Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I Might Have A Weight Problem

Yesterday I went to the gynecologist and boy what fun it was! Going to the doctor means one thing for me: Getting weighed in.

I always expect some sort of comment on my weight. I think this keeps me from being the full fledged hypochondriac that I know I could be if only I was at a decent weight. I’d go to the doctor for a hangnail if I didn’t think he’d tell me I had the hangnail because I was fat. Yesterday proved no different.

The first thing they did was weigh me. And, because I’m creepy, I started taking my flip flops off as if that would make me weigh any less. I noticed the nurse look at me, obviously thinking the same as me. Like these flip flops weigh 50 lbs or something and are really going to make a difference in my weight. So, I cracked a joke about the flip flops making me pounds lighter. The nurse didn’t find it funny. Obviously, she’s not as funny as I am. Poor her.

When I finally got into the examining room, the unfunny nurse handed me the paper dress that was supposed to fit but so, so, so obviously didn’t. I learned my lesson from last year that the short coat should be worn backwards so that it “closed” in the back. This didn’t help at all because the thing was so short that I looked like a football player with my tits covered but my big belly hanging out. Then I tried to cover my lap with tiny paper hand towel she gave me which I guess is supposed to wrap around my body? I’ve decided that my new business venture is going to be plus sized smocks. I’m going to be a billionaire!

So, the doctor finally came in and the first thing she asks me is if I’m comfortable at my weight. I told her the truth that no, I wasn’t and that yes, I was trying to lose the weight but everyday is a struggle…as if I’m an alcoholic…but I guess I’m an eataholic. She also went ape-shit when I told her that I was on weight watchers, (which isn’t true), and told me how many of her friends love it and have lost weight, blah blah blah. The doctor was skinny, so she can go fuck herself.

Sadly enough, she didn’t stop there. She went on to tell me that if I stay at my current weight and try to get pregnant, it will be very hard. And, because it will be so hard I will need to take insulin shots everyday to make my body think I’m diabetic because supposedly diabetics are more fertile. I already think I’m a diabetic, (see that part above about me being a hypochondriac), but I didn’t think things were this bad. Thankfully, I am in no way getting preggers any time soon, so I’m going to try to stash that info away in the back of my brain like I do with all unpleasant things like me ordering garlic bleu cheese fries this past weekend.

I do want to note, she was very, very nice and I think she's a good doctor, but I feel doctors bring my weight up as if I didn't realize I was fat. It's not invisible. It's not a tumor I can't see lodged in my gut...I'm fat. I know this.

All in all, having her stick things up me while I was spread eagle on the table turned out to be better than having her tell me I was going to be a diabetic mother…if I can conceive at all that is.


Anonymous said...

Hey there--

Love your blog! Can so totally relate. My doctor was great, except I got so tired of him looking at the weight on my chart and tsk-tsking about the number, but offering me no real insight or help. (The one year I showed up having lost 50 lbs, he said nothing at all. And another year, when I very earnestly said, "Well, I'm on Weight Watchers," he said, "Anyone can lose weight, but very few people can keep it off." Thanks for the encouragement, asshole. Still wondering why the fuck I wa so worried about getting his approval...)

I'm sorry...what's the point of bringing it up, then, to make me feel bad? Because I don't need to visit a doctor to do that. Maybe you could just check and make sure I don't have cervical cancer, instead of demonstrating your grasp on the obvious, OK? Thanks a lot. Dumbass.

Anyway, I made the switch for my annual this year (just went last week, actually) and was shocked--and psyched--when I got to the office and there was absolutely no weighing involved at all--there wasn't even a scale in the exam room. If you're the NYC half writing this post, I can refer you, it's a very cool office.

Sorry you had such a sucky time, even if she was a nice person. And women of all sizes get pregnant all the time...that's not something she can pronounce just by looking at you.


Anonymous said...

I am an OB-GYN. I don't weigh my patients. I don't give them advice about their weight. I make them promise that if they find a magic pill they will call me up immediately so I can take it too.

My goal, for myself, is do the best I can. My advice as a doctor is "Do the best you can and always wear a seat belt in a car even if you have to buy an extender."

Ducky said...

I totally relate to your doctor woes. It took me two years to get my thyroid condition diagnosed because, of course, I'm just "fat and depressed". The fact that my thyroid got huge and I gained 60 pounds around the same time didn't really seem to make a difference to them.

Also, in all the research I've done, I've never found conclusive evidence that fat women have more trouble getting pregnant than other women.

luckybuzz said...

Just stumbled across your blog a couple days ago. It rocks. And I'm a geek, so I thought, damn, there IS a fortune to be made in plus sized disposable smocks, and I wonder if anyone actually does make them? So I did a big ol' search to see if they exist somewhere, anywhere, and while I found plus-sized hospital gowns, it was a no-go on the paper exam gowns. So yeah. That's a damn fine business venture. And a fine blog.

Anonymous said...

About the insulin thing,

I have PCOS (poly cystic ovaries). It can make people fat. I really don't eat, I exercise, and I'm still considered "overweight" because I have it. In high school I was working out something like 20 hours a week (karate, ballet, overscheduled like crazy) and still wasn't really considered skinny--it's just that messed up.

Now, PCOS is supposedly caused by insulin resistance, and both cause infertility.

And since insulin resistance causes weight gain, slow metabolisms, and such, and may be present in 1/10 of the human population to some degree or another (most people aren't as bad off as me, although MANY are worse, poor schmucks), then to some people fat = infertile.

