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Interview with Stacy London
Aired October 16, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: It sounds like a grownup version of "Mean Girls", a TV host who tells women what is wrong with what they`re wearing. But there`s a surprising reason for her brutal honesty and the way she`s actually trying to help women.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Stacy London, the star of "What Not to Wear", reveals the source of the pain she experienced growing up in a new book called "The Truth about Style."
Now, I want to quote something from the book that caught my and my producers` attention. Are you ready?
STACY LONDON, AUTHOR, "THE TRUTH ABOUT STYLE": Yes, I`m ready.
PINSKY: It`s what you said was the most difficult thing to write. "At 42, I`m a never married childless single woman. That`s the hardest sentence I`ve written thus far in the book."
LONDON: Anyway, it was one of the last chapters.
PINSKY: Well, it jumped out to us.
LONDON: Yes. Well, you know, part of it is it`s a stigma I feel a little bit and feel it right now, as opposed to some other things in the book that happened a long time ago, you know, that I sort of dealt with. And, you know, I feel like the single stigma thing still exists.
PINSKY: Do you have a boyfriend?
LONDON: Not at the moment, no. I know. Weird, right?
PINSKY: Yes, it is weird, because you`re a beautiful woman and you`re 42 and you`ve got -- obviously smart and you got a career. What is the -- I could ask what`s the matter with you. But I`m going to ask is, what`s the matter with guys?
LONDON: Wow. I don`t think anything is the matter with guys. I think it has something to do with me.
PINSKY: Does it have to do with what you wrote about in the book?
LONDON: Yes. I do think, you know, the big metaphor for me in the book is learning to be comfortable in my own skin. That has taken a lot of work.
And in some ways, I feel like I`ve gotten there. When it comes to work and career, I feel totally happy and settled and comfortable.
PINSKY: Well, I`m going to stop you, because it`s interesting that you use skin as a metaphor, because I want you to tell a story about growing up with a skin disease.
LONDON: Yes, I did, and that`s why I used the metaphor.
When I was 4 years old, I was diagnosed with psoriasis. It`s a skin disease that, you know, it`s an auto-immune disease. So, it just creates a lot of crusty skin.
PINSKY: Particularly for a kid, it can cover your whole body.
LONDON: Yes. When I first had it, I only had it behind my ears. At 11, I woke up completely covered in scales, red scales that were bleeding and cracking and got worse.
PINSKY: Well, that`s good, because of course sixth grade is when girls are at their most secure.
LONDON: I was not only at my most secure, I also had lovely friends, because you know how kind and compassionate 11-year-olds can be.
LONDON: I had notes in my locker that I looked like the elephant man and leave school before you infect anybody.
PINSKY: You`re getting emotional just telling the story.
LONDON: Yes, it was really hard. But at the same time -- you know, it became even harder for me, because I completely -- think that`s where I started to get really preoccupied with appearance --
PINSKY: And covering up?
LONDON: -- and covering up. Covering, but also that was my attraction to fashion. I mean, I think that`s where it started. You know, I wanted beauty. I wanted to be a cool kid. I wanted not to look like a monster.
And in an interesting kind of way, you know, I think my first inclination towards the fashion industry because I went to work at "Vogue", you know, straight out of college, was because I -- I was going after a dream, really. It was sort of an unhealthy impulse.
PINSKY: Well, but sort -- and you had an eating disorder, too, as I understand. It`s all --
LONDON: Well, yes.
PINSKY: But let me just stop you and saying you`re using some terrible harsh language between being a monster and being beautiful. It has to be one or the other?
LONDON: Well, it certainly doesn`t have to be one or the other. It took me a long time to learn that. As a child, I think that it was very hard for me to see anything but those extremes. To be so filled with a kind of self-hatred at looking like I did and not being able to fit in and really not just fear of judgment, but fear of, you know, being mocked.
I mean, all of these things come up in the book. And really played a part I think in how I saw myself. So long after we cleared up the disease, long after I started using medicine that really did get rid of it, I couldn`t let go of that feeling. And then the medicine that kind of cured my skin started tearing my skin, literally like paper. My skin started to split like a zipper.
PINSKY: It`s called atrophy.
LONDON: So I have massive scars all over me that unless I wanted to get skin grafts, I`ll never get rid of.
PINSKY: Do you think -- you`re sort of harsh with people with your style advice.
LONDON: Yes. Well, I honed my criticality on myself.
PINSKY: Is that where it comes from?
PINSKY: You would never say anything to the other that you wouldn`t direct at yourself?
LONDON: That I wouldn`t direct to myself.
