Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Possibly Vulgar Rant About Health "Care"

I went to the doctor today because I've been losing time.  Three times now, in conversations, I have zoned out and come to, realized that the conversation has moved on, and had NO IDEA how we got from where we were to where we are.  The sensation was very similar to highway hypnosis, if you've ever had that.  It's very disorienting and freaky.  I had it on "watch" status for a couple days, until I spoke to Monica about it yesterday and she told me that Craig had asked her about me doing the same thing when he and I got into a discussion about religion a couple of weeks ago.  He said that toward the end of the conversation I got really quiet (anyone who knows me knows that this is totally unlike me) and he couldn't tell if he had offended me or what.  No, I had checked out on him, too.  I immediately emailed the doctor's office.

I couldn't get in with my usual doctor, and then there was a scheduling problem (the nurse put the appointment in at 1 and told me 1:30) so I ended up seeing a doctor I saw once before and wasn't very impressed with, and his student nurse practitioner.

The nurse did a very thorough evaluation of me, a full neuro exam to rule out all kinds of causes too scary to think about.  They're going to do bloodwork tomorrow, but for now my diagnosis is social anxiety.

BJ laughed when he heard that.  "You're the least socially anxious person I know!" he said.

The thing that pisses me off more than the diagnosis I'm not sure about (yes, I have anxiety, yes, the three conversations where this happened were heated or stressful or controversial, but no, I'm not sure that they were so heated or so stressful that they would cause me to dissociate!  Certainly I have had more heated, more stressful conversations where my mind hasn't chosen to go to its happy place without taking me along) is that the doctor took it upon himself to remind me that I'm a giant fat cow and that everything would be PERFECT if I lost weight.

I swear to you, I could go to the doctor with two broken legs, and they would tell me to lose weight.

When I was at my thinnest adult weight, right before I got pregnant with Jack, I was getting the SAME thing...  So I know that plus or minus 20 pounds doesn't really matter - when you're a woman it all comes down to the number on the scale.

Concerned that you're getting hair where girls don't grow hair?  You're fat.  Concerned that you have spells when you lose time and that you might be driving with your kids in the car the next time it happens?  You're fat.  Concerned about the fact that your skin is in worse shape than it was when you were a teenager?  Fat.  Tired?  Fat.  Migraine?  Fat.  Depressed?  Fat.  Dandruff?  Fat.  Athlete's foot?  Fat.  Sinus infection?  Hey, while you're here, let me remind you with a concerned look on my face that you are fat...

Then the shaming started - "You'd be setting such a good example for your kids if you'd eat better and exercise..."  Oh FUCK YOU doctor nobody, you don't even KNOW my kids.  You've never SEEN my kids.  Do not PRESUME to know anything about my kids based on seeing me TWICE in my life.

(I told you this might get vulgar).

((Jeez, all the new scouts friends I've added on Facebook are going to read this.  All the neighbors I've added because of the neighborhood association....  Oh hell with it.  This is me.  I try not to swear in front of people under 18.  I'm not perfect.  I probably swear because I'm fat.))

...And I just sat there and took it.  I said, "My kids are healthy.  My husband is too.  My whole family is..." I said, choking back tears, determined NOT to cry in front of this jerk.

He told me, and I swear I am not making this up, to maybe consider eating fruits and vegetables instead of cookies and chips and pretzels.  As if that had never occurred to me in my entire life.  He said to eat Lean Cuisine instead of fast food for lunch.  Yeah, that'll help.  My highest ever blood pressure was when I was eating Smart Ones all the time trying to lose weight before I had kids - all the sodium.  170/110, and I got to wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours for my trouble.  I quit the "diet" and it came back down to normal.

I said, "I lost 50 pounds between when I had my second child and when I had my son.  I know how to lose weight.  And our diet is very healthy.  I cook from scratch.  I'm a very good cook.  That's probably half my problem..."  I sat there thinking, "Why am I justifying myself to this asshole?" and "You could stand to lose a few too, doc."  At one point I almost poked his belly, and said, "Hee hee!" just to shut him the hell up.

And what really, really kills me is that there is SO MUCH MORE to me than the number on the scale or what size pants I wear.  People LOVE me.  I am kind.  I do so much for people and expect nothing in return (neighborhood president, scouts, helping at the school, etc.).  I am smart.  I am good.  I am interesting.  I am an amazing mother.  I'm an awesome wife.  I take care of people - whether they're mine or not.  I listen to people.  I care about people.  I'm hilarious.  My house is spotless, even though I have three small kids in it.  I am the KoolAid Mom of the neighborhood, and every kid in our neighborhood of 100 houses knows that if they're in trouble they can come to me.  I save dogs when they're running loose.  I give money to charities for my friends' birthdays.  I'm a great freaking cook.  In fact, I'd probably be a hell of a lot thinner if I didn't make such awesome cookies.  I have an excellent credit score and almost no debt (student loans and car loans - that's it).  My kids are LOVED.  I have read to them every single day since they were born.  I work really, really hard at being EXCELLENT at everything I am and everything I do.

But I weigh over 200 pounds.  207 pounds, actually, at 5 foot 4 inches tall, and so until that changes, I will never, ever be good enough.





