My Father's Daughter


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Father Knows Best

I may have jinxed myself. I have been telling people that I have had a textbook pregnancy and have had nothing more to deal with than the expected ‘joys’ of pregnancy. Enter PUPPPS. PUPPPS is the cute name for Pruritic Uticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (see the reason for the acronym). What it really means is extreme itchiness – ALL OVER.

I have tried a number of different things for itch relief – oatmeal baths, calamine, baking soda paste, Aveeno anti-itch lotion, aloe vera gel, Benadryl (on my midwife’s advice) – basically my poor husband has been to the 24-hour Shopper’s to assist his desperate wife on more than one occasion. Some of these things provided some relief. Enter Rawleigh Salve.

Growing up my Dad, in a strangely similar way to the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, believed any ailment could be cured with one of two remedies: either hot water and salt, or ‘Rawleigh Salve’. I believe these are remedies from HIS childhood (I envision Granddad putting Rawleigh Salve on work-worn, cracked hands). My siblings and I have both mocked and made use of these remedies throughout our lives. Phil now uses Rawleigh Salve for his nose at nights – and a family tradition is carried on. One itchy day I spied it on his bedside table and wondered about the possibility that it might provide comfort for a rashy existence. It has some of the same ingredients found in some of the other creams I’d tried and some of the stuff I’d read about online. Sure enough, it has provided the most relief of anything I’ve tried. I immediately sensed my father, and his father before him, gloating. Right again.

So, I’m a believer. When my child gets a cold, the Rawleigh Salve will come out. He or she will hear how Granddad and Great-Granddad always used this stuff and how it helped Mommy when she was pregnant. He or she will tire of this and will roll his or her eyes and mock me. Then, one day, he or she  will discover the miracle that is Rawleigh Salve and the tradition will continue to the next generation (this post would have been so much easier if Phil hadn’t been against finding out the gender of our little one – saving me all this he/she business).

Side note 1: The container that ‘Rawleigh Salve’ comes in is actually labeled “Rawleigh’s Medicated Ointment” but the company also makes a “Rawleigh’s Salve”, so my assumption is that is what was in my Dad’s home growing up and the name has stuck. An early argument in my marriage was resolved when Phil finally gave up saying “Rawleigh’s Medicated Ointment” just to bug me and found that family names for things from ones childhood should be respected.

Side note 2: For anyone who has, is, will, or knows someone who is, has, or will suffer from PUPPPS, I have also found that “Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap” is helping – and may even be clearing up the rash. Either it is the soap or a combination of the soap and the Rawleigh’s. Either way I’m grateful to grandfathers for their wisdom on salves and soaps.

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