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Medicine, Culture and Antibiotics

April 20, 2012

Can blogging make you sick? I’m starting to wonder. I seem to be falling apart. First it’s my back, then it’s my back again, and now a head cold. Maybe I’m paying the karmic price for railing against banana “ice cream,” but I regret nothing.

More than likely everything is the result of staying up too late, stress, and not taking care of myself in general.

Thankfully, today is the last day of the Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region Poll. You can still vote up until noon today, and for Pete’s sake, if you haven’t voted yet DO IT. Now. Use this link for the FUSSYlittleBALLOT and this link for the TU Poll.

I’ll wait.

No really. Do it now. I wish there were some kind of key code so I could lock up the blog and not let people click through to the end of posts without them having voted in the TU survey. Seriously, getting better places on the paper’s list would really help advance the cause of better food in the region. Please help. This year more than ever, every vote counts.

All this pitching for the ballot has been exhausting. I’ve wanted to do more than I’ve done. I sent scores of emails, but I wanted to send hundreds. I gained the support of several prominent bloggers, but hoped to reach dozens. And it’s taken a toll. What a lucky coincidence for me that the whole thing wraps up today on 4/20.

Yeah. So guess what? Medical marijuana is totally prescribed for chronic back pain. The pun was purely unintentional I’m sure.

Let me say this: It is shameful that in New York State has yet to legalize medical marijuana. Patients with cancer who are undergoing potentially life-saving chemotherapy have to suffer through awful side effects that can be mitigated with marijuana. Without a safe, legal path to this remedy people are either left to suffer or are forced to find it through illegal means.

Personally, I prefer my depressants in the form of cocktails. But to each their own. Although back pain is a killer. I’d try anything to help, because my hydrocodone is alarmingly ineffective at stopping the pain. Backs are serious business.

So no weed for me today.

Instead, I’ll probably have some more chicken soup to try and ease my cold symptoms. As I think about the above example of drugs and culture, I can’t help think about chicken soup and Judaism. Everyone knows that chicken soup is widely acknowledged as Jewish penicillin.

Here’s the interesting part. Penicillin does nothing for colds. Antibiotics don’t cure viral colds. Antibiotics fight infections. Well, they also make livestock gain weight faster while potentially putting all of humanity at risk for superbugs.

It’s sometimes hard to untangle those vestiges of the past that are totally wrong, yet somehow have entwined themselves into of our culture. You know, like drinking wine and spirits is immoral, or meat makes the meal.

Still, chicken soup makes me feel better. Certainly it’s better for a cold than penicillin. It’s hot and wet. Noodles are fun and slippery. A few soft veggies can get snuck in there. And if I’m feeling racy, I can spice it up with a scoop of gochujang and add a little soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and bit of brown sugar for what would surely be known as Korean penicillin.

So today, let’s hope that somewhere in the halls of power, someone is considering making antibiotics less legal while taking marijuana out of the shadows and into the hands of the sick. Thus starting the process of healing the world.

That last line was probably just my medicine talking. Did I also mention the muscle relaxants? With the poll done, I’m hoping I can take it easy and get a bit more rest. Thank you to those who voted with me. Have a great weekend.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2012 10:21 am

    I feel your pain, Daniel. I, too am laid up this week w/ severe back spasms (kiddo kicked my hip on the sofa due to some over-sugared-up restlessness, that’s all it took for my already strained back to get knocked out of whack and stop working). Wish I had some of those muscle relaxants and/or that pot was finally legalized here in NY. Kinda silly that it’s not, if you ask me. Don’t even get me started on the overuse of antibiotics. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

  2. April 20, 2012 10:28 am

    After your bowl of the Jewish variety, try the Irish kind – a warm pint of Guinness. I hear it works well with those muscle relaxers. Sorry you are feeling under weather. And I agree with you on the medical marijuana. As does my doctor husband. Although, the smell of it makes me personally ill, I do know several friends who have cancer and couldn’t live without it. Clearly, they live in more enlightened states than NY.

  3. Elyse permalink
    April 20, 2012 10:36 am

    I just voted- happy now?
    Medical marijuana is now legal in my old home state, Washington. Apparently they have medical marijuana “farmers markets” there with ganja in practically every edible, drinkable and (obviously) smokable form. The mind boggles.

  4. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    April 20, 2012 10:54 am

    Is it just a coincidence that you got sick when you started eating “healthier,” eschewing meat? Animal protein is the best treatment when your body is stressed. Also, you are right about New York’s pitiful lack of legal medical marijuana. Happy 4/20.

  5. April 20, 2012 4:20 pm

    I’ve been nursing a wicked sinus infection since last Wednesday. Of course mom’s chicken soup would help, but since I’ve got none and standing make me dizzy, I’ve started grabbing the box of Swanson’s chicken stock and throwing some pastina in it with a few herbs and spices to medicate myself accordingly. I don’t know why, but when sick it really does feel like one of the only things worth eating (although we have discovered a way to make sour mushroom soup in about 15 minutes, and that also does the trick). Hope you feel better soon, and fingers crossed (already voted) for the TU poll!

  6. April 21, 2012 4:38 pm

    I voted the straight Fussy ballot, with a couple of exceptions I’ll admit to (I had exceptional personal experiences at those exceptions). I hope you’re feeling better soon – I have a medical marijuana card from my home state of California, and I agree with you that New York State needs to do something about this issue. It also needs to do something about the fact that you can’t seem to get a decent bottle of booze after 9 pm, and you can’t get one in a grocery store. Nature of life here, I guess. But I value your blogging; I think you do a great job, and hope you continue for a long time to come.

  7. April 22, 2012 5:01 pm

    Hmmm … sounds to me that the Twitter fight was BEFORE you got some happy pills. It’s evident you wrote this AFTER the happy pills took effect. ;)

    Wonton soup is my favorite when I am congested.

    There used to be this coffeeshop in Glens Falls (I wish I could remember the name of it … it was located where Rock Hill Bakehouse is now), that was owned by a friend of mine. He had this espresso concoction called a “Sweet Melissa,” (named, in part, after the song and in part after a friend of his) which I was convinced was the perfect cure for the common cold. I’m not sure what was in that drink, but it would soothe a scratchy throat and clear up head congestion, while the caffeine vaulted me out of headcold fog. To this day, I regret not finding out from my friend what exactly was in the drink, so I could have it recreated elsewhere.

  8. April 25, 2012 10:39 am

    Forget medical marijuana, just legalize it already. Legalize it, tax it and treat it like alcohol.

    I’m not Jewish but chicken soup has long been my cold remedy (and sadness and general malaise remedy). I’d hate to say I look forward to my kids sniffling because that would be mean but if it were up to me, I would always have a pot of chicken soup on hand. Just the ritual of making the soup centers and calms me. I’ll stop before I start sounding like I think there are mystical qualities to chicken soup.

    There totally are though.

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