylenol Sweat, Boils and Explosive Diarrhea.

Then I had to choose a flavour. There was Cherry, Bubble Gum, Grape, Peach, Pine, New Car Smell,

Diesel, Napalm, and Grilled Cheese.

I could administer the medication via liquid, tablets, liquid filled tablets, capsules, regular round pills, coated pills to avoid upset stomach, caplets, montagues, gel caplets, nose drops, eye drops, suppositories, skin patches, needle injections, caulking guns, postal delivery, express taxi, Morse code or Federal Express.

I think. I kind of blurred out for a while there.

Given the age and susceptibility of my children to viruses and other plague infestations, we’ve chosen to go the bulk route. We now have the Regular Tylenol Pumper Truck come by every Thursday to top off the tanks – so we’re good, and saving at least ten cents per dosage, not to mention getting airline points.

I contrast this variety of medicinal products to what I grew up with in the 60’s – Aspirin, Phenergan and a thick liquid we were told was Penicillin.

I have no idea what Phenergan was but we got it all the time. It may have just been rum in a medical bottle for all we knew. Same with the ‘Penicillin’ now that I think of it.

Here is how medical care in our house worked:

Kid has fever so high Mom is cooking fried eggs on kid’s tummy? Aspirin.

Kid wakes up with blotches everywhere and proceeds to urp all over the kitchen? Phenergan.

Kid comes home covered in scabs from ‘riding’ bike all day? Nothing. “Go wash your hands, it’s time for supper,” Mom would say. “And stop oozing all over the floor, I just waxed it…”

I have no idea when we got the Penicillin goop but I recall it having to be pretty serious when you did.

Medicine was simpler back then. Of course, everyone died by age 40 but hey – advancement comes at a price, right?

The nice thing is the human body is very resilient. You can do almost anything to it and still recover.

For example, my sister and her evil companion once squirted lemon juice into my eyes during a rousing game of “Let’s Torture the Little Brother.” In a testament to my intellect at the time, I let them.

The torture had little effect, other than the bloody nose I administered blindly to my sister via a well-timed right cross.

Medical authorities today claim my poor eyesight is a result of astigma-something and not ‘Shrivelling of the Eyeballs as Caused by Lemon Juice Infusion at Age 5’ or whatever.

The fact my eyeglasses today are as thick as a glass coffee table bears no relation whatsoever to this small act of sibling playfulness I am sure.

I forget what I was talking about.

Oh yeah. Medicine.

Here is a parting gift for parents:

In instances where a Spiderman Band-Aid does not stop the flow of spurting arterial blood from a child’s appendage, remember what the guys from the TV show “Emergency!” used to do and start an IV of Ringers Lactate.

I have no idea what that is but it usually worked, and the handsome Doctor at the hospital always called for it.

If that doesn’t work, then I suggest a dose of Phenergan and transport immediately.

1 comment:

BDGJM said...

First of all, congratulations on your 3rd place prize at HumorPress.com. I am going to throw my hat in the ring for the June/July contest. Secondly, you have once again got a good chuckle out of me. In the US, Phenegran was not a common home remedy (it is a controlled substance here). A lot of parents here still use cola syrup to treat nausea in kids. I can also remember getting an alcohol bath as a kid to treat a high fever. Mind you, that practice is somewhat discouraged these days but it was easily the coldest bath I ever had.

Keep 'em coming.