Positive Doctor Visit

June 9, 2008 at 10:57 am (medical care)

I went to the doctor the other day, something I’ve been putting off for a long time now. I’ve had such appalling medical care, most of my life. Here’s an example: your tonsils aren’t made of fat. They aren’t fatty tissue. You don’t gain weight in your tonsils. Yet when I complained to a doctor about having tonsils so large they touched and made swallowing, eating, pill taking, and breathing difficult, I was advised to lose weight. Uh… yeah. Helpful. I got them removed ten years later while seeing a different doctor and my health improved drastically.

I’m short and I’m fat, and the go-to assumption among medical folks, including dentists, is that I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Which I don’t. But they always ask me, and then push for me to admit that I have these problems. It’s stressful, because I’m being accused of lying about my health.

So I went to the doctor and they had a large-sized blood pressure cuff right there and used it no problem. My blood pressure? Totally normal. My pulse? Really fast. They asked if I have heart palpitations. (I said no, but I’ve also passed out in the shower once and almost did again last weekend, but that might have been stress related. Might not have been, too. I’ll mention it at the follow up in a few weeks.) They had to give meĀ  a DPT booster, and have special longer needles for fat patients, so the vaccine actually gets into the muscle. I never knew this was an issue, and have never had a longer needle used on me before. The doctor offered me two different sized hospital gowns, one of which was snug and the other was really big but more comfy than the small one.

I have GERD. The doctor did NOT push losing weight. He did not assume I had cholesterol problems or diabetes. He ordered blood work and asked when I’d eaten. I answered, about an hour ago. He said it didn’t sound ilke I was diabetic at all, so blood sugar shouldn’t be a problem and the time of eating shouldn’t matter. He said he was concerned about my thyroid and wanted to focus on that. He did NOT ask about my eating habits, he did ask about my activity level and was fine when I said I walked regularly. He did not suggest weight loss as a solution for my problems, or that my weight was making me unhealthy.

It was, in general, a positive and respectful experience and a completet 180 from my usual medical experiences. I’m surprised and pleased and less nervous about seeing the gyne and derm. I am still in a high state of anxiety about the dentist, but that’s almost completely unrelated to my fat.


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Every Day Fat

June 9, 2008 at 10:48 am (fat, life)

I was walking home the other day when a man in a car pulled up at a stop sign, rolled down his window, leaned out, and screamed obscenities at me. I was walking on a sidewalk on the other side of the street. Among the epitaphs? I’m a fat fucking cow and a land whale. Also, this stranger thinks I should kill myself. Huh. I didn’t know that my being fat was so offensive that a complete stranger felt the need to advise suicide. Oh well, what do I know? I’m not human, I’m an animal… a cow, a whale. I’m so incredibly immense that my only real option is death at my own hands, I guess.

Fuck that noise.

I’m wearing a dress today that has no sleeves. I’m showing off my ham-like upper arms. I don’t usually wear sleeveless stuff less because of my giant beefy arms, but because my armpits are scarred up and I don’t shave my pits regularly because of skin problems. But it’s hot today so fuck it. Everyone gets to see my cheese-pale arms. And possibly my armpits, if they look closely. I don’t really care.

Actually, I do care. I have a short sleeved cardigan with me that I intend to wear while walking home, even though it’s supposed to be another hot day. I am going to wear a sweater in 90 degree weather because the alternative is showing strangers my big fat arms. And I really don’t like when people pull over and verbally abuse me for committing the intense sin of being alive, of existing, of taking up space. So: a sweater that covers my arms, in 90 degree heat.

Once again, most of the fat-related problems I have aren’t due to me being fat. They are due to other people reacting to my fat.

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