But I also think part of my experience being on "What Not to Wear" for 10 years is that I have actually learned to have empathy for myself because I`ve learned to have empathy for other people.
PINSKY: Well, that`s how that works. Has that diminished your edge?
LONDON: It`s definitely diminished my edge. I`m not as snarky as I used to be. That`s also part of why I wrote this book.
I wanted to dimensionalize myself a little bit. You know, I`m on a format show and I`m a style coaching critic. That`s how you know me. That`s what you know about me.
It`s not the same as who I am.
PINSKY: Well, but it`s a piece of you.
PINSKY: We`re looking at some footage of you working right now. Are there moments when you think back at your non-empathic behavior that you`re a little mortified by now in retrospect?
PINSKY: You didn`t hurt anybody?
LONDON: No, because I think if you know the show, you understand that we do break people down to kind of build them back up. That to me does work. I mean, I`ve seen that work time and time again on the show.
And people -- you know, look. The show is also entertainment. We`re not there -- we`re not doing your job.
PINSKY: You`re not doing a treatment job. Yes, I understand that.
But the show is called "What Not to Wear," right?
PINSKY: So it`s breaking them of that habit and giving them --
LONDON: Yes. Tools to which to kind of -- look, this is what my book is about. I think style is very different from fashion. Fashion was what I went after when I was feeling incredibly insecure and monstrous on the inside. I went for --
PINSKY: It`s painful to hear you keep using that word "monster". That doesn`t strike you emotionally?
LONDON: No, it really doesn`t.
PINSKY: You felt like a monster?
LONDON: I think if you have any kind of, you know, disease that makes you feel like an other, that makes you feel like an alien, which it certainly did when I was a child, I think that language in a vocabulary that you retain. I`m much more aware of it now. I feel much more for the child that I was in terms of empathy --
PINSKY: Than you did?
LONDON: -- than I did. I hated myself then. And it was very hard to get in.
PINSKY: You say that with a smile. These are horrible things.
LONDON: I don`t say it with a smile. I say it with the knowledge of being able to have worked through it and understanding the difference between what beauty and monstrous really does mean in terms of self-esteem, because I`ve been able to do this work with other people. And what I see, a lot of times that style can be a symptom of the way somebody actually feels about themselves.
LONDON: And that using that as the surface, you can actually change the way somebody feels, because you can change what they see.
PINSKY: OK. I want to articulate something you just said, because I think it`s actually important. So what people project is saying something about how they feel, and if you change that projection, you can change the inside a little bit.
LONDON: I have a section in the book called transmission versus translation. So, it`s what you think you`re saying when you`re trying to hide and what people understand, which isn`t always the same thing.
PINSKY: We got to take a quick break. We`re going to get some calls in for Stacy London after the break. So, give us a call, 855-373-7395.
And maybe you can affect some of my viewers` style.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s do it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LONDON: Oh, wow. You have got to be kidding. Really? Really?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are my cow pants.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cow pants.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I got those in high school 20 years ago. I have a cow vest and a cow tie that matches it.
LONDON: I`m just curious why you chose to wear that sweater with those pants.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Yes. And that is Stacy London asking that question, star of "What Not to Wear." and she has a new book.
Do I have the book? What`s it called again?
LONDON: "The Truth About Style."
PINSKY: "The Truth About Style" -- and tell a bit about what the book is. You said there are other women chronicled in the book as well as yourself.
LONDON: Yes. Well, I thought that, you know, originally my publisher wanted me to do a book that was an autobiography. And I`m 43, I feel like maybe there`s a little bit more, I have a few more things to do. So, I did one to tell a little bit of my back story in order to explain why I`m empathetic with other women and style issues. And also what my philosophy of style has become.
So I chose nine other women, 19 to 60. And they wrote me letters. I chose them. They came in and did start-overs with me.
PINSKY: Just sort of a metaphor for how you work and how your -- what`s going on inside you as you work?
LONDON: Yes. Absolutely. Definitely was about what`s going on in their minds.
PINSKY: Let`s go on some calls here. Let`s talk to Bhrenda in Pennsylvania -- Bhrenda.
BHRENDA, CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Yes, hi, Dr. Drew. Hi, Stacy.
BHRENDA: Listen, I`m 54 years old and I`m single and no children. I view myself as a monster because I was an obese child. But I was always tall.
And if you are appropriate, dependable, and certain things aren`t hanging out, why should you let anybody discourage you of wearing something different? I don`t understand that. Why should you wear a weave, all that makeup? You`re hiding something about yourself.
PINSKY: So, Bhrenda, are you asking why someone would hide if they`re obese or why does anybody hide at all?
