(This is the first installment in what will be a regular public service, where I leverage my incredible knowledge of health care issues and concepts to answer questions that you the reader might have)
Dear Dr. Dave: I haven’t been feeling like myself lately, and I can’t put a finger on why. I wake up in the morning feeling heavy pressure on my head. I haven’t had any desire for liquids, and I remain dry even when walking outside in the rain. I’m really at a loss on this one, doc. Signed, Dryer without a Washer.
Dear Dryer without a Washer: I’m pretty confident that what you are describing is a case of Shingles. If you look in the mirror you’ll see that “the heavy pressure on your head” is a symptom of roofing materials that have been nailed to it. Early signs of shingles include the nailing of plywood and having tar paper or a similar sub roofing material stapled to your head. If left unattended, like your symptoms suggest, this will lead to the eventual addition of overlapping, rectangular pieces made of asphalt or wood, that will start at both sides of the bottom of the top of your head and continue until the two sides reach the peak.
Short term treatment of shingles usually involves applying tar to the section that is leaking. Long term treatment includes several over-priced prescribed drugs with long complicated names that have horrible side effects. These medications have been wildly successful in driving up the stock values of the companies that produce them, while doing absolutely nothing to improve patient outcomes.
Dear Dr. Dave: Recently, my knees and elbows have been bursting into flames for no apparent reason. What’s up with that? Signed, Hot Under My Trousers.
Dear Hot Under My Trousers: You are clearly suffering from inflammable- ation of the joints. You might try carrying a bag of marshmallows with you at all times to best take advantage of the condition.
Dear Dr. Dave: My best friend has been feeling intense pain behind his face, under his eyes and behind his nose. What gives? Signed, Charlie Brown.
Dear Charlie Brown: Your friend is suffering from a Linus infection. Tell his mom to wash his blanket.
Dear Dr. Dave: Do the terms “stomach” and “tummy” refer to the same thing? If so, wouldn’t it be more efficient to call it a “stummy?” Signed, Madame Curry.
Dear Madame Curry: You have a point. You should see a plastic surgeon about it.
Dear Dr. Dave: I put the bread in and it never pops up. It just gets soaking wet and disintegrates. What’s worse, it doesn’t lather up at all, and ends up clogging the drain. Please help. Signed, Confused
Dear Confused: You are confusing your decorative soap dish with your toaster, and you also appear to be confusing bread and soap. Bread has no place in the shower.
Dear Dr. Dave: This is embarrassing, but I recently had some gastro-intestinal blockages and, to make a long story short, when I was finally able to pass gas, I killed 36 people and injured 62 more. Signed, Oh, the humanity:
Dear Oh the Humanity: Are you by any chance a large commercial passenger carrying rigid airship? If, as I suspect, you are, then you’re incredibly sensitive to diet and have to watch what you eat. Stay away from yellow cheeses and red meat and hydrogen, and turn to leafy green vegetables and fish or poultry and helium. Helium might be a bit pricey and hard to find when compared to hydrogen, but I think you and your passengers will find it to be worth every penny.
Dear Dr. Dave: I live in the 16th century and have an uncanny ability to predict when people will suffer nose bleeds. Signed, Nostril-damus.
DearNostril-damus: Aren’t you special.