Waves From Grain

The current news is full of fear and paranoia about the Ebola virus, and of course it is a valid concern but still not the most pressing immediate threat to one’s life and limb.

The sad truth is, any number of unlikely occurrences happening in the right order at an unfortunate time can conspire to quite quickly usher you off the planet. Take, for example, this day in 1814, when a host of people died in the undeniably tragic and yet weirdly delicious sounding London Beer Flood.

Enormous pressure inside a large vat of fermenting porter burst some iron hoops that kept the barrel together, causing other large casks to explode in a chain reaction that flooded an impoverished neighborhood. Eight were killed, mostly women and children in the surrounding buildings and streets.

I suppose this was a time and place where neighbors had little to no influence over the business ventures that took up residence in their midst. Some were probably glad they had a brewery on the block, rather than something truly dangerous and repugnant, like a slaughterhouse. Drat the luck!

In one possibly made-up account of the tragedy, flood survivors taken to a hospital caused a stir because they reeked of beer. Other patients, unaware of the reason for the sudden introduction of such a heady fragrance into the atmosphere of the infirmary, became indignant because they weren’t also receiving the same medicine that others were getting – in what smelled like mammoth doses.

I don’t think being a doctor has ever been easy.

What’s your favorite medication?

58 thoughts on “Waves From Grain”

  1. Caffiene (didn’t even have to think about this one). My mother got me started before I was 5 on Constant Comment tea and then I met a Danish farmwife who got me going on the hard stuff-splash of coffee in the bottom of a demitasse cup topped off with milk.

    By the time I was in high school, comung at 5am on a school snow day to cover for the snowbound assistant cook at the nursing home, I was slinging down a cuppa from the pot left on for the overnight shift before dumping it and making fresh.

    I somehow quit cold turkey when I found out the s&h was on the way, but eventually picked it back up in the toddler years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning. Well, as the old saying goes, “I only drink for medicinal purposes”. In recent years wine has come to the front as my favorite medicinal remedy. In the past it was beer which is still a close second followed not too far by other alcoholic medications. Of course, I do agree with those studies that suggest drinking a little red wine regularly is good for your health.

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    1. A little red wine is always a great idea, and when the little bit of wine in the first bottle is gone a little bit from the second bottle is a good until it’s gone too

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    2. Yes, most days I get my teeny dose of reservatrol this way. My attempts to get it paid for by my health insurance provider, however, have so far not met with any success. Who are they to argue with the Mayo Clinic?

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    1. yes – last year, l was at Mayo for a 36-hour EEG. l had to sit on bed the whole time since any moving around would alter the brain wave readings. A male nurse (almost all Mayo nurses are males for some reason) came in and cheerfully asked if there was anything he could get me. l jokingly said, “Yeah – a glass of white zin”. To my shock, he said he’d bring it to me right away! Best glass of wine ever, too.

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  3. Ebola, beer flood’ what your favorite medication?
    The formula is a familiar one” the first step is the anniversary of the flood that reminds me of the Ebola epidemic” would they make beer illegal in Texas after such a catastrophe? Doctors lead to medication ba dum bum
    Love it
    My favorite medication is morphine
    I had an ulcer pop in 1985 sand they cut me open and stapled me shut. After a couple of days they told me they had to switch form morphine to synthetic morphine. I was not awar of the difference until the pain started to return. With the morphine I was quite comfortable being in pain. Without it I was comfortable telling them how much I missed the morphine. I haven’t done it again since but I remember the bliss of being able to push the he button and make the pain go away. They said they found out the addiction sets in in less than 10 days and they never let it go that long, where do ethics come in? Marlboro was very aware of the he addiction element of their product and built an empire o it. Baltimore got beat in the baseball playoffs last week and I was told that Baltimore is the heroine Capitol of America. Addiction in a tough community. My main medication these days is an e fix. Blog in Netherlands morning if the morning allows it, emails and surfing on the topic of the moment, I am quite certain if there was a major change in the world and personal electronics were no longer available ‘ thee would be a bunch of blithering idiots wandering around out there. The electronic opiate is not being addressed today at all. We sit in our rooms and interact via modem with the outside world and call that life. Cut the cord and see how bad the addiction is. It would be unbelievable.
    Give me morphine for 3 or 4 days before you cut me off or….give me an iPhone and a wifi access point and check back after I’m done checking my email Facebook Twitter Instagram snapchat accounts and I’ll be right with you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. A personal favorite for the onslaught we are headed for
        November toddys around a bonfire ahhh. My neighbors are burning leaves after the sun goes down and they won’t get caught
        Standing out in the yard being constructive with toddy in hand. Excellent prescription dr so dakota

