This past Tuesday was spent listening to my baby cry for most of the day. The intolerable bawling started after his first nap. It was one of those times that I tried everything, but he just kept laying his head on the ground screaming while tears ran down his cheeks and snot ran out of his nose.
He’d had a runny nose for about a week and had a couple coughs at night while he was sleeping, but I really hadn’t put two-and-two together during the racket; I couldn’t even hear myself think let alone have a rational thought.
Finally he calmed down after a walk outside, but later wouldn’t eat… and my son doesn’t ever skip a meal; I have to stop him from eating most times.
It wasn’t until we were playing later that I saw his newest tooth poking through. He has 12 teeth already and we haven’t had any teething issues for several months, but this was an eye tooth. Good ole number 13 was causing him pain.
I scoured the entire house looking for his teething medicine and couldn’t find it. His screaming was again unbearable so I finally called a neighbor who has twins only four months younger than our baby. Luckily, she had just what I was looking for, a well-known homeopathic teething medicine for babies, Osanit. You can give the baby up to 8 tablets every 15 minutes if needed, otherwise less tablets at longer intervals.
Since moving to Germany, I have noticed a higher usage of homeopatic medicine than in the US. Not only that, but most Germans seem to prefer homeopathic if they take anything even at all. A friend of mine takes homeopathic medicine for her back pain, for instance. And no, she doesn’t take trips to Amsterdam to buy it (I couldn’t let everyone down and not make at least one MJ reference, right?).
My first encounter with homeopathic tablets was in high school (yes, TABLETS. Get your mind away from the MJ reference). My boyfriend at the time’s mom was a mid-wife and gave me some tablets to help speed up a minor case of chicken pox. I remember looking at the little round white balls thinking, “Yeah, like those little things are going to do anything.”
I followed the instructions letting them dissolve under my tongue and taking the dosage every couple of hours. And, no, I wasn’t seeing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, but I was better just in time to attend our school’s homecoming festivities.
When I moved to Germany, I was only vaguely familiar with homeopathic medicine. I have never been a pill popper and I’ve always been a strong proponent of letting my body build its own immunities…You know, if food falls on the floor, no sense wasting it. Plus it builds immunities.
The summer before last, my daugter had some skin irritations on her legs. We went to a neighbor who recommended a certain blend of herbal cream to help. This was the start of learning how prevalent alternative options are in Germany.
I’ve also noticed that suppositories are more common here. Not my favorite, but I’ve learned to cope. And the suppository form of pain medicine for babies seems to work faster than liquid forms from the US.
When I went into labor, I opted for homeopathic medicine, which entailed not only tablets, but suppositories too. The only problem was that when my husband translated the instructions, I misunderstood that I was supposed to insert two suppositories from the get go and only had administered one.
I had a lot of labor pain until I asked when to use the second suppository and found out I had made a mistake in only taking one; the second one was a pain killer. Then things quickly got better.
Did I end up using pharmaceutical drugs during labor? Yep, sure did, but I at least tried the herbal stuff before going hard core. I guess it’s kind of like when people say to try the food before adding salt and pepper; some people do and some people just cut right to the salt.
There is a specific time when I cut right to the salt…pharmaceutical stuff, that is. When I feel an oncoming cold sore. I have tried homeopathic medicine in the past, I have even used Colgate toothpaste overnight, but my body must have built an immunity.
When I tried to ask a doctor in Germany for the same cold sore medicine I was prescribed in the US, she not only had to look up the prescription in her computer, but also gave a huge gasp after doing so. I pleaded with her to prescribe the medicine trying to explain that when I get cold sores they are larger than if Angelina Jolie got punched in the lips.
Her response was, “I would not prescribe that. It is so strong it would be like trying to shoot a mouse with a shotgun. Try this and come back if it doesn’t work.” At this point I must have looked like a complete pharmaceutical addict when she mentioned that the medicine wasn’t prescription but over-the-counter.
The benefit to being in another country is that my body hadn’t built an immunity to the cold sore medicine here. It isn’t homeopathic, but it is a new substance my body hasn’t encountered before.
In no way do I claim to be a doctor and there are plenty of times and issues that require pharmaceutical drugs. However, for minor and or uncomfortable instances, particularly for children and pregnant women, I like to look into alternative remedies. Because homeopathic medicine is so prevalent here, I can basically just ask around our neighborhood for suggestions. We also have a few neighbors in the medical field.
I think, because the US earns so much money on pushing pharmaceutical products, as Americans we somehow learn and think this is our only option. As a result, our immunities and tolerance levels are probably so out of whack, who knows how effective homeopathic medicine can be. But I at least try and have had a few successes.