Beverly Hills INTERNIST list of ‘Ist’s’
Living in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills means that when it comes to ‘ist’s, your lists of ist’s grows exponentially the longer you live here. In fact, it is shocking how many ‘ist’s’ the average person has in their rolodex. In a fast paced society, where the pressure to succeed is so fiercely interwoven into the framework of your existence, many people start out with only one ‘ist’ and end up a rolodex of ist’s.
What is an ‘ist’ and how do you acquire them? Check out a typical LA story of ‘ist’s’….. (NOTE: The story described below, is based on no one in particular, fabricated, but based on my observations of life and how easy it is to fall into something)
So… the pressure of your job, your mortgage, your car payment and your credit card debt – on top of your tumultuous personal relationship and iPhone full of flakey friends – has you stressed to the point that you start to develop headaches that become debilitating headaches. The headaches become so frequent that you start to worry that the above aforementioned are not the cause of your severe headaches. You decide that maybe you had better go see someone about it, so what do you do?
You go to see your INTERNIST…
Your INTERNIST wants to rule out the remote possibility that you have a brain tumor or aneurism so your INTERNIST sends you to see a NEUROLOGIST. The NEUROLOGIST send you for a MRI, and a few days later the RADIOLOGIST sends a report to your NEUROLOGIST who calls you with the good news that your brain is not going to explode into wee bits. However, in the three days it took for the RADIOLOGIST to read the results and let your NEUROLOGIST know that you weren’t headed to heaven, the stress of worrying about a possible brain tumor or aneurism explosion made your debilitating headaches become migraines so severe that no over the counter medication – even when doubled the recommended dose – can ease the pain.
So your NEUROLOGIST prescribes you with 600 milligram Ibuprofen; which literally takes away the headache pain, and shit – when you have a glass or two of wine with the Ibuprofen, you feel fucking amazing. So for a few months your headaches subside and you start to relax, and the Molotov cocktail you are now consuming seems to alleviate all sorts of problems. But then…..You start to have difficulty swallowing and you have serious acid reflux. So what do you do?
You go back to your INTERNIST ….
Your INTERNIST wonders if maybe the stress mixed with the prescription medication mixed with the wine might be causing you to have gastric issues, so your INTERNIST sends you to see a GASTROENTEROLOGIST. The GASTROENTEROLOGIST decides you need to have a scope done to see what the hell is going on, and then next thing you know you being strapped to a gurney and an ANESTESIOLOGIST – who looks like he just came home from the club and came straight into the ER – is about to inject you with Propofol. You start to worry because Propofol killed Michael Jackson – and as you make the ANESTESIOLOGIST promise to not kill you, you drift into what is referred to as a ‘mild sedation’. Mild Sedation my ass, you are out fucking cold; which is a good thing as who wants to remember the GASTROENTEROLOGIST cramming a big tube down your throat and cutting biopsy chunks out of your stomach?
Ten days later, the PATHOLOGIST sends your results to the GASTROENTEROLOGIST, and you go back into the GASTROENTEROLOGIST’s office for the results. He tells you that you have inflammation so severe that not even over the counter medication like Prilosec will work, and prescribes you with a prescription for Protonix. The GASTROENTEROLOGIST also send the report to your INTERNIST, who now thinks that maybe you need to talk to someone about your stress levels – as it seems to be the root of the problem – so your INTERNIST refers you to a THERAPIST.
Your THERAPIST, after a few sessions, decides that you have high anxiety – from all of the ‘stressors’ in your life – and instead of telling you to workout, sleep, meditate and relax, decides that you need to be evaluated by a PSYCHIATRIST because… you might need medication for your anxiety. The PSYCHIATRIST determines, in your 20 minute session, that Xanax will help your anxiety, and you leave with a prescription in hand.
It turns out the Xanax makes you fall asleep in a second, and you feel calm and life starts to feel good again. Even your THERAPIST comments on how much better you seem to be doing. The only problem is that you have to take more and more of the Xanax to sleep, and when you need two full bars of Xanax to fall asleep every night – and when the PSYCHIATRIST won’t increase your dosage any higher – you decide to add a glass of wine to the mix. And guess what? That works for a while.
Until one night, after you have been out for the evening and had a couple of glasses of wine, and then take your 2 bars of Xanax before you go to bed, you get up in the night to pee and are so loopy that you run into a wall and crack your front tooth.
