P.S. You’re Fat

(Photo/Flickr)

Yesterday, I went to my typically nice doctor, in part because life has planted its foot sideways up my ass. It happens. A very nice resident came in to assess me and asked me about my stress level and before I knew it, I was crying. Fat, salty tears that got worse the more I tried to will myself to stop crying.

This obviously freaked the resident out, so he got my regular doctor. Once again I went over the things that made this visit a necessity, and in the middle of my sentence he asked me, “Well, have you considered losing weight?”

On a normal day, my brain is like a Felix’s Bag of Tricks for witty retorts (Google it, children).

My team and I considered it, but in this market, tabled the idea until the new fiscal year.

Now that the backfat chick trend has wound down, sure. Let’s discuss.

No. Absolutely not. The last time I was here and talked about losing weight…and the time before that…and the twenty pounds I’ve lost since I’ve been your patient? All illusions.

This wasn’t a normal day. I don’t cry in front of strangers in that way. For once I was armed with a list of issues so that I would not forget any and as I would tick them off he would dismiss them with, “Well, if you would lose weight.” For everything. I became that patient you only read about: I completely shut down. Just in case I didn’t get the message, a very nice assistant brought me two sheets of paper. One contained my primary diagnosis: “MORBID OBESITY.” (Yes, bitch. All caps. Bold.) Too upset to say, “Bitch, ya mama morbid,” I walked out of the office and into the rain. Yes. A violinist played a sad song for the kid. It was that kind of day.

It’s not that my feelings were hurt for being called fat. It’s not that I don’t recognize how many health issues are related to obesity. I wasn’t treated. That was the difficult part for me to swallow. There were issues that I knew weren’t related to me being overweight. It didn’t matter. He couldn’t be bothered to provide me any treatment until I stopped being fat. “Get your blood work done, work on the diet and exercise, call me in a month so we can discuss your weight and we’ll see.”

While it sounds like I’m just being a sensitive fatty (and if I was, that’s just what the hell it is and you can’t beat my ass), this article acknowledges this very real phenomenon. You don’t deserve treatment because you’re not really concerned about your health because if you did, you wouldn’t be fat. It’s circular logic and is not rooted in being helpful.

I fought the urge to tell him about the weight I’d already lost, but didn’t for two reasons:

  1. Had he bothered to actually pay attention to my chart, he would have seen it; and
  2. My stubborn pride would not let me placate Dr. Dismissive and seemingly beg him for treatment; because
  3. I didn’t pay his ass in HoHos. I paid in real American dollars, and he doesn’t get to half-ass my treatment because of what he thinks I might be.

So, while this is a slight detour, I’m on the hunt for a new doctor, because I want to be healthy. I’m working to be healthy. I need a doctor with that same goal who is willing to meet me where I am. Every patient deserves that. Even the fats.