doctors and d-bags: a ranty blog post
(cross-posted, slightly edited, from my LiveJournal)
So I’ve been dealing with chronic pain issues for, oh, maybe a little over a year now. Before that I had back pain for roughly 8 years, and now it’s pretty much everywhere. I have good days and bad days, and today was not a good day.
I was 30 minutes late to work because getting out of bed took longer than I thought it would, and I figured I would feel better as the day progressed (it’s often bad in the morning and then gets better as I start moving around and doing stuff). I was supposed to teach today–I had to cancel last week to process some family shit that’s going down (everything will be fine in that department, a lot of stuff just happened a couple of weeks ago), and I was in tears when I had to call the treatment center to cancel today’s classes.
Then I felt stupid for crying, which led to a mini-breakdown in the bathroom.
I feel like people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m in too much pain to do something, which sucks. It’s also why I tend to overexert myself and “suck it up” rather than stop when my body tells me I need to stop. When the President was in Minneapolis on Saturday I was too distracted by pain to pay attention to what he was even saying–I caught snippets here and there, and a lot of his speech seemed like stuff I’d heard before, but shit. I was hoping I would be totes inspired once he started speaking and my pain would go away because of his magical Presidenty powers, but that didn’t work.
I went to the tribal clinic at home (~1.5 hours away from where I go to school) about six months ago and the nurse practitioner told me to lose weight. Then I tried to go to Health Services on campus and when I called to make an appointment they said I needed to get records of my visit from the tribal clinic faxed before I could be seen, probably so they could make sure I wasn’t just looking for pain pills or something. That took forever and I never made another appointment.
Now, it’s getting bad enough that I know I need to see a doctor but I fucking hate doctors. I need to find a PCP that will listen to and believe me instead of being a douchebag, but I don’t have time to go looking for one. SOMETHING’s going on here. I just don’t have any fucking clue what. I’m lost.
Maybe, JUST MAYBE (I know I’m not the first person to say this), people perceive fat people as unhealthy because we (and I can only speak for myself here) put off going to the doctor until something’s massively fucked up and preventative care isn’t taken into consideration, and when we DO go to the doctor they don’t listen to us because they see fat and think “oh, this person just needs to lose weight and all of their health problems will go away.” Yeah, not a super effective approach.
When I’m stigmatized by the people who are supposed to help me, I have a rough time trusting that the next person won’t treat me like crap. This leads to a difficult relationship with everyone who might judge me based on how I look, and doesn’t make me want to find another doctor. I’m constantly reminded of the uphill battle we fight in order to show our faces in public. Yes, sometimes I have difficulty walking because I’m in pain. No, it’s not because I’m fat. No, you do not have the right to judge me for taking the elevator because walking down the stairs aggravates my knee.
And when doctors are seen as authority figures in our society, we pick up signals from them about the acceptable treatment of fatties. Oh, just lose some weight and you’ll be healthy. Just go on a diet and all of your problems will go away. Just get some exercise and you won’t have depression or anxiety anymore. Hey, if you took the stairs, maybe your knee wouldn’t crumble under the sheer mass of your fatz!
These judgments seem to give people the right to be openly disgusted by my body. Eww, fatties making out? Gross! Who wants to see that, amirite??
And it’s totes reasonable to be offended by fat bodies on television. No, really, how dare I exist so that people have to (gasp!) look at me when I am in their line of vision! Anything I do in front of other people (walking! standing! sitting! talking!) is definitely offensive to innocent bystanders, and I would be silly to think that someone who looks like me has the right to make out on television. What was I thinking, assuming that people wouldn’t automatically barf at the sight of my flabby arms or my double chin? </sarcasm>
P.S. Neglected blog is neglected; hopefully I’ll have more time to post regularly sometime soon.