Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: May 14, 2010 Archive

Ask Dr. Heartlander

Posted at 6:00 AM on May 14, 2010 by Dale Connelly (20 Comments)
Filed under: Ask Dr. Heartlander


Dear Dr. Heartlander,

I have been diagnosed with SSS (Severe Suggestibility Syndrome), a rare malady characterized by frequent and changeable symptoms that mirror whatever medical condition I've recently been told about.

For example, a few months ago when my mother came down with hives I suddenly felt itchy. When my friend got the flu I couldn't eat for three days and once when a woman at work told me she was lactose intolerant I had a sudden bout of extreme flatulence that made it necessary for me to go home in the middle of the afternoon.

My doctor gave me some cube shaped pills that he identified as a new medication designed to treat my problem. He said the drug was called "Feelbetterin". I was supposed to dissolve one with coffee in the morning and another in hot tea before bed. I did as I was told and the symptoms went away.

I was delighted. At my next visit I asked my doctor if I could get a prescription for a long term supply of the drug and he told me the paperwork wouldn't be necessary - "Feelbetterin" was just ordinary sugar cubes. I felt embarrassed and betrayed.

I accused my doctor of duping me for his own amusement and he admitted that he does have a problem with compulsively lying to gullible patients about phony treatments ... a practice defined in the clinical dictionary of rare disorders as "Bamboozling Suckers". There is no cure.

I know my doctor can't control his BS Disorder, but I'm still angry.

And now I find myself compelled to tell all my friends about the benefits of Feelbetterin. I even re-packaged and sent a box of sugar cubes to my anemic brother-in-law with a note saying it was a free sample and he should take two a day.

Dr. Heartlander, has my untreated SSS given me a bad case of incurable BSD? Or am I just being spiteful?

E.O. Placebo

I told E.O. that not only was "Feelbetterin" a fake medication, but Severe Suggestibility Syndrome and Bamboozling Suckers Disorder were both phony illnesses. Since only make believe treatments can work on non existent conditions, he should go back to using the two sugar cubes daily until a time comes when he forgets to take them.
At that point, he should consider switching to honey in his tea.

But that's just my opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Heartlander?

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