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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Popular requests

Long ago a man phoned to inform me that he was on his honeymoon and would like a shot of testosterone. I explained that this was unlikely to solve his problem. Then I gave advice.

He did not want to leave any stone unturned, and I’m happy to make a housecall to deliver a harmless injection, but I couldn’t in this case because I didn’t carry testosterone. I bought some on my next drug order. Sadly, I never received another request. I discarded the vial after it expired and never replaced it.

Also long ago, a woman whose hot flashes were acting up asked for an estrogen injection. I explained that pills work as well, but she was willing to pay for an injection which I couldn’t provide. I ordered estrogen, but no one has asked for it since.

I carry two sorts of medication: those guests need and those they ask for. The second category is tricky as these examples illustrate. Another: bereaved guests or those in great emotional distress often beg for a shot to “put them out.” Unfortunately, although movie doctors use it regularly, there is no injection that makes you go to sleep. Given intravenously, a general anesthetic works, but it’s a bad idea to do this outside of a medical facility. Michael Jackson’s doctor disagreed, and it turned out badly.

B12 remains a hotel doctor’s only reliable moneymaking placebo. I’ve never encountered an illness that required it, but requests arrive several times a year. Celebrities often ask for an injection before a performance, always a thrill.

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