I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It isn't the first time I have encountered someone who doesn't know the difference between being fat and being stupid. But I guess I expected more from a doctor. Silly me! Ready for an angry, sarcasm filled rant?
I decided to switch doctors because this office is much closer to our house and the medical group is supposed to be wonderful. Only two females were open for patients, I took the one with more qualifications. I showed up for my appointment this morning and met a really friendly nurse who was fretting over the fact that her fiance was currently taking some sort of certification test for electricians. She got me all set up and left me to change into the fabulous paper gown, reminding me it should be open to the front, natch. And then I waited... and waited. Eventually I heard a doctor talking to a patient in the hallway. I felt a little bit bad about being to hear this conversation, until the doctor said something about needing to get on to the next patient, or maybe she was pointing out that her next patient was waiting. Either way, I realized this was most likely my new doctor. Hmm, great start.
She came in and started right in with standard questions. Making sure to move on to the next one before I could elaborate too much, she was clearly trying to catch up with her scheduled appointments. I forget why it came up, but I said to her, "About three years ago I did a major diet overhaul and started losing weight." And she quickly asks, "Do you mean gaining weight?" With a pity filled little smile. I look at her with a blank face. "No! Losing." She at least had the decency to look slightly apologetic. I said slightly. She'd basically lost all my respect at this point though.
I answer her questions about my diet and exercise. I tell her a bit of what I did three years ago, what my routine has been more recently, and then explain that I was gone for five weeks traveling and came back to a chaotic work and life schedule for the holidays so I haven't been able to keep up with my usual number of workouts per week. She sort of listens. She then tells me, as if she was turning on a light bulb over my head, that the good news is there is room for improvement in my exercise routine! I can workout more than once or twice a week. Really?!?! Brilliant idea. Why didn't I think of that?
She proceeds to tell me to eat more salads. The girls at the salad bar at Pluto's probably found themselves snickering at that moment without really knowing why. She tells me I need to weigh 160 or less, which Luisa, who has been working out with me for over a year has already told me will never be me considering the muscle weight I now have. By the way, she also told me I should get down to that weight before I consider having children, so the one small thing I like about her is she is one of the few people in the world who don't wonder why I'm not doing this now. She asks me if I eat a lot of carbs. I start to wonder if she's joking. She asks if I'd like a referral to see their dietitian, I tell her I've already booked an appointment with one to help me break this plateau. When she hears that the dietitian is at my gym she suggests hers is better since they will have "more medical information." Yeah, I can see how much that's helped you. She asks me to come back one morning for a blood test for cholesterol and blood sugar. "Maybe your blood sugar is high. If it is I will ask you to see our dietitian instead." The blood test will also test my thyroid. Gee, no one has ever thought to check that before! You really are brilliant.
What happened here is she walked in the room and saw a fat girl and assumed I don't know how to live healthy, don't know how to lose weight and clearly must be stupid. She thought she had all the answers for me. Eventually the fact that I've lost 80 pounds on my own sort of sunk into her head and she did say, "I am proud of what you've done." Huh? Honey, you didn't do anything, I just met you! "If all your test results are normal I will just see you in a year!" she says as she runs out the door. Don't count on it, sweetie!
So what do you think? She was stressed and pressured to keep up with a packed schedule? She was never taught any better? Do I put up with this treatment and just see her once a year and figure that most doctors assume the same thing?
This reminded me of the first trainer I ever met and worked out with at my gym. His name was Spiro (that name was the first warning sign). I had put in a request for my free training session and had asked for a female. I don't know if it was because the gym was lacking female trainers then even more than it is now or if he just got over anxious but it was Spiro who called me to make an appointment. This was a few months after starting the South Beach Diet, I had lost somewhere around 25 pounds already. This guy had me do 20 squats followed by 20 lunges on each leg. During the second leg I fell backwards onto my butt, he gave me a hand up, and then told me to finish the set. He proceeded to thoroughly kick my ass and then decided that I needed help with my diet (even though I had already told him I had that nailed down). His idea of being helpful was to show me the contents of his lunch box. He said all the cardio I had been doing was useless, that I needed to lift with him three times a week and buy expensive vitamins that he just so happened to have a personal contact for. By the end of the session I was worried I might fall down the stairs to get back down to the locker room, and instead of taking the stairs down to where I parked my car I walked around to an auto entrance and walked down the ramp. I couldn't walk for three days, which has only happened to me two other times in my life (once was after my first spin class, the other time was after an overzealous dance audition where the choreographer had us in a row doing high kicks while he put is hand in front of our faces and yelled, "Kick my hand! Kick my hand!"). I was almost shamed into buying sessions with him, I thought I must be in such need that I should submit myself to that. Then I got angry and considered looking for a new gym if this was the kind of idiot they employed. Instead I avoided the weight room for months until I somehow got smart and emailed a female trainer directly. I was so worried she would treat me like I was stupid after seeing my size. I was beyond relieved when she scoffed at the idea of me training with a meat head like Spiro, and I ended up working out with her until she moved back out of the state a year and a half ago.
So I guess I need to look for another new doctor, one that might speak to me a little before deciding they know everything about me. This one that I met with this morning? I fear for her safety actually, I told LT & OT at the gym about what she said and they were almost ready to accompany me back to the medical center for a little health education for a certain young and naive doctor. I arrived at the gym so fired up and angry, I actually had a fantastic workout! I've also been in a bad food rut and it's killed my appetite. There was very little food in the house, so while riding the high I get from a great workout I managed to go grocery shopping. So maybe this year is the year I get into pants from the regular sizes, or see a weight that doesn't start with a '2.' Or maybe it isn't. Either way I'll just be glad to know that I happen to be a whole hell of a lot smarter than someone who managed to make their way through Med School. I might be utterly lost. But I am not stupid.