I am Not My Big Fat Ass 1

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. 

About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

One thought on “I am Not My Big Fat Ass

  • Jenn

    Ugh. How frustrating. My own past experiences as a morbidly obese/obese/overweight patient along with anecdotes from others make me very thankful that when I go to the doctor’s office NOW with a complaint, I’m not written off as simply being a fatty whose fatness is killing her.

    So many medical professionals don’t see anything but the # on the scale. Yes, weight can cause or worsen issues, but sometimes issues are there of their own accord, and weight has nothing to do with it! :/

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