But it's not so. I mean, you could just be overweight. But if there's any degree of period-funkyness or PCOS going on, then yeah, you might have to have some fertility procedures to get and stay pregnant. But in that case it's not because of the fat, it's because of the underlying medical reason that a person can't lose weight.

Izzy said...

Oh my god, why did you get the garlic blue cheese fries?! I want them now!

PS - You and your plus-sized smocks can join my business venture with a friend: plus sized accessories. Sunglasses and headbands just never seem to fit our huge domes!

emily pound said...

Sounds like a scare tactic and bullshit to me about having to get insulin shots etc. to get pregnant ... I was 265 pounds when I got pregnant with my daughter, and she was born normal and healthy, by the way.

Don't you just hate those speculums? I'm convinced a real woman-hater designed those things.

jrochest said...

I grew a massive ovarian cyst back in the early 90's: the thing weighed about 40 pounds. The real difficulty was getting diagnosed: both I and my doctor just assumed that I was getting fat, and I'd go in and say "but I'm not eating any more and I'm pretty active and all this 'weight' seems to be sitting in one place" only to have my doctor tell me that I was a disgusting fat pig who needed to diet.

It wasn't until a nurse friend of mine poked me in my stomach and said "It's hard, and that's not what fat feels like" that I went to another Doctor. This one thought I was pregnant, but at least that was easy to disprove.

The irony is that if I'd noticed it earlier I'd have kept the ovary it was attached to, and I'd not have the weight problem I currently do have.

doggerham said...

I was at the doc Monday to look at my elbow, having wiped out on my bike. the line I got was "Insurance requires we weigh you, and they won't pay if we don't".

Bullshit -- my OB-GYN will write down what I tell them my WW weight was, and there's never been a problem. OK maybe if I told them something like I weigh 106!

Oh, I just said -- well, I'm uninsured, nursie. Oh, and I weighed 219 this morning, and that's good enough for THIS Paying Customer!

Anonymous said...

I totally gave up on the examination gowns because they were a joke. I ended up just buying and using a plus size hospital gown from .

Though, saints be praised, I switched insurance companies and therefore doctors a couple of years ago and am now a patient of the most wonderful woman ever. Because she works with a lot of large patients, she doesn't even use gowns! What...working around my clothes in order to make me feel comfortable?! What kind of craziness is this!?

That being said...I'm still avoiding going to the new gyno. But when I do I'll damn sure be bringing my own gown!


Anonymous said...

Oops. God damn that wiley html!


Cassandra said...

First time I've ever been to your blog, and I'm laughing my ass off. You're too funny!! Thanks for adding some humor to this daily battle of the bulge!!

mainja said...

somewhere (maybe here) i left a big long comment about the whole "doctor compelled to tell me i'm fat and it's not healthy at every single visit" thing. how i couldn't understand why she thought it was helping. does she think i haven't noticed? does she think i think i just have *really* particular tastes in clothes and that's why they're so hard to find? *eyeroll*
the funny thing is, in all other respects i LOVE my doctor. but i swear, this keeps me from going as much because i HATE that lecture.

Anonymous said...

Know the feeling.. well, about the dox hating the overweight bit (and smoking also!!!) Mind you, at least we don't have to pay to see our quacks aver here...(yet)
Reckon that as long as you're happy with your body size, don't worry.
(PS re the asshole- try seeing if he enjoys his spuds up where the sun don't shine (if it isn't so big that they fall straight out...)

shryve said...


I find that Doctors and Nurses are most often nice when they are being Fat-o-phobic.

I like my Doc who is grumpy and gives ya one "lose weight" and moves on from there.


Jen said...

Sometimes I think doctors know as much as we do and they had to do a hell of a lot of schooling to get there. Who knows our bodies better than us? I know you are not trying or thinking about getting pregnant, but I was 297 when I got knocked up. I went to family planning a few years before that and was told to lose weight if I wanted to get pregnant...I wasn't really trying - just curious. Bullshit. When I got pregnant I wasn't trying...the condom broke or maybe we just forgot it. Anyway, my sister has been trying to get prego for 10 years and she is over 100 pounds lighter than me. So, if weight was an issue, why did I get pregnant and she didn't?
I also didn't have gestational diabetes and a friend that is 1/2 my size did. Why is weight such an issue for medical providers? Yes I know know I'm fat. I think if you ask them what their most favorite thing in the world is and ask them to cut back how they would react. Now that I have a healthy daughter, food is no longer the love of my life, but it is still up there. From past experience of losing a shit load of weight...you will do it when you are ready. AND when you are no longer ready you will put it back on.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, as much as it sucks to get the "fat lecture" from your doc (and I've been there), they have an obligation to say these things to their patients because it's a health issue. I would rather get a lecture than not, because at least then I know that my doc is addressing the issue. It shows that your doc cares. Yes, I'm sure there are the odd dickhead docs who just don't like fat people, but the majority of them aren't actually just trying to hurt your feelings.


Moonvine said...

If a nurse wants to weigh me I just say "no thanks" and keep walking right past the scale.

I also don't go to doctors that bug me about my weight (or even mention it really).

I think all this is good because, while I am basically healthy, I don't hesitate or dread going to the doctor when I'm sick.

Haystacks said...

Alot of Doctors don't know what they are doing. I am really lucky, my Doctors the bomb. But I have gone to friggen docs who want to give you pills for everything, and thing being fat is somehow a curse on the world.