So My Doctor Tried to Kill Me

I’ve been anemic several times in my life.  I noticed that I was having the symptoms so I told my acupuncturist.  My acupuncturist requested that I get a blood panel confirming and, like an idiot, I went to my doctor.  They told me to step on the scale and I said “No thank you” which always gets us off to a rockin’ start.  The nurse opened my folder and her eyes went wide (I assume that my previous doctor had made notes about the cholesterol test debacle (which you can read about in my blog post “A Tale of Two Cholesterol Tests”). Regardless, whatever she read shook her so much that she forgot to take my blood pressure.  She left, the doctor entered and that’s where the fun starts.

Doctor:  What seems to be the problem?

Me:  I think I’m anemic, I’m having the following symptoms….

Doctor:  At your weight, it’s diabetes.  Lose 50 pounds and come back.

Me:  (remaining calm) I’m happy to entertain that as a possibility, but I’m going to want a blood test to confirm.

Doctor:  (handing me a diet and exercise sheet) It’s really not necessary, no matter what is wrong with you, you’ll feel a lot better if you lose 50 pounds.

Me:  Be that as it may, I’m going to insist on a blood test.  It’s not like I’m asking you to pay for it.  Also, this exercise sheet says that I should start by walking 10 minutes a day.  I currently work out about 20 hours a week so should I stop all that and substitute a brisk walk?  It would certainly save me a lot of time, but I doubt it would have the intended results.

Doctor:  (sighing heavily and looking at me as if I’m a definitely a liar) Fine, I’ll do the test.

I wait, he comes back.

Doctor:  Your glucose is 72.

Me:  Isn’t that basically perfect?

Doctor:  Yes, but you probably still have diabetes, we just need to test you at different times.

Me:  (now beginning to lose patience) In the meantime, could we perhaps do a test for, oh – I don’t know…anemia?

Doctor:  I suppose.

I wait, he comes back

Doctor:  Well, you have anemia.

Me:  (positively dripping with sarcasm)  That’s so WEIRD, that what I thought I had!

Now, out of curiosity, if I had followed your diet and exercise sheet as you requested and managed to lose the two pounds per week that you want me to lose, unlike the 95% of people who fail, it would have taken be 25 weeks.  What would have happened if I had dieted while my anemia went untreated for 25 weeks?  And since you seemed to be stumped with that one, let me ask you another… How many other people have you done this too?  How any people have become sick or died at your hand because you looked at them and diagnosed them as “fat”?

Doctor:  I think we would have noticed if things didn’t improve once you had lost 25lbs.

Me:  Really?  I doubt it.  It seems to me that you pulled 50 pounds out of your ass, since you don’t have my weight or height.  So I doubt that 25 pounds would have been a magic number that made you pay attention to my actual symptoms.  Also, you didn’t answer my question, what would have happened?

Doctor:  I guess you could have technically died…

Me:  I’m leaving, and I’m not paying for this.

Doctor:  Of course.

What about you?  Do you have doctor stories – good, bad, funny, interesting?  Please feel free to put them in the comments below.

80 thoughts on “So My Doctor Tried to Kill Me

  1. OMG! I had something much similar. I went to a doctor based on two reviews. The ones here and on another website. My inital vist went well. She did run a little behind on time, but I knew that was expected. However from there things went down hill. The second visit, I waited over an hour to see her. Again expected, things went all right. The third visit was an emergency one, I was experienceing extreme pain my shoulder, so bad I could barely breathe. I got in to see her waited for about 45 mintues, again expected I was a emergency appointment. Once I saw her however, she sent me over to a orthopedic person, who I stood out side of his office and the door was locked, I called the doctor’s office and explained, the called the physisican again, he said he would be down in five mintues, he never showed. This goes on for an HOUR, I have been back and forth between the doctor’s office and this gentleman she referred me to. Meanwhile I am starting to sweat I am in so much pain, I am shaking and pale. My roomate who had driven me to the appointment, ended up taking me to the ER. There was agiven a shot to relax my muscles and a mega ibuprophen. Something I feel could have been done in the Dr.’s office. Then two weeks later I received a letter from my insurance company that the doctor has dropped out of Tricare, no notice to her paitents, she just dropped the military insurance. All in all I feel the only shining thing about her office was her nurse who is FANTASTIC, caring, considerate, and very paitent. The rest of her staff acted as if they would rather not be at work. I would NEVER recommend this doctor to ANYONE I Know.

