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Dr Gloria is in the House

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2010-04-22


Doctors sometimes think they’re God. But they aren’t. God wouldn’t cure my heartburn with a pill. And he wouldn’t charge me a co-pay either.

We pay doctors to cure us, but we live in our own bodies 24/7, and if you’re throwing up several times a week and don’t have an appetite (which happened to me after my surgery in July) it doesn’t take a third year med student to know that just isn’t right. I called both my gynecologist and the surgeon about this condition, and I got the same answer: “well, what you’re experiencing is not uncommon.” Okay, I thought, but how much vomiting is” too much vomiting”? How much weight loss is “too much”? When I look like Karen Carpenter, wrapped in a sheet, face down in the closet? Well, the abdominal pains got the most attention, and when I called my gynecologist’s office and said, “I’m in so much pain I want to die,” THAT got a reaction. Sometimes you gotta get tough with these people, and sadly, sometimes you have to try and cure yourself. Sometimes it takes a while, but it can be done.

I know doctors spend a long time in school, and do residencies and stuff, but I solved a long-term skin rash by reading a magazine and may be on the verge of another breakthrough.

I had a skin rash off and on for decades. It seemed to be on my hands, although my right one seemed worse. A visit to the doctor yielded this brilliant assessment: “it could be one of several hundred things causing this.” He wrote a prescription for a steroid-based ointment (at a posh $95 a tube) and sent me on my way. The ointment worked, but as soon as I ran out, the rash came back. I knew whatever was going on had to be internally-based. What was in my system, making my hands develop clusters of bubble-shaped blisters under my skin, that furious itching sensation and red, swollen hands?

Sugar. Yes, sugar.

For years, I’ve drank at least two glasses of regular Coke or Pepsi every day. There was a brief time when I stopped drinking it, but started again after probably a year and a half of healthy eating and exercising. Combined with chocolate anytime I felt like it and other candy when I was in the mood, my body’s sugar content probably rivaled that of the Ferrara Pan Company and Hershey’s combined.

I stumbled across an article in a magazine at the supermarket. It was about Candida, a type of yeast that grew exponentially in your guts. The slightest bit of sugar would cause this yeast to go wild. The article advised cutting back on sugar, eating broccoli and yogurt (sugar-free of course) and loading up on L-Glutamine, a supplement available at health food stores. I did this and the hand rash I’d had for decades was gone within a week. I paid $60 to see a doctor, $95 for a tube of ointment, and yet it was a $2 magazine and a $17 bottle of supplements that healed me. The story still amazes people when I tell them about it.

It makes me mad though, that doctors today don’t question your diet. The solution to whatever problem you seem to have comes in the form of a pill. Doctors are drug dealers with a modicum of respect: instead of crack, they hand out samples that Big Pharma reps have dropped off. And it’s all legal! They get you hooked, and a couple weeks later, that free sample now needs a prescription and cash to obtain. The last time a doctor made a dietary suggestion was when I was a kid. I was concerned about the number of pimples on my upper arms. He recommended laying off the pop for a while. I can’t remember if I did, but no one can tell me there’s no relation between diet and skin problems.

My rash is still gone. I’m trying to eat better, but every day is a struggle. Today, it was my co-worker’s perfect brownies that led to my downfall. From there, it was easy to stop and get chips and pop, and then have peel and eat shrimp with onion rings at Bennigan’s, washed down, of course, with Pepsi.
I’m still on a quest to find out how I was able to grow a tumor the size of a cantaloupe in my uterus. Too many Lemonheads? Too much sugar?

Same with that fat tumor I had on my left shoulder. That came out too, courtesy of a doctor. But again, when I asked him what caused fat tumors to grow, he said, “I don’t know. Fat tumors gone wild.” Four years of med school and he doesn’t know. My theory is that the rest of my body ran out of room for extra fat and used my shoulder as a depository. It wasn’t cancerous, so that’s a relief. But instead of expensive ointment, I got expensive surgery. I am thinking I could have saved a few thousand if I’d just put ice on the tumor, grabbed a box cutter and a decent pair of tweezers. But no, some things are best left to the professionals, like surgery. Until the day comes when the mall welcomes LobotomyCrafters—Lobotomies in about an Hour, the depressed, the anxious and the flat-out angry will have to be content with trading prescription meds with friends and perhaps a hug or two. Fast, cheap and easy—and no one will even ask for a co-pay.

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