Sunday saw the start of yet another bug in our household, a really nasty one that has my eldest and I still suffering on the sofa. So, it was nice to see this piece ‘Patience’ back home though restored after the fire and looking highly polished and reflective, looking very different to before. Patience, so needed when you are poorly. Especially as it was the start to the holidays and I had lots of things planned to do with the boys.
This week’s illness has really taught me to be much more patient and gentle with my eldest soon who is ever so often fighting off illness. It has really taught me how to be a bit more ‘motherly’ in my care towards him. I am quite a believer in the body’s ability to naturally fight infection and also that it is our bodies way of purifying. Not in a negligent way. I give the children calpol but when the doctor insist there isn’t anything stronger needed, I don’t really push for it. Although, I am starting to get a bit concerned about how frequently we get poorly in our household. When it come to being poorly I am all for the love and homeopathic approach. Perhaps also because it’s not long since that due to lengthy nursing and two pregnancies i couldn’t take strong medication. However, I have indulged in a Lemsip and a few adol (paracetamol) and that seems enough for me.
My sister-in-law in Egypt who is a pharmacist, really noticed the different approach when she was here in December sent me a message. She sent me a message asking how we all were, so I gave her our weeks account of our illnesses. She wrote to me, ” oh you poor girl, take one of the antibiotics’ I brought you and a pill for flu and an adol pill and you will be fine in an hour, you amaze me you English people with your patience about sickness!!! Move off the sofa and take meds now! I had to laugh I now understood my Husband’s lack of sympathy. He had told me to take medication. If there is a simple solution to a problem then that is the obvious solution. I can understand it, when you see your child particularly suffering you want to just get them better quick. In Egypt they can’t stand illness and suffering and pharmacies are a business where most sold items are medicines not cosmetics. My sister in Law thinks it will require 50 years or more till the medical system is one like here, “Souls are not yet so valuable”.
So I did a little research and here is why we don’t dish out drugs easily here….. “Studies from around the world have shown that between 40 and over 90% of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. In many parts of Africa, where antibiotics are commonly available from unsanctioned providers, it will be worth educating the general populace about the consequences of irrational antibiotic resistance.” ‘Antibiotic Resistance in Africa’ (Iruka N. Okeke* and Anibal Sosa†)
The Department of Health in the UK advocates that;
- Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is both alarming and irreversible – similar to global warming.
- Urge patients and prescribers to think about the drugs they are requesting and dispensing.
- Bacteria are adapting and finding ways to survive the effects of antibiotics, ultimately becoming resistant so they no longer work. And the more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it.”
- Antibiotic resistance is not new, but more action is needed now to tackle this global problem if we are to keep pace with its development.” (Professor Dame Sally Davies)
The UK is leading the way in responding to EU calls for action, with the development of a new cross-Government Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy and Action plan, which will be published by the Department of Health next year.
The strategy will champion responsible use of antibiotics, and build on ongoing work to:
- slow down the development of antibiotic resistance
- maintain the efficacy of existing antibiotics
- develop new antibiotics and alternative treatments
- investigate the link between antibiotic use in animals and the food chain, and the spread of resistance in people
- minimise antibiotics entering the environment in other ways
So I do believe it has reason to exercise patience when poorly, strengthen our natural defences and immune systems but most importantly in educating and developing an understanding into the problems with using antibiotics. Sometimes the quick fix isn’t the best long-term solution. So despite the best laid plans for this weeks holiday and my initial frustration with having to stay put, I also learnt that some times laughter, lemsips and love are the best kind of drugs!