Now, you find yourself with your DENTIST, who refers you to a PROSTHODONTIST who can hopefully save your tooth and apply a veneer. The PROSTHODONTIST, thank God, can fix the tooth, but thinks you need veneers on the front four teeth as your smile will be weird with only one veneer. And, OMG living in the bubble of Hollywood with one weird tooth will throw off your whole look, so you gut up and pay to have the other three teeth fixed to match the one cracked tooth. The good news is that your smile looks great; the bad news is that the porcelain veneers are about $1500 each, and now your credit card debt is through the roof and your stress levels elevate even more.
And guess what? Even with the Xanax, the Protonix, and the Ibuprofen your headaches come back. So, what do you do?
You go back to your INTERNIST.
Your INTERNIST now determines that the PSYCHIATRIST you saw is turning your into a drug addict, so recommends you see a PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIST, who comes highly recommended. The PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIST (which is just another bullshit name for PSYCHIATRIST) thinks that you either need to wean yourself off the Xanax and wine, or better yet, check yourself into rehab for a month. Gosh, the sound of a month off of your life sounds pretty great right about now, and you start contemplating the 30 day treatment program. Until you find out that your insurance doesn’t pay for rehab – and you don’t have $30,000 to spare – so you decide to wean yourself off of the Xanax with the assistance of your PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIST.
As your PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIST cuts down your Xanax bit by bit, your sleep is greatly interrupted and you start to get run down and look worn. A well-meaning friend thinks that perhaps you should get a facial, so recommends her FACIALIST to you. The FACIALIST cleans your pores and exfoliates your face – which now glows – but you still look like you have been beaten up by an ugly stick from exhaustion. The FACIALIST recommends that perhaps you talk to a DERMATOLOGIST about getting some fillers to freshen up your look.
One of your girlfriends swears by her DERMATOLOGIST, so you go and see him. The DERMATOLOGIST thinks that a little Botox on your forehead and around the eyes would be his first recommendation, and if you have enough cash maybe some Voluma in your cheeks to fill out your face, and some Juvederm in your lips will give you an all-around more youthful appearance. So out of vanity – and likely bad decision making skills from the lack of sleep – you haul out your credit card and go for it all.
An hour later, looking in the mirror, you want to cry because you look like a Pufferfish. But the DERMATOLOGIST swears that once the swelling and bruising dissipate that you will be looking youthful and refreshed. So for the next ten days you swallow Arnica to help the bruising heal quicker and hide from society as much as possible, because it takes that long for all of the bruising and swelling to go away.
Finally, you are healed, and your face does look fuller, and the Botox has smoothed out your lines, but the shit that he put in your lips makes your lips protrude and you look like are constantly pursing your lips. Fuck, the lips looks weird, the lips look really weird. So what do you do?
You go back to the DERMATOLOGIST.
The DERMATOLOGIST thinks you look great, but tells you not to worry because the $5000 you just spend will slowly dissolve into your body. You are freaked out when you realize that this shit is going to seep into your cells – but at least your lips will at some point return to normal – and hopefully by that time, you will have completely weaned yourself off the Xanax, and once again be able to sleep and look like your normal self.
So in the interim, you go to your HAIRSTYLIST to see if she can style your hair in a new way to detract from your fish lips. After a hour or so of playing with your hair, she honestly tells you that nothing she can do will detract from the lips – but at least you leave with an awesome blowout – and your HAIRSTYLIST suggests that you go to Mac on Robertson Boulevard to see if one of the Make-Up ARTISTS there can suggest ways to use make-up to minimize your lips for the next few months.
The Mac Make-Up ARTIST is quite helpful, and gives you a make-over, and $350 later you leave with a whole new bag of make-up. And Goddamnit – you look pretty darn good even with your swollen fish lips. So, for the first time in several months, you actually feel relatively good about yourself. So you walk across the street and stop at Intermix, where the in-house STYLIST picks out a new dress for you, and you head home feeling cute and broke.
Cute….at least your feel cute.
And within a few months, you are off the Xanax. You have slowed down on the wine, so you don’t need the Protonix anymore, and your lips – halleluiah – are back to normal. And for the first time in a long time your life seems pretty good.
The pressure of your job, your mortgage, your car payment haven’t seemed important after all you have been through, you are just grateful that you still have them. And even though your credit card debt is through the roof, you have tons of air miles now – at least that is some consolation. Plus you have been so consumed with all of your drama that you haven’t had time to worry about personal relationships or flakey friends at all. Life is getting better.
And the funny truth to this story is…
- Your simple life can go from having one IST to having a list of IST’S in a short time, especially in a city like Los Angeles…
- It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into something, and how fucking complicated it can be to find your way back out the other side….
- Just be happy I didn’t tell you the tale of the Gynecologist lists of ‘ist’s’! (Maybe I will, that might actually be hysterical…or gross…or both!)
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