Rabbitbrush: a lot of people are allergic to the bush’s pollen
I came to the conclusion that I was just that typical [incurable] allergic person who was “sensitive” to varying kinds of grasses, pollen, dust, dirt, molds, and a myriad of trees and plants! And yet
watching the pharmaceutical industry’s advertisements, one would think
we had cured it all and longevity would be our reward. . .
by Mary Foran
When I was in Spain during “The Transition”, I always had a tissue in my left hand to relieve tension and to always have one handy if my nose got stuffy or out of joint! I inherited a drippy nose, and there seemed to be nothing I could do about it except catch it in time.
For some strange reason, it never occurred to me that I might be allergic to something in the air. Air quality was what I really needed, and I must admit, I thought I could find it “back home”. But what to my watering eyes did I find, when I finally got back to the old territory, was that my symptoms only got worse and worse!
I thought it might be air pollution; I thought it might be Eucalyptus Trees. I thought it might be Paranoia from living in a foreign country…I thought it might be lack of medical care! But then, after dealing with the drip for quite some time, taking antihistamines and cold medicines and even Frenadol spirited out of Spain by unnamed sources, I came to the conclusion that I was just that typical allergic person who was “sensitive” to varying kinds of grasses, pollen, dust, dirt, molds, and a myriad of trees and plants that I can’t even name because I am not a botanist!
It seems that even on an overcast day, when the pollution in the air hangs low over the city and countryside, and allergens swirl in an inconspicuous dance through what should be pristine conditions, since there are sprinkles of rain cleansing the breathable air, Allergens still find me!
I never took medicines for my condition in Spain, where I just learned not to breathe in too deeply.
But in the U.S.A., there are over-the-counter remedies for even the strangest of maladies! The pharmaceutical industry is alive and kicking, and required by law to admit every single side effect that could possibly occur if you follow your doctor’s orders and consume these products.
The F.D.A. (Federal Drug Administration) oversees pharmaceutical research and development, and is thought to have stringent control over mad scientists who claim to have found “The Cure” for this, that, and the other. Just remember how the world’s first medical savior, Penicillin, came into being (moldy bread!) and now has to be judiciously used since patients can develop a resistance to it, and other antibiotics, meant to save lives instead of end them with raging infections.
What with the current concern about Health Care Insurance in the U.S.A., the underlying fear among doctors is that our remedies are not working as well as we had hoped they would. The Center for Disease Control has been on top of most perceived illnesses, but budget-cutting has the medical field worried about Research and the Development of new weapons of disease destruction!
Sometimes, just watching the pharmaceutical industry’s advertisements, one would think we had cured it all and longevity would be our reward. But then the warnings about these drugs make one think that the cure is worse than the illness itself!
Spanish drugs have been developed in an entirely different environment, and may just have something to say to the world. But it seems that politics and Pride always gets in the way of Logic. If the remedy cures, then why not just let everyone know about it?
We live in a smaller and smaller planet, and many people need the most modern of medicines to overcome illnesses. We conquered polio, but now mothers are afraid of getting their children vaccinated! Are we taking steps backwards, or going forward in scientific know-how?
I’ve been advised to take a shingles shot, before I get too old. And Hepatitis C is supposed to be the new scourge of the Baby Boomer generation! Doctors are willing to eradicate what they can, but Going to the Doctor is always a conundrum! I am not a hypochondriac, like some people I know, but attending to warning signs is only sensible and prudent.
Let’s give a cheer for Doctors Without Borders and hope that the tangled web of Washington politics makes some sense for Health Care in America. And may the rest of the world pitch in!
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All from pertinent websites except
Featured image, rubber rabbitbrush along Jordan River Parkway, Salt Lake C ity, Utah/Cory Maylett, CC BY-SA4.0 Intl
Born in Seattle, WA, U.S.A., and a graduate of the University of Oregon in Spanish and General Literature, Mary lived in Madrid, Spain during the 80s, a period in Spanish history which became known as “The Transition”. She taught English as a Foreign Language, and worked as Managing Editor of the Guidepost when it was still a weekly print publication. She did a stint on Spanish Foreign Radio and Radio Cadena, and corresponded for a Financial Times of London newsletter. She still has ties to Spain, loves the people and the country, and has great hopes for the future!
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