I've always held the belief that there are very few quick fixes, and even something as simple as taking cold medicine comes at a price. One of my friends told me, many MANY years ago, that while cold medicine does offer some relief, you're really just pushing the symptoms off rather than allowing your body to work through the virus naturally.
Another typical example of payback might be the hangover. Drink too much? You wake up feeling like crap.
Sometimes you're trading one problem for another. My husband suffers from allergy-induced respiratory issues. He is feeling the effects of the great outdoors right now and was debating whether to take Benadryl before bed. If he takes it, he wakes up feeling fuzzy for awhile. Fortunately, he rides the bus to work. If he doesn't take it, he wakes up stuffy.
Obviously, there has to be a cost-benefit assessment with every choice made. It wasn't too long ago that they made it acceptable for drug companies to advertise on television. It is exciting to watch--they talk about this wonderful fix-all-better pill for 10 seconds and spend the rest of the time talking about the side effects. Your acid-reducer is going to give you diarrhea and make you anemic? Oh boy!
My favorite (or least favorite) example of the perceived fix-all-better is the epidural in childbirth. I don't understand how it can be painted as so easy. Even when the laboring mother first gets it...I've never had one so I don't know, but from what I've heard, it sounds like a pretty awful experience just to get it in there. Cost-benefit, as painted by the medical professionals: it is uncomfortable, but once you have it placed, you get to just sit there and wait to push your baby out. And if you have to have a C-section, oh well, that's pretty routine anyway. The hospital where I had my boys had something like a 50% C-section rate. Granted, some mothers go there specifically because they are higher risk, and I suppose that some of those high-risk cases result in C-section more often.
I have heard a few different stories over the past few weeks. One was an older woman marvelling at how easy it seemed to be, her daughter's birth experience with epidural, and how wonderful it was. She said she couldn't believe that people would choose any other way; I told her that I had done it without the drugs and it was perfectly fine, and the epidurals can cause more problems than they solve, so I was glad that her daughter didn't experience any issues. Another was reading a friend's horrible birth story, where she was stripped of her dignity the moment she entered the hospital, coerced into getting an epidural, and ended up with a C-section. Yes, she ended up with a healthy little nursling at the end of the whole ordeal (including an infected incision).
Why, though, are mothers treated so poorly? Why are we expected to lie there and have someone "deliver" our babies?
Why don't we take some initiative and THINK about the choices that we make? For every action, there is a reaction. For every pill, a side effect. For every caffeine jolt, there is a crash. And let's not get started on the foods that we eat. Sometimes, a headache caused by dehydration should be cured with water, not medication.
Sometimes, medication is the thing that does the trick...but beware the side effects.
I'm a cancer mom--I'm very aware of side effects.
What Happens During An Epidural
Informed Parenting on Canada's rising infant mortality rates