Friday, October 3, 2008

Medical Concerns

As you may have realized from previous posts, medical care where we live isn't always the greatest in the world. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is corruption in the education system. (More about that in a future post.)

Two weeks ago, the young woman who helps out around the house called and said that she wouldn't be able to come in the next day. She had stepped on a rusty nail a few days earlier, and her foot was swollen, hot and red. I asked her if she had been to the doctor. As I continued to ask questions, I realized that she had never heard of tetanus. It had never occurred to her that she needed to see a doctor. Even after I begged her to see a doctor, she insisted on treating the wound at home. I'm very thankful that God, in His goodness, healed her foot. At the same time, I was very troubled at how something that for us is so simple could have had a far worse result.

Like many places, home remedies are very popular around here. My guess is that vodka is the most widely-used remedy. In addition to drinking it, many people use it like we would use rubbing alcohol. Bear fat is not uncommon as an ointment. During the summer, burying yourself up to the neck in sand at the beach for the healing effects of salt and minerals is especially popular.

The most unusual home remedy I've been told about left me speechless, however. I had to ask several times to make sure I was really and truly understanding correctly. Although it isn't common, it is possible to go to the pharmacy and buy a leech. Yes, a leech, as in bloodletting. Getting rid of the bad blood so the good blood can increase.

In spite of the availability of leeches, not all medical care here is reminiscent of the 18th century. Still, the difference between East and West stands out in the area of medicine.


jeni said...

Someone there told me that you could lay a cat on your stomach and the cat would draw out the illness. Even cancer! I don't think that was really a common belief, though ...

Kathy said...

Not at all surprising! There are probably almost as many beliefs as there are people in the country. :)