After a quack misdiagnosed the Professor, all he could think of was his upcoming presentation and Dr Yoga. Last week, after the exciting announcement, he prayed Dr Yoga would attend his Grand Rounds presentation at the Best Teaching Hospital (BTH). He was unsure if she was in attendance until the very last minute. He was nervous, distractedly watching for her arrival. Also, he was regretting the audacious title of his presentation, “Potent Plant Powered Penis: The Health Benefits of Veganism For ED” which created whispers about his package he overheard as he walked past each nurse’s station. The Professor had meticulously scoured the literature on the subject and was teaching his peers about diet and ED long before the widely popular documentary, The Game Changers, dropped the bombshell on folks.
Heads turned as she entered the room, but she had been beyond noticing for years. Dr Yoga’s feet did not touch the floor as she glided into a front row seat in the lecture hall. She carried herself with a grace and beauty that recalled the elegance of Audrey Hepburn, and her warm smile exuded a joyful tranquility that was contagious. She was well respected and practically canonized by her colleagues. Not only was she brilliant in the lab, she was a talented communicator and ambassador of all things scientific in the greater community. While her company was greatly sought after, she was selective about the events she attended. When she agreed to a social gathering, it was her habit to talk to everyone in attendance and then leave. Thus, she made everyone feel important, and they missed her when she left.
An announcement about The Professor's presentation on "Potent Plant Powered Penis: The Health Benefits of Veganism For ED" had piqued her interest. She wasn't sure why, but she had a deep sense that she should attend. Dr Yoga doubted that she would learn anything new. She had been following a vegan diet for a decade already, and had no issues with ED. In fact, a mere glance at Dr. Yoga was the instant cure for any man’s ED. While she was curious about how the topic would be received, there was something more primal to her drive to be in that room.
She wanted to see The Professor again. It had been a month since Grammy's infamous passing from a botched boob job. That was the first time she met the Professor, in the ICU. The memory of his soulful, tear-filled hazel eyes, so unlike many other doctors who have lost their sense of humanity had haunted Dr Yoga.
Usually she maintained her composure and focus, but she felt her stomach flutter as he approached the podium. He displayed an easy smile and a jovial swagger despite the crowd of almost 100 prestigious physicians. “Quiet confidence,” she thought, “too often missing amongst modern professional braggadocios.”
I do not want to make my stomach a graveyard of dead animals.
-George Bernard Shaw
“Literate, too,” she thought. “Too many doctors and scientists focus on science and not the rich interconnectedness of life.”
John Wayne had 57 pounds of impacted fecal matter in his body at death. The average American has about 15 pounds of fecal matter in his/her colon.
She glanced at the crowd, wondering how this presentation was being received. Many of these esteemed clinicians had feasted this morning on sausage and bacon. They were visibly disturbed.
The Professor proceeded to present well-designed studies from peer-reviewed journals. He described cultures with exceptional longevity who live on plant-based diets. He had data that showed death from heart attack is proportional to the consumption of red meat. Finally, he concluded with a biochemical breakdown of human digestion and lesson in comparative biology of humans and herbivores.
Her mind wandered. How could she arrange to see him privately? It jolted her back to reality as a quack broke the silence.
“Dr Professor, do you have any EBM references?”
“Yes, Sir. My references listed on the screen include JAMA and NEJM, among others.”
“Is this Patient Oriented Evidence that Matters (POEMS) or Disease Oriented Evidence (DOE) from lab rats?”
“Mostly POEMS, Sir.”
Another quack who goes by Dr Tightsphincter spoke up next, “Our Founding Fathers based our Constitution on the Bible. We have the right to eat meat because the Bible tells us we have dominion over all animals. Our Maker told us we can eat them. Isn’t this your opinion that our gi tracts are not designed to digest meat? I know YOU are a vegan, but that doesn’t mean that you’re right.”
