Part 3, in which Babe develops a lifetime fear of tasty pastry.
If you missed Part 2 of our exciting and gross-but-still-riveting lupus story (and why did you? shame on you!), you can read it here. If you even missed Part 1 (zut alors!!), I understand why you’re not yet showing your face in public, but–sweet relief–here is your remedy.
The Helpful Cramps Doctor
Babe told her gynecologist about the cramps during sex. He was both sympathetic and fascinated.
“Right when you come? And he’s average-sized down there? I’ve never heard of this one before! Every time? That has to be terrible! I can’t imagine– I’m really sorry, Babe.”
He did have a suggestion, though:
“Look, Babe, I don’t know if this will work, but menstrual cramps are uterine contractions, just like labor pains. Both are caused by prostoglandins [PRO-sto-glan-dins]–birth hormones.
You can try taking Naproxen, an anti-prostoglandin, a half hour ahead of when you plan to have sex. See if that helps.”
It worked–Yay! Now Babe could once again enjoy sex—as long as it wasn’t spontaneous.
An added bonus was that this was the first drug that had ever put a dent in Babe’s monthly menstrual cramps.
Thank you, Doctor K.!
The Disappointing Rash Doctor
Where Babe gets a rash. Big deal.
Rats! Babe had the rash on her forearms again.
Babe had been the Rash Queen, growing up. Red, scaly hands. Big pink patches on the fronts and backs of her knees and the insides of her elbows and forearms. Itchy, itchy days and nights.
She even had to sleep with socks on her hands, to try to stop scratching in her sleep.
When the rashes cleared, they left behind white areas that wouldn’t tan. In college, thanks to make-out sessions, her mouth and chin looked a lot like Fred Flintstone’s. She was so embarrassed.
This time, Babe took herself to the famous Cedars Sinai and saw a highly-recommended dermatologist-to-the-stars.
He took a quick glance, told her it was eczema, and gave her a cream. It had no effect, which she reported back to him, to his total disinterest.
Tough luck, Babe.
Is this how that Oath goes?: “If at first you’ve done no harm, don’t try again.”?
The Helpful Rash Doctor
On her next appointment, Babe’s helpful gynecologist noticed her rash and asked her about it. Babe told him that a dermatologist at Cedars had told her it was ezcema, and had given her a cream that hadn’t worked.
“Well”, said the gynecologist, “My brother is a dermatologist—why don’t you try him?”
The gynecologist’s brother gave her an ointment that knocked the rash out flat.
At last, the itching had stopped. Yay! Now Babe could once again lounge in the pool or at the beach without embarrassment. This was the good life.
Thank you, Doctors K.!
Come For Our Pie, Stay To…DIE! Bwah-ah-ah!!
Where a tasty potpie causes a minor bump in the glorious road of life.
Babe and her boyfriend had gone out to relax at a restaurant famous for its pies. Babe ordered her favorite: Their awesome chicken pot pie: Yum!
The instant she took the first bite, though, she suddenly felt deathly ill. They left immediately.
As soon as they arrived home, Babe rushed into the bathroom and vomited over and over into the sink, horrified to watch the bowl fill with blood.
She was really scared for a minute. But after Babe remembered the phrase “bleeding ulcer”, she reasoned that her stomach pains and tonight’s bleeding were simply due to one.
Although she did at least decide to make a doctor’s appointment, Babe was mostly upset that she couldn’t face her favorite dinner ever again.
Who knew a potpie could be dangerous?
The Disappointing Tummy Doctor
Where a doctor is unhelpful.
The doctor listened quietly as Babe described her history of severe stomach pain, and the incident of vomiting blood.
Babe mentioned that her boyfriend had been having some recent stomach pain, although not as severe as hers–she joked about it running “in the family”.
The doctor ordered blood tests, stool tests, and a barium X-ray. Afterward, he met with Babe and told her that there was no evidence of an ulcer.
He did find Salmonella bacteria and the Epstein-Barre virus, but didn’t think those were responsible for her symptoms.
The doctor suggested that the stomach pain might be due to stress, and that Babe should try to learn to relax. He also didn’t think her headaches were anything to worry about.
Since the doctor didn’t seem concerned, Babe went home, disappointed that she would still be in pain.
Between her fatigue, and the awful head and stomach pains, she felt trapped.
Just wait ’til you hear what happened next.
Disappointing? Make That Infuriating
Where a doctor can be worse than unhelpful.
Babe’s boyfriend went to see the same doctor. Exactly as with Babe, the doctor ordered blood tests, stool tests, and a barium X-ray. Exactly as with Babe, none the tests showed anything. So…The doctor wrote the boyfriend a prescription, and ordered MORE tests.
Babe was incensed. She phoned the doctor and asked:
“Why, when my tests showed nothing, did you do nothing, but when my boyfriend’s tests showed nothing, you did something?
I was the only one who vomited blood!
Why did you write him a prescription, and order him more tests, but do nothing for me?”
The doctor said Babe sounded over-tense. He suggested that she might want to “find someone to talk to about that”.
How would you feel if a doctor did this to you?
Who thinks I should publish the name of this doctor?
Part 4, In Which Babe Becomes…A Calendar?
Some sources say Naproxen and other NSAIDs aren’t effective taken such a short time ahead of prostoglandin activity. Perhaps the pill helped my cramps only as a placebo. Which would mean the useless Pamprin and Motrin recommended previously worked as…non-placebos?
Part 4, In Which Babe Becomes…A Calendar?