    1. I just went to the doctor yesterday. I have IBS, severe anxiety, Biolar II and 2 herniated discs. Her exact words were “no doctor will be able to help you until you lose weight” I broke down and she just said ” guess i’ll fill your bipolar prescription” and left me bawling. before she said that I told her i have a compulsive eating disorder stemming from childhood abuse and neglect and i am in therapy to try and learn some coping mechanisms that don’t include food. After hearing this she still had the nerve to tell me that all of my problems are related to my weight and that no doctor could help me. I had a huge panic attack and a terrible bipolar depression since then. I don’t think doctors know how much they affect us.

      1. These stories are so sad! They amount to medical abuse. We have to get it into our heads that doctors are trained by pharmaceutical companies, that hospitals and clinics (unless specifically non-prof) are money making entities, and that the whole attitude of Western medicine is to create god-like “doctors” who “treat” ignorant (to them) patients while making as much money as possible. It’s been forgotten that a doctor is hired to do what is in the best interest of our health-he’s a paid professional, like a plumber or a mechanic-nothing more, nothing less. Forget all those sappy medical shows you’ve watched all you’re life-caring, knowledgeable doctors are few and far between. We have to throw out our sense of helplessness and dependency when it comes to our health. No, you don’t have to be a genius to start learning about your own body, your own health issues, etc. Go into a doctor’s office as educated as possible, if you even have to go at all after you’ve learned more about taking care of yourself. They are becoming more aggressive and controlling because they know people are turning to alternative health treatments and taking a more active role in their health, and they DO NOT like that. You are a threat to their prestige and income and self-importance. Any doctor who does not respect you and what you know about your own body should be dropped like a viper. How did the human race survive this long without the modern “doctor”? Most of what they treat is preventable, and what isn’t they often are ignorant of. We have to start trusting ourselves and give ourselves credit for being able to take care of ourselves, and not be pressured into thinking there is something terribly wrong with us when we don’t meet some random category of height, weight or mood. What is “bipolar” anyway? What are all these countless diagnoses they come up with? Why don’t psych meds cure anyone, and why do they hide the true statistics of their “treatments” as well as how many people die at the hands of the medical profession? All I know is, after what they did to me, I’d rather risk even death by taking care of my own ailments and live free of all their poisons and insults. I had food poisoning once, and was in so much agony that I thought of going to the hospital-but that thought was short-lived, when I remembered what would happen to me there! I got through it by trusting my instincts and taking care of it and I was fine. Of course, you may have to go in an emergency-I’d go for a broken limb, to stop profuse bleeding, etc., but that’s about all the medical profession is good at, mechanical work.

    1. Thanks! Trust me, I’ve had my share of freak-outs, practice has made me calm and in control 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Ellen, I really appreciate it. I was not always so calm in the face of this kind of stuff – I’ve become better with practice!

  2. Wow, this is a great article. I love how you responded really coolly too. I always seem to flip out and get so wrapped up in my argument that I start to sound shrill and uninformed, but you just SCHOOLED him! When its something important like this, people can’t afford not to be heard, and I love you for fighting the good war.

    1. Thanks a bunch. I mentioned in another reply that pretty often I’d really like to yell and scream (and I often do when I’m back in my car) but whenever I’ve become upset I got accused of being “emotional” in a way that was condescending. I think it’s awesome that you say something at all, even if it’s shrill – so many people just end up saying nothing and feeling bad about themselves…

  3. I was having dinner at my favorite asian-fusion hole in the wall and accidentally swallowed one of those dark, skinny-ass, hotter-than-hell kung pao peppers. The fire was going down was unbelievable, but nothing compared to the bowel chaos that ensued within 24 hours.

    I’ve dealt with IBS for years, so it’s not like I didn’t know what was coming, I just didn’t expect it to last for *weeks*. After three weeks of everything going right through me I limited my food to yogurt, bananas, rice, etc. Another week went by and I gave in to my husband’s pleas to see my M.D. She sent me to G.I. doc who immediately stated we would have to do a full colonoscopy with biopsies of the large intestine.

    ME: “You want to stick a camera up my but AND cut little pieces out of my COLON?” HIM: “It’s the only way to truly know what’s going on,” ME: “I know what’s going on. What’s going on is I ate an ass-blaster of a hot pepper and I’ve got a case of the aftershock shits. Isn’t there something I can do to just calm everything down a little?” HIM: “Well, I can’t give you any drugs unless I know what I’m dealing with.” (I hadn’t asked for any.) “And this could be Crohn’s disease. It could be inflammatory bowel disease.” ME: “But aren’t those autoimmune diseases? Wouldn’t I have had an inkling about them before this?” (I’m a massage therapist and voracious reader of all things related to bodies and bodywork.) HIM: “Well…we really just need to do this to know for sure,” ME: “Uh…I’ll get back to you.”