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  4. My first wife was a hypochondriac ( still is) and my kids were in the doctors office every week for one ailment or another, when the ear infections had gone on for a year with a short hiatus while the latest antibiotic edit a short term fix I switched to homeopathic remedies where the premise is that your body is short a little of a certain chemical and if you reintroduce it the problem you are trying to. fix will respond. That was 30 years ago and I haven’t been to the doctor since, they were very confused when I had to go in for heart stuff a couple months ago to find a 60 year old with no medical history. I have a good heart doctor who let me see how I can lessen the two meds he has me on for the heart condition . I am an anti medication guy by doctor standards and and have a different view on self prescribed remedies for malodies of all sort, I’m not sure if I’ll partake regularly when recreational medicinal marijuana becomes an issue. I don’t have time to go without a brain anymore these days even for an hour or two, wine sneaks it’s way in a sip at a time, smoke is predetermined lala land. Not so much for me these days, I have a hard time counseling my kids to do anything other than factor in the details and make good choices.

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  5. Dale’s intro, with its story of the beery flood, reminds me of the tragic fate of Paddy, the Irish worker who drowned in a vat of Guinness at the factory. A team from management had to inform his widow, Bridget, of the accident. Bridget offered the hope that Paddy hadn’t suffered. “Well,” they told her, “he did get out of the vat three times to pee.”

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  6. Good news. A rare commodity for us.
    I am back on here thanks to a soup of drugs my doctor found by convincing me that I had to be willing to try more drugs and then having me try things for a month and then try something else. I take four drugs each day and have oxocodone as a fall back for the really bad moments. I am sleeping better, able to control my eating and losing weight, have general less pain, and my general mood has brightened. Better living through chemistry–why I am back on the trail and why I can type more.

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  7. Now that we are heading into cold season, I have checked and replenished my stock of buckwheat honey-spoonful in the morning tea for mother and son.

    Standard remedy for sore throat or need of general comfort is hot lemon juice and honey-like a hug from inside.

    Blackberry brandy to take a chill off (Jagermeister is good too, but I don’t keep it on hand) – red wine to loosen up the traitorous knees, but only if I’m done with most of the day’s walking.

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  8. Well, several of the alcoholic ones have already been mentioned.
    In winter, I try to keep a bottle of Knudsen’s Lemon Ginger Echinacea Juice on hand. If I’m in an “earth-mothery” mood, I’ll go to my little book of home cures from the 70s, where one cold remedy is a garlic-lemon-honey-in-your-tea concoction. Then there’s:
    Bieler Broth (for Detox and Adrenal Healing)
    4 med. squash (zukes, yellow or summer)
    1 lb. string beans, ends removed
    2 sticks celery
    2 bunches parsley, stems removed
    fresh herbs (optional) such as thyme or tarragon, tied in a bunch
    1 quart filtered water
    fresh whey, not powdered!! (optional)

    found at: http://oreganicthrifty.blogspot.com/2008/07/bieler-broth-simple-detox-remedy.html

    We make our own kombucha (fermented sweetened tea, natural probiotic) that we use daily as a preventative. Vitamin C… chicken soup… and if nothing else helps with a cold and it’s keeping me from sleeping, THEN I’ll take a cold tablet or cough syrup.

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  9. The latest hysteria story on ebola: a Carnival cruise ship is quarantined off the coast of Belize because one guest MAY have handled lab samples from the ONE case of ebola death. He has no symptoms whatsoever, but because he transported lab samples to the hospital lab, an entire cruise ship with over 5500 people are stuck in place. l sure hope they have enough toilets!

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  10. I usually don’t get many terrible colds/coughs/sore throats, but last winter I had a couple bad ones. When the twins had RSV, they very kindly shared it with me (and a few weeks later, I had an ear infection – fun times). Fortunately, by the time I came down with the respiratory symptoms, the boys were over the worst of their symptoms and slept a lot, so their mom didn’t need as much help. The very best thing I took for my symptoms was a lot like the hot toddy that Donna shared, with no tea. I juiced a lemon and added boiling water, then raw honey to taste. Then a slug or two of whiskey went in the mug. Then I would go off to bed and tuck myself in, propped up with pillows so I could breathe, with a book to read and kitty at my feet. Gosh that hot drink was so soothing and warming; it felt soooo good.

    I better stock up on honey and whiskey soon. I think I should use this drink as a preventative measure.

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  11. Like ljb, I’m pretty sturdy, but before I discovered that I have some allergies, I would get several bad colds a year and I would end up with laryngitis most of those times. That’s when I learned to love cough syrup with codeine – you know, that thick “cherry” flavored liquid.

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    1. I have a fond and distant memory of something called Cheracol that was a cherry flavored cough syrup that I quite liked the taste of.

