I Picked The Only White Guy Doctor. Here’s Why.

I blogged already about my recent health issue. What In The Hell I’m Up To: I’m Telling Myself to Fuck Off Regularly.

That was midway through what turned out to be a 17-day stay at the cabin, mostly in solitude.

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The upside was the diversion over that time. All four seasons of Game of Thrones: in the can. Had heard about it endlessly, had never seen a single episode. Quite cool on levels. Love it. Can’t wait for the next season.

Here was my self-designed therapy:

  1. Solitude. That way, I had to do everything I really wanted to do for myself. Moreover, didn’t need anyone telling me what a poor little bunny I am. That, I save for when I have a Man Cold.
  2. Lafed at myself when it hurt too much to do normal stuff. Did it facing myself in the mirror when necessary. Called myself a pussy and a cunt as much as possible. (This is the Dr. Sarno angle. While the pain is physically real, there’s a psych element promoting it. Understanding this is very helpful.)
  3. Spent $30 on a ridiculous device that actually works: [easyazon_link asin=”B00075M1VO” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Sunbeam 730-811 Heating Pad plus Massage[/easyazon_link].

In terms of #3, I can see myself lafing uproariously at my wife and others who like this kinda silly shit. But it fucking worked: and well and quickly. Back when I had my cervical herniation, I used a straight heating pad on my arm to mediate the ache. But, a lumbar herniation comes with back pain, knife in the hip, an aching hamstring and quadricep, aching calf, and numb and tingling toes.

Initially, I used that silly device on just my lower back and left butt (for the hip). What it did was tremendously reduce the sharpness of pain…the knife angle, if you will.

…And I had a phone consultation with a longtime reader who also happens to be a long practicing chiropractor. Rick told me that my Sarno approach was valid, but that there still may be a physical aspect that needs addressing. Probably true. After all, in the last 5 years, my dad and two younger brothers all had lumbar herniations, all got surgery, all swear by it.

Some days later, I had a very bad day. My left hamstring and quadricep ached so much I wanted to tear them off and feed them to dogs. I’d gone to bed at 10, Woke up at 12, and ached so much I never slept another wink (if I can’t sleep, I lay and try to relax instead). Got up at 6, still dark—prior to the fucktarded exercise in changing the clocks that we do.

I had an idea. What if I put that silly, vibrating heating pad under my leg, my left hamstring, as I just sit there? And, breakthrough! In 2 hours. It changed everything. I could feel my toes, and my hip didn’t hurt so bad. I got very tired. At 8 or 9 AM, went to bed and next thing I know, it’s 3 PM.

Going on nearly 2 weeks were such miracles happen. Thank doG.

However, I still have chronic pain. It’s 60-80% better on average, 95% better some days, some hours. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m getting very, very tired of it. The other day, I was so tired of the management that I went to bed at 8 pm, did a potty break at 3, then woke up at 6:30. It can get very fatiguing. Surprisingly so—where you’re not aware until you are. The pain mitigation has at least allowed me to sleep, and there has been massive catchup. I could probably sleep for 6 hours right now, even though I woke up 4 hours ago from a decent 8 hour soak.

…So, yesterday, decided to go see a doc, see if I can scrounge and MRI so I can know if this is short, or probably long term and recurring. I have Kaiser. My previous doc, Shranz, retired. Hadn’t been to see him in 2-3 years. Had to pick a new one. There’s 4 web pages of docs taking new patients. Dozens of docs.

One single white guy.

Why? It’s not racist whatsoever. I’ve had a female Indian doc stick her lubricated and latexted finger up my ass and feel around—after she fondled my front side and I had to cough. But, she didn’t get my jokes about it. I need someone to get my jokes and especially, commiserate with my self-deprecating delve into various forms of irony and innuendo.

Most likely to be a white guy. For me.

…On the other hand, my dad had to have a urinary roto-rooter job performed a couple of years back, and the surgeon who did it was a young, female, Dr. Wang—and she ate up the jokes.

On that note, here’s the very adorable Doctor Leana Wen. She’s trying to change shit by pointing out what she dubs The White Coat Disease of Fear, juxtaposed with the typical patient’s fear of disease.

She got ‘innuendo death threats’ from other doctors over this, so makes her heroic in my book.

Wouldn’t you want to know if your doctor was a paid spokesman for a drug company? Or held personal beliefs incompatible with the treatment you want? Right now, in the US at least, your doctor simply doesn’t have to tell you about that. And when physician Leana Wen asked her fellow doctors to open up, the reaction she got was … unsettling.

The times? Changin’.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

Go ahead, Bob. Put a tune and harp to it.


  1. Steve on November 13, 2014 at 12:01

    I have to ask: Were you seated when watching all those seasons of Game of Thrones? Would you do mobility drills and such? One downside to all this quality video content is the temptation to sit.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 13, 2014 at 12:30

      Mostly on my back, with the pad on the lower back or hip.

