This past Christmas was a time of celebration; I celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior and I celebrated family. Sometimes we forget how important it is to celebrate and appreciate people while they’re still alive. The gifts are not important. I believe the anticipation of receiving gifts ceased for me a long time ago. It was probably when I found out there was no Santa Claus, or it could have been the time I opened a gift before Christmas and I had no clear tape, so I had to use black tape. Well it goes without saying, I got caught.
A few days before Christmas 2009, my mom became ill. My mom is so cute and ornery; ornery in a cute way and so set in her ways at the ripe age of 79. It’s easy to get mad at her, but it’s easy to forgive her as well. I call my mom every day to check on her and that Sunday before Christmas was no different. I knew my mom hadn’t been feeling well, so I was extra vigilant in doing my daily check in. My mom is not the type of person to request to see a doctor. In fact, she’s just the opposite; she’ll skip a doctor’s visit and provide her own diagnosis! So, when she said she needed to see a doctor, I knew this was serious. I rushed her to the emergency room and they ran tests and determined she was dehydrated and her glucose levels were low. My mom is diabetic and since she wasn’t eating regularly, but still taking her insulin at the same prescribed levels, her glucose took a dive.
After her overnight stay in the emergency room, we returned to her apartment, packed her clothes and brought her over to our house so she could be monitored. I took care of my mom, just as she took care of me when I was a child and ‘did for her’ as she did for me when I became ill a few years ago. With her, I knew I had to take it a step further and play her mom for a while.
As we picked up her mail, I checked around her apartment to see what type of herbs were present in her home as well as checking out all the products she had in her bathroom. The first thing I noticed in her bathroom was Pure’ity Hypo-allergenic Hair Care Products. She gets an atta girl, a high five and a go girl for that move! From that high point – it quickly went downhill. She was using products that a person with her history of asthma should not use. I often wondered what it was that was triggering some of her allergic reactions. My sleuthing turned up a bad combination of products: herbs, detergents and household cleaners. I once told my mom she shouldn’t use a particular brand of detergent because of the fragrance. Well, this is where her ornery side came into play because she quickly told me she wanted her clothes to smell good. I said, “at the cost of you feeling bad!” (Headaches, eye discomfort, breathing difficulties, stuffy nose and fatigue). “You will jeopardize your health so your clothes can smell good?” I asked.
On our last trip to the store, my mom finally purchased a detergent with no fragrance. I threw out her super cleanse supplements that she was taking for her colon. My mom didn’t realize that they too, were triggering some of her allergic reactions.
Now that my mom is back on her feet, she was allowed to return home- with daughter supervision. For those of you with parents who are aging, keep in mind they may not realize that they’re harming themselves by the products they’re using. Research whether those herbal supplements taken with prescription drugs, household and beauty products will lead to harmful interactions. As their responsible adult, you need to be pro-active and use careful oversight. Our story had a happy ending and so should yours.
This is the official online Physician’s Desk Reference website for RX and Supplements.
Check it out for your safety and the safety of loved ones.