pain pills or not

 I used to tough my way through bruises and illnesses. “You fell down. Well stand up and brush yourself off, you’ll be okay.” You have a cold? “Rub on some Vicks and make sure you have a handkerchief. You’ll get better.”

As an adult, I ignored back aches and headaches. Or at least I did until the day my head hurt so much, I slumped in a chair all day. Being pregnant at the time, I did not even consider taking an aspirin. My husband called the doctor. The doctor said, “you can’t touch that pain with one aspirin.”. But he suggested a double dose of some over-the-counter medicine that worked.

I quickly forgot that incident and continued to slug on through spells of back pain while it lasted. At least I did until the day I went in for a regular physical in so much pain that I preferred standing while talking with the doctor. He offered a prescription for the pain.

“That’s okay. It will go away,” I said as I pressed my back against the wall.

Before I left, he reached in a drawer and pulled out a sample package of a highly publicized medicine for back pain. It even had a picture of people jumping joyfully through the meadow. “You might try one of these,” he suggested.

I mumbled, “thanks.” At home I took one. The back ache stopped. I felt like leaping for joy.

I forgot about the magic pill. In fact as age and arthritis advanced, I often puzzled on days that I woke up feeling like I moved through cement. Only seeing and hearing co-workers complain about their joints helped me connect the dots.

I consulted Dr. Google. Besides prescribed medication, Dr. Google repeatedly mentioned natural choices: A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and no sugar, white flour or fats. Exercise and get enough sleep. Okay, let nature take care of you. But if all that is not enough, Dr. Google had other options such as turmeric as an anti-inflammatory. I tried turmeric tea.

I mentioned to someone that I drank turmeric tea.

“Eww, that does not sound tasty.” they replied. I agreed and bought a bottle of turmeric capsules instead. I popped one while consulting Dr. Google for other options.

I settled on trying tart cherries – or use pills or drops with concentrated doses of cherry juice to relieve the pain. Didn’t even have to buy it. My husband received a couple of free bottles in his order of supplements for sciatica nerve pain.

For a week I faithfully swallowed turmeric capsules and cherry juice concentrate. About Wednesday, I felt so good and moved so freely, I declared I knew the perfect combination of supplements for arthritis.

Then Thursday came. I stumbled out of bed and awkwardly held the wall while walking through that invisible cement to the window. A gray cloud covered the sky. The weather had changed. Nature had triumphed over natural solutions.

On Sunday, I asked a friend who has dealt with joint pain for many years, “how was your week?”

“Pretty good, until Thursday,” She said.

“Right! And then the weather changed, I nodded. “Until Thursday, I kneew I had found the natural solution to joint stiffness. I quickly learned weather trumps everything,” I laughed.

Although I finished up the bonus cherry juice concentrate and my husband takes turmeric, I lost my interest in both. I never ordered either. Now when stiffness hits, I may tough it out for several hours before I realize what’s wrong and remember the options in the medicine cabinet that work for me.  

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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