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December 20, 2009


Happy Dodson

How very unpleasant! I am so sorry all that happened to you -- but I'm glad that you knew what to do and are quickly getting back to normal. Thank you very, very much for all your information that we can use if and when these things happen to us.


Thanks for sharing about all your tribulations! Good stuff, as usual.

I first heard about Carmex when I was in college from the music students - it was the only lip balm available that the brass players could use and still be able to play (they were still able to "buzz")

My dad had back problems until his chiropractor told him about this series of exercises: lay flat on your back, arms and legs in an "X" shape. Lift and hold left leg & right arm for 10 seconds. do the same for right leg and left arm. bend and hold your left leg 90 degrees, and then right leg and then both legs together, 10 seconds each. Then lift your shoulders (like a crunch) for 10 seconds. Repeat the whole series three times. It's very easy - and amazingly effective. I have no back pain whatsoever as long as I do this daily.

The Healthy Librarian


Interesting to hear what you knew about Carmex--I had never heard of it before. Way better than the usual lip balms. I'm going to give your dad's exercises a try. I don't want a repeat performance.


Thanks for your sympathy! Next time I'll pay better attention to the signals.

Happy Holidays to both of you.


Have to say, I've had cold sores all my life and the very best thing I've found to treat them is something called Denavir. It's prescription, and not all-too-cheap, but for me it's worth it. Seems to cut the whole ordeal in about half the time.

Hank Roberts

This is serious; it doesn't happen to everyone. It's devastating for those it affects.

It also happens with other OTC zinc nasal sprays (Nasal-Eze is another that's still on the market).

The problem of loss of sense of smell with intranasal zinc has been documented in the medical literature for decades--but these OTC products get sold until enough damage is proved for each individual product, despite the known problem with the ingredient.

Other components of the product no doubt helped you feel better.

If you're still able to smell -- that's good luck.

Hank Roberts

And they just change the names and go on selling the stuff.
Was "nasal-eeze" now "cold-eeze" -- still zinc, still a problem.

Intranasal Zinc and Anosmia: The Zinc-Induced Anosmia Syndrome
... anosmia after intranasal zinc use were included. ...

The Healthy Librarian

Not to worry, Hank, Zicam was taken off the market. I used it for years without a problem & I really miss it. It's the intranasal product that caused the anosmia--which no doubt would be a very nasty side effect.

Cold-Eeze & Zicam Rapid Melts are more like cough drops that have been shown to shorten the duration of a cold.

Thanks for the concern.

Hank Roberts

That's a relief. This sums up the history of the stuff--sold as 'homeopathic' so not FDA-regulated until harm was proven--for anyone curious.

On backache, I can recommend Maggie Lettvin's classic:
Short version: any and all positions and stretches that stop the pain allow the inflammation to reduce and healing to start.

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