Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

My Doctor Listened to Me.

Hey look it’s me, in my natural state. Flipping everyone the bird!

I turn my back for one minute… and douchebags find my blog.


I come back and there’s a bunch of “stupid liberal” bullshit in my comment queue.  They always seem to pop up when I’m not updating regularly, like they don’t know that I moderate all comments or how that works, and think it might slip in or something.

They probably don’t.


Anyway, I had a doctor’s appointment today.  I’ve had some ongoing hormonal issues, thinning head hair, increase in hair elsewhere.  When I brought these up to my last doctor, the horrible one, her response was, “Well, if you want I can diagnose you with PCOS and give you metformin.”

A.  Um, not diabetic even a little.  And no matter how hard she tried, she could not read my test results as “pre-diabetic.”  My blood sugar is FINE.

B.  I have never had an ovarian cyst, in fact that last time I had an ultrasound the tech actually squee-ed* over how textbook perfect my uterus and ovaries were.  I’m gonna guess that since you have Poly CYSTic Ovarian Syndrome, as the name of the condition, that having cysts is probably pretty important to a diagnosis of it.

When I pointed these two factors out, she got pissy with me and accused me of not wanting any help.

So, I said fuck it, and went on my merry way, dealing with increasingly thin hair and five o’clock shadow on my own.

Today, when I talked to my current doctor and mentioned the abortive PCOS diagnosis, he sort of turned his head sideways and said, “Why on earth would she diagnose PCOS?  You don’t have any symptoms.”   Then we sat down and discussed what was going on, how long it had been going on, what steps I had already taken to try to deal with it on my own, and he ordered a blood draw and said he’d call me in a day or two once he had those results, but he’s pretty sure he knows what we need to do, he just wants to check my thyroid just in case because of family history.

Before I left, I thanked him for listening, and for not just blaming it and everything else on my fat.

He smiled and said, “If you want that kind of abuse you can just record a message on your phone and play it over and over.  I’m here to help you.”

And this is why he’s my doctor.  Well, that and he laughed out loud when I said, “You know, I just started being comfortable with my size, and now my body’s all, ‘Oh, here’s MORE things for you to be insecure about. Have fun!’  Fuck my endocrine system.”

Thin people do not realize how fucking fraught going to the doctor can be, when you know you’re going to have to fight with them to seriously look at your concerns.  It’s tiring.  You don’t want to do it, especially when you already feel like crap and you know you’re going to have to put up with yet more bullying from someone who is supposed to help you, in order to get anything taken care.  I’ve been accused of lying about my diet, about my levels of exercise by doctors and nutritionists.  It sucks and it makes you not want to go, even when you need to.  When you need an anxiety med just to get in the door, hell yes your blood pressure’s going to be through the roof.

So finding an honest to god good doctor who treats you like a real human being can sometimes feel like a miracle.

Sorry about the prolonged absence there.  I’ll try to be more on top of things.  I know there are an assload of things to blog about.  I just had to take a news diet for my own mental health.


*I’m not kidding.  She squealed and said, “Oh my GOD! You have the cutest uterus I’ve ever seen!”  It ranks up there as one of the weirdest compliments I’ve ever gotten. 

11 comments on “My Doctor Listened to Me.

  1. Kristin
    July 25, 2012

    Your third-to-last paragraph is exactly what I wish I could make everyone understand. I’ve been dealing with severe lower back pain for most of my life and have a recent relapse of my more severe flares. I was actually scolded by my manager for “leaving it too long,” meaning that she was frustrated that when my back went out, I put off going to the doctor until it got so bad that I figured something was really wrong. Um, I know my body and I’ve been dealing with this for 20 years and I know that this will either go away or it won’t. If it doesn’t, then I’ll take steps to fix it.
    In the meantime, I do not wish to subject myself to the fraught of which you speak. I just don’t think she GETS what it is like to be a fat woman having to go the doctor.

    I’m so glad to hear you found a good one. They’re few and far between.


  2. Kat Lemmer
    July 25, 2012

    Curious what he finds. I have thinning hair, hair where I don’t want it and I was diagnosed with PCOS. I didn’t have all the symptoms, but I had enough and treating it some clomid finally helped me get knocked up (which I suspect you’re not looking to do but explaining my end of it). Anyway, curious as to what he says. Good luck, goddess!


    • polimicks
      July 25, 2012

      Basically those are the ONLY two symptoms I had. And they can be explained by other things more readily. So, we’re starting a course of this drug whose name I cannot remember.


  3. Shannon R
    July 25, 2012

    I was diagnosed with PCOS (well, more or less, no one looked at the ovaries, but I had all the right symptoms). The first doctor I talked to about it entirely chalked it up to my weight…when I was a freshman in college, gaining her Freshman Fifteen (or 20, or so). The next doctor was wonderful & understanding and took me seriously and wanted to help. We signed on with a new doc, and when I mentioned getting more exercise (not for weight loss, just to move more), her responses were all negative, all weight related, and pretty blase, and ended with “Try walking” “I already walk a lot, I was looking for something else that would be a little more time effective but not hard on my knees” “Try walking more.”

    So we’re in the market for a new doctor…ugh


    • polimicks
      July 25, 2012

      The last straw with my doctor was when she informed me I needed to quit drinking soda. When I told her I didn’t drink soda, she accused me of lying and told me, again, to quit drinking it.

