I originally had another post that I was going to write for today… but something happened to me on Tuesday that I just really need to share with you guys. This post is kind of long and there’s a lot of words with no pictures, but I’d really appreciate it if you’d bear with me and read about this (and comment with your thoughts!).
On Tuesday, I had my yearly physical with my primary care physician. After seeing this doctor for a few years, I decided a couple of months ago that I really wasn’t happy with her (or the practice in general) for multiple reasons. I was planning on switching doctors before this physical appointment, but the doctor that I’m switching to wasn’t accepting appointments until November 2013 (wow!), so I was kind of forced to go see my old doctor because I really needed her to renew some of my prescriptions.
The biggest problem that I have with her is her attitude. Not only her attitude in general — she does not have good bedside manner — but mostly her attitude towards my weight. As most of you know, I’m overweight. I completely own and accept this fact, and I’m actively working to lose weight. But, my weight loss is significantly hindered by my disability (which is characterized by extreme chronic foot pain), since the physical activity that I am able to do is very limited.
I was dreading this appointment for weeks beforehand, because I just knew that she was going to bring up my weight again. But it was a lot worse than I was expecting…
She started talking about my weight practically before she even came through the door. I’m not even exaggerating — for the 40 minutes I was there, we talked about my weight for 30 of them. I explained how I’d lost 15 pounds this past summer, but that I had to take a break from focusing on weight loss during the fall in order to keep up with my schoolwork and because of all of the stress I was under. I also told her about how, since I graduated last month, I’ve been eating very healthy and have been exercising multiple times a week, mostly through physical therapy.
She was not impressed.
Not only did she not even acknowledge the fact that I had lost weight, or that I was proud of myself, or that I’ve been doing a really great job for the past month… she insisted that I wasn’t progressing fast enough and said that, if I were able to lose 100 pounds, my foot problem might disappear.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that my foot problem is most likely mildly exacerbated by the fact that my BMI isn’t perfect (which is explained through basic physics), but my weight is not the problem. This is evidenced by the fact that, two years ago, I lost 40 pounds (from about the weight I am now) successfully on my own and, not only did it not make my feet better, my feet continued to get much worse and I slowly lost the ability to walk after that point, which resulted in my gaining the weight back. I know that 40 pounds does not equal 100 pounds but, if weight was the problem, then I should have noticed some lessening of the pain or some sign of progress instead of exactly the opposite.
So, by simple math, I realized that if I lost 15 pounds in three months this summer, it would take me about two years to lose 100 pounds by continuing on like I have been. She informed me that this was just not good enough, and that there were two options. Option #1: Go on a six-month all-liquid diet and lose the 100 pounds in six months. Option #2: Gastric bypass surgery.
My jaw literally dropped. As soon as she started talking about an all-liquid diet, all I could think is: “That does not sound healthy!!” And she replied, “Well, it’s supervised by doctors.” Riiiiight. Because that makes it 100% healthy for sure.
After I brought up my concerns with Option #1, she brought up Option #2 and I had a mild heart attack. I told her that I was surprised that the hospital would do gastric bypass surgery on somebody with only 100 pounds to lose (yeah, I know “100 pounds” and “only” don’t belong in the same sentence but, here, they do). She explained that they would “make an exception” because of my “serious health problems” — a.k.a. my feet.
Obviously I was not feeling either of these options. The only word I have for this is “overreaction.” I’m still kind of shocked that this conversation actually occurred. That lady has some serious balls.
After I made it clear that I was vehemently opposed to both of these horrific options, she said that I should (a) see a nutritionist, and (b) get an exercise bike (the one form of exercise that doesn’t cause me pain). I thought that these were both great suggestions and, that, perhaps she should’ve led with those instead. I even already have a plan in the works to get an exercise bike soon, so I’m really happy about that. That’s something I actually have really wanted, but the stars didn’t happen to align for it until just recently.
After going over all of these options, I told her that I really wanted to wait until after my appointment with the Lahey Clinic to make any kind of decision. The Lahey Clinic is a special center that people go to when they have weird problems like me, and they have a whole bunch of different kinds of doctors all in the same building for you. I have an appointment with them at the end of February. I’m going to bring up what she said to them and see if they think her ideas hold any weight (ha!). I would be shocked if they agreed with her, though.
I do plan on making an appointment with a nutritionist for March, though. I’m not quite sure how that will help me, since I do consider myself fairly educated in nutrition… but I’m sure that I will learn a bunch of new stuff that I will be able to implement into my HGC. Although, I am slightly nervous about going, because I’ve never been before and I really don’t know what it’s all about. But I’m definitely open to it.
So, besides the fact that this conversation was (to me) extremely overdramatic and, honestly, horrifying, I found myself becoming very emotional about it when I told Brent what had gone on. I think that I was mostly upset that she didn’t give me any recognition whatsoever that I’ve been working my ass off to lose weight (and that I did lose 15 pounds just this summer with barely any exercise!).
I was also very discouraged by the fact that she wouldn’t give me any medication for the pain. I’ve seen like a million doctors and, somehow, none of them are willing to give me pain medication. I just don’t understand their reasoning. I’m not planning on getting addicted (well, I’m sure nobody plans that) and I’ve explained that, at the most, I need something to take about once a week for those nights when it gets excruciatingly unbearable and I’m writhing around on the floor in pain. I don’t want medication as some kind of a treatment plan, I just need it for those emergency situations where I’m literally in so much pain that I can’t even get myself down the hall to the bathroom. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why not one of my doctors will prescribe me something for this. At this point, I’m more-than-considering trying to buy some off the street.
Anyway… I’m really interested in what you guys have to say about this.
Have you ever had a horrible experience with a doctor? Do you think a six-month all-liquid diet is an overreaction?