I remember Elaine had spent a year complaining about leg pain before being dianosed with a blocked artery by a vascular doctor.

Until that point she’d been told she needed back surgery for a compressed disc.  Her fear of surgery kept her searching for another diagnosis, though, and she eventually found her way to Mind Over Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno.  This doctor’s approach sounded nonsurgical to Elaine, so she pursued it.

An associate of Sarno’s listened to her symptoms and asked her what no other medical doctor had thought to ask: “Have you had a Doppler flow test?”

Wouldn’t you know it?

That one little test, easily and painlessly performed in a doctor’s office, told the whole story of her leg pain.

The cause was  a blocked artery in her leg, which required bypass surgery.  At least she was getting operated on for the right thing, and it did fix her. The lesson here is that if you’re experienceing pain, numbness, weakness, or weird sensations in any of your limbs, or if you seem sluggish in your head, a bit out of it, just not as sharp as normal, you may have a blocked artery.  I don’t know why doctors don’t offer this test regularly.

So there I was, describing all my symptoms again to the vascular specialist, Doctor #6, wanting this Doppler flow test, too.  He used a wand that looked like an ultrasound and scanned my arterial system for any blockages.  But once again the test showed nothing.  “You probably have night cramps,” he blurted out.

“What are those?” I questioned.

“No one knows why we get them, but they’re very common.  I’ve been told tonic water helps,” he said, while cleaning up his tools.

“Tonic water?” I asked, incredulous.

“Yup.  Do you like gin and tonics?” he inquired.

“I never had one,” I answered.

“Well, try having one before you go to bed, lemme know if it helps,” he said, exiting. Now, I gotta admit, a gin and tonic is a tasty thing at around 11 p.m. with the fireplace goin’ and the TV on… it didn’t do much for the leg pain, though.

It was all so crazy.  One doctor told me I had the tits of an eighteen-year-old, one doctor said I was eating too much spinach, and this guy thought I should drink gin and tonics at bedtime.  So there I was with perky breasts, in need of roughage, going to bed sloshed, all in some futile attempt to cure myself.


Excerpted from Cancer Schmancer by Fran Drescher

Available at Amazon.com with a percentage of proceeds donated to Cancer Schmancer.