BHRENDA: Why does anybody hide behind that kind of stuff?
PINSKY: Behind style and makeup.
BHRENDA: I can understand Ms. Stacy saying that she had a skin problem, and then she viewed herself as a monster. I viewed myself as a monster as a child because I was obese child which I did cover up. But I had various surgeries and it ain`t that way no more.
So, you know, I really don`t care what other people --
PINSKY: Bhrenda, I`m going to stop you, Bhrenda. I don`t hear a question. Is there a question or specific comment for Stacy here?
BHRENDA: The question is, is that why would you, you know -- why would you worry about what other people think about you and what your wear?
PINSKY: OK. Fair enough.
LONDON: OK. Great question, actually. I really think that, you know, the way you choose to view style is up to you. For me, I think that style is an incredible tool to tell people what you want to say about yourself without opening your mouth. I think that we make judgments every three seconds whether we want to or not. That`s what the human brain does.
So you can use style to your advantage. Or you can choose to not use it to your advantage. I`m saying that I really think that style is a powerful tool when you want to do something to kind of raise your self- esteem.
PINSKY: Whether you hide or not, when you see the cow pants, you automatically see something unusual and you think something automatically in response to that. It`s the way the brain works.
LONDON: Absolutely. Yes, exactly.
PINSKY: Renee -- I`m going to Renee in Nevada -- Renee.
RENEE, CALLER FROM NEVAD: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hey, Renee.
RENEE: Hi, Stacy.
RENEE: I`m calling because I noticed -- I made an observation recently after losing 60 pounds.
RENEE: Thank you.
I went to the DMV to get my skinny picture.
RENEE: And I was treated so differently --
PINSKY: Of course.
RENEE: -- as a thin person.
PINSKY: Renee, we discriminate against heavy and fat people almost more than any other population.
RENEE: Yes. And instead of lifting me up, it really made me feel sad for the way that we unconsciously or consciously treat people who are not as beautiful or attractive.
PINSKY: Yes. So, there you go --
PINSKY: And there`s stuff you can control as it pertains to that. That`s what you`re advocating.
LONDON: Yes, exactly. I don`t believe that style has a size. I don`t believe that there`s a size number associated to style.
I think that the way to have style is to accept where your body is right now, heavier or skinnier, whether you`re going to change in the future and dress it as it is. The fact is you can always find clothes. It may be harder for plus sized people, I completely understand that. But I don`t believe that it`s impossible to dress with style. And in a way that shows you have self-respect.
PINSKY: That makes you feel bad.
PINSKY: Let`s go quickly to Tabitha -- Tabitha in Virginia.
TABITHA, CALLER FROM VIRGINIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Hi, Stacy. Thanks for having me.
LONDON: Hi, Tabitha.
TABITHA: Hi. Stacy, my question is: within the last two years, I`ve been placed on some medication that`s caused me to gain about 40 pounds. And prior to this, I felt like I was a very stylish dresser, very confident person. Now I find myself just kind of jeans, t-shirt, baggy.
PINSKY: I think that`s a common thing when people don`t feel confident about themselves. They let go of style.
LONDON: Absolutely, it happens all the time. Weight gain is usually the reason. You know, this is really the time to step up your style in my opinion. It`s important to find clothes that fit your new body, even if it doesn`t stay 40 pounds heavier, because I really think that`s the only way to start to recognize that you`re beautiful no matter what your weight is.
PINSKY: Thank you, Stacy. I appreciate it.
LONDON: It`s really my pleasure.
PINSKY: The pleasure is ours. The book is called "The Truth About Style." We`ll be back after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The queen of country music Tammy Wynette dies suddenly at the age of 55.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will always believe that her death was not an accident.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The surprise is not that Tammy died. The surprise is that she lived.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That is from a show called "The Will: Family Secrets Revealed" on Investigation Discovery. Season three premieres this Thursday, October 18th.
Joining me now are two daughters of the late country music superstar Tammy Wynette, Georgette Jones and Jackie Daly. They claim they were cheated out of her multimillion dollar estate after her death in 1998.
Georgette, why do you believe you were cut out of the will?
GEORGETTE JONES, CUT OUT OF MOM TAMMY WYNETTE`S WILL: Well, our mother actually sat us down about a year and a half before she passed away, all six of us children, the four of us girls and our stepfather`s two children -- and went through great detail to explain to us what she wanted for us to have in the event that she passed away. And her whole intent in that conversation was saying she wanted to avoid any type of controversy or concern on either part either with our stepfather or with us, that we wanted to make sure that we knew what she wanted so that we would honor her wishes when she passed away.