    I went to the closest Naturopath I could find, since I don’t have a regular N.D. She put me on a bland diet of rice, a little skinless chicken or fish, and cooked vegetables. She also gave me a rice protein powder with Turmeric and some other anti-inflammatory herbs in it which was not bad mixed with rice milk, peanut butter and a banana. Within 3 days things had calmed down and within a week I was back to normal.

    I had a similar experience recently when I found out I have a small fibroid tumor (about the size of a small apricot). The Gyn specialist’s first suggestion? Hysterectomy. The reason? “Well, you’re having heavier periods and more painful cramping than usual, right?” ME: “Yes.” HER: “O.K., well, the surgery will stop that.”

    MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY to stop a little extra cramping and slightly heavier monthly flow?!

    ME: “I’ll get back to you.”

    1. You were so much more polite than I would’ve been under those circumstances. I would’ve been swearing up a storm and threatening to report her to the medical board for negligence.

      1. Believe me when I say that I wanted to, but I’ve found that keeping a cool head stops people from being able to say that you were acting crazy or the dreaded “emotional” and gets you a bit more traction. It’s a pity because yelling and screaming would have been a lot of fun.

        1. Doctors will also write about it in your chart if you get upset or swear, and it may make you look bad to other people who see the records.

          1. That is very true! Especially in this day and age when they are trying to diagnose everyone with some kind of “mental health issue”, and are using that to dope you, report you, or take away your rights. Gotta keep a cool head-you can still say what you need to say, just say it in a way they can’t call “emotional” or “disturbed”.

    2. It’s awesome that you took control of your health like that. Also thanks for the PSA on those peppers – they are the devil. I always pick them out right away to avoid exactly the kidn of thing that you are talking about. Good luck with your fibroid, and thanks for being a massage therapist – I have tremendous respect for the work you do ( without my massage therapist I would be in a world of hurt!)

    3. I’ve dealt with that… The uterine fibroid can be removed with out cutting surgery (dialating the cervix) and after a few issues -(and if you are positive no kids in future) can have an ablation of the interior of the uterus (sears it) – zeros out your bleeding – and you still have ovaries so no early menopause. Good luck.

  4. I had the miscarriage from Hell 4 years ago and I got very shoddy treatment from a hospital over my last miscarriage 3 years ago. The doctor ripped me up one side and down the other for wasting their time and the nursing staff was utterly ridiculous. They had me wait, and I was crawling with pain needing to get to the bathroom and they wouldn’t let me use the ER bathroom because I was bleeding profusely. They made me crawl (alone) across the waiting room to use THAT bathroom. THEN had the nerve to tell me they thought it was a urinary tract infection and sent me home!

    Plus, I have an eczema or psoriasis type rash on my legs and have been to one doctor after another to get relief for the maddening itch/scratch/resulting infection. One doctor had the nerve to tell me that it was because I was vain and cuts and scratches don’t bother him because he’s a man. Makes you wonder why they even go into the business they’re just bribed by the pharmaceutical companies it seems. I love your blog!

  5. After reading everyone’s stories, I realize I’m a lucky girl! Yes, I’ve had doctors suggest I loose weight. But my docs, especially my primary care doc, listen to me. The only doc who won’t treat me until I loose weight is my orthopedist. I think they are trained so that their first response is, “You need to loose weight first”.
    Next time any health care person says, “You need to loose weight.” Say what I say, “Really?! You mean like a diet? WOW! I wish I had thought of that!”

  6. A couple of years ago I had moved to a new city and need to get my Depo Provera shot (3-month birthcontrol)so I just booked an apt. with the first doctor I could bet into. It happened to be a small man. He wrote me a perscription and sent me off to the pharmacy telling me get two doses and come back. So I am thining he just wants to make sure that I have a dose at home for next time. Nope, he informs me because I am so very large (5’8 180 pounds) he is going to have to double the dose. I had been on the same kind of birth control for three years and the whole time been roughly the same wait and never been told this. But I was so surprised that I just let him give me the doubled shot. Oh well live in learn, now any doctor I go to has to be a woman or weight as much as me!

  7. Holy crap, I feel incredibly lucky that I have mostly avoided this kind of BS with my docs. I don’t let anybody weigh me, so they don’t have the numbers to give me a hard time (last time I did let someone weigh me, I was on the dividing line between Overweight and Obese on the Bullshit Measuring Index) and I have a big enough hips-to-waist ratio that I don’t get parsed as “fat” by most doctors. *eyeroll*

    I always tell them that the only numbers I care about are the ones on my weights. Then I flex my biceps and they shut up. 🙂

  8. My pelvis was badly damaged from childbearing and so for three years I have been quite crippled.

    Oh, and did I mention that I’m fat? 265 pounds so I’m “morbidly obese” as they like to call it these days.

