Wednesday, June 19, 2013

3 Medical Opinions

     I was sitting at my computer this morning when suddenly from the kitchen I heard B yelp, "Oww!" Then she followed up in a pained voice, "Oh, I knew that was going to happen."

     "Are you okay?" I called.

I don't care if it hurts, it works!
     "Yeah, I just cut myself with this stupid knife."

     I got up and walked through to the kitchen. She was holding her finger. It didn't look serious. "Here," I said, "let me get you some alcohol." I happened to have a bottle on top of my cabinet.

     "No, I'm just getting a Band-Aid," she said as she turned the corner into the downstairs bathroom.

     "Really, let me get you some alcohol," I pressed. "You don't want it to get infected."

     "No!" she insisted. "Alcohol hurts!"

     "Yeah," I replied. "That's how you know it's working!"

     "Oh, don't be ridiculous," she sniffed. "How old fashioned can you be?"

     So I then offered to find her some hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant that doesn't hurt. But by then she had the Band-Aid on her finger and was heading upstairs to get dressed for work.

My soft picks
     Okay, let's stop for a moment here. I submit for your consideration:  What do they use when you're at the doctor's office and you get a shot, or some blood drawn? They give you a cotton swab soaked in what else . . . alcohol! So alcohol must be the best, most effective antiseptic. QED.

     Why? Because, I still maintain:  If it hurts, that means it's working!

     Now if you're ready to take more medical advice from me, after hearing this little story, let me recommend to you these tiny little toothbrushes you use to clean between the teeth. They are called interdental brushes, or "soft picks" if they're disposable.

     My dentist suggested them to me about a year ago, when I'd gone to her after yet another filling disintegrated, leaving a hole in my tooth that required the installation of a crown. You use these mini-brushes instead of flossing (although I still floss sometimes, too). And from my experience, they work great. Also . . . they are more fun to use!

A panoply of pain relievers
     Finally, I ran across this New York Times article about pain relievers. This is a topic near and dear to my heart, so to speak, not because I have heart problems, but because I do take Advil and aspirin for my aching right ankle and my sometimes-painful left knee.

     I used to take Aleve for my pinched nerve. But I stopped using Aleve because I heard it was associated with heart problems among long-time users. And, besides, my pinched nerve got better, mostly because I went to physical therapy and kept up the exercises afterwards.

     I still don't know which pain reliever is the safest and best to use. If anyone has any further information, or expert opinion, I'd love to hear it. But I guess the best advice is to use as much as you need, but no more than you need.

     Come to think of it, that's probably good advice for any drug or medication.


Olga said...

Alcohol on an open wound? Are you kidding me? That would hurt. HURT! No way!
I know that Advil affects the kidneys. Tylenol is safer as a rule.
And, gee, hard to believe there is something more fun than flossing.

DJan said...

I had to go read that article from the NYT before I commented, Tom, and I found it very interesting. I have taken rather large doses of Advil for knee pain in the past, but I stopped that and the pain got better anyway. I also floss AND use those picks, and you would be proud to know that I also will use alcohol on any cut if necessary. Interesting post, thank you! :-) said...

I think with a clean knife wound, letting the blood flow is the best thing to clean the wound. I don't even keep alcohol around here anymore. I do keep hydrogen peroxide, but only use it on puncture type wounds.

As for pain relievers, I took Tylenol for years, but now take almost nothing for my arthritic pain. I am taking Celebrex for the inflamtion, but heat wraps help me sleep at night. Dianne

PS I don't think I can take other analgesics with my meds,and opiates are off the table. Basically, when it comes to pain, I just "suck it up," as Nurse Betty advised.

Linda Myers said...

We have alcohol around from the time when you used it to clean thermometers. You remember, the kind with the mercury? We never throw anything away, it seems.

Lorna said...

I use hydrogen peroxide and it does not hurt and I have never had infections. :-)

Douglas said...

I cannot advise you on pain killers, I use plain old 325 mg aspirin when I cannot just ignore the pain. I cannot take Advil (albuterol) or Motrin (same) because I react to it. It fills my sinuses to overflowing. I cannot take Tylenol because it makes me pee and, eventually, the peeing is painful. So, aspirin is all I have.
I use various antibacterial ointments for cuts and scratches. I rub it in, not simply dab it on, even though that can be a little painful.
I use hydrogen peroxide and, sometimes, alcohol for antiseptics.
I don't mind the pain caused by alcohol.

Joanne Noragon said...

I love soft picks! I use them and floss. I recently changed dentists and was complimented on the cleanliness of my teeth. That keeps me keepin' on.
I have no opinions on pain relievers or antiseptics.

Stephen Hayes said...

I never seem to have alcohol around when a need arises such as you've described. So I use bourbon, which works perfectly and is something I always have on hand. Sure it hurts as much as pouring alcohol on a wound but after a few swigs who cares.

June said...

Look at this! And just this morning I was thinking how much I love my Stim-U-Dents and how much better than anything else they are! Where else would I get a chance to rave about them?

No need for alcohol when one's own blood is flowing and cleaning out a wound. The human body's meant to take care of things like knife cuts by itself, provided livers and hearts are not also punctured.

Pain relief: generic acetaminophen for me. For everything. If I could GET opiates, I'd use them, but should not. Damn.

Dick Klade said...

Stephen: Let's get together next time one of us is injured. I use gin, stirred, not shaken.

Friko said...

Thanks, Dr. Tom, all very good advice.
Yes, alcohol is a good disinfectant, yes, I use soft brushes between my teeth but no, I use painkillers as little as I can and then only paracetamol.

If there is real pain it would have to be medication which targets that particular condition.

Tony said...

I came to your blog through a friends and just wanted to say that I've enjoyed reading it so far.

I never seem to have any disinfectant around the house when I need it. I went to the store to get some when my nephew cut his knee and now I can't seem to find it.

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