She was almost obsessed, in fact, with death and dying and talked about it a lot that last year and a half. And what happened --
PINSKY: Was this something she put down in writing for you guys? And what was -- or just something that she told you? And what was it she said?
JONES: She gave us specific details and there was some in writing. She told us she had just signed a brand new will. She said there were two $1 million life insurance policies. One that would go directly to our stepfather if she passed away before he did, and then the other would go directly to the four of us girls to be divided in fours for us.
Then there was a list that she showed us that was actually a legal tablet that she had taken a lot of time because she was concerned about dividing things between the four of us children and all of the grandchildren. She wanted to make sure that everyone got something and got something equal.
So she had a very long list she had made out. She said Richey would inherit the house and business until his passing. And then at that time, the six of us children --
PINSKY: Who is Richey? The stepfather?
JONES: Richey is my stepfather, yes.
JONES: At the time of his passing, the six of us would divide everything at that point.
PINSKY: And what ended up happening? What happened?
JONES: When mom passed away, Richey did get his life insurance policy. The second life insurance policy went through the estate.
Our stepfather Richey said the reason it did that was because mom for some reason had it in her mind that us girls would be taxed somehow if it didn`t go through the estate first. And that he was going to give us all a check for $5,000 at that time. And then he would eventually give us the rest of the $250,000 a piece that would come from that policy once the tax man had come and assessed everything that they had paid everything for the estate.
But that never happened. He didn`t really have to do that, because having it go through the estate, he was the executor over the will. So, he didn`t have to do anything he didn`t want to do.
The list, it specifically said in the will then that there is a list found, please divide things accordingly. If you don`t find the list, then assume none exist. And, of course, our stepfather said, he`s conning, he said, I don`t know where that list is.
So we never even received baby books, clothes, any personal items, absolutely nothing of our mother`s. We never got any of those things.
PINSKY: And, Jackie, let me -- we haven`t spoken to you yet. Was it -- my understanding is your mom had a very severe, very complicated medical situation including chronic pain, multiple surgeries, and severe drug addiction. Did that further complicate this story?
JACKIE DALY, CUT OUT OF MOM TAMMY WYNETTE`S WILL?: Yes, but I think she -- you know, when she was taking the medication that she was being given, you could have put a coloring book in front of her and she would have signed it. I think that she was so -- and I think it was -- a lot of that was done on purpose for that reason, because --
PINSKY: Hold on, Jackie. I want to interrupt you. Do you mean he intoxicated her so he could manipulate her to sign things? Is that what you`re alleging?
DALY: That`s -- yes. That`s certainly my belief, because he knew. He knew how to work her. And he knew how to get whatever he wanted, you know, at any particular time.
And there was no -- when we eventually were able to have an autopsy done a year after mom died, there was nothing found. She had no terminal illness. There were no diseases. There were two toxicology reports that were done.
You know more about that, George.
JONES: One of which showed that there were traces of Versed and Phenergan in her system. That`s the only thing they found.
PINSKY: Well, to me -- listen. The fact that she -- she died at home?
JONES: She died, yes.
PINSKY: Giving somebody at home intravenous Versed is very similar to giving Michael Jackson Propofol. I mean, that`s outrageous that she was getting I.V. Versed and, you know, that`s something that require -- they give at a hospital in a carefully monitored setting. So, that tells you how severe the drug exposures were.
Now, I`m going to take a break, ladies.
JONES: That`s exactly what started this.
PINSKY: Yes, I bet you.
I`m going to take a break here.
Now, what I`m going to do next is talk about the woman who got much of Tammy Wynette`s money. She responds to us here in writing.
And later, your chance -- I`m going to give you a chance to ask me about any medical problem and encourage you to ask about stuff that you`ve been embarrassed to ask your doctor about. Believe me, I`ve heard everything. Call us, 855-DRDREW5.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Tammy Wynette`s daughters sued George Richey for $50 million and basically called me an accomplice, that`s pretty much a game changer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was from "The Will: Family Secrets Revealed" on Investigation Discovery, season three begins this Thursday.
We are back with two of Tammy Wynette`s daughters. They sued their stepfather in a wrongful death lawsuit, as well as one against the mom`s doctor as well. Later, it settled.
Georgette and Jackie, let me read a part of the statement that George Richey`s widow, this is I guess whom he married after your mom. Sheila sent us. We thought it was pretty intense.
Here you go. I`m going to quote her. "These girls were given everything, but everything was never enough for them. My beloved, talented, and accomplished late husband, George Richey, went to his grave brokenhearted over what his stepchildren had become. All about handouts of money all the time."
Georgette, what`s your response?
