Thursday, March 17, 2011


It’s a shame about Fen-Phen. It’s a shame that the FDA discovered that it caused heart damage in as many as 30 percent of the people who took it. It’s a shame because it worked.

Fen-Phen was a combination of prescription drugs that was used to suppress appetite. Toni and I went to a doctor to get prescriptions for it back when it was the hottest thing in weight loss. Toni and I have done many crazy things together. Going to a diet doctor was but one of our misadventures. We loved Fen-Phen. Dieting was effortless. We were skinnier than ever. It seemed too good to be true and I suppose it was.

It probably has been 20 years since we heard about this doctor who was prescribing the weight loss wonder-drug combination. So we both made appointments and went together to his office in Alexandria. Neither of us liked him—he was a pale, pudgy, weasel of a man and he just seemed creepy. But still, he was a means to an end. Apparently he needed some sort of excuse, some diagnosis, in order to submit the charges to medical insurance and to prescribe Fen-Phen. Amazing but true, both Toni and I were diagnosed with . . . are you ready for this? . . . ear wax. The weasel doctor stuck instruments in our ears, extracted ear wax, and prescribed appetite suppressants. I suppose the appetite suppressants also suppressed the accumulation of any future, deadly ear wax. Go figure.

At first Toni wasn’t losing weight as quickly as she wanted so he also gave her a prescription to rev up her thyroid. Wow—that really worked. The guy was probably giving us drugs that would kill us, but we’d be thin when our hearts blew out.

Yep, it’s a shame about Fen-Phen. It’s a trade-off. Would you rather be a fat person with ear wax or would you prefer to keep your major organs functioning? I know, I know—it’s a hard choice.

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