by Scott Hardie on September 7, 2011
I wish doctors would treat me like a person, instead of a fat person.
No matter what complaint sends me to the doctor in the first place, within minutes, every visit turns into a conversation about how I need to lose weight, and what will happen if I don't. Like I haven't tried a thousand times to lose weight. Like the problem is that I want to be fat. Like I've never heard of the many, scary consequences before.
Fine, I get it. Their job is to make me healthy, and I will never really be healthy if I'm fat, regardless of the specific issue that sent me to their office. I accept that I have to get The Lecture every time. What I don't accept is being treated RUDELY because I am fat.
I've been suffering a painful stomach bug for eight days now. With over-the-counter medicine, I've been able to suppress the symptoms for a few hours, long enough to get some work done or visit with friends, but it just keeps coming back.
The last time I had food-poisoning symptoms like this, the doctor told me to stop eating and just drink tea or Gatorade for a day, to let my digestive system recover. That time, it worked. This time, it didn't work, despite several tries.
I went in at 7pm to be examined, just as it was getting dark out.
The doctor asked, "What did you have to eat today?"
"Early this morning I felt fine, so I had a little bowl of chicken and noodles, a little frozen entree." I made a circle with my thumbs and index fingers. "But then the symptoms returned, so I haven't had anything since except Gatorade."
"Come on. YOU? Really?" the doctor said with a smirk.
I paused, confused whether he really meant what it sounded like.
He looked down at my bulging belly, then back up at me. "You had to have eaten more today. What else?"
I informed him that, no, I'm not lying, and yes, I'm actually capable of not stuffing my face for a day. He didn't seem to believe me, but he moved on.
"What do you eat in a typical day?"
"Most days, I eat Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers entrees, typically about 5 or 6 of those, about 400 calories each."
"That's impossible. At your weight, to maintain it, you would have to consume over 5000 calories a day."
"Well, there are days when I pig out. And there are meals at restaurants where I lose track of calories. But yeah, on a typical day, I'll have one or two of those little entrees in the morning, and one for lunch, and two or three in the evening. I used to eat fewer of them per day and lost some weight last year, but it got hard and I have other things on my mind now, so I'm eating more of them."
"Come on, be honest with me. What are you REALLY eating?"
I could have hit him. Do you know how frustrating it is to eat nothing but diet food and not lose any weight? And then to have the one person who should be supportive of that diet treat you like shit?
We talked more about those meals, which he had a low opinion of because of their high carbohydrate levels. He said that they can cause the body to store fat well beyond what their supposed calorie level was. Maybe that explains my ongoing weight problem. Or maybe it's any of the dozen other possible explanations that have caused me anxiety for the last year over why I continue to be so fat.
He said that he was pretty sure I was diabetic, judging from my size, so he wanted to have my blood glucose checked. It had nothing to do with the indigestion that sent me in, but fine, I'd just as soon know too.
The nurse came in and pricked my finger with the little machine. The score was 87. That's low, but not dangerous and not diabetic, according to the doctor. You know, it sounds to me like the sort of blood sugar level you'd expect in someone who hasn't eaten since early that morning.
In the end, the doctor wrote a prescription for nausea, even though I felt none, but he wouldn't give me antibiotics for the stomach bug. His suggestion? Stop eating, and drink tea or Gatorade for a day.
Thanks for nothing, asshole.
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The creator of Funeratic, Scott Hardie, blogs about running this site, losing weight, and other passions including his wife Kelly, his friends, movies, gaming, and Florida. Read more »