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 me  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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