I am Not My Big Fat Ass

A few weeks ago, I went back to the doctor with my knee. I had hurt it back in July when I fell one night. The doctor I saw a few weeks ago thought it was a soft-tissue injury and that I needed an MRI, but knew that the insurance company would not allow it until after I had an X-ray, so she ordered the X-ray. She told me to come back in three weeks and we would go from there. She also gave me a prescription for three weeks of Mobic, an NSAID similar to Celebrex. I tried to tell her that the Mobic was a bad idea for a variety of issues, including the gastric bypass surgery and the reflux that can’t be controlled with 80 mg of Prilosec and maxed out doses of Gaviscon every day. She said if I had any problems to stop taking it, so when the acid started getting worse, I did just that.

I had my X-ray, tried to ignore the pain, and waited.

On Friday, I went back to the office and was seen by a different doctor, one I’d seen before.1 She didn’t know why I was in before and went on the assumption that it was related to my tendinitis issues from walking. And she had decided that those issues were from…wait for it…my weight. She informed me that I’m obese because apparently I didn’t realize it and was deluded into thinking I had washboard abs. She was upset because my weight loss had slowed down between November and now–and we all know that every other person in the whole world has no problem with losing weight in November, December, and January.2 Her solution for this very unique problem? To go back to losing weight. This weight loss would be aided by Metformin, exercise, and dieting. She asked if I had been on Metformin before. I told her that I had. She asked why. I told her PCOS. She said, “Yeah, some people try take it to help their fertility.”3 She started looking through my records and got super obsessed with the cholesterol again for a moment. You know, the reading that was literally just a few points off the normal levels.4

She then decided that I needed a well-woman exam done by her, despite the fact that I have a OB/GYN–one who is providing me birth control and over-seeing the care of my PCOS & dysfunctional uterine bleeding–to do the exam. I smiled and nodded. I didn’t feel like funneling my annoyance into the massacre of an ink pen.

She went back to the weight issue. She asked me if I had been exercising. I wanted to laugh in her face. Most of the injuries that I had been to their office with over the last six months have involved my exercise routine. I told her that I had been. She asked how much. I said that I was working just under a mile twice a day. This finally shut her up on the idea that I wasn’t trying to lose the weight. She just wants me to try harder, or she will bring up the drugs again.

She decided that she would send me to an orthopedist for my knees. She thinks that I just need more physical therapy and more pool therapy,5 but she didn’t think she could get me in for either quickly enough. So I get to wait weeks for Dottie6 to refer me to the orthopedist or, more likely, to tell me that I need to call around and find out what my insurance will cover.7 I bet that wait will be fun.

Anyway, her big focus during the appointment was not the knee injury that is still causing problems around six or seven months later, but my weight. That’s all that I really was to her in the appointment. My weight. I left feeling like I wasn’t a real person to her or to anyone else. It was a familiar feeling and it was one that I know from experience that I do not enjoy. It’s also one that I know is a bit of a trigger for me. And it is something that has happened with a lot of doctors over the years. I don’t understand how they can feel like they are treating a patient when all they’re doing is breaking that person down.

  1. I think she may be my assigned family doctor for now. 

  2. I had lost 20-30 pounds from November 2013 to November 2014. At least 15 of that occurred after June 2014. 

  3. When I took it, I wasn’t exactly going for the improvement of fertility right at that moment. 

  4. Her attending told her that none of my levels warranted Metformin or any cholesterol medicine, especially given my age and, in the case of the cholesterol medicine, my desire to one day have kids. The attending then told her that it is also a bad idea to put me on them because I may have inherited my mom’s rhabdomyolysis reaction. 

  5. She said that my knees feel like they’re getting weaker. 

  6. Remember her

  7. In other words, she might want me to do her job for her. 

Review: The Proposition

The Proposition
The Proposition by Katie Ashley
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I’m not really sure what other people are seeing in this book when they rate it so highly. It wasn’t good.