JONES: I`m not surprised at her being desperate and having that kind of statement to say, because she I`m sure is worried about the things being said about her at this point. It was not at all unknown that my mother had friendship with Sheila for awhile, and then, actually didn`t -- they stopped talking completely.
My mother was very angry at her, although, she wouldn`t tell us exactly what the circumstances were surrounding that.
PINKSY: Georgette --
PINSKY: I`m going to stop you. You`re speaking in some subtle kinds of codes. Are you sort of alleging that Sheila and your step dad were getting together before your mom died?
JONES: I certainly can`t prove that. I wasn`t there. I never walked in on the two of them. But I can say that my mother did have a relationship with her that she ended with just in a couple of weeks before her death. I remember mom specifically in front of me and the housekeeper saying that she never wanted to speak to her again because Sheila was trying to call her on the phone.
And that same woman who was supposed to be a support and friend for my stepfather went to a memorial service for my mother in England, one that we were never told of, found out about three days before that there would be a memorial service. Someone who certainly was on my mother`s bad list I don`t think would be a comfort to my stepfather under usual circumstances.
Just my personal opinion. Like I said, I certainly can`t prove that there was a relationship going on before, but they certainly stayed together and were very close and then eventually got married and had a child together. And, in the end, she`s the only one who has benefited from everything in the end.
PINSKY: OK. She got all the money. Albert in Massachusetts, you want to comment here?
ALBERT, MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you, Dr. Drew. I know that their mother was very vibrant. I didn`t know about this. (INAUDIBLE) but I had to call (ph) the group home and the same agency, those issues, you know? But I don`t want to detract from your show today. So, I hope to speak to the public (INAUDIBLE) with someone who`s ill, it can be really complicated.
PINSKY: That is for sure. I mean, listen, these days -- I`ve been screaming about the over use of pain medication on this program for a year and a half. And Tammy Wynette was a fatality related to that. Listen, you can -- I`ve dealt with more patients than I can count that once they get away from me back into the system where they can get their hands on these medicines, they end up dead.
And just look at the headlines on celebrities. I mean, just every week, a new one is dying. It`s always pills, always prescription medication. That`s what`s killing people today. And Tammy Wynette was at the leading edge of all that. Jackie, you want to comment?
JACKIE DALY, CUT OUT OF MOM, TAMMY WYNETTE`S WILL?: Well, I think for mom, she felt like as long as it was a prescription medication, it was OK. As long as she, you know, never had to go and get it illegally. She felt like that was OK. You know, it devastated our family.
We were -- you know, it not only affected her, but it was -- you know, it`s a trickle down effect. It affected the whole family.
PINSKY: That`s right.
DALY: But she -- she -- you know, she never really -- she never wanted to be that way. It wasn`t her intention.
PINSKY: Well, of course. Nobody wants to die a prescription drug death. And no one wants to be strong out on drugs, but once you get there, it`s a difficult thing to treat and has a treatment. Let`s talk to Penny in California. Penny, I think you`re actually embroiled in a family feud right now, is that correct?
PENNY, CALIFORNIA: Yes, it is.
PINSKY: Tell me about that.
PENNY: My mother passed away two weeks ago as I held her hand and she left 95 percent of her estate to my brother and my sister-in-law and almost completely left me out.
PINSKY: And was that something you think your family manipulated or was that her wishes?
PENNY: That was her wishes, but she changed her will four years ago, 10 years prior to that. It was that everything was put 50/50.
PINSKY: So, what do you think that`s all about and how does that apply to this particular situation?
PENNY: I don`t know other than I was just left out.
PINSKY: Ladies, you have something to say to her?
JONES: These kinds of things are extremely difficult. I think, you know in your heart your relationship with your mother. And I think if there`s anything else going on surrounding that, it`s something you have to look into. We felt like there was so much unsaid and so much unknown and so many questions.
We just had to continue to ask questions and find out as much as we could. And we feel like we`re doing the best thing that we can do, what our mother would want us to do.
PINSKY: Is there something -- anything for viewers to learn from your tragedy that people can do that they don`t end up in these kinds of situations?
JONES: I think, certainly, the most important thing that really we want people to understand is like we were just talking about, prescription medications are certainly as dangerous as any other type of illegal substance that we`re not supposed to take. And, unfortunately, sometimes, doctors even when they don`t mean to be doing something harmful will be prescribing medication in a way that`s inappropriate.
And, we have to be very aware as people and as family members that we have to watch for those things. we have to not be dependent upon medications of that type if there`s any way we can help it. If you have chronic pain, you have to seek management.
