The universities do not teach all things, so a doctor must seek out old wives, gipsies, sorcerers, wandering tribes, old robbers, and such outlaws and take lessons from them.
Paracelsus, AKA Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim
-Physician and Alchemist, First Middle Ages
As the innovative new Healthcare Bills keep unfolding, it becomes clear that whatever emerges, adjustments will have to be made. Fortunately, kindly Avicenna, our Apothecary from the First Middle Ages, offers tips for surviving and thriving now that your post American-Hegemony era is off to such an inspiring start.
While You’re Still Healthy
Create a Surgery Pool. One reason health care became too costly is the unwise tradition of doctors spending all those years mastering all sorts of different procedures. If you link up with neighbors and each of you learns two or three surgical techniques, you can keep the cost down and still have that trepanation when you need it. Once you’ve mastered a few useful operations, you’ll be super popular!
Run for Office. Healthcare will continue to be provided for anyone in the U.S. Congress. In order to get elected, you will have to find some Oligarchs to pay for your election and the services you will provide them once in office.
Start your Healthcare Nest Egg. The human liver has a wonderful way of rejuvenating itself after being halved. Why not take advantage of this boon while your liver is still fresh enough to share? These funds will surely come in handy if you ever need a doctor’s care in the future. Should the recovery turn out badly, your life may be shorter, but you will take comfort in knowing that you handed some Oligarch a couple of extra years to enjoy his Bourbon.
As those dangerous vaccines are no longer a problem, you will experience a resurgence of certain diseases. These can be stopped easily by techniques we perfected long ago. Figuring out what’s wrong is super easy. See below an example of how to decide which disease it is, followed by the proper treatment.
Rash on lower face and shoulders, backache – Smallpox. Remove and burn any bedding, diapers, clothing, bodily secretions, hair, skin, bones, etc. Grind up some red rose and add bamboo juice. Shake well and administer.
Headaches, bumps in groin or armpits – Plague. Cut up a dead pigeon and rub over entire body. While the patient dies, he will believe you did your best.
If none of this is working, Find a witch and ask her to help. Note: witches are always being hunted by somebody or other. Once you’re done with her, turn her in. This will get you in good with the Oligarchs, who might then decide to fund your campaign.
It is probable that people will be having more children. This is a plus because bearing children is a cure for the wandering uterus that makes women behave so badly. Another bonus – smallpox and other diseases we once had vaccines for will be picking off more of them before they grow up. We may actually need the extra children!
One way or the other, chances are your household will be accommodating more of these little visitors for some time.
We are not suggesting this, but then, as now, there is a bustling market in buying and selling children. If parents were discreet, people assumed they had died of one childhood malady or another.
Don’t Call it Birth Control
If you tend to have healthy children, and you’re reluctant to sell them when the numbers get ahead of the food supply, it will be prudent to plan ahead.
Goodwyve’s Secrets. We always had a woman just outside of town who would give us something called a posset. It’s a good word because nobody knows what’s in a posset. Don’t call it Birth Control and nobody will object.
We tended to live well into our thirties. Beyond that, we didn’t expect much. By the age of thirty, your feet hurt from all that walking on hobnails if you were lucky enough to be shod, our bones ached from malnutrition, and, frankly, the crummy lineament we made out of horse dung did not hold a candle to your Tylenol, to say nothing of Oxcycontin. Should you live past 35, you might just find yourself checking that life expectancy clock while waiting for the lizard blood/arsenic infusion to ease the pain. There are worse things than a short life.
To Your Health!