Emma is clearly in need of some therapy to get over her fiancé’s death. The dude died four years earlier and she’s still treating it like it’s the first day after his death. I think that her inability to truly get over his death is part of why she is so obsessed with having a baby before she turns thirty. (Unless she has a full-on fertility issue, she shouldn’t be as concerned about being almost 30 and baby-less. And clearly she doesn’t, since it only takes a couple of tries.)

Aidan’s proposition was also pretty shameful and could be considered sexual harassment. He isn’t seducing her. He isn’t really even helping her. He wanted to have sex with her and she turned him down, so he uses her obsession with having a baby to advance his own agenda. That’s not a sign of a caring and giving person.

There were some serious issues with overzealous religious types. Emma’s backwoods family get-together was so trope-y that I almost expect it to be a prequel for Deliverance. I could almost hear the banjos playing in the background as I read. I know a lot of people still have issues with the idea of out of wedlock pregnancies, but these people were a bit over the top about it.

And then there was the male entitlement and slut-shaming. A cleaning lady at the office simply smiled at Aidan and he thought she was being a tease. That’s pretty indicative of some of the more problematic thinking that went on in this book. Of course, it fits in well with the previously mentioned Wanna Baby attitude that Emma has, the religious nuts, and Emma’s judgmental tendencies toward certain sex positions. (Who knew that kitchen sex was trashy? Only Emma and some people who probably have very boring sex lives.) Women are treated as sex objects whose only real importance is to provide pleasure for the men and babies to continue the human race. Basically, women are just ovaries, a uterus, and a vagina, but not in the well-written, let’s-stop-thinking-this-way style of The Handmaid’s Tale. No, this is one that PROMOTES the idea that the only value a woman has is her fertility and her ability to make a guy orgasm. Very, very backwards. Very, very gross.

It was extremely easy to read. Sometimes ease of reading is a good thing, but in this book it most certainly wasn’t. It was too easy to read. There wasn’t really enough going on in the story, which made it too short. It also left it feeling like she didn’t truly put effort into the story. There was a lot of rushing going on and the sex was boring. There was no chemistry between the characters, which meant that the entire story felt very flat.

I knew going into the book that it wasn’t going to be some great work of literature, which is why I waited until I found a copy at my local library. Of course there was a cliffhanger, so the author wants you to pay up so you can find out what happens next. She needn’t have done that because this book was short enough that another 200 pages or so wouldn’t have been some horrifying reading task. I can only assume that she split the book into two parts because she wants the moolah. Well, I have no intention of buying the other books because the quality is so low and the story-line/style is so offensive. I may want to know what happens with these characters, but I will only find out if I stumble across a copy of them at the library. And I really hope that my library doesn’t buy the other books because they could spend that money on much better books.

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Review: The Destiny of Violet & Luke

The Destiny of Violet & Luke
The Destiny of Violet & Luke by Jessica Sorensen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received an ARC from the publisher of The Destiny of Violet & Luke through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.

I would say that this book was an extreme disappointment, except that it wasn’t. It was exactly what I expected from Sorensen. Her stories are extremely formulaic–from the swirling script font choice for the titles to the characters being horribly broken with abusive pasts to the plotless stories where you’re waiting for the inevitable coupling followed by some “cliffhanger” ending where they are torn apart or just the regular issues with things like grammar and spelling. (As this was one that was not self-published, I had hoped that the grammar would be better. That it wasn’t was actually a disappointment.) When it comes to sticking to her formula, Sorensen doesn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, her choice to write such formulaic stories is a disappointment because I think that Sorensen could actually write a really good story if she put a little more effort into it.