DALY: We had interventions. I think we did two interventions. You know, we tried to the best of our ability to get whatever help we felt like mom needed. She did go to the Betty Ford Center. But I think it`s just she wasn`t ready. I do think that, you know, you have to be ready for help, and she wasn`t ready.
PINSKY: Yes. It`s very frustrating when they have pain. Again, I used to see a lot of chronic pain patients strung out on opiates. They would always come in and say the same thing and to say on a scale 10, what is your pain, they`d say it`s a 20 or it`s a 15. And then, when you got them off the opiates within two weeks, by the way they`d have a miserable two weeks that most doctors would not know how to manage getting somebody through.
At the end of that, they stopped talking about their pain. And when you ask them about, they`ll say four, six, something like that out of ten. It`s the opioids that intensify the perception of the pain. It`s called hyperalgesia. People have to understand this. And particularly, if you have addiction as well, that supercharges this process.
Georgette Jones, Jackie Daly, thank you very much for joining us. I appreciate you guys sharing that story.
PINSKY: We`ll be watching for that show.
Next up, I want to do something -- I want to spend the rest of the show just taking your general medical calls. So, take a break from the debates tonight and give me your attention, and stuff I`d be particularly interested in talking about things that you`re anonymous on the phone here. So, this is a chance to sort of call in with stuff you wouldn`t be so comfortable asking your doctor about you just wish you could or things you may have heard about that you think maybe silly.
You don`t want to -- you feel embarrassed to ask somebody face to face. This is a way to do that. I will answer your questions. Anything that`s on your mind, medical, psychological, psychiatric. Call me. 855- DrDrew5. Again, that is 855-373-7395. Let`s go do it. Be right back.
PINSKY: All right. So, I want to take medical questions, particularly, I`m interested in those things you may have had trouble asking or find the time to ask your doctor. We can do it right here tonight. Again, my number is 855-373-7395. Let`s go on out to Melanie in Wisconsin -- Melanie.
MELANIE, WISCONSIN: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hey, Melanie.
MELANIE: I`ve been a life long suffer of emetophobia.
PINSKY: Oh, goodness! So, let`s define what that is. Emetophobia basically is fear of vomiting.
PINSKY: And Melanie, who isn`t? I mean, who likes vomiting. Let`s be fair here. But you probably have a severe aversion to it, right?
MELANIE: Yes, I do.
PINSKY: Yes. As kind of thing that panics you and you probably avoid things that might make circumstances that might evoke something that you think like you could possibly vomit. You avoid those kinds of circumstances?
MELANIE: Yep. Exactly.
PINSKY: It`s not uncommon. I know a lot of people who have that. I`m not aware of it having any particular association with anything you need to be concerned with like any other psychological or psychiatric problem. Vomiting is such a powerful biological experience. It`s so unpleasant that when it happens early on, sometimes, it can wire in a very particular disgust or avoidance or fear, so it makes kind of sense.
I`m sorry you`re suffering with it. We all vomit eventually, sometimes. And hopefully, it won`t be too bad if it does happen. Are you OK if it should happen to you over again?
MELANIE: It`s been about six years since the last time it`s happened.
PINSKY: Good. That`s good.
MELANIE: I did survive it, of course.
PINSKY: Right. Right.
MELANIE: I mean, it is unpleasant, but you know, I mean, you always come up with the avoidance behaviors.
PINSKY: That`s right. That`s the bad part about phobias like this. But most phobias, oftentimes, will peak and then suddenly fade. They`ll suddenly kind of get better. Fear of flying is a classic example of that. I, myself, had a little bit of that. And it can go, by the way, with other generalized anxiety disorders or panic. Do you have any other anxiety disorders?
MELANIE: Yes. I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety.
PINSKY: There you go. They all tend to go together. It`s probably genetic, biological sort of a link. And the fact is, I myself have GAD. And I had fear of flying that developed after years of flying. All of a sudden, I developed this terrible phobia, and then, it suddenly went away.
So, I`ve experienced that thing where phobia is going to go through a cycle. And hopefully, that will go away for you as well. OK? Thank you, my dear.
Dianne, what`s going on?
DIANNE, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Appreciate your show.
PINSKY: Thank you.
DIANNE: Recently, I`ve gained a bit of weight. I had two C-sections. And I have a little pouch. And my skin is starting to split.
PINSKY: So, you mean, where the C-section, the wound was --
DIANNE: No. My C-section scars are vertical.
DIANNE: And I`ve gotten a little pouch, so it`s splitting underneath.