Dr Professor held a sympathetic expression while he briefly considered how to answer this Old Standard of a Bible Belt doctor. “Yes, Sir, I am vegan. You are correct in that it is a personal choice, and that people long before our Founding Fathers learned to butcher animals. However, the preponderance of flesh eating at our time and place in history, and the volume of meat consumed is far beyond any other culture. The prevalence of disease associated with this diet has led many researchers to seek answers and alternatives, as you can see from the summary I presented today. Furthermore, the facts about our gi tract show that while plant-based foods can be completely digested and the waste products easily excreted, meat products are at risk of putrefaction in the human gut.”
Dr Yoga witnessed audible squirming in the auditorium. He was handling these ignorant questions well, but would this presentation take a toll on his reputation? The room was full of gray-hairs, who had built their careers on pushing medicines and surgeries to relieve symptoms. Nutrition and prevention, while the new buzzwords, were still foreign concepts. “He needs something to make the concept less foreign,” she thought.
“Dr Professor,” she piped up and all heads turned toward her. “Can you site any American cohort studies? Any evidence that a vegetarian diet makes a difference living how we do?”
She was relieved that he took her cue to discuss the Loma Linda study of Seventh Day Adventists. As he spoke, she thought about how to plan some time with him. She wanted to cook one of her best vegan recipes (Kitchari), but wouldn’t invite a relative stranger to her home. She lived alone, and never invited a man to her condo.
Her mind raced. She knew that soon the auditorium would empty. She considered joining him for coffee in the cafeteria. No, not private enough. Besides, he would feel uncomfortable that she doesn’t drink coffee. “Wait, I don’t even know whether he’s available,” she thought. Much speculation swirled through the BTH about The Professor, but really, no one knew the truth about his private life.
It startled her when doctors started filing out past her seat. When she stood, The Professor was gazing at her...
“Good save. Thank you. Without bringing it back to their reality, I would be at the top of everyone’s list of scut work. Your question allowed me to keep my dignity,” he chuckled.
“So you think they bought in at the end?”
“I’ll know more when I meet with the Program Director tomorrow. When Dr Tightsphincter started talking Bible-speak, I thought I was a goner. EBM, POEMS....they don’t hear any of it when it looks like they’ve been wrong all these years. People don’t like change.”
“Ah, attachment, one of our human afflictions,” Dr Yoga responded with a knowing smile.
“What do you mean?” asked The Professor.
She hesitated, “It’s vedic philosophy that the human embodiment comes with conditions that we must overcome to move to a higher state. One of them is our sense of attachment, which sometimes manifests as resistance to change.”
“Interesting,” he replied, never breaking eye contact. “Tell me more.”
“Actually, I’m due back at the lab. Could we continue this conversation at another time?” thinking this was too easy, too natural.
“You know that I have a crazy call schedule, but I’m free after work tonight,” offered The Professor.
“Ok. Meet me at 7:00 at The Present Moment Cafe,” she beamed at him.
“See you then, Dr Yoga,” he choked out as his stomach did flips. “Is this a date?” he wondered. It had been years since he had felt this way. Her eyes had searched the depths of his soul,.....and he let her! It felt easy to talk to her, and this encounter was much too brief. The day would not pass quickly enough.
“Can I assume that she’s single?” he wondered as her expensive pumps clicked toward the door.
She turned back toward him before she reached the doors. He watched closely as she brought her hands together in prayer position at her heart, closed her long lashed eyes and bowed her head to him. “Namaste, “ she breathed before meeting his eyes again for an extended glance.
Her soft demeanor then straightened to all business as she opened the door and proceeded down the hall, leaving him speculating about the hidden world of the female philosopher wearing a white coat.
He was eager to share more data about the powerful potency of a plant based diet to see if this evidence was translatable to the lab. But most importantly, he wanted to share that a vegan diet was not the panacea for all medical maladies as most believe. He was embarrassed to reveal that just last night during outpatient family medicine clinic, he made a most stupendous and horrifying diagnosis. A diagnosis that most seasoned attending physicians never see in an entire career. He diagnosed a penile fracture...in a vegan!
These patient stories are inspired by real medical encounters. However, names have been changed and location is fictional. Dr. Gutierrez share these stories to entertain, inspire, and educate the public on the nature of reality.