Saturday, May 10, 2008

On Fevers, St. Joseph's Aspirin, and Saints' Names

Way back at the dawn of history, there was a television commercial for St. Joseph's aspirin. The scenario was that a little boy knocked on a door and asked the mother who opened it, "Can Wendy come out to play?"

I don't know if she could. Probably she had a fever, and the mother was a bad one and had not given darling Wendy any St. Joseph's aspirin. If she had, then Wendy would have been outside playing already. Of course this is all pure conjecture on my part, as I was a baby at the time. The important thing is that the girl who played Wendy was cute, my mother said, and the name was different, so I got named after her. Being named after a girl on a St. Joseph's aspirin commercial is as close a connection as I can come up with for claiming "Wendy" as a saint's name. I'm not complaining. As the offspring of a cross between a Primitive Baptist and a Missionary Baptist, I count myself lucky. I could have been named Dorcas, something that would have made my public school career unbearable, dangerous even.

I read a long time ago that fever is the body's first defense against sickness, so I have always avoided giving my children fever reducers, be it St. Joseph's aspirin or Tylenol, unless their fevers were really high. I'm sure Walgreen's doesn't want us to know it, but most of the non-prescription stuff they sell is formulated to keep a body from doing what it needs to do to fight illness, if it even works at all.

I just read an article that goes into detail about this subject. You may want to read it. You'll have to copy and paste this link. I couldn't make it live:

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