Paleo No No

| Working | July 8, 2016

(My wife is moving doctor’s offices, and we go to her new patient appointment together. The doctor walks in, takes one look at my wife, and ignores her chart after the first page.)

Doctor: “Okay, so, I can’t be your primary care doctor. I’m not taking new patients.”

Wife: “Oh. Okay… Uh, do you know who my new primary will be, then?”

Doctor: “No, I’m too busy. Now I see you’re on [a list of seven medications]. You’re 24; there’s no reason for you to be on so many meds. Your last doctor was clearly too lenient. You’re here because your [stomach disorder that causes severe pain] is getting worse? I’m taking you off that prescription. You’ll feel much better once you lose weight.”

Wife: “I—“

Doctor: “You need to do the paleo diet. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Once you lose weight you’ll be perfectly healthy. And get more exercise. Then your ankle will stop bothering you.”

Wife: “I can’t eat fruits and vegetables; I’m unfortunately allergic to them. Sometimes I risk it anyway, because I love them, but the aftermath just isn’t worth it. I also do yoga, walk two miles a day, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. My wife and I—“ *she gestures to me* “—also play flag football every Monday, but anything more strenuous sets off my asthma.”

Doctor: “The paleo diet would be the best for you. I have some pamphlets here for you to take. Now I’m going to press on your stomach.”

(My wife cries out in pain.)

Doctor: “Yes, once you lose weight, that’ll go away. Now, for you.” *she turns to me* “You also need a more active lifestyle. You need to exercise at least an hour every day, even if you’re at work.”

Me: “I have an office job, so I can’t really—“

Doctor: “Just walk away for an hour; it’ll be fine.”

Me: “Um, I—“

Doctor: “Just do it. You’ll be much healthier.” *turns back to wife* “Now I’m going to give you a list of foods you’re not allowed to eat, and exercise you have to do every day. All of these prescriptions are not necessary for someone your age. Once your weight gets under control—“

Me: “Will her ADHD magically go away? Will her tremors? Not everything can be cured by losing some weight. She was almost CRYING because her stomach hurt so much when you pressed on it and all you can say is that she needs to lose weight?!”

Doctor: “The paleo diet—“

Wife: “I’m ALLERGIC to most fruits and vegetables. I would love to have a big bowl of cantaloupe, or a salad, or some strawberries, but they make my mouth blister and then I puke. Also, my wife is NOT your patient. You have no right to turn on her and tell her to lose weight. She’s undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer AND has PCOS, both of which mean her weight fluctuates dramatically, but I can promise you she’s in great shape.”

Me: “But keep going. Tell us how dropping body fat will cure asthma, ADHD, tremors, and make her stomach problems go away.”

(We walked out of the appointment and later filed a formal complaint with the clinic. We got a very insincere apology from the doctor. Luckily our new doctor read through the entire chart and listened to us before making suggestions. Oh, and my wife’s stomach pain? She wound up in the ER less than a week later with gallstones, and had to undergo surgery. But, you know, that would have fixed itself with the paleo diet.)

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