Chef Kefi’s Recipe for the Uninsured

21 Feb

Since I’ve started nursing school, the threat of two things has scared me to death: manual removal of a rectal blockage and getting sick.  If I add in that I am essentially uninsured, do I even have to tell you which one is more petrifying?

I left the land of the insured after three years of enjoying surprisingly great coverage. During that time, you know how many times I was actually sick enough to go to the doctor? Two.  Now that I’ve been uninsured for a whopping 12 months, you know how many times I have been DESPERATE for some antibiotics to soothe my aching, swollen glands? At least four.  John Boehner is laughing maniacally somewhere at this cruel irony.

Every June since I was about 7, I have suffered a horrible ear/nose/throat infection that is about as awful as an easily-treated-first-world-non-tropical-disease-that-doesn’t-kill-you can get.  This first bout with the “June bug” led me to do something I’m not even sure I should admit to on the internet: I dug through my medicine cabinet and prescribed myself an incomplete round of the nearly-expired amoxicillin I had squirreled away from god knows what (note to readers: this is not a good idea).  I hope when future anthropologists use this as a primary source to explain why penicillin is no longer a viable antibiotic, they will mention that I didn’t WANT to do this and that I am truly sorry to future generations.

Now that I had gone all Typhoid Mary, those pathogens flocked to me like flies on honey (how cruel that karmic retribution preys first on the uninsured and desperate rather than the assholes who decided we don’t all deserve health care).  Two months later, I was sick again.  Two months after that, I was sick AGAIN.  Then again at Christmas.  And yesterday morning, I woke up that same dreaded feeling: a tickle in my throat.  

Through all this, I have happened upon a bizarre triad of semi-medical treatment to kick a cold/infection (for at least the next two months).  THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE AND I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL– but lemme tell you, it’s the only thing that’s gotten me through this year of not being able to GET medical advice from a medical professional.


  • ZiCam, whatever kind you like. The dissolving tablets taste less Zinc-y than the chewables.
  • Several bottles of some kind of juice with at least 100% of your daily recommended Vit C per serving.  I like NAKED Power C, Mango V-8 Fusion or regular ol’ orange juice–but it has to be REAL JUICE.
  • Green Curry (the spicier the better) with as many tissues as possible close at hand


1. Take ZiCam every 3-4 hours as directed*.  Do not eat 15 minutes before or after. Do not consume the Vit C juice within 30 minutes of taking ZiCam. Be vigilant about this.

2. Do not leave the house without your Vitamin C supply.  You should be drinking some kind of beverage chock FULL of Vitamin C whenever it does not interfere with ZiCam dosage and will probably end up drinking 3,000 calories and 3000% of your recommended amount of Vitamin C*. (But, Chef Kefi, isn’t Vit C water soluble and won’t you just pee the excess out? Yeah maybe, but this ish ain’t scientific–I’m just telling you what works for me.)

3. For as many meals as possible, eat the spiciest green curry you can find*. For DC people, Royal Thai in Chinatown is the best bet for my money. The spice will get your nose running–blow it as often as possible to clear out your sinsues. It is gross–best to order takeout.


2 Responses to “Chef Kefi’s Recipe for the Uninsured”

  1. Christine Craddock February 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Does Chef Kef have similar remedies for a work drunkover cum hangover?


  1. Roasted Turkey with Cinnamon and Star Anise | Cooking Up Kefi - September 26, 2013

    […] has kept me for the last several days. In the early days of the blog, I wrote an impassioned prescription for the uninsured; this time I can sing the praises of Flonase, which is the only thing that has brought me a […]

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