    So I keep going around in circles with doctors, midwives, OBs, physical therapists… “Can you help me find a cure for my pelvis?” I ask.

    “Lose weight.”

    That’s it. Lose weight. Not, gee maybe we should try and discover exactly what is wrong? (No one has fully diagnosed the problem yet, just “yer fat!”)

    So I say, “Ok, fine, no one can argue against the fact that exercise will help me BUT walking is agony because my **pelvis is damaged** so can you help me to create an exercise routine that will work around my injury??”

    The reply? “No. We don’t know how.” and “It’s simple: make sure you exercise and eat well.”

    Right. I guess A) Because I’m fat I don’t know how to eat, let alone know that I need to exercise and B) forcing an injured body part to endure conventional exercise truly is the best way to heal!

    My very first appointment with a midwife really set the tone: I walked in to find this bird-boned slip of an older woman. She stares at me and then gestures at her scrawny frame and announces, “I’m borderline obese. You’re *deffinately* obese!” Then she uses that scam junk science height-and-weight chart and says, “Yes, you’re Morbidly Obese so you can’t give birth here. You’ll have to go live in the hospital 200 miles away in your 38th week…”

    It’s been hell ever since. Thankfully I’ve discovered, completely on my own without any help thanks, the great support for injured pelvises that is afforded by ye olde granny girdle.

  9. This isn’t related to weight, but when I was 19 I started to feel really ill all the time – dizzy, weak, nauseous, bloated, put on extra weight, and I’d get yeast infections/UTIs at least once a month. I didn’t know what was wrong, so I went to the doctor and lo and behold, they told me I was pregnant. I told them they were full of shit and had to give me a pregnancy test first. They told me I was in denial, congrats, and think about scheduling an OB appointment. I, again, told them to give me a test. This went on every month for a YEAR. I even asked them if I could buy my own pregnancy test, take it there, then show them and they told me not to bother because they were right and I was in denial. After about 9-10 months I eventually told them we’d have a baby by now and their response? We must have been wrong at first but now you definitely are pregnant. Long story short I wound up in the Er because I was having another pain/weakness fit and my mom didn’t know what to do. The ER doctors DID do a pregnancy test and told me I had a really bad UTI. When I said that didn’t account for my other symptoms they asked how long those had been going on, I told them, then they gave me a list of internists to go see and said to never, ever see the doctors who wouldn’t listen. THIRTY MINUTES with the internist and he correctly diagnosed me with gluten intolerance. Within 3 days I was completely better. The irony is that once one of the other doctors did mention that I should “cut out refined starches and switch to whole grains” but only because I had put on 50 lbs in a year due to the intolerance.

  10. Well, a couple months ago I thought my appendix was about to burst so I went to the doctors. I went to him for severe stomach pains, so he tells me to lie down flat on my back and pull my shirt up. I do so. He procedes to PUNCH ME IN MY FUCKING STOMACH. He goes, okay, is the pain migrating from here *punch* to here? *punch* I procede to scream like I have ebola. He sit down and pulls out a tiny voice recorder. “patient is experiencing abdomoinal pain similar to appendicitis, but it ould also be severe stomach flu or constipation with menstrual cramps. There is no possible way this patient is pregnant. She will be perscribed antibiotics and laxatives and is advised to take accedimetaphin. If pain does not cease, she is advised to go to the emergency room and have an ultrasound. She is currently on horomone regulators for PMDD but is otherwise a pleasant female, aged 15.”

    I assume he wanted to be through for a court case if I just so happened to die.

  11. I’ve had doctors like this before, though fortunately, not in regards to weight. For the most part, my weight issues (I’m 5’2″@275lbs) haven’t been too much of contention with my regular doctors. I’ve been blessed that, for the most part, my PCMs tend to be of the mind that I know where I’m comfortable, and try not to force a chart-dictated weight on me. They encourage weight loss, as I /am/ Pre-diabetic and hypertensive, and it would help those things, but they’ve been understanding in that it isn’t the weight that’s entirely responsible (Both conditions are a result of pregnancy.)

