Doctors were the pharmacy

Many of you may not have been born “back in the day” when medication was given by the Doctor in little brown bottles with no identification as to what it was. Mostly a plain white sticky-back label with your name and often a hand written scribble of how to take it–“1  2 X daily.” Generally there would be six pills in the bottle for three days. I remember that being the case for at least the first 30 years of my life. I had no idea what chemicals I was taking, why, for how long, and most of the time, even for what. If I had a bad reaction to that pill, I had nothing to go on to figure out why. Even for my young children as babies, I was given bottles of green or orange, even red syrups with a scribble of taking 3 times a day. No information of what each was. That included Paregoric (a liquid Opium), for teething. No idea how dangerous it was. Information was not to be given to ordinary people!

Surgery was done on me several times and I never knew what or why I had the surgery. No explanation. No reports. No options or choices. Decisions were made for me.

Taking charge

I eventually learned that knowledge is power. Knowing what we put into our systems is an amazing gift that most of us take for granted, but I never do. Then came the next 25 years where I was privileged to have a name on the script for what the medication was, sometimes the pill dosage, and a date. During that time there still was no internet, no search engines to learn and understand what that chemical was or any of its nature. It was a pill of a certain shape, size, sometimes having a number or letter on it. A mystery, for sure.

I became the nurse in the field

Those were the years beginning in 1979 (I was 34 by then) and now I was on a mission. I had to medicate my farm animals and pets myself, living on a dirt road in the middle of the BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) 12 miles from town. There was a recession in progress for the next 10 years; no jobs and no money for vet bills. I would go to the Feed Store in town and spend hours reading labels on medications and vaccinations. Oddly enough, on animal medications they offered LOTS of information. They did back then, anyway. Mostly in very small print on thin pieces of paper, but legible enough to read and commit to memory. For my animals it was “life and death” to figure out what I was doing.

Becoming a scientist

I gave all of their vaccinations, injectable antibiotics and “sub-q” (sub-cutaneous-under the skin) fluids when they were in trouble. I made my own electrolytes for calves and dogs and learned to tube feed tiny puppies.

I’ve written two books about these years and what I learned. I did microbiological scientific studies lasting over four years and documented all of my research. I was mentored by a 12 year veteran microbiologist retired from Viet Nam who became a Veterinarian when he returned from war. He took me under his wing and TAUGHT me. He taught me how to do bacterial cultures of all my animals, among many other things.

Quickly I connected with a lab tech working at another vet’s office (one who specialized in large animals, mostly horses), so they had an “in house laboratory” necessary for culturing valuable livestock. She taught me about how cultures were read and processed once the culture sticks were presented. I studied hard and learned everything I could get my hands on about bacteria. I bought my culture sticks in boxes of 100 at a time. I learned about Petri dishes, chocolate agar, anaerobic bacteria and the specialized culturing process for those. And much, much more. I was my own “self-appointed” scientist. It was a matter of survival. I learned and subsequently taught about use of antibiotics based on cultures (The Culture Program) which not only identified the bacteria but indicated which antibiotics would be the best to use for each bacterial pathogen (a pathogen is an organism that is able to cause harm to the host), see Form, Function & Fancy and “Bacterial Safeguards.

I began lecturing across the land

I was very lucky to have the assistance and careful oversight of two very generous dedicated people who checked and double checked my work. I kept immaculate records. It was here that I learned the necessity of keeping journals and card files of each animal, each test, each medication, vaccination, pregnancy, offspring etc. Results were critical and records vital. Soon people all over the nation were coming to me for help.

Zoonotic diseases (illnesses passed between animals and humans) were a new frontier, and I was using my Culture Program to track the problems.

I cured my own case of Lyme disease from a tick bite in1984 using Fish Medication (Tetracycline 250 mg caps) purchased at the Feed Store. I took two caps 3 times a day for 30 days. That’s how we did things “back in the day.”

I smiled remembering my science project in high school (early 60’s) doing cultures of tooth pastes and blowing up the pressure cooker that we used to sterilize the Petri dishes. The ceiling was covered with pink agar and the room a mess. This was different now. It was serious and there was no “google” to teach me how.

Every detail critical

Since animal can’t talk, I learned to notice every tiny detail of their condition. The change from morning to night could mean improvement or going downhill. They could slip away overnight, if I missed something. Their eyes told volumes. Body position, body temperature, physical strength, will to live, resistance, appetite, consumption of water, discharge from any orifices of the body, and even interaction with other animals (like Mom).

You are now your own “scientist”

Today all of you reading this have access to the Internet. All of my old work is now common knowledge available by searching your computer. “Super germs” and “Drug Resistant Pathogens” are in our everyday language, but back in 1981 I was speaking a foreign language to my followers. All of this information available on the Internet comes with power and responsibility. When you make choices for yourselves or family, you too are becoming your own scientist. Having a good relationship and open communication with your Doctors and/or caretakers is a necessity.

Doing your own research, keeping notes and journals, and working with others who are knowledgeable and well-intended are all vital. ****

Sandra Lemire ©

Sandra Turner Lemire

Sandra became an Entrepreneur in 1979 selling 1 dozen brown eggs. She has created eleven businesses. Sole Proprietorships, four Corporations, and an LLC.

She is an accomplished manufacturer of premium products sold Worldwide for over thirty years.

She is currently published in three books, and many magazines internationally since 1982. She lectured from 1982 to 1998.


These Blogs are offered as the personal opinions, experiences and views of Sandra Turner Lemire with the addition of certain “links” gleaned from the internet and willing contributors. There is no presumption of expertise by any of these, and all readers are advised to rely on their own research and team of advisers for any decisions or actions on their own behalf. Remember that information is always in flux, especially from the Internet and links.