PINSKY: So, where skin sort of hangs over. OK. Here`s my concern. Dermatological problems are almost impossible to comment on, because people aren`t sort of accustomed to describing what they`re looking at. All I can tell you is that oftentimes in those sorts of fold, fungus can develop.
So, you might get some over-the-counter anti-fungal cream, keep things very, very clean and very, very dry. And if it`s actually breaking down, then it really is important for a doctor to take a look at that because that`s something that it can become a very serious infection. It can become something that`s difficult to manage as a wound. Cindy in Oregon -- Cindy.
CINDY, OREGON: Yes.
PINSKY: What do you got?
CINDY: Hi, Dr. Drew. Three weeks ago, I had a total hip put in, and --
PINSKY: You sound young for that. How old are you?
CINDY: I`m 53.
PINSKY: You`re in that sort of young group that gets it sometimes. OK.
CINDY: Yes. Yes. And, I had a motor vehicle accident five years ago. A drunk driver hit me and broke seven vertebra in my back, and I`ve been tolerant to pain medicine since then, wearing a patch and taking extra medicines just for my back.
PINSKY: Oh, boy.
CINDY: I went into the surgery and I had extreme problems -- they had extreme problems getting me to be able to have any pain relief after the surgery.
PINSKY: Right. And that`s one of the problems with -- there`s a very strange thing that happens with doctors and pain medication, which is we want to hold back sometimes in patients we should be giving more to. And somebody like you who`s already tolerant, meaning, you build up a tolerant to this medications, you should get what you need and be very, very carefully monitored.
What happens to many of us, though, doctors if we go, oh my God, she`s using too much pain medication, now`s my time to back off exactly the wrong time. The risk is, the problem is, if you`re taking other anxiety medicine or sleep medicine or even just the opiates, themselves, can make you stop breathing. Even in a hospital, it can be dangerous. You can aspirate. So, it`s weighing these relative risks.
If you`re comfort again because you`re very, very tolerant versus the risk of the complications of being on too much medication. I`m sorry you had to go through that. No medicine is perfect. Remember that. Medicines, ultimately, are only worthwhile when they`re worth the risk.
More calls when we come back.
PINSKY: All right. We`re taking some time tonight to take your calls, answer your questions, things you may be uncomfortable or have not had -- Greg Brady (ph) all of a sudden - maybe uncomfortable of haven`t had a chance to ask your doctor. This is the place and time to do it. Number is 855-373-7395.
The camera guys loved the Greg Brady reference. In the Brady bunch, Greg Brady, when he was going through adolescence, his voice cracked. So, I must be going through my adolescence. Let`s go on now to Victoria. What`s up, Victoria?
VICTORIA, TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew. I have a condition called vulvodynia.
VICTORIA: And it has completely wrecked my marriage.
VICTORIA: And kind of left me where I just don`t even try to date.
PINSKY: OK. So, let me explain to viewers what this is. Vulvodynia, this is something that`s hard to talk about. It`s hard to ask your doctor about it. it`s a -- a syndrome where there is severe pain of the external genitalia primarily. Is that where your pain is primarily, Victoria?
PINSKY: And it`s a burning, miserable, horrible thing. And it can be caused by many different problems. Doctors who use steroid creams, estrogen creams, various things to try to help out, but it often is a very, very frustrating problem. Have you seen somebody who is specializes in this? Because there are actually guys out there who -- and women who just specialize in this kind of problem.
VICTORIA: I have seen a gynecologist or several gynecologists who say they know of it and they have, you know, given me creams.
PINSKY: Have you tried -- have you tried estrogen creams.
VICTORIA: Caller: yes.
PINSKY: OK. And the other thing now, in my world, when things are unexplained, when there`s painful intercourse that`s unexplained, in my world, it`s often the case that those people were sexually abused in childhood. Is that something a pattern that you fit?
PINSKY: So, you really have the true vulvodynia which is an inflammation, unexplained difficult to manage. Here`s what I would say, my dear, is you`ve got to find somebody that specializes in this, because this typically is a frustrating problem of the average doctor really has trouble managing.
You know, if it`s not the sexual abuse category where there`s a psychiatric thing that can be treated or psychological thing, oftentimes, there are people out there that can find ways of managing this with sort of new and novel kinds of techniques. I would go online, look for doctors in your area that specifically can manage this problem, because as you`re finding, it severely restricts your ability to have an interpersonal life.
Pamela in Michigan. Pamela, let`s go to you -- Pam.
PAMELA, MICHIGAN: hi, how are you?
PINSKY: Good. What`s up?
PAMELA: I have a six-year-old. She`s nearly died of type 1 diabetes.
PAMELA: I understand to exercise the water, the carb pounding (ph), you know, reducing the carb intake.
