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Monday, November 1, 2010

What would we have done?

Last night around midnight, after weeks on end of my husband and daughter being sick, my husband's fever finally broke. I could not be happier. It's truly been one thing after another: Hand, Foot and Mouth for all three of us, then a cold for Eric, which he gave to Bella, which turned into pink eye, which she gave to Eric, then Bella's cold turned into an ear infection and just as she was getting over that, Eric's fever spiked to 104 with an infection that the doctors couldn't pinpoint. And while I'm all about holistic methods of healing and prevention, I have most certainly been singing the praises of modern western medication over the past few weeks.

This has all had me thinking about what we would have done 200 years ago, before Tylenol and Advil, before penicillin. Before the telephone that lets me call my doctor's office at all hours of the night and speak with the on-call doctor about my baby's insanely high fever.

I've read plenty about what could be done back in those days and it usually involved just waiting it out, hoping and praying for a miracle. In many instances, the family might have opted to have their loved one "bled" through the process of blood letting. Feel free to Wikipedia this method if you are unfamiliar - it actually makes me quite queasy to read and/or talk about, so I won't go into detail here. But this process went on for something like 2000 years as a method of curing and preventing illness and disease, until someone finally figured out it wasn't exactly a great way of healing the sick.

But as I rocked my baby in the middle of the night, waiting for her fever to come down after another dose of ibuprofen, I thought about what it must have been like for a mother in 1810. No medicine, no guidance...just waiting. It was bad enough in 2010, I just can't imagine what it would have been like back then.

So in the spirit of this great month of Thanksgiving, I would just like to give a shout out to modern medication. To all the doctors and scientists who continue to move us forward toward cures and remedies for all kinds of illnesses and diseases. We live in a wonderful time where we need not fear the common cold, and that is truly something to be grateful for!

What are you grateful for this year?

-Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar


  1. You're so right; I think about it myself and thank God that I was born when I was!

    CJ xx
    p.s. Hope your family will soon get over all this illness - it's a bad time of year.

  2. Jerrica,

    We made my husband's last student loan payment this year, and I'm thankful for that but it reminds me of something I'm even more grateful for. Many marriages never survive when one of the spouses is in graduate school. Not only did we survive, we both grew as people and our bond became stronger through the hard times.

    Of course, after my meltdown this weekend, I think he deserves the most credit for our success. ;)

  3. Crystal, thank you for your well wishes! I'm just so grateful we seem to be past the worst of it!

    Samantha, that is certainly something to be grateful for! Student loan payments can be such a burden, but how wonderful that you and your hubby made it through and are even better and stronger as a couple for it!

  4. When I was in college, I ended up with Scarlet Fever. I apparently had had strep and hadn't treaded it. I was young and stupid. What did I know?

    Well, I know NOW that without antibiotics, I would have died 200 years ago. And I also NOW know that if I have a sore throat, I get it checked out.

  5. It's heartbreaking to walk around an old cemetary (New Orleans comes to mind), where you see family crypts with several lost children, ranging from infant to a couple of years or more. I remember reading once that many families didn't really celebrate a child until their 10th birthday, because by then they figured they would live to adulthood. Believe me, I've been so grateful for the advantages we have today. I can't imagine what the fear must have been like everytime your precious little one got a sniffle back in the day.

    This year, I'm incredibly grateful for my son. We've experienced some loss in our quest to increase our family, which makes me hold him even more closely.