Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Best thing since sliced bread.

Today I received my first grocery delivery and it's safe to say I may never go to the store again. Last night all it took was a little time, a few clicks and today all of my groceries arrived on-time, lovingly packed and I didn't have to carry anything up two flights of stairs!
This being Switzerland, one of the payment options is to be sent a bill via email. I do have to say I love the level of trust when it comes to money in this country. 

It did take some time to select everything, about an hour and fifteen minutes from start to finish. That's still less time than it would have taken to go to the store and I was at home in my slippers! Coop @ home has a 100 chf minimum for delivery and an 18 chf delivery fee. If you order more, the delivery fee drops and I paid only 13 chf. As J said, we probably saved 13 chf in impulse buys just by not being physically in the store. Very true! And really, those were some heavy items. Having them brought up the stairs right to our door is worth every cent (or rappen as they say here in Switzerland). 
I'm hooked. Only online grocery shopping for me. It really is the best thing to happen to the grocery store since sliced bread!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Woo Medicine

I am currently recovering from what is possibly the worst head cold I have ever suffered from. The doctor sent me to the pharmacy to get a few things. The first item was Triofan, a fabulous nasal spray with a decongestant in it. If it weren't for Triofan, I think it's very possible that I might never have slept again!
photo from topwell.ch
Triofan is your standard drug. It's a pharmaceutical with xylometazoline hydrochloride in it, which is why it works so rapidly and makes breathing so easy possible again. 

The doctor also told me to get something else: Weleda Doron Drops for Cough. 
photo from weleda.ch
These are definitely NOT a pharmaceutical. In fact, they fall into a category that many would describe as "woo." These drops are not a Homeopathic, but an anthroposophical medicine. If you have not heard of Anthroposophy, it was started by Rudolph Steiner, who also founded the Waldorf school movement. I definitely consider Steiner to be 100% woo and I'll admit that after doing my masters thesis on his Waldorf movement, I am not a big fan of his educational philosophies. This makes me a bit biased against anthroposophical medicine.

That said, I like that doctors prescribe this stuff here. As a first course, it's always better to pursue the over-the-counter nasal spray and drops route rather than to take antibiotics!  Initially, I was unbelievably impressed at how effective the drops were, in fact, I couldn't believe it. But that was before I had read the Triofan box and realized it had bona fide drugs in it. 

Now, I am not entirely convinced that the drops work. Here is why: I took the drops at the same time as I took the Triofan. My cough was caused by mucus dripping post-nasally into my lungs and then being coughed back up. Yuck. So when the Triofan cleared up the nose, Ahhhhh, naturally the cough went away too. 

The next time I have a cough I'm looking forward to taking some of these drops and seeing what happens. Given how acute my pain and misery were yesterday, I am very thankful for the Triofan and its drug content. 

Overall, I think Switzerland has a really good balance of western medicine and alternative therapies. Yes, many people consider homeopathy, naturopathy and acupuncture woo, but these therapies can and do work for a lot of conditions.  I am an especially sensitive person so holistic medicine really appeals to me as it investigates how the body is functioning as a whole and how a disruption in one area can have repercussions in other areas of the body.

That is not woo, it's just common sense!!

Happily, I have a supplement on my insurance that covers alternative therapies. As healthcare reform moves forward in the US, I hope that this is something that will become possible at home, too. I'm happy to pay a bit extra each month to have access to acupuncture, naturopathy, massage and so on. And in the end, it probably saves the insurance companies a lot of money. When people pursue preventative measures that are natural it's just plain cheaper than traditional western medicine that involves lots of costly pharmaceuticals and technology. 

So, bring on the woo - and the drugs! They can work together. 
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