PAMELA: What I`m trying to -- what I want to do because she`s only six, and I`m figuring her pancreas isn`t all the way damaged. It can be healed.
PINSKY: Well, she`s going to -- listen. By definition, juvenile onset diabetes is insulin dependent. Is she on insulin now?
PAMELA: Yes. She`s been taking insulin for years. She was diagnosed last year.
PINSKY: And that`s going to be for the rest of her life. That`s just what it`s going to be. Once those Islet cells are gone, they are gone. We don`t know why exactly that triggers in some people, but once it does, it is -- thank God we have a way to replace it with insulin that we produce now and put in through shot or pump? Is she doing shots or pump now?
PAMELA: She`s doing the injection.
PINSKY: OK. And how is her blood sugar controlled? Because, again, when people talk about diabetes, they may not even understand it`s an inability to produce insulin. So, blood sugar goes up. And what it does is it caused damage to small blood vessels in the body and there by damages tissues, kidneys, eye, brain, heart. So, is her sugar control OK?
PAMELA: Well, again, this is -- it`s been a year. And, she had bouts with food. And I decided that I wasn`t going to take everything from her. I had to just revamp (ph) what I was buying for everyone. And we`ve had -- her problem with high sugar (INAUDIBLE) really high.
PINSKY: You have got to -- this is the key thing. This is what happens on people with a child with diabetes in my experience is they start chasing the blood sugars with more insulin which drives the blood sugar down which makes the child hungry and crave sugars and carbohydrates which drive the sugar back up so have you have this what`s called a Somogyi reaction where you`re driving it up with reaction to the hypoglycemia and the eating of carbohydrates and chasing with high levels of insulin.
You`ve got to stabilize the insulin and stabilize the diet. You have to. Her life depends upon it. You`ve got some time usually in early childhood to kind of figure this out and get its square. I know it`s hard, but you have to do it
Let me go to Anna in New Jersey very quickly. Anna. Anna, are you there?
ANNA, NEW JERSEY: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Anna.
ANNA: Hi. I`d like to know. I suffer from severe depression since I was a child from a very traumatic sexual abusive childhood.
ANNA: And I`ve been on antidepressants for 20 years.
PINSKY: Have you had trauma treatment? Have you gone to somebody --
ANNA: Yes. Absolutely. And I`ve been on numerous, endless antidepressants for 20 years. And I`m paralyzed at times where I can`t function, yet, when I -- what I`m confused about is when I have my cesareans, I am given Percocet, Vicodin, and all of a sudden, I feel wonderful.
PINSKY: Well, and that`s why -- but listen, be careful. That`s how people get addicted. The opiates block the pain of the trauma and they give you some energy and the mood tends to lift. And it works in the short-term and then it causes another problem. We call that addiction.
So, please, it sounds to me like you`ve had inadequate management of your trauma and that something that takes years to work on many times. There`s obviously people that specializes various techniques out there now, but it can take a long, long time. You have to stay with that person.
And if it`s creating continued pain which clearly it is by just judging by this opiate response, you`ve got to stay with the treatment. I`ll be right back.
PINSKY: All right. A couple things before we finish tonight. I`m going to start doing some segments where I want you guys to send me and call in with questions that embarrass you. That you have difficulty asking. I`m going to -- before the show goes out, I`ll give you an e-mail, we`ll put up an e-mail site where you can send the stuff, too. Obviously, we`re also at HLN.com.
But if things are troubling, confusing, and you just have trouble asking your doctor face to face, I want to answer that stuff here. Also, I want to remind people about the meningitis outbreak. I know it`s preoccupying many people. Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain, the meninges.
Something gets in there, a virus or bacteria and causes a devastating illness, fever, prostration, headache. And in this case, it was introduced because of contamination at a compounding pharmacy. It was a fungus called Exserohilum which doesn`t usually cause illness in humans. It just doesn`t.
So, it had to have gotten in there somehow. CDC figured it out. It came from a compounding pharmacy. Don`t worry that you`re going to somehow catch this thing, because it`s not something you`re going to catch.
But if you had injections like an epidural, subdural -- excuse me, an epidural injection or something for back pain or neck pain, you should be following up your doctor, for sure, because this thing is not over.
Again, I don`t have the e-mail yet. I don`t see it out here yet. I want to thank you -- it`ll be, I guess, kind of round (ph) up. Thank you for watching. Thank you to Stacy London, Georgette Jones, and Jackie Daly. Again, go to HLN.com. There it is, on Dr. Drew. You can ask me those questions. And a reminder, "Nancy Grace" begins right now.