    I’ve had a few whoppers though. Like the doctor who, during a first appt assessment, kept blowing me off on things, saying I couldn’t have had Chronic Bronchitis (as I wasn’t a smoker), there’s no such thing as chronic Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar), and other such things that I was diagnosed with and struggled with throughout my entire youth. He instead, focused on the fact that, at the time, I was 210lbs. I was fine with this, I was an awesome size 14 (I am most comfortable in the 14-18 bracket, so weight loss is something I AM interested in, just not to the extent people seem to think I should be). Kept asking if I had blood pressure issues (at the time, I did not), blood sugar issues (Uh, you just said what I had didn’t exist!). Then he asks if obesity ran in my family. I said ‘On my father’s side, yes’. Asked about my mother’s side, and I said it was the opposite. Both my mother and Grandmother suffered severe Anorexia when they were my age (My mother, through most of my childhood, hardly ever got above 100lbs, and she was 5’6″). HIs response: You would’ve been better off taking after your mother.

    Yes, that’s right. He told me that I was better off being /anorexic/ than being at my weight and enjoying what I /thought/ was excellent health (my asthma issues notwithstanding). If I had remembered, as I was so shocked and hurt at this comment, I would’ve told him taht my grandmother suffered her first heart attack at the age of 35: Weighing a hefty…. 85lbs.

    The other major case of people only judging by the number and not by the rest of the package was when I was pregnant with my second son. I will not deny that overweight mothers have a tendency to develop Gestational diabetes…so I wasn’t upset at all when the OB wanted to test me at 13 weeks (This, for those not in the know, is actually relatively early to test for gestational diabetes). Lo and behold, my sugars came back elevated and I got the good ol’ Diabetic label slapped on me. I didn’t care, really. I had to also deal with being Hypertensive (a ‘gift’ my first son gave me that I was never able to shake off after I had him), but the initial doctor’s reaction was… obnoxious.

    Upon the confirmation of elevated blood sugar, she told me that I was probably Diabetic anyway. I stared at her. I could not believe what just came out of her mouth. How do you figure, seriously? Her response was 1) I was obese and 2) Diabetes doesn’t show up that early unless the patient was already diabetic. I called BS. I told her that I was /not/ diabetic previously. I get blood work done, religiously, at least once a year, usually twice, because my Thyroid is schizophrenic (or was at the time, I am now fully being treated for Thyroid disease). My Doctor (at the time) always orders a /full blood panel/ when I get tested, that includes Lipids AND Glucose. How do I know th is? I always have to fast and get the blood popped early in the morning (easiest to do a fast that way). And if, for some reason, the glucose test came back high, I would know. For the last five years, there had been absolutely no flags. She asked why I don’t ask for the results, and my response was “Because I don’t go looking for problems.” Diabetes wasn’t a concern up until that point, so I figured that if the damn tests didn’t show something, then I was fine.

    She didn’t believe me of course, and ordered another round of testing to ‘Prove that I was diabetic’. The Hemoglobin test was acutally standard, but she was using it as a way to prove I was wrong.

    I wish I saw her face when my new Comp-OB doctor had told me that, according to /that/ test, I wasn’t diabetic at all!

  12. “Doctor: I guess you could have technically died…”
    Oh. my. GOD. Tell me that asshole did not actually say that to your face!
    This guy is now your *former* doctor right??

    As for my doc experiences I’d say not nearly as horrific as what I’ve read here but still, here are some lowlights:
    1) I technically lost my physical virginity (and a little of my sanity) to my original GP who decided to give me a pap smear despite the fact that I wasn’t sexually active. I’m feeling exposed (stirrups, duh!) and vulnerable, staring at this dumb cat poster on the ceiling and she says “you may feel some pressure or slight discomfort – um try *sharp searing pain*! If I hadn’t been in the damn stirrups I’d have been doubled over crying. And she’s casually using a tissue to wipe the *blood* away. My new doc says there’s no point in having a pap if I’m not sexually active (old doc used my age as an excuse or something), and even if my new doc said I should have one I don’t think I could handle it.
    2) Worst thing about every doc visit anywhere ever since I was a teen was getting my damn blood pressure taken. Thanks to Well-Rounded Mama ( I now know it was the hospitals fault for not using the right equipment on me, but for years I just suffered (literally) in silence because I figured I deserved some punishment for being too fat to fit their bp cuff. I know it’s not supposed to be comfortable but for me it was excruciating, like torture level pain and they could never get it the first time. If my bp was high I maintain it was because of the stress of having my bp taken!! And this one nurse who put his stethoscope under the cuff to get my pulse was like “oh I can’t read it, there is too much tissue in the way.” Wow what a wonderfully clinical, technical way to tell me I’m too fat and it’s my own fault if they can’t give me proper treatment! I’m going to email my doc and send her the Round Mama BP Cuff link and tell her to put a note in my file that says I need a large adult cuff and if the hospital doesn’t have one then they can’t take my blood pressure because they won’t get an accurate reading anyway!

