British Columbia, Canada
I wasn't going to go here but felt I better say what I had to say on self-medicating:
Oh boy Becky, I love you to bits, but I have to say quickly here that a little information in the wrong hands is often not a very good thing. A lot of information in the wrong hands is often deadly, and I have seen it happen on more than one occasion.
It is wonderful to research out various avenues of alternative medicine, and even explore them, as long as the attending physician is aware of them and you are both of the same page. I wish Karen would pop in here and explain that even herbs can take away the effect of a prescribed medication, and dilute it to the point it is useless, when in fact it is needed.
Although we think "all natural," these herbs can still cause a lot of grief if not used properly and mixed with something they shouldn't be. Try to remember these were used as the only means of medicine once, and they carry their weight too. Example for the ladies: If you take herbs as well as perscribed estrogens, trust me you would not like the results one bit, I know I tried it, without checking first.
We sure can't begin to start to self-medicate ourselves, especially in life-threatening situations without our physician knowing what is going on, it negates the entire purpose of having a doctor who is taking care of our well-being.
However I wanted to say I have used a lot of chinese herbs in my day as you know, for everything from tennis elbow to warts on the kids, and sometimes things work, but sometimes they don't. We tried them when my friend was dying as well but under hte doctor's supervision. What I like is that they are all natural. A lot of areas, (at least in Canada), in Chinatown have herbal shops. There. you take a number, sit, wait just like a doctor's office, and the elder Chinese herbalist gives you a slip of paper to fill up front after discussing your ailments and his cure (which is free here anyway). those herbs are costly. They then wrap everything in a piece of newspaper, you go home boil it up, and drink it down, and presto I can personally attest to the fact that over 90% of the time it happened to work on me, BUT I want to make it clear that in each case I told my doctor what I was doing so it didn't affect any other medications,etc.. Self-medicating is DANGERGOUS!
Great research to explore though and discuss with physicians. I was aware of these as the woman who started this tonic is from Ontario, Canada.
Michael, may this day be filled with great amounts of peace from pain, love, and a little joy for you to enjoy, and may tomorrow be the same.