Anti Antibiotics

A news report describes the WHO warning that the world is running out of antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics is leading to antibiotic resistance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to the use of antibiotics, but in many countries these are routinely used (abused) by people for all kinds of minor ailments, including the common cold and stomach viruses. It makes no sense. They should only be issued in dire circumstances.

On this matter I don’t just have a barstool opinion. Antibiotics – and those of the last resort from what I understood – saved my life. In 1999, a stray cat in Mexico bit my thumb to the bone and spread a very nasty strand of Pasteurella. I had planned to be in Virginia shortly thereafter and was treated there.

My thumb became horribly infected. I was given powerful antibiotics, dripped into my bloodstream with an IV. I was even subjected to the entire rabies treatment shots. It’s true that the  first round of those shots produces “rabies dreams,” the most lucid and psychedelic dreams one will ever have. My vivid dream was returning to the womb and discovering that I shared it with my twin: the cat that bit me.

As a measure of the seriousness of this infection, I lost about a half inch off the top of my right thumb: amputated by the surgeon, basically, who was thankful he did not have to lop off more. I was even more thankful.

I associate antibiotics with treatment for life and death diseases, as do reasonable doctors. But after being dispensed like Pez candies, it’s no wonder we have a looming medical crisis.

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