    Bleh! Thanks for the vent space. 😛

  13. Not only do I have stories like this, I also have stories from the opposite end of the spectrum when I was young and super skinny and no one, no dr, would believe me when I told them my symptoms. “you’re young and thin, it’s not diabetes”

  14. “My new doc says there’s no point in having a pap if I’m not sexually active (old doc used my age as an excuse or something), and even if my new doc said I should have one I don’t think I could handle it.”
    Absolutely NOT true. I’m not sexually active and I get them religiously, even when I don’t have insurance, and it was a good thing too because five years ago (when I wasn’t active and hadn’t been for quite a long time) I had an abnormal result. Had I not had regular smears, those abnormal cells could have become full-blown cancer.

    Changes in your uterus and cervix are based on hormones and other internal factors in addition to sexual activity. Your new doc is doing you a grave disservice by telling you you don’t need regular paps.

    1. I think she means she was a virgin at the time ,and when you are a virgin no you don’t need regualar paps . If you have been sexually active in the past however it is a good idea to get one regularlly yes. But yes you are right it is a good idea to get a pap done no matter if you are sexually active or not.

  15. This is kind of weight related and kind of general medical stupidity. This is a long story and I’m going to try to shorten it as much as possible.

    About six years ago I began to notice problems with my weight. Sure it could have been a natural result of aging or some such but my body weight always responded to diet and exercise — if I was active and ate healthily I weighed less or lost weight, if I was sedentary I weighed less or lost. Suddenly, no matter how active I was, or how much I tweaked my diet, I kept gaining.

    Now, back in the early-mid-90’s I was diagnosed bipolar and put on lithium (which fucks up your thyroid). I went off it in 1999 when depo-provera solved the problem. But, I was on lithium for 6 years, which is 6 years of thyroid abuse. So, when my weight started getting weird, I figured it was my thyroid. I had also had a strange thyroid test a few years before that where my TSH was non-existent and my T3/T4 were normal.

    Then, about a year later I noticed that my body was no longer responding to exercise “properly” meaning not only was I not losing weight, I was also not making any strength or endurance gains AND it actually felt like my body was breaking down. At that point I had already resigned myself to not losing but this was reDONK.

    So I talked to my doctor and explained my issues with weight and poor response to exercise. I explained that I am a certified personal trainer and know how to exercise and eat healthily. I explained that I didn’t want weight loss drugs or a diet or surgery, I just wanted to be able to exercise and eat right and lose and get stronger and more flexible instead of what was currently happening.

    This doctor, the same one who freaked out over the prior thyroid test, almost refused to test my thyroid this time AND suggested that what I really needed was to try the south Beach diet.

    My thyroid levels were “normal.” He completely ignored the fact that my TSH went from something like >0.01 to 3.59. That 3.59 was normal so the huge jump was of no concern.

    But I knew there was something up.

    It took six years, two GPS, my gyno and two endos to finally get a diagnosis — an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

    Perhaps it was because my primary complaint was my weight or maybe it was because I was fat. But the moment i started talking to a doc about my condition, the eye rolling would commence.

    So, fast-forward to now. I was diagnosed with Hashi’s in September by a female doctor who finally LISTENED to me and actually tested for something beyond TSH (which is a bullshit measure of thyroid function anyway) and Free T3/T4 which is only a measure of the hormone in your blood, not your cells. This doctor’s office was actually recommended by a size acceptance site.

    I was stoked, not realizing that a diagnosis is only part of the battle. She prescribed synthroid, which is T4 only. All the references I have read indicate that T4 only therapy is useless because it relies on your broken thyroid to make the T3 it needs. After a lot of research I discovered that natural thyroid is the way to go. I also realized that I had a lot more thyroid symptoms than just weight gain, poor response to exercise and fatigue.

    So, I started taking OTC natural thyroid on my own and it was like a switch flipped. After two months I went back for a follow-up and asked my endo for prescription natural thyroid. I also advised that I was already taking it. She refused to prescribe it AND told me I was in danger of a heart attack because my TSH was suppressed at 0.09. I told her that the last time my TSH was suppressed I felt normal and that I have felt more human than I have in the past six or seven years since taking natural thyroid.

    Also, my research shows that most thyroid patients do not see an improvement in their condition until they take enough natural thyroid to get the correct levels on the cellular level. At that point the TSH is usually suppressed.

