Paging Dr. Pinterest

I’m joining in with Mama Kat this week about things I’ve pinned on Pinterest and then ACTUALLY DONE! Yeah, with my Pinterest boards that’s like one in a thousand, because I pin a million different brilliant things and then forget I’ve pinned them. It’s actually supposed to be about crafts and recipes this week, but I’ll have more than enough of those posts to come. These are about health.

I’ve been trying really hard to use my health care dollars more efficiently and to not use antibiotics at all unless I absolutely need them. A month on broad-spectrum antibiotics by mouth and through an IV at home would convince anyone antibiotics are nothing to be taken lightly. Neither are steroids, pain medications, or anti-inflammatories. I’m not a doctor and not trying to diagnose anything or dispense medical advice, but these are all things that were worth a 24 hour trial for me. All worked and saved money, discomfort, and time.


I’m a fifty-year-old woman who has birthed two children. I’ve worked as a nurse for over twenty years, and gone many a twelve-hour shift without stopping to empty my bladder (let alone eat a meal). I know when I have a UTI. So when I called my primary care doctor’s office, told them I had a UTI, listed all my symptoms, and asked to have an antibiotic called in I was insulted to be told I’d have to make an appointment to see the doctor. Really? I was feeling compassionate that day, so I offered to compromise. “How about I come over and pee in a cup for the nurse practitioner?” I asked. Nope, not an option. So I set up an appointment for the next day. Men rarely get UTIs, but if they did you’d better believe their staff would call in prescriptions. Even the most timid would have patients come in immediately and work them in quickly. Dr. Pinterest, on the other hand, suggested a dose of Alka-seltzer 3 times a day until symptoms are relieved. Evidently it changes the pH of the urine and kills off the virus. I cancelled my appointment, and couldn’t help but be a bit smug about it. Anyway, it saved me a co-pay and a prescription I really couldn’t afford and I never had to leave home. YAY!


We’ve had nasty viruses going around this winter, and allergies are still acting up because the weather is so unpredictable here in Kentucky. My husband and youngest son both had sore throats, but did not appear to have Strep. Dr. Pinterest to the rescue! They gargled with mouthwash and peroxide and perked right up. No antibiotics, no long wait and large co-pay at the Immediate Care Center on the weekend.


This one I learned the hard way (pre-Pinterest). A heavy nosebleed that won’t stop is controlled by Neosynephrine spray in the affected nostril and pressure (thumb and index finger) just where the nostrils divide. I paid $250 for that.


Ground wasps can take over small holes made by moles, chipmunks, and other unappealing creatures. The only way to know they have done so is to mow over or walk over an opening. My husband was allergic to bee stings as a child, so when he came in covered with stings I was frantic. I ran out to see what we were dealing with, and got stung all over. I immediately gave my husband benadryl and made him sit beside me while I hit Pinterest. Soon we were using plastic cards to swipe the stingers out (try them in both directions), and then pressing thick onion slices to each and every sting. We didn’t even swell. Thanks, Pinterest!

Here’s my own Pinterest tip: a no-fail cure for hiccups a patient taught to me when I was a young nurse. Hiccups can be quite dangerous for people who have recently had major surgery or who have chronic lung disease.

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13 thoughts on “Paging Dr. Pinterest”

  1. I’ve had a couple of UTI’s since my stroke, and I always went to Urgent Care. I’ll remember this in the event it comes up again. I’ll bet you could use baking soda, too, since that seems to be the chief ingredient of Alka Seltzer.

    The amazing thing about all of these is, I remember doing most of them years ago. Listerine, like aspirin, was like a wonder drug. Tasted terrible, but it worked. I used hydrogen peroxide after brushing my teeth to tighten up the gums and kill any remaining germs. I used to get sinusitis a couple of times a year, and always used Neo-Synephrine (back when you needed a prescription to get it). And it seems like they’re always coming up for new uses for vinegar. Good post!

    1. UTIs can be dangerous if left untreated, so I only gave the alka-seltzer 24 hours – but it worked. Urgent Care is kind of a joke, isn’t it? “Urgent” is part of the name, but if you go there you WILL wait forever. Unless you’re visibly bleeding – then they get all excited. Absolutely the best place to go for stitches! And I buy regular white vinegar, cleaning vinegar (more concentrated), and apple cider vinegar by the gallon – LOL!

  2. Whenever a doctor wants to prescribe an antibiotic, I ask if there is any alternative for whatever ails me. (Antibiotics and I don’t get along.) A UTI is usually one of my exceptions when I gladly take the antibiotic… but next time I will give the Alka-Seltzer a try!!

    For sore throats, I’ve gargled with Listerine before, but never combined it with hydrogen peroxide. Interesting. Wish I had known this last week when I came down with a sore throat and cold!

    1. Unfortunately, doctors today simply don’t have time to learn anything but the prescription treatments. Technology has advanced so rapidly that it’s impossible to shove all the necessary information into anyone’s brain during med school, residency, and fellowship. It’s frustrating for both doctors and patients. BTW, the alka-seltzer worked just as fast as an antibiotic – within 24 hours!

  3. Yeah, they should have trusted you on the UTI. I’ll have to remember that about the Alka-seltzer. Vinegar + water will work , too, but maybe not as pleasant. Hubby got a UTI—he didn’t even know what it as, but I used to be a medic and when he told me the symptoms, I knew what it was. So he drank dixie cups of water with 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar every 4 hours and cured within a few days.

    1. The alka-seltzer worked within 24 hours. Otherwise I would have gone in – It’s WAY too easy for a simple UTI to turn into sepsis. I can’t believe your hubby was able to handle the pain for days while waiting for it to work! I have a high pain tolerance, but a UTI gets your attention FAST – LOL!

  4. Oh wow! Those are really helpful. The one about the Alka-seltzer especially. Who knew? I’ve been meaning to try a bunch of the beauty remedies I’ve pinned, but I keep forgetting, also. I need to go back and look at them again!

    1. Ooh, thanks!! I worry terribly about Michael with his childhood bee-sting allergy. Maybe I’ll get a travel tube of toothpaste for him to put in the car!

  5. Wow! Who knew UTI’s could have such a fast fix! I hate it when I know what the problem is and just need a prescription filled over the phone (pink eye anyone?) and they make us come in anyway. Ugh!

    1. I have a pink-eye cure, too! It involves Borax (in the laundry section) and water. You mix a little Borax in hot water until it dissolves, let it cool, then soak a cotton ball in it to put drops in the eye and bathe around the eye. Worked wonders for me!

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