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Acting The Myth Doctor Who; My Untold Story

Updated on January 29, 2016

Crazy Medicine For Crazy Ailments

I grew up in the Eastern part of Kenya where the ratio of doctors to the villagers was for every potential 10,000 patients, 1 doctor or something like that. Then the statistics made no sense if there were any. As a little boy,'"natural adventure" was the fad and the more adventurous one was, the more a 'village hero' one became. Courting or even dating a local teachers' or a priests' daughter (dating was a simple saying hi and walking them to fetch water, anyway), was the motive behind being a guy seeking adventure. This the story of acting them myth doctor who; my untold story...acting the myth doctor my untold story.

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Medicine specialist, my experience

In the quest to be all round 'specialists' there are some daring studs that we used to pull too impress others and believing that somehow they will work irrespective of the dangers and risks involved. The most adventurous adventure was the medical field. Remember, this is just practicing medicine without going to any medical school; In fact you can not even classify this under any medical science discipline.

Below are some common ailments and the 'natural remedies' for them. Some might sound disgusting but this is my untold story, not even to my dad and mum though I suspect my elder brother knows since he grew up under similar circumstances.

Treatment for Bruises and Cuts

These were the most common 'ailments' which called for the doctors' attention. There were several causes for this and he most common resulted from a collection of waste plastic papers rolled together to make a ball hence football, sliding in mud or swimming in the local seasonal rocky river bed. Once a bruise or a cut was identified, there were two disinfectants available; Urine and or aloe sap.

If the "accident" occurred when your bladder or that of your friend is empty, you had either to wait for it to be full or walk a few kilometers to look for fresh aloe leaves; to be sent to collect aloe leaves you had to act like an ambulance. Many of us detested urine since it added pain to the bruise or cut. Aloe Vera extracts were preferred due to its soothing feeling and kept flies away. As a village doctor, you had to have some basic idea on aloe harvesting.

Colds and Blocked Nose

We used to call this mysterious ailment blocked nose or simply a cold. This was very common towards the rainy season and many of us had our noses blocked. To make this turn to be a runny nose and eventual healing, you had to induce continuous sneezing. Foreign objects like grass stalks were popular to make one sneeze like crazy though this was not meant to cure the root cause but just to relieve and unblock the nose.

Ground eucalyptus leaves and seeds were mixed in water and using a piece of cloth, the eucalyptus extracts were placed over the nose and somehow, relieve was achieved within several hours. Sneezing was a good sign of healing and the same eucalyptus extracts in vapor form was also used.

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Insect Bites

Coming from a livestock keeping family has its challenges and cracking a way round these, you not only become a village hero bur also a role model. Fleas, ticks, spiders,bees and gnats were children enemies and you never knew when they will strike and having a ready solution was the best protection ever. Known to spread several ailments which we never knew then, these are very common in tropical climates and a mosquito bite can eventually lead to death; I now understand this is called malaria.

To ease the pain after the bite all you had to do was warm a piece of old tire, press it against the sore area and you are done. After healing some of the sore areas developed black spots but we cared less since the discomfort was cleared in few minutes. Alternatively, sisal leave juice did the trick; just cutting the sisal leaf and squeezing the juice over the affected skin and the soothing begun. Most of these bites could either manifest through swelling, numbness or simple sore skin.

Thorn in the Flesh.

Getting pierced by thorns or even sharp objects was the order of the day and if you cannot pluck out immediately there was a solution around it. The 'surgeon' recommended the use of Sodom apple juice over the thorn and trying to remove it manually. This method was quite painful since there was no use of any pain killers; this was just to keep the affected areas nub! This was only applicable on our foot sole.

For any piercing elsewhere and the object remains logged in, you just tied it with a piece of washing bar soap and a piece of cloth for two days. Once this is done, the area around the object becomes tender and all you do is squeeze the flesh around to dislodge the object. The wound that forms is treated like any other cut and bruise above.

Snake Bites

There are both poisonous ans non poisonous snakes but my advice is 'keep off snakes' since this is the same advice I was given during my 'medical' training. The assumption should be all snakes are poisonous and a snake cannot not strike unless provoked or cornered. In the event that one strikes we were told to tie between the bite area and the heart a rationale that I learned after growing up and going to school, is to prevent the snake venom from being transported to the heart by the blood.

Once you do this, rush to the nearest adult and report; they used to have a way of sucking the venom from the bite with their mouth and survival rates of the victims used to be incredible.Check for more acting the myth doctor-my untold story unfolds.

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