Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DIY Healthcare

How much money do you waste each year on health care? By waste, I mean go to the doctor or ER only to have them give you a pain pill and a drink of water and send you home. Then the bill comes and you wonder what it was all for. Or worse, you take a baby in for a suspected ear infection and doc can't see anything, but since there is a runny nose, he provides a completely unnecessary antibiotic. No thanks! I would rather do what I can on my own at home, with a little help from mother nature. The purpose of this post is to give you some ideas to keep you out of the doctors office. I love the feeling of empowerment that comes from taking care of myself and my family's basic health needs.
"Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".
 
Empowerment is so easy, even a child can do it. Well, at least if we teach them, practice with them, and in the end allow them. My 12 year old niece was at school one afternoon and noticed a migraine coming on. She told her mom (who works at the school) that she was going home to get rid of it. She walked home (across the street) and got to work. One drop each of lavender, peppermint, and frankincense, a big drink of water, a dark room, and a nap and she was better within hours.

"Image courtesy of Sattva/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net".
 
I shouted, "YOU GO GIRL" when I heard this story. Here is a girl who is being taught as a kid to be self sufficient and allowed to do it. Contrast that with what my friend and ER nurse said to me.

"Do you know how many people come to the ER for migraines? And all we do is give them an IV bag of water and send them home."

I don't know about you but the ER is the last place on earth I want to be at any given time of my life. I wonder what staff infections or virus' hop on and take a ride home with you!

Please do not mistake the fact that I am thankful an ER is close by should we need it. We are blessed by the men and women who spend their lives healing.  According to this article the top reasons to visit the ER (besides drug overdose) are chest pains, cuts, and broken bones. Yep. Thankful we can go for those mishaps. Not gonna mess around with my home remedies for those (except maybe superglue stitches...that happens on occasion). There are absolutely, positively times to visit an awesome, life saving, trained medical professional.

Then there are times when we can "frontier it" and take care of things on our own. It is time to take that power back. We can stop expecting someone else to do what we can for ourselves...for a lot cheaper.  Judging from the wealth of Google results for home remedies, I know there are plenty of people who want to learn to do just that!

Here are some other reasons according to the Huffington Post why people visit the ER, and some ways to avoid it!
Family Physician's Kit from doTERRA. A must have for every medicine cabinet.
  • Stomach ache.  My ER nurse friend says that in OKC area right now this is a major reason for ER visits. I get that. I have done it myself. Gall stones. Not fun. Certainly use your own best judgement, but not every tummy ache is ER worthy. Many of these cases are a stomach bug that will heal on it's own.  At the ER, they give fluids, Zofran, and a hefty bill. My thoughts are, should have stayed home and used Digestzen, ginger, fennel, or peppermint. Apply to tummy every 15-20 min, or if you can keep them down,  put a drop or two in a cup of water and sip slowly.
  • Rash: Some skin irritations can certainly be serious. But that is the rare case, not the norm. Never underestimate the power of coconut oil, lavender and melaleuca. I love this little ouchie balm found here.
  • Upper respiratory: Can certainly be serious. But croup, cough, and even mild asthma attacks do not necessarily merit a trip to the ER. At least not at my house. Breathe, eucalyptus, lime, rosemary, oregano, and peppermint are amazing at clearing the airways. Learn to listen to your body and your intuition to know what you can handle on your own and what may be too serious.
  • Back ache: Can be absolutely debilitating. But a visit to a chiropractor, massage therapist or applying your own Aroma Touch Technique can be very effective. We always reach for essential oils for pain before any type of pill.
  • Tooth ache: Clove oil is an awesome analgesic. Tea bags too!
  • Headache: First start with a big glass of water. I find that knocks out 9 out of 10 headaches for me. Dehydration is an epidemic in this country due to over-consumption of soda, Gatorade, alcohol and the like. Next reach for the oils that can help with pain. These include, but are not limited to birch, wintergreen, peppermint, Deep Blue, and Pasttense. Take a lesson from a 12 year old and knock it out fast!
Above all remember the great words of Benjamin Franklin:

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!"

