things you never knew you wanted to know

It’s 6AM. The first rays of sun is just hitting an apartment complex here, making the otherwise rather ugly building look quite spiffy. I’m up because of this cold or whatever it is. There might be some little improvement but not much. Spent most of the day yesterday in bed. I’m not going to gripe about this here, because it really is just a minor annoyance … it could always be so much worse. Thinking of this … being sick … led my thoughts back to Sweden.

You guys, who read this blog, have probably gotten to know more about this little Scandinavian country, than you’d ever imagined you would. Like I said somewhere in the introduction to this blog … ‘it’s inevitable that there will be posts about Sweden … differences between North American living and there’. Even though I’ve lived here for seven years, it still sits there — I think the fact that I was ‘of a certain age’ when I moved … almost fifty, makes a difference.

Anyway, I started working in 1972. At that time … had I come down with a cold like this, I’d called in sick and stayed at home … in bed … until I felt that I was fit to go back to work. We could call in sick and stay at home for seven days without seeing a Dr. After the seventh day we had to go see one. This wasn’t just once a year or so … it was as many times as you got sick.The rules are somewhat changed now.

This system, I think, helped maintaining our way of dealing with a cold: Stay in bed … rest … perhaps a bath … but most of all: rest. Not many people were inclined to go to work when they were sick … that was also often frowned upon by your co-workers, because they could catch it too. OR, they would think YOU were thinking that you were irreplaceable, but that’s a whole different story.

Hence, there were not many cold medications in the pharmaciy [which, by the way, are totally different from here]. A few cough syrups perhaps and one or two others that I remember.

When you walk in to the section for cold remedies here in the drug store, it’s like a jungle!!! There seem to be several for each little symptom you might have … not only different brands, so you have to ask yourself … do I have cough, sore throat, cold, flu, mucous … the list goes on. I’m sure you can find one tailor made for you if you have the patience.

I’ve tried a few since I came here out of curiosity, thinking that there must be something to them as they are so many and seemingly popular. They certainly do something to ease your symptoms, that’s for sure. Most of them will raise your blood pressure too and that’s perhaps not so good. Cough suppressants, I’m a little wary of.

The section for potato chips and soft drinks in the grocery store is almost like the cold remedies in the drug store! There is nothing else in the grocery store that is so elaborate …. the choice of potato chips is immense! Still, after all these years, when I’m used to the choice of everything, the aisle with potato chips baffles me.

After having said all that … I think I might just crawl back to bed … or take a pill?! LOL


14 thoughts on “things you never knew you wanted to know”

  1. Enjoyed your post…I, too, am baffled by the potato chips and the remedies. Therefore, like today in the chip aisle, I left and bought none of the above. For colds, I use my mom’s remedy.
    Learning about another country by one who lived there is fascinating.

    1. Linda, Good for you 🙂 Potato chips were never my kettle of fish. For a while I had a thing for those cheese things, but if I have a bag I eat the whole thing and feel awful afterwards…

  2. For a sick lady, you sure write a swell post.
    Very interesting, differences between Sweden and North America, between then and now —

    As someone with high blood pressure — those pills are all out. Crawling in bed is okay, so that’s what I do.
    Did your mom always push hot liquids (tea with honey was high on the list)? Mine did. You could try.

  3. Calling in sick, at least at the hospital I worked at, was frowned upon. It always amazed me as I worked with SICK people and did they want to be sicker? It only cared about patients, not the employees. Our house supervisor never called in sick in 25 years or more. But she would come to work sick as a dog. And joyfully visit each floor, spreading her illness. A lady I worked with asked one of those who never missed a day that if she were to die tonite would the hospital shut its doors? The lady said she did not think so. Well, then take a sick day.

    We have too many medicines that people rely on instead of doing what you are doing — rest. And not all are safe. Taking something that makes my heart race and blood pressure rise cannot be healthy.

    Get better soon. kram!

    1. Julie-Ann, That’s what I thought too … that the patients could at least expect the STAFF to be healthy?! I think the sick leave system has changed a lot since then in Sweden. It went awry when they got the burned out syndrome and the country almost went bankrupt..

  4. Hi,
    I have to agree with you about all the “new” products on the shelf in the pharmacy these days for colds, it certainly can be mind boggling, but I think the extra choices we have for potato chips is good, so many people like so many different things. Myself I love chicken flavored, Hubby likes salt and vinegar. 🙂
    It certainly was different in the work place back in the 70’s as far as being sick goes, I wonder what it will be like in future years?
    Sorry you are still not feeling well, but being in bed is definitely the best place to be when you are not feeling 100%.

    1. Yeah, and when you start to read the ingredients, they’re pretty much the same, regardless of name and brand. It’s strange that I don’t like potato chips … I who am such a potato lover otherwise 🙂

  5. I agree – we are spoiled for choice these days for cold remedies – and potato chips! How on earth do you choose? I ignore both – don’t buy either!
    The best way to treat a cold is to stay in bed and sweat it out. I still use my grandmother’s remedy of honey, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and glycerine in hot water. Works every time; it doesn’t get rid of the cold, but eases the symptoms. I never bought anything from the drugstore for my kids when they were little – they all had my grandmother’s remedy.
    Get better soon Rebakah! xoxo
    P.S. I love hearing about your life both in Sweden and in Canada!

    1. Barb, Well … I’ve tried one of them now, so I know what they are. Got kind of upbeat… The cold must have its course … I sick with the old too.. Much better now than yesterday … Thank you 🙂 xoxo

  6. I’m glad you are feeling better now. Sometimes those colds hang on forever. If I am not too bad I don’t take anything but NyQuil always works for me. They have a day and a night time one. The night time one helps you sleep. Since I am not a medicine taker I figure once a year it won’t hurt.

    My favorite chips are the Lays Kettle Black Pepper chips. I guess it depends on what I’m eating as to what chips I might want. I don’t buy them often either but I do like Fritos with my chili.

    1. Thanks, Susan … things are much better now. I know, from experience, how colds can really linger on in the summer. I’m actually thankful that I don’t like potato chips! Knowing me, I could go crazy in that aisle… There was a period when I was into those cheese sticks or whatever they’re called, but I had to stop. Think I read the fat content in them…

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