(Personally, I think the real problem is too much stress and not enough sleep, and taking care of everyone except Amy for the past many months, but I'll get the labs they ordered done just to be sure.  And after over a year of problems with the Mirena, I finally made an appointment to have it removed.  I'll just deal with the side effects, up to and including babies.  And I may go off the Zoloft entirely, too, to just give my body a chance to heal and equalize without all these synthetic chemicals and artificial hormones.  I think it's no coincidence that I was able to lose all that weight when I was trying to conceive Jack - I wasn't on birth control.  My skin was awesome, too.  And I felt good.  Better than I feel now, anyway, until I got pregnant and the anxiety ramped up again before I even knew I was pregnant.  And maybe I'll go see Mom's acupuncture guy.  But I swear to God I'll kick his ass if he mentions losing weight.)

10 comments:

Rob Monroe said...

Honey, you are good enough. I have had doctors say stupid things and dwell on them, and that is NOT helpful. (I still dwell on a conversation from 8 years ago from a doctor that I met exactly ONE time for less than 20 minutes.)

Always remember the things you JUST said:
I am smart. I am good. I am interesting. I am an amazing mother. I'm an awesome wife. I take care of people - whether they're mine or not. I listen to people. I care about people. I'm hilarious.

YOU ARE AWESOME.

Kathryn said...

Let's talk when you come for the b-day party. Rob is right, and I can say with confidence that many, many doctors are jerks - I am and have been related to some.

Amy Austin said...

Rob - you rock. XOXOXO

Kathryn - it's a date. And I snorted a little when I read your comment. :)

Bev said...

"I probably swear because I'm fat." just cracked me up. My mom who is 85 always got that response to EVERY physical problem she saw a doctor for so I was kind of prepared. I'm very overweight but entertain myself by watching how tough it is for doctors to give me test results because all my numbers (except weight of course) are in the normal range. One doctor said "I could consume only water and my cholesterol and blood pressure would be high while yours are normal." He was obviously so disgusted he nearly spit the words out...disgusted with me! This is too long but weight is only a number; you have such a magnificent life surrounded by so much love and support.

Robyn Fahler said...

The doctors drive me nuts too. Like it isn't obvious to me that I am over weight. The truth of the matter is that while I don't eat perfect I don't eat enough that I should weigh what I do. Did it ever occur to the doctors that the weight is a symptom and not a cause. A couple of times recently I have actually felt full, and I realized after these incidents that it is not normal for me to feel full. When I feel full not even sweets are tempting. So what is wrong with me that it is so rare for the true feeling of fullness to occur. It is a pain to have someone rant on you about your weight, it isn't like you don't rant on yourself enough. I know I notice every time I look in a mirror or go to buy new clothes. Just keep thinking about all the good things you do Amy!

Robyn Fahler said...

The doctors drive me nuts too. Like it isn't obvious to me that I am over weight. The truth of the matter is that while I don't eat perfect I don't eat enough that I should weigh what I do. Did it ever occur to the doctors that the weight is a symptom and not a cause. A couple of times recently I have actually felt full, and I realized after these incidents that it is not normal for me to feel full. When I feel full not even sweets are tempting. So what is wrong with me that it is so rare for the true feeling of fullness to occur. It is a pain to have someone rant on you about your weight, it isn't like you don't rant on yourself enough. I know I notice every time I look in a mirror or go to buy new clothes. Just keep thinking about all the good things you do Amy!

morganna said...

I am so sorry you were treated like that. I hope you can figure out what is going on.

Vacationland Mom said...

F*** that guy!!! That is GRRRRRRRRRR I want to kick his ass. Anyhoo, just wanted to chime in, but also mention that I'm on Zoloft too. If I even miss 1 day of it, I get dizzy off and on all day. I have an IUD but it is the Paraguard so no hormones. A few years back I went to the doc's that I was having these weird dizzy spells like all the time, for months, they never figured out what it was. OK I'm rambling, but def write to me if you want to talk about Zoloft, maybe it has to do with that?

Kim said...

Well, let me tell you something. You are fine just the way you are. It doesn't matter what the number on the scale says - what matters is if you are healthy FOR YOUR BODY TYPE. And I, personally, thought you looked BETTER when you had more weight. Skinny ass Amy doesn't look like HAELTHY Amy,to me. Don't let this imbecile define you by a number.

And BTW - it doesn't matte rif the scale goes higher than it should or lower than it should. I went ot the ER once and had some quack tell me that all MY problems were related to my thinness. Yeah, those headaches? Because I was too thin. The rash? Because I was too thin. My High Blood Pressure? Because I was too thin. Of course, this doctor didn't KNOW me, and didn't know about my health issues, and htat MAYBE the thinness had to do with the fact that I can't eat solid food 2 weeks out of the month - he just offered that ALL my problems were as a esult of my thinness, not that my problems were the CAUSE of the thinness.

Stick with a doctor that KNOWS your history. And KNOWS you are healthy.

This guy is an idiot. And I feel for the people who see him regularly. Of course, I'm sure they are all skinny ass epople with a BMI of 0 and low self esteem. And they are nowhere near as happy as you are.

Heather said...

You know, I read an article in one of those parent magazines or whatever that said almost EXACTLY this, only worse: the lady was a regular jogger and went in because she'd taken a fall and her ankle was really bothering her. She got the weight lecture. Two weeks later the ankle still hurt, so the guy rolled his eyes and scheduled her for x-rays, and OH LOOK, she had a fracture. Yes. The "two broken legs" thing you mention in your post? HAPPENED. She had broken bones and this ass was more interested in telling her that it probably wouldn't hurt if she didn't weigh so much.

If it were me, Amy, you wonderful kind person you, I would strongly advise you to turn off your "be nice to strangers" filter and tell him exactly what was on your mind. He started it when he was shitty to you - you are perfectly justified in being shitty right back.

Curious. What's this guy's name, so I can avoid him?