The other day I made the big, huge, giant mistake of calling my parents to let them know we moved back into our house after a soggy two-week vacation in crapsville. I see now that I missed my chance to disappear forever, but live and learn. In passing, I complained to my mother about my aunt’s religious forwards, and I left instructions to never give my email address to anyone again, unless that person can prove he needs to contact me to award a genius grant. I mentioned my aunt’s helpful recitation about her grandson’s neck fold infections, and my mom ran with that. “Those kids have been on constant antibiotics, it’s no wonder!”
Wait. A tick. I seem to recall getting dragged to the doctorin’ hut (a walk-in clinic, we never had real doctors) for antibiotics for even a hint of a cold, or possibly seasonal allergies. Dr. Nick would protest “Is virus, no antibiotics,” but my mother would snort like a bull and cross her arms, and we’d leave with amoxicillin anyway. No thermal print out on the care of a sore throat involving mere salt water would be enough for her. Then we’d stop the antibiotics as soon as we felt better, and she’d give us the leftovers on the next cold. I think that’s the definition of how not to take antibiotics, unless perhaps you are also procuring your antibiotics from someone who runs the donkey show in Tijuana.
And let’s not forget the entire year I took tetracycline for acne when I was about thirteen. It never worked, and years later I found out that this was probably because my mom fed it to me each morning with a Carnation Instant Breakfast. She’s always been big on the “you have to eat breakfast” concept, although it’s perfectly OK if breakfast is a Little Debbie snack cake, purchased from the day old store. “As long as you have it with milk, for protein.” Whaddya know, dairy interferes with absorption. If you read the pharmacy label, you find things out sometimes.
I think I’ve taken antibiotics about four times in the last ten years, once I was left to arrange my own medical care.
On the flip side, my dad is now so paranoid about “Big Pharma” that he makes his own colloidal silver with a laser from a kit he bought on the internet. He attributes only daily colloidal silver consumption to his continued lack of death. Colloidal silver is a “natural antibiotic.” It can also turn you blue, but not according to his internet crackpot counter research.
But my mom stood her ground, and told me how babies always need antibiotics for a cold because of “secondary infections in their delicate little passages.” I mentioned that one of my annoying pediatrician interview questions was “Under what circumstances do you prescribe antibiotics,” and how I would rather not see someone who used them for the sniffles. This enraged her, and I got off the phone after that. Well, there was a diatribe about a conspiracy at her periodontist’s office, but I managed to think “meow meow meow meow” through most of that.
Today I finally got around to calling pediatricians. I got scoffed at for being “too close to my due date” to ask questions. I asked “So you mean my baby just doesn’t need a pediatrician then?” No, no, we just thought we’d berate you before making an appointment for an interview. I said “Fine, just assign me to the most attractive person in the practice, and I’ll call you once the baby’s here.” Then I called the next place. Same drill. Finally, I realized I was dealing with biddies, so I mentioned that I meant to do this sooner, but our house flooded. That was just the sympathy vote I needed, apparently. I’m all set up with Dr. Hot. If I’m going to have to listen to crappy mainstream parenting advice, it might as well be from someone incredibly comely.