Dose up on those daily vitamins. Use On Guard regularly. Eat your veggies. An apple a day may very well be the key to keeping the doctor away!
 
Disclaimer:
My only qualifications are "Dr. Mom." Nothing I have written here can be construed as medical advice. This is simply a list of ideas that you can try for yourself in your own journey to become self sufficient. It is a wonderful, empowering thing to be!! My advice to anyone on this journey is to have a little faith in yourself. I have talked with people who are so afraid of messing up. We felt that way when we were new parents too. The same guardian angels that keep our toddlers safe are with you too! So have faith in you!

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22 comments:

  1. Yes! I've never taken the kids to the dr much anyway... but the more I learn about oils it's even less. I think the last time was because there was a small lego jewel stuck high in someones nose... something that oils couldn't help!

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    1. I hate admitting that oils don't fix everything!!

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  2. Love your tips! If you have a stomach bug and can't hold down anything, you recommended rubbing ginger, fennel on your tummy -- oils? Pinning for safe keeping! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, but if you have to do it for an extended amount of time, I suggest diluting with a carrier oil or you may end up with a rash.

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    2. This is such good advice....I am surprised at how easy many people just run to the dr or the ER. If necessary, I agree, they are wonderful, but..........so many times it isn't necessary. Extra fluids, extra rest, stop the sugars, dairy, whatever for a time, take extra nutrition and let the body heal....works pretty well.

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    3. Yes! It works really well for us too.

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    4. For a stomach virus we put one drop on the back of our hand and lick it off. It stays down that way and works well.

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  3. you go girl! I loved this post....especially since I am an ER nurse, and I deals with this every day!
    I found your blog on MMMlinks, and I posted my blog as well. Stop by and take a look!
    http://karanandmichael.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-do-you-fit-everything-into-one.html

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    1. I love my nurse friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. I will check your blog out.

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  4. I'm going to pin this. Thanks for compiling this info, Janine!

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  5. I hate the ER. Like you, I'm glad it's there when we need it, but what an expensive hassle!

    I like to ask myself, "What can/will they do that I can't?" If there's no good answer to that, we don't go.

    (Although on occasion, "provide peace of mind" is the answer, and that's good enough. I have a history of ectopic pregnancy and I've been in a couple of times just for them to rule that out. The stress off of me knowing something isn't about to rupture is enough to make it worth it to me.)

    But what are they going to do for a stomach bug? Push fluids. For the flu? MAYBE give Tamiflu, which we wouldn't take, anyway. (Unless there are complications, which is a whole different story.) We find it silly to go in for these things, because they're not going to do anything we couldn't just do at home.

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    1. Great advice for all of us Rachel. Ask what they will do and consider if I can do it myself.

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  6. Great information! We never go to the ER unless absolutely necessary, but there have been a couple times when we called the doctor on the weekend because we let things go to far. For the most part though, we try to avoid going to the doctor except when we have to...as you said much of the time, its not necessary.

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    1. Aren't we blessed to live in a time when if we make a mistake, we have the doc to call? I feel an urgent need to learn all I can, because what if there is a time when we don't have that option?

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  7. Thanks so much for linking this up with the Let's Get Real party.

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  8. These are great suggestions, Janine. It is always a judgement call, but it is good to have choices to test in lieu of going to the ER. Found you via Let's Get Real Party.

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  9. If I can take care of an illness or irritation without drugs, that is my go-to plan every time. Thanks for these tips.

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  10. Great article and I agree that we should try to be more self sufficient in taking care of ourselves. I grew up in a time where you had to fully pay for every doctor visit and insurance was mostly just for hospitalization. We did a lot of self care and I still do. All of your tips are really good and spot on! Thanks for sharing with the Four Season Blog Hop.

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    1. Unfortunately with things as they are, things will likely be that way again. For our household, that is currently the case. So, we are doing all we can to be able to care for ourselves.

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