A woman sitting next to me on the way to Nashville offered me some of her Magical Purse Water for my sinus infection. Oh, wait; some of you probably don’t know the other name for Magical Purse Water. It’s homeopathy.
The woman, who looked like a standard Daphne from Alpharetta, Georgia but introduced herself as Shailiah from Nowhere and Everywhere, heard me sneeze and sniffle and started rummaging around in her enormous bag of tricks. She pulled out a little glass bottle with a hand written label taped on the side. I completely forget what she said was in it because I don’t think she was using real words. She unscrewed the cap and squeezed the dropper and told me to open my mouth.
Brazen. If she were trying to sell me a car I might have fallen for it, but she was trying to make me ingest her homemade purse water of questionable origin, so I said,
“No thanks, I’m already on something and I’d hate to mix them.”
“What are you on, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Her face contort into a horrified expression.
For the record, I actually have tried to treat a violent sinus infection with homeopathic remedies. Some years ago I was in an abusive relationship with a man – if you feel like getting depressed and reading an essay that’s 2 points shy of making it onto Thought Catelog, I’ve written about it here – who expressly forbade me to take medicine when I was sick. He claimed that actual cold medicine altered one’s brain and made them disagreeable. Like Daph- DAMMIT, Shailiah, he believed in homeopathy. Unfortunately for me and everyone within a 10 foot radius of me, I did not have some imaginary sickness. I had a real sinus infection that was turning into something worse with alarming speed.
For those of you not in the know, most homeopathic remedies are the biggest crock of shit in the medicinal world. They are literally placebos. They don’t have anything in them except maybe 1/100,000,000,000 of a substance like rose hips or rat poop.
The best part is the process of diagnosing yourself and figuring out what kind of homeopathic remedy will work for you. First you get this big ass book of feelings that some unqualified person decided matched up to certain substances and certain thoughts. Then you assess your ailments. Let’s say you are having headaches and you feel apathetic. Then you pretend that your arbitrary thoughts are connected to your ailments. Let’s say you often find yourself thinking of trees. You would then take your big book of magical rat poop water and look up “apathetic” and “visions of trees.”
Visions of trees and apathetic feelings? Sounds like a job for 1/100,000,000,000,000mg of *RAT POOP. I don’t know if rat poop is what Mr. Homeopathy prescribes for people who have headaches and think of trees, but I do know that rat poop was listed in the big book of purse-water recipes that my abusive ex-boyfriend used to assess my blatantly obvious sinus infection, so let’s roll with it.
You would then buy a little box rat poop pills and trick yourself into thinking you are getting better even though you aren’t because you should have taken some ibuprofen like a normal person.
Getting back on topic with my horrible experience with homeopathic nonsense: my sinus infection had gotten to the point where I constantly needed water and my lips were peeling up to my nose, which was raw from blowing it so hard so often. I was sneezing blood, yet he insisted we continue to wait and see if the homeopathic pills would kick in. Meanwhile, I started to experience dizzy spells. I was walking around with a fever.
Finally this guy in the music program, named *Miguel, blurted out, “Why the hell haven’t you gone to a doctor?”
I told him everything, but in a way I told him nothing since I made a significant effort to gloss over the insanity of it all by emphasizing my willingness to try out my significant other’s lifestyle. In retrospect, I don’t think he bought it.
“Christ, Jas. You need medicine. Also you shouldn’t be here because you could make the entire department sick. You need to be at home, sleeping.”
He opened his backpack and took out a box of Sudafed.
“You’re lucky I happened to have this. I hope it’s enough. Take one of these right now. And these are the super strong kind, so if they don’t start doing something by tomorrow morning, you have got to go to the health center. This is the kind of shit that turns into pneumonia. Here. Just have the box.”
I reluctantly took one, know thing that I would have to answer for it later – and I did. My ex grilled me for details about my day every single evening. Not just a few key details or major events – he wanted to know everything. If I forgot something, even something small like someone holding a door open for me, then he would accuse me of lying and we would sit there for potentially hours figuring out what else I “wasn’t telling” him. Since accepting medicine from a male classmate was my biggest transgression of the day, I came clean about the Suda-fed immediately. He wasn’t happy. He wanted to know everything about my relationship to Miguel. He wanted to know if I had talked about him to Miguel. He wanted specifics. I was sick and light headed and didn’t want to talk about things that I had never said. I managed to convince him that I wasn’t in love with Miguel and he let me go to sleep.
If my memory serves me correctly, Miguel came up to me at some point the next day and said that my ex had approached him and questioned him about the medicine he game me. It would make sense. He had a habit of following up with males who talked to me.
It took nearly the entire box, but thankfully the medicine that Miguel gave me worked. It frightens me to think of what I might have allowed to happen if he hadn’t have been so adamant that I take it. I have trouble with how ridiculously stupid I was.
So yeah. On top of the sheer fact that it’s homeopathic rat-poop infused HOT DOG WATER, I’ve got some emotionally charged opinions about people who try to impose it onto others.
Pseudoepedrine is the active ingredient in Sudafed – or at least it was back then, before young, self-titled entrepreneurs started cooking it into meth and almost ruined it for everyone. You have to go to the pharmacy to get it now, but thank goodness you still can; it is simply the best cold and sinus infection drug you can buy. It dries your sinuses out and cuts your cold or sinus infection in half. Sometimes into a third or a fourth if you catch it early enough. So when some future bag-lady slash Doterra pyramid scheme victim says something stupid like,
“That stuff is terrible for you. It alters your brain. It’s like poison,” then it makes me say,
“Um, you’re a Los Angeles transplant with a fake name that you got from a mail-order guru and you’re carrying purse water in a homemade vile that you offer to strangers.”
I actually didn’t say that last part.
Part of me wishes I had, but all I really did was stop talking, put on my headphones, and ignore her.
However, if I ever I tell this story live I’ll just pretend that I’m a stone cold bitch who leaned the fuck in.