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5:55 a.m. - 2004-05-25

ASK DR. BOB

A few months ago, after a particularly bad doctor's visit experience, I asked you guys to send me some of your various maladies and I would then diagnose them for free.

I feel as if I can do this because my doctor does the same thing. I go in and say "I'm tired, Doc" and he says "You've got diabetes" and puts me on a diet.

Then a few years later he says "You're not diabetic, you have low testosterone. But you're near diabetic."

Therefore, if he can do this shit, I can too.

My qualifications: I got a B+ in biology in the 11th grade and I've watched that really gross emergency room on the Discovery Channel once.

Ready??


Q: I have a splitting headache.

R.V. Springfield, Oregon

A: If you're not allergic to it, take two aspirin.


Q: Is my knee broken?

J.H. West Islip, Montana

A: If it hurts a lot, it may be.


Q: I've got this bad pain in my side.

L.E. Hampton Roads, VA.

A: If it doesn't go away, it might be something serious.


Q: I've been coughing a lot.

C.L. West Falls, Ontario

A: You could have anything from a simple infection to a dreaded disease. Try to keep warm.


Q: I discovered these funny warts on my ears.

S.N. Casper, Wyo.

A: That's not as nature intended.


Q: My joints have been hurting a lot lately.

C.S. Albany, N.Y.

A:They probably hurt worse when you move, so try to stay still.


Q: I've got this sharp pain in my right side.

K.G. Macon, GA.

A: It could be appendicitis. But if you've had your appendix out, it's probably something else.


Q: I feel dizzy sometimes.

K.V. Spokane, WA.

A: Healthy people don't feel dizzy. It sounds to me like you've got something wrong with you.


Q: There are tiny red spots all over my body.

D.N. St. Louis, MO.

A: Send me a color photograph. By the way, if you shop around, you can probably find a camera store that'll give you a free coupon toward a box of personalized Christmas cards.


Q: I get nauseous in the mornings.

B.N. Los Angeles, CA

A: If you're a woman, you're pregnant. If you're a man, you might be sick.


Q: I've got this terrible pain in my lower back.

S.O. Chicago, IL.

A: See if you can't keep your mind off the pain. Try guessing the answer to this riddle: "What has 22 legs and catches flies?" It's a tricky one and you should be able to concentrate on it for a long time.


Q: Lately I don't seem to have any energy. Is this serious?

B.L. New Haven, Conn.

A: Sometimes, depending on what's causing it.


Q: My vision has been blurry for several days, and it's getting worse.

T.W. Bowling Green, KY

A:Don't worry. If it's something serious, you'll find out soon enough.


Q: I'm 47 years old and my friends say I don't look so good these days.

D.M. Columbia, S.C.

A:It could be just a vitamin deficiency. But if you are eating three squares a day, it might be cancer.


Q: I've always had beautiful skin. But when I woke up this morning, I had these strange scaly patches.

B.L. Sarasota, FL

A: I didn't wake up with any. So I bet you have something wrong with you.


Q: I have this horrible cough that I can't get rid of. I've been smoking two packs a day for over twenty years and frankly, I'm terrified of lung cancer.

B.A. Denver, Colo.

A: Maybe I can cheer you up with a good joke. Why are Polacks such poor duck hunters? Because they can't throw the dogs high enough!


Q: I've been vomiting and my throat is sore. Is this contagious?

S.W. Huntsville, AL

A:I don't know anyone that has it. But then again, I don't know that many people.


Q: The other day, in the middle of my housework, I fainted for no apparent reason.

S.K. Montpelier, Verm.

A: You've got something alright.


Q: Everywhere I go, there's this ringing in my ears.

H.J. Phoenix, AZ.

A: Uh-oh.

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