I sit here holding a small bottle
that we keep in the medicine cabinet. It is the soother
of the worst kind of pain and discomfort inflicted upon
people who live in tropical climates or who may eat at a
It is used as a short-term treatment
for symptomatic relief of acute diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
It contains a very small quantity of anhydrous morphine
--- THANK YOU GOD!!!!!
Who has lived in Venezuela and not
had recourse to use Paregoric? No one I should think.
Everyone in my family was introduced
to Paregoric early in their life when the first fly landed
on something we subsequently placed in our mouths. Do you
remember our parents telling us to not to eat anything outside
without it either being something you peeled or was fried
and eaten immediately. Do you recall that when you opened
a bottle of soda or any beverage for that matter that the
first thing you did is wipe the black streak of dirt off
that the cork left where it made contact with the bottle?
Also, do you remember that you learned to tilt your head
back and hold the bottle in such a way that it never made
contact with your lips when you drank?
Do you remember the agony, the pain,
the time spent laying on the floor in the bathroom next
to the toilet if you could get to one -- it was time to
die!! If I were to attempt to explain the sensation it would
be as though someone were trying to split me from the bottom
with a log splitter and that you could anticipate each pending
stroke of the sledge hammer.
You would plead with your mother
for relief and she became an angel bringing forth the magic
nectar -- “THE BOTTLE OF PAREGORIC” and places
that teaspoon full of brownish soothing fluid in your quivering
mouth as the tears rolled down your cheeks. And that you
learned to associate the flavor and smell of Paregoric with
an exquisite pleasure. Only kids who suffered dysentery
and were healed with Paregoric, like the flavor and its
Well, I sure as hell did and do to
No flies lived long in any house
we lived in. We would not eat anything that a fly knowing
landed on. We also would not eat any fresh vegetables that
my mother did not first soak in diluted bleach. You see,
Mom was formerly a lead nurse at a New York City Hospital
when Dad and she met and married. She knew how to fix hurts
and avoid misery. Mom fried everything or baked it or broiled
it if it that did not come out of a can, we even ate fried
left over spaghetti with fried eggs on top -- not a bad
We learned early that there was nothing
formerly living or that came out of an animal and was deposited
on the ground that did not immediately become the host to
maggots by the zillions and then new flies competing for
the food that you put into your mouth. Yeeeeccchhhhh!!!
I hate flies to this day and I have trained our two indoor
Siamese cats to hunt down and eat any fly that enters our
house and escapes my attention.
“Good girls Heidi and Jessie.”