    My doctor said to me: “None of my patients feel good with normal numbers.” as if that was perfectly acceptable.

    So I fired her.

  16. In 1988 my cancer surgeon tried to kill me by deliberately leaving me in a situation where i would and nearly did bleed to death- he did not take the extra few minutes to remove my uterus- all with full knowledge that the radiotherapy i needed afterwards would affect my uterus- causing near constant/constant very heavy bleeding. I was made to endure that for thirteen years before being granted hysterectomy. Just in time. Few weeks longer i’d have been dead as the uterus was literally riddled with multiple tumors. As it was i ended up needing not just hysterectomy but also laminectomy as the tumors had spread into my spine. Not good.

    1. I’m so sorry for what you had to go through. I think it’s possible that doctors aren’t what they used to be, or it was always an illusion that they were as capable as we thought they were! I hope the best for you.

  17. I had a terrible doctor for several years. The last time I dealt with him I went in because of severe stomach pain. The nurse took my blood pressure and it was well within healthy limits. Then the doctor came in. I had a hernia right under my belly button. I was going to have surgery. Then he took my blood pressure. Of course, it was high. I’d just been told I needed surgery. I was scared. First thing he wanted to do was write up a prescription for blood pressure medication to lower it. I told him no, I don’t suffer from high blood pressure. We argued back and forth. I refused to take the meds. Finally, in frustration he said he wanted to do an ekg to prove to me that I needed blood pressure meds. I said “Fine, lets do it!” The ekg showed that I have a very healthy heart.

    I’ve changed doctors. I really like my new guy. He listens to me.

    1. So glad you found a better doctor. We sometimes don’t realize that being smart enough to complete med school doesn’t mean you are kind, patient, or understanding. Doctors aren’t automatically decent people because they are doctors. Some doctors are downright jerks. Good for you for standing up to him-without patients there would be no need for doctors. They sometimes forget that.

  18. My doctors tried to kill me and my parents just because of false allegations i’m a spastic. First, they denied me medically necessary hysterectomy for thirteen years. To solve the problem of passing out all the time, all my doctors told me to learn to live with it. One dr told me to take six high strength iron tablets every day. Another doctor have me a bottle of one hundred sleeping tablets and told me to take one every night to help me sleep. Finally, after thirteen years of suffering i was finally at long long last granted hysterectomy. Nearly too late. The multiple tumors had spread from my uterus into my spine. Another major operation. Then my doctors tried to kill my parents by forcibly injecting them with double dose of tetanus vaccine. Dad did die. Mum’s still suffering eleven years later. The doctor who gave those injections was still laughing about it ten years later. Then if shredded my parents medical records to hide all evidence they were healthy before the injections but dead and ill since

  19. I know people will fall over themselves to attest to the wonderful doctors they have managed to come across, and I myself have been blessed in that way, BUT it looks to me like the medical profession IN GENERAL has become another evil post-modern conglomerate whose MAIN goal, as an institution, is to amass power and money. We are what it feeds on. Did you know that medical care is 17% of the GDP??? They NEED sick people, not cured people, Did you know that the vaunted “scientific model” of “replicable” test results and “empirical data” is a crock of BS, which is why we have so many diseases out there in an age where we are conditioned to praise “medical advancement” to the skies? In truth, all their “tests” and “experiments” are tainted with agendas. Medical schools are run by Big Pharma who dictate the curriculum, so even well-meaning medical providers are brainwashed with nonsense. After being mis-diagnosed and mis-treated for decades, and having my life ruined, I may see a doctor, but it will only be to pick his/her brain to get info I then use to do my own research and find my own means of treatment. After what they did to me, I prefer death to letting them put their poisons in me, insult me in their offices, or invade my body. The medical profession has become a blood and soul sucking vampire, in my humble but very experienced opinion, and I am so sorry for what others here have had to go through! We have the power to teach the “medical” profession a lesson, but it will take work: Start learning as much as you can about your health, your own body and mind, and the many alternative ways of helping yourself and others. Sure, docs can come in handy in emergencies, but after that we’re best trusting ourselves. Our dependence and trust in them has made them take total advantage of us and they use us like specimens. Professional “medicine” has killed or maimed millions, but you never hear about that. Even if you have to use a doctor, don’t EVER trust them-always be proactive in your own care. When they see we aren’t leaving ourselves at their mercy any longer, they will take notice, because they need us more than we need them. At best, a doctor is a reference point or a pit stop-at worst, they can kill you.