There’s nothing truly special about this book or this couple. Yes, they are broken, but this is not any different from any other couple she writes about. The stigmatized virginal girl and misunderstood oversexed boy have been the leads in her Ella and Micha & Callie and Kayden books. The boy having a substance abuse issue isn’t all that unusual, nor is the girl engaging in self-destructive/parasuicidal behaviors and lying to those close to her. I could easily change the names of the characters to those of her other books and have the same stories that I’ve already read by her. There’s not really any respect for the issues that Luke and Violet suffer from. They’re just there to help advance the idea of these characters being poor unfortunate souls.

The relationship and the attraction feels forced. It seems that she was so determined to hook these characters up that she didn’t actually feel the need to describe how these feelings were changing. Their love story needed a little more work, as did the character development. But, again, this is not any different from every other book of hers that I have read. There were no true surprises or developments in any other aspect of the story. The ending issue? It wasn’t something that threw anyone who had been paying attention for most of the book. The only “shocker” is that it drove them apart. It didn’t really change anything within their relationship and they had answers to some of their questions, but it shouldn’t have driven them apart. It seemed that the only reason that it did was that this would allow Sorensen to write yet another book about these characters; a book that will probably be almost exactly like this.

But here’s the completely wackadoodle part of all of this: I still want to know what happens with them. The book may not be special and may be exactly what I’ve read before. The characters may just be the same ones she’s written over and over, but I want to know what happens to them. And THAT is why the book is getting a two-star rating instead of a one-star one. Sorensen has enough writing talent and story-telling skills that even with all this craptasticness I still want to discover what happens to these two broken souls.

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How to be a parent

It’s not unconditional love if you treat a child like they are broken or fundamentally flawed. If you love your child, you accept your child. If you don’t understand what they are going through, talk to experts, check out support/outreach groups, read about it, Google it, and listen to your child. Make sure they know they can come to you and that you will love them no matter what. Create an environment where they can tell you what they are going through, where your support and love are evident. If there are toxic influences that might harm your kid or have harmed them, including religious groups, it is your job as a parent to leave those groups. If it means cutting out extended family members, ending friendships, losing social status, do it. Your child is more important than all of that. There are a lot of things that are difficult for parents, but loving your child should never be one of them.

Year-End Doctoring

Remember when I fell a few months ago? It’s okay if you don’t, since clumsiness is practically my middle name. Well, when I fell, I injured my wrists, ankle, and knee. Doctors checked my wrists and ankle because they actually looked injured. My knee just looked bruised at the time. After a couple of weeks, when everything else was healing, it became apparent that something was really wrong with my right knee. It would burn when it touched anything. I could still walk on it, so I just pretended like it was no big deal. When it hurt a after pool therapy, I’d just chalk it up to overuse. When it hurt after walking, I’d think I walked a little too far or I was too out of shape.

The doctors checked it a couple of times and said that it was related to the Osgood-Schlatter disease, which I accepted. But no matter what I would do, it kept getting worse. Over the weekend, it started cracking and not in the typical mild, yet nauseating Rice Krispie (crepitus) way. It was making loud pops and cracking sounds. Sounds that accompanied pain. The pain goes down and across from around the inside of my right thigh to the back of my knee. It ends at the top of my calf/bottom of my knee. This weekend, the pain was becoming very apparent whenever I’d bend my knee while walking. I can stay off of it and bend my knee and not receive nearly the same level of pain as if I’m walking around. But I want to make sure that that’s the appropriate treatment for it.

I accepted that I’m going to have to go to the doctor and tell them exactly what’s going on and how the issue has progressed. Hopefully, they will have an idea for something to help, since ice packs and Voltaren rubbed on it aren’t really doing much. Last time I went in, they said I might have to go see an orthopedist, which is an idea that my mom fully supports–especially after I told her about the cracking. I have an appointment in about an hour from now, so *fingers crossed* that I will get the help I need. If not, I guess I will learn to deal with the pain. I don’t really have much of a choice otherwise.

Wish me cracking-less knees.

AP Stylebook: Preferred Pronoun

“Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.”

AP Stylebook on Transgender Pronoun Usage
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Random blog posts since 2001. Other randomness since 1984.