I’m fat, I’m not deaf. Yet.
I began studying nutrition during my pregnancy. After hearing doctor after doctor complain about my fat (as if I did not know I was fat), and knowing I was indeed larger than I was comfortable with, I wanted to prevent the doomed forecast of diabetes in the future predicated by the gestational diabetes, in addition to a genetic predisposition from the paternal grandparental units. And I still did not want to look like my dear, large, non-blood related auntie.
But I was suffering. I had such pain in my feet I could hardly walk. I finally broke down and went to the doctor. He asked me to walk in front of him. He explained to me I was fat, and the heel of my foot splayed out, i.e., squished and flattened out when I walked, putting pressure on the bottom of my foot because I was fat. He did not give the condition a name. He did not offer pain relief either in medication or home remedies. He did not offer to refer me to a specialist for further diagnosis (like a name for the pain!). He did not offer any suggestions whatsoever for any changes to give me any relief. And he walked out the door.
I trotted my little flip-flops right out of that office and spent the next four hours on the internet. He could have googled it as well as I did. I had plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the muscle that covers the bottom of the foot. Pain relief can be found with elevation, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen), ice applications, and proper foot support. I took an ibuprofen, wrapped my feet with ice and ace bandages, and put them up on a cushion for half an hour. Yes. I felt better.
I bought supportive sports shoes and lightweight socks to wear at work where I am on my feet or not depending. No more easy, breezy flip-flop girl, but within two weeks the pain was much less. No thanks to the doctor who still wanted to be paid.
I had a pain in the little bit of skin/muscle tissue on the front of the mons, you know that little fatty pubic area women have in the front. The pain lasted more than a few days so I went to the doctor. He explained to me I was fat. He asked me why I had come to see him, after he examined the area that hurt. I said “Um, because you’re a doctor and I hurt there? Because you’ve always been kind to my son when I brought him to you?” Not the right answer, I guess. He had no explanation for the pain nor suggestions for pain relief, and recommended I get a female exam by one of their female nurse practitioners. I did so even though the pain was not inside, but outside. The female exam showed nothing. I was still in pain with no answer as to why and two bills to pay. I applied some heat packs to the area to achieve relief. It worked.
I had some symptoms my consultant thought had to do with my heart (because I’m fat). I had extreme stress in my life at the time which the medical consultant never asked about. She listened to my symptoms and my heart and took an in-office EKG, then referred me to a cardiologist, who wanted me to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours. As the technician applied the electrodes I mentioned I was allergic to surgical adhesive and soon I’d have blisters. The tech said, “Oh, that can’t happen.” Furious, through gritted teeth, I said “I hope you are here tomorrow to remove the electrodes”. When I returned the next day the tech was quite shocked at the large watery blisters around every electrode she’d applied. “Well, I’ve never seen that before. That’s not supposed to happen.” Like I lied about my PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE. The heart monitor showed nothing. I had no answer, and another bill to pay. My “primary” offered me anti-depressants. I declined.
For more than thirteen years I had been exhausted, suffered constant nausea, muscle spasms, random pains, headaches, facial pain, but every doctor I mentioned these things to went no further than to mention my fat. I have sleep problems with a certain kind of nasal distress at night, I am told it is because I am fat but no testing is recommended or referred. I was never tested for anything other than diabetes or high blood pressure, or the standard cholesterols etc, you can read in a blood test. Because, of course, you can SEE my fat. You can’t see any of the other things that might be causing my pains or my fatigue or my fat.
I had done some research on mercury poisoning and I was fairly sure I was showing some symptoms. I took the paperwork I’d accumulated to an appointment and offered it to my “primary” telling her what I’d found out and requesting a mercury test. She refused to take the information and tried to blow me off by explaining the tests for heavy metals were very expensive and hard to get approved for insurance coverage unless you were showing obvious signs of poisoning. Like the blistering and peeling inside my mouth right next to the mercury placements weren’t obvious enough? No, not obvious enough. She would not read the information nor request the tests.
The other thing? I’ve had huge boobs since I was young. Not one doctor ever has suggested breast reduction surgery. Ever. Backaches? Headache? Mmm.