      That and, “You can’t be as healthy as you say you are.” Ok, you have my numbers right there in front of you, you just read them to me. The phrase “excellent cholesterol profile” finds its way into my results EVERY FUCKING YEAR.

      I really wish doctors could see how their fatphobia negatively impacts their ability to competently treat their patients.


      • Shannon R
        July 25, 2012

        Yeah, I’ve heard cut back on soda (I don’t drink soda), drink less alcohol (I won’t say I don’t drink, but realistically it adds up to 2-3 drinks/month), etc, and when I explained that the only times I’ve ever lost any significant weight were when I was being really unhealthy (or super sick and barfing everywhere), like when I was so upset when i first went to grad school and would go for a whole day on half a ham sandwich (no mayo, no cheese), she essentially told me that since I admit I’ve lost weight in the past, I can do it again, totally ignoring how horrifyingly badly I was treating myself, and the fact that I wasn’t looking for weight loss advice.

        And yet: blood sugar is fine (even with the PCOS), cholesterol is grand, good on vitamins & minerals, good heart…

        But yay for good doctors, the ones who make it worthwhile to come back because they’re proud of the health you have and concerned about the health issues you ACTUALLY have, not the ones they ascribe to you!


  4. Carla H.
    July 25, 2012

    So glad you got one of the good ones!

    Not my doctor (who is utterly cool) but his nurse dismissed my shortness of breath as a consequence of my weight and age. Which we now know is B.S. because a) plenty of fat women walk more than 10 feet without gasping for air and b) Pulmonary Embolism, which I had.


  5. Ms. Teddy
    July 25, 2012

    And this is why I see a specialist in Downtown Seattle who runs hours late – and yes, I miss A LOT of appointments due to anxiety and I don’t get in as often as I should, but he listens and he refers me to other doctors who listen. And then, they do stuff and it helps! So glad you found a good one too!


  6. Tammy
    July 25, 2012

    I haven’t had insurance for awhile. I don’t have a lot of options for my health care. I am thankful that Country Doctor is supportive and has a generally “no questions asked” policy about changing doctors within the clinic. The doctor I’d been seeing is thin w/high cholesterol. Some of my numbers got a bit borderline and she threatened to put me on Metformin if I didn’t get them down. I made a few changes and 3 months later they tested again and I was down 30 points. That didn’t even get me a “good job” – just an admonition that I need to do more. She always seemed to be annoyed that most of my numbers were good.

    The last long migraine I had I ended up seeing a natural path – my regular doc wasn’t available. He set up for me to have sitting, standing, and lying down blood pressure taken to see if that was an issue. The specially trained tech came in and immediately changed out the blood pressure cuff. She apologetically explained it was a leg cuff but the fact is my arms are too large for their regular cuffs. Funny thing – when the right size cuff is used my blood pressure went down 20 points. It was in a good range anyway – that put it into REALLY GOOD range.

    I continued to see my regular doc for awhile because I’m not sure how I feel about seeing a natural path as my GP.

    Only problem was I was starting to have serious anxiety and elevated BP when I had to go to a doctor appointment – even just a check-up.

    Finally, I got a recommendation for another doctor there. I went in. She advised me about changes in how often I needed to have paps and breast exams as long as I’m healthy and the results are normal. She looked at my records and told me as long as I keep my numbers where they are I’m fine (though if I lowered my triglycerides that would be best). Told me to keep up with the exercise I’ve been doing. Congratulated me on my decision to stop using artificial sweeteners.

    I don’t feel like I need to avoid going to the doctor anymore. I’m glad you found a good doctor. Maybe we can both get our ACTUAL issues dealt with now.


  7. Stax
    July 26, 2012

    about damn time you had a good doctor. I am still glad you left that last one. Ugh. She made me stabby, on a regular basis, and I never even met her.


  8. Lori Priebe
    July 26, 2012

    When I was in my mid-twenties I had an embaressing set of symptoms that would not go away. I tried several doctors; I was told I was heavy, losing weight would eventually fix the problem. I was told that these happen to all women, and that some “just have them more often.”

    Evnetually, I was at the ER with a flare up and I met a doctor there who was like “Tell me what’s up” and I did, and he said, “Hmm, here’s some drugs to deal with the issue now, but get thee to a specialist, here’s one I recommend.”

    Turns out he had his own practice at the hospital, so I made an appt there and he was still cool, even when he wasn’t in the ER. The specialist found the root cause of the problem. The doctor was probably not the best bedside manner guy ever–“yup, it seriously hurts when you mess up a muscle that way, try not to do it again”–but he helped me realize that medicine is a service that you pay for and that you can actually continue to look until you find someone decent to pay.

    I have an AWESOME ARNP now, who is actually more overweight than I am. When I come in we chat about our strategies for staying active and trying to eat better. I feel like she’s in it with me. I hope every woman knows that if her doctor sucks, she can shop around. Even HMO’s let you change physicians if the one they have assigned doesn’t work for you.

    Glad you are getting the help you need; I’ve noticed my hair thinning, but thankfully, no other hair appearing. As it tends to happen to women in my family, I hadn’t thought much about it, but I’ll mention it to my ARNP when I see her next.


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This entry was posted on July 25, 2012 by in Fat, Featured Articles, It's All About Me.

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