Do You Still Believe It’s Your Glands?
The last time I saw Dr. Laszlo as a patient was after I’d committed an unpardonable skin-sin. You see, I’d decided I was too fat (which I was) and, thinking that I was dieting since I didn’t have the chart I’m going to give you and still not losing any weight, I convinced both myself and my doctor that it must be my glands. (You see how easy it is to make excuses for one’s own dieting ignorance?) And so I persuaded that doctor to give me thyroid medication.
I have already told you that my PBI (still stands for Protein Bound Iodine, in case you tuned in late) is at the lowest possible point on the normal scale. I used that as a convenient excuse for, I hoped, weight loss without work. And I most assuredly got what was coming to me. Acne is what I got. Or, if it wasn’t acne, it was close to it, and this time it didn’t require a magnifier and Dr. Laszlo to see the pimples on my cheeks. By now I was much older than eight old enough for acne not to happen.
I was horrified when I saw it blossom, then terrified when it refused to go away. Naturally I rushed to the phone and tearfully (literally) described my hideous face to Miss Gabrielle who came up with some emergency measures for momentary help, and arranged for an appointment with the doctor. This time the appointment was going to be on me, but by then the $75 seemed minimal, in spite of my tiny bank account. For I was truly frightened of what had happened to my hitherto healthy complexion.
When I told the doctor about the thyroid medication, his attitude was one of total scorn. In his customary no-nonsense manner, he informed me that I was indeed too fat, and that I was too fat because I ate too much not because of my glands. He followed that up with the statement that “I am sure you forced your doctor to give you those pills.” He was right, of course. “Forced” is probably not quite the word, as my doctor is a strong-willed sort of man. “Wheedled” would be more accurate. The fact is I got them, by my will, and it should show you what can happen when you try to play doctor even with your own doctor’s possibly innocent cooperation.
Dr. Laszlo fixed me up fast. By taking me off the thyroid medication immediately, putting me back on the right road to good skin, and warning me once again about getting creative with medicine. He was right again. And when I tried to pay my bill, Dr. Laszlo gently removed me from his office by my elbow, and said to me in his best Transylvanian accent, “I do not need the money that badly. Besides, I will never see you again.” And he didn’t have to. My lesson in self-help was well learned. Don’t ever try it!