      I believe that the modern equivalent has the codiene removed and the taste was changed to make it so vile you would not really want to take it.

      My sense of things is that cough drops have gone the same way, so we no longer buy them and have replaced them with old fashioned horehound drops which still make your throat feel better and yet don’t cost the earth or punish you for taking them.

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    2. a trip to canada used to stock me up with 222’s
      asperin with codine.
      i went back up a while back and asked the pharmasist where they were hiding them. he had them back behind the counter. they are over the counter but now you have to ask. codine is a potent pain killer that works well but makes me nautious. last time i tried it i got sick. i broke something a shoulder ofr a foot and thought id better get some pain killer bt the codine made me sicker than the pain. but…222 in the medicine cabinet used to come in handy. ive always wanted to try one or tow of those oxycottons clyde. if you have any you need to test for expiration date potency let me know

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  12. That’s such a terrible story though – the London Beer Flood. Yes it made most of us giddy to think of our most cherished remedies/recipes/substances, but can you imagine the suffering?! And that writer describing the tumbling down of heavy timbers & bursting walls as, Aggravating the MISCHIEF?! And when the Brewing Co was taken to court the judge dismissed it as, An Act of God?! I’m sorry but that was no Act of God. I know because 2 years ago when SF had a serious ice storm, the neighbor’s tree right next to my fence dropped branches that took out my power. This caused most of my food to go bad and gave me much distress because not only was I bored out of my mind with no TV or Internet, there was no cold beer! (Actually I solved that problem rather quickly by sticking a few into a snow bank.) THAT – said the newspaper – was an Act of God. See the difference?

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    1. You can still see lots of downed trees in groves in Rock county from that storm. It was the worst ice storm my dad ever saw in his 93 years.

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  13. Back from New Town, smokey and calm. The ceremony we attended was to consecrate the addiction treatment center where my husband works on The Fort Berthold Reservation. There were about 15 of us, plus the Pine Ridge Lakota spiritual advisor, his son, and an old guy from Pine Ridge who sang and drummed though the whole ceremony. We had to rub ourselves with sage before we were smudged, then we were fanned with cedar smoke, then they smudged the whole building inside, and then we all stood in a circle and passed a ceremonial pipe filled with burning sage and tobacco and sweet grass. Then we all said silent prayers for the center and for ourselves and for those who had passed before us, and then we ate a big meal. There were Lakota, Arikara, Crow, and Hidatsa tribal members there. Most were employees and their family members.

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    1. i like the ceremony of blessing a building. consecrate the addiction center has such an interesting ring to it. that cedar smoke and a circle is understated but solid. just something about indian proprieties. good dtuff

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  14. I gave a silly answer to this question and meant to leave it at that, but Clyde’s great news inspired me to be serious for a moment. I suffered a “flare” in the level of my arthritis, more or less at the time I moved to Oregon. RA numbs you, makes movement painful and locks up your joints so that even painful movement is impossible. The simplest activities become challenges. The first steps I took in the morning were so awkward that I wished I could film myself trying to walk, looking like a badly made toy. Even getting in bed was a struggle. My typing went down the tubes, and I was rarely able to contribute to this site.

    I was thinking today about the disease and how it affected me. You know how most cars start by twisting the ignition key. At one point I was obliged to use two hands to turn the key far enough to start the engine.

    My main fear was that I would lose the ability to live in this apartment and be obliged to go to a terribly expensive facility. My daughter had to do the grocery shopping for me and clean my apartment.

    Then I was able to meet with a rheumatologist here, a delightful man who told me I need not go on suffering. He added a drug to my daily prescription cocktail: Prednisone. It will zap your liver is taken too freely for extended periods of time, but Dr. Wernick tells me I can take Prednisone in tiny amounts each morning. Maybe two thirds of my ugly symptoms have disappeared now, and I can even type again! Oh, Prednisone, blessed Prednisone, you are the most welcome change in my life!

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      1. My lupus-ridden wife is alive from prednisone, and other drugs. Of course, she take a few drugs to counteract the effects of it.

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  15. damn we are getting old.
    i noticed when you see the old folks sitting arund in the restaurants or waiting areas talking the topic of conversation often turns to dead guys medications and new symptoms of theirs and others. we re all there arn’t we? betweeen ailing lomabago and new drugs to keep us ticking the topic is unmistakable and unavoidable . its a kick to hear the remidies everyone has. dale knows his audience doesnt he. ask us about food ,music or ailments and we dont need much of a push. its hell to get old

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  16. My least favorite medications are narcotics, which do little to relieve pain, and make me groggy and nauseous. Prednisone, likewise, has been more of a curse than a blessing to me. Plaquenil is my old friend, and more recently, low dose naltrexone. Mild-mannered drugs with little or no side effects and no liver toxicity.

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