Babci’s Home Remedy Experiments

by Sandy L on April 16, 2012

The other day, I wrote about how we have a minor Babci crisis involving a wound that is not healing and I promised everyone an update.  Yesterday after her 4th visit to the doctor in 5 days, it actually started looking better. Some of the redness went away and it looked like the antibiotics were kicking in and the infection was receding.  In the many hours that we were in waiting rooms, I was honored with the opportunity to learn about the experimentation that babci did to herself in an effort to obtain a speedy recovery.  In addition to sterilizing her wound with 180 proof vodka, and upping her dosage of cod liver oil to 1/2 bottle in 2 weeks, she also added a couple of interesting items into her self medicating regimen.  First she told me that in the shower, she began cleansing her wound with her dandruff shampoo instead of the regular soap she uses. When the soap started stinging her, that was the first thing to go. Then after the shower, she’d sterilize the area with Vodka. This had the unfortunate side effect of making all her surrounding skin extremely dry and cracked.  She then admitted that CVS brand SPF50 kid’s sunscreen helped sooth and moisturize her wounds the best of everything she tried.  Ugh.  What I didn’t want to know and dared not to ask is all the other household products she may have trialed and abandoned before she chose sunscreen as her moisturizer of choice. When I heard all of this chemical soup that she was exposing her wounds to, I was like….”My god, please stop.” Who the hell knows what kind of weird interactions were happening on her legs.  I begged her to just let the doctor treat her wounds the conventional way and not muddy up the waters with all this other junk.

So, after her ultrasound came back with no blood clots in her leg, she was cleared to get a soft cast put on her leg to allow it to heal untouched for the next 4 days.   The doctor said that the bandage comes impregnated with medicine to help speed the healing process. Being the dork that I am, I asked what it was.  He said that the bandage is coated with a zinc oxide solution that has both a soothing effect and also acts as an anti-bacterial agent for the skin.    Long Pause……Then disbelief.  “Did you say Zinc Oxide? Isn’t that also the active ingredient in sunscreen?”  As a matter of fact, it is.  How my mom managed to find the one thing in her house with that ingredient and know that it was helpful and not harmful, I’ll never know.  Well, actually, I do know. She used herself as a guinea pig. For the heck of it, I looked up the active ingredient in her dandruff shampoo: Ketoconazole.  It is also used to treat skin infections.

I told my mother in law this story and she was like, you have all these fancy  chemistry degrees and your mother figured something out on her own that you had no clue about. Ha, ha. She is one smart cookie.  Yes, yes, she is.  Despite her crude methods of discovery, I maintain my theory that babci would be a great person to be stuck on a deserted island with.

Clearly, I still would have preferred if she sought out medical attention long before her leg got to the infection stage, but it still amazes me how much a person can learn through trial and error and listening to their bodies. Here’s to another crazy babci story for the record books.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Hirst-Loucks April 16, 2012 at 9:19 AM

This is a great story. Your mom is probably pleased as punch. This in turn is probably helping her towards a speedy recovery. Mom’s know best (but I’m in your corner – stop with the experimenting!)

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Sandy L April 16, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Carolyn – well, she would be pleased if I actually told her my findings. As of right now, she does not know. I haven’t decided whether I want to tell her about the whole sunscreen thing.

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Mutant Supermodel April 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Oh man. Makes you want to sort of choke her while hugging her doesn’t it? LOL Hope she’s better soon and is actually heeding the doctor’s advice.

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Sandy L April 16, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Mutant – yes, she is pleased with how her leg is healing now that she’s on antibiotics and not pushing herself so hard. Fingers crossed that it’s all healed up when the bandages come off on Wed night.

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retirebyforty April 16, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Oh man, that is crazy. I hope she feels better now. Why do all that if you can see a doctor?
I guess if you’re stuck on an island, it would be a different story.

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Sandy L April 16, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Rb40 – I think it has something to do with her independent streak. It makes no sense because she has very good health insurance and it doesn’t cost her a penny for doctor’s visits.

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eemusings April 17, 2012 at 5:54 AM

HA! That’s classic. Great story – thanks for sharing :)

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d April 17, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Keep on top of this! My father, much like your mother, was stubborn. Last spring he got a wound on his leg and did his own medical treatments. He refused to go to the doctor and was doing much of his own treatments.
The short form is that he ended up getting gangrene and he passed away suddenly in October. Stubborn to the end.

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Jacq April 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

d – Sorry to hear about your dad. You’re right though – some of us (like me) will attempt to cure ourselves long past when we should have seen a doctor. It’s kind of hard to admit that I really can’t fix everything with the right cocktail of vitamins and food and other home remedies – and Babci’s probably the same way. There’s a sad lesson in there about the line you should draw on DIY medical matters.

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Andrew @ 101 Centavos April 20, 2012 at 8:25 AM

First of all, very pleased to hear that Babci is doing OK and out of danger. Second, I think that Babci would be a great person to be stuck with *anywhere*, whether a deserted island or an airport departure lounge. Third, don’t be getting too uppity with those fancy chemical engineering degrees… listen to your Momma. :-)

Speaking of airports, I recall one time being stuck in an airport, we broke out the cheese, bread and olives out of plain brown paper wrapping, and sat down for a picnic… we just needed a canteen of red wine to complete the Italian peasant snapshot.

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Charlotte @ Out on the Veranda April 21, 2012 at 10:14 PM

I used to tell my son…Mom’s can fix almost anything, but I didn’t mean medical things. I will try to fix anyting that is broken, but when it comes to my health, I go to the doctor.

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Crystal April 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Good. Mr. BFS and I do not want to be writing a post like this after hearing you poured gin on an open wound or something… ;-)

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Cynthia April 24, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Great story — just chiming in to say how much I enjoyed it. Assuming by now that she is truly much better. Her sixth sense is really amazing!

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Molly (Mike and Molly's House) April 26, 2012 at 8:48 AM

I had opened this post, realized I had to run out the door to take one of the kids to school and when I returned Mike had read it. We went our for our run and along the way he retold this story. I was howling laughing/crying/cringing. I’m not sure what the passing cars were thinking of us.
Great story and tell Baci that her fans are thinking of her and we wish her to get well fast!

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