      But I always got up frequently to move around, do something, get something, take a trip to the store, etc.

      Don’t forget. There was no one there but me. This is a critical component. Everything done, you do yourself.

  2. Harriet on November 13, 2014 at 16:36

    I’m sorry to hear of your disc problem. Its just one example of shit happening. I loved the talk by Leana Wen – it is refreshing.

    When I was employed as a health researcher I had some time to explore a field tangential to my own area of self management in serious illness. So I was looking at some drug therapies. I was horrified to find that one drug commonly prescribed had no proven efficacy in women or the elderly and the efficacy in men was only about 0.4%, so 250 men had to be treated for 5 years to stop one event. I raised this with my professor and asked how he could teach that the drug was appropriate and should be prescribed for the particular condition. After much consideration and after reading the research and not being able to find any evidence he told me I must be wrong. He was the professor and all his colleagues agreed this was the treatment. After 40 years of teaching he couldn’t cope with the idea he was wrong, he said. He was psychologically honest, he couldn’t cope, but he, like his colleagues were totally scientifically corrupt in this case. They pretended to base their treatments on science, but there was no science.

  3. gabkad on November 15, 2014 at 12:09

    Lovely gutsy woman is Leana Wen.

    I’d like to think that most of the corrupt doctors are in the U.S. but unfortunately we have them here too. There are specialists who at least have to declare their involvement with certain drug companies. But as she says, does this influence their treatment recommendations to the potential adverse outcome in their patients? YES. Most definitely.

    It all reminds me of the huckster Wayne Gretzky advertising that he uses Tylenol for arthritic pain. How much money does that whore need? Now we have a definitive study and declaration from the U.K. that Tylenol does absolutely zero, zilch, nada for arthritic pain. Something everyone whose tried it already knows. Doesn’t stop the marketing of this drug. Tylenol has got to be one of the most useless chemicals ever. Next in line is Advil.

    We need legal cannabinoids for pain management. They don’t stop the pain at source and neither do opiates. But they are probably a safer medication.

  4. gabkad on November 15, 2014 at 12:17

    So Richard, the numbness and tingling in the footsies is caused by tightness in the leg muscles?

    I’ve been fucking up a storm here. Only took 1/4 of a Percocet in the past three weeks. But sharp intake of breath from sudden lancinating pain when pushing the clutch pedal warranted it. Anyway, narcotics interfere with the ability to cope. Not that I’ve ever taken more than 1/3 of a Perc. But taking this much even several days per week interferes with the coping strategy.

    Other than that, it’s a fucking fuck everything is just fine. Move like there’s nothing wrong…. stop guarding and stop anticipating disaster and hey, disaster doesn’t happen. Okay fine, it’s not as if there’s no noxious signalling happening but I don’t let it bother me.

    Swam for 1 hour today.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 15, 2014 at 13:01

      Hard to say what the actual cause of the numbness is. Could be the nerve itself where it’s being impinged. It is symptomatic of disc herniations. When I had the cerivical, I had some tingling/numbness in my right arm and in fact, I recall Kurt Harris specifically asking me if my thumb was numb (it wasn’t).

      In fact, Sarno adresses this in the book. As a dentist, you surely know that one way to mitigate the pain of a needle in the roof of your mouth is to press a Q-tip for 30 seconds or so, making the area numb.

      So, in Sarno’s world, when you put pressure on nerves, they tend to go numb, not cause a bunch of pain out all over the network.

      Make any sense?

      Yea, swimming is good movement. I’ve been doing the same. The pool at our place in San Jose is unheated and so it’s about 50 right now. I go back and forth between that and the hot tub. After 30-40 minutes of those intervals I have no pain at all for a while.

  5. Charlene on November 16, 2014 at 18:16

    Have you tried eating raw beef liver? Have you looked into your B12 levels, methylmalonic acid and homocysteine levels? Could be as your body ages, it does not absorb B12 as efficiently as before. My 50 yo H has had numbness tingling in extremities and neurosurgeons wanted to do surgery for cervical spinal stenosis. I dug around the net and found some papers talking about importance of normalizing B12 for spinal stenosis. He’s been eating raw milk yogurt, raw oysters, raw beef liver for over 1 year now. The numbness tingling seems less severe than before.

  6. Charlene on November 16, 2014 at 18:37

    Also, have you had your vitamin D level checked? I know you have blogged about cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil -great sources of D. But maybe you need more sunshine. Although you are in California, the angle of the sun doesn’t allow for adequate D production sometimes. We are in upper Midwest and were going to tanning booths (UV-b) a couple of times per week during the winter. Not sure how much it helped, but it felt good.

  7. Richard Nikoley on November 16, 2014 at 19:06

    My vit d ranges between 60-80 mg/dL.

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