  20. I have a good doctor story but it isn’t related to weight, although as a fat woman I have encountered the typical fat hate at the doctor’s office. So one time my mom (who is Filipino) went to her usual primary care physician after getting some general blood work done. According to the results, my mom had herpes. My mom was confused because she hadn’t been with anyone else besides my dad (who is white). My mom voiced her concerns and the doctor basically called her a whore and said “you KNOW where you got it from”, prescribed her some medicine, and sent her on her way. My mom left the doctor’s office very upset and in a state of distress. My mom told my dad and together they did some research, and it turns out that my mom was only positive for herpes type 1, which is nothing but a cold sore and is really common. On the next page were the results for herpes type 2 which is the STD and of course it was negative. My mom came back as soon as she could and tore the doctor a new one, and we haven’t been back to that doctor since.

    1. Way to go, Moms! It is imperative, if you want any kind of meaningful care, or even basic respect, to educate yourself as much as possible about whatever problems you are having before you even see your doctor.. Doctors have become so very miseducated that they are not much more than Pez dispensers, except they dispense pills that Big Pharma told them in medical school to get everyone dependent on. Yet they still maintain this attitude of superiority, which is just comical. The first time I got shingles, I guessed what it was-even though I didn’t even have the blisters yet. The pain was like the pain I got when I had a cold sore. I did a bunch of research, saw my doctor and told her the blisters weren’t showing yet but I should take the meds as soon as possible to limit the outbreak. She was intelligent and caring enough to say “I will look into this and contact you.” That night she called me, told me I was right, and had called in the prescription. And this is only one instance of me needing to educate my doctor…

  21. I walked into a new doctors office about two years ago, and the first words out of his mouth were; “Have you ever considered weight loss surgery?”

    Then begins to drill me on my family history, and talks about more weight loss options.

    I went in with an ear infection.

  22. Yup! It wasn’t weight-related discrimination, but I had a doctor flat-out lie to me about blood test results. Because he didn’t think that the result that he got could be causing my symptoms. Which he could have found out that they probably were with like 2 seconds of research. So I only found out the real results (which were that I was chronically hypoglycemic) when I requested a hard copy myself, and went about self-treating, because I couldn’t get a doctor to help me (because there are some wacky ideas out there about how women can supposedly function just fine on really, really low blood sugar), literally to save my life.

  23. When my brother was 11 my mom brought him to the pediatric clinic to be tested for appendicitis because he was exhibiting all of the symptoms. (on a Thursday)

    The doctor refused to do any tests. He sent them home with some pain meds and told them, “All it is is a stomach ache, come back Monday if the pain persists.”

    The following night he couldn’t move the pain was so bad and my mother rushed him to the emergency room.

    Sure enough, his appendix had ruptured. After surgery the doctor told her, “If you’d had waited until Monday, I wouldn’t have had a patient and you wouldn’t have a son.”

    He spent 22 days in the ICU and could have died.

  24. It wasn’t life threatening, but it was life changing.

    I’ve been fat/chubby/whatever for all of my living memory. For that whole time, my parents and doctors have been highly critical and talked about nothing but losing weight.. diets before I was 10 years old, that sort of thing.

    Around age 10, maybe sooner, I noticed that my knees got sore a lot. The pain kept increasing as I aged. I was always told that it would go away if I lost weight (it’s worth mentioning that I was never more than 220 or so until I left home at age 18, then I gained quite a bit of weight, but even before then, I was suffering from this knee pain).

    So at age 23, I finally listened to everyone around me (I was over 300lbs at that time due to yo yo dieting and emotional problems caused by being criticized my entire life) and had lap band surgery. I lost 100lbs but my knees were getting WORSE. I finally happened upon a REAL doctor who, unlike every other doctor I had seen for my entire life, did a real physical examination of my knees. It took her less than a minute to come to a conclusion.

    I was born with my knees out of alignment. It had nothing at all to do with how much I weighed. I went decades avoiding physical activity and thinking that my weight and my actions were the cause of my pain. I still have knee pain (I pretty much just have to live with it) but at least I now know what the cause is and maybe I’ll be able to afford physical therapy one day.

    1. I, too, have noticed that my knees get worse when I lose weight. I lost 30 lbs eh years ago, and got so I needed a walker. I I’ve recently lost 40 lbs from grief at the loss of my partner, and I’m having problems walking just around my small apartment. My knees always did hyperextend.

  25. All symptoms I had, when I went to a doctor and he told me that I just need to lose weight, do sport and eat healthily (which I already do,I mean eating and sport):
    – diarrhea and constant heavy pain in the belly
    – pain in my right food (after accident!)
    – pain in my left food’s big toe (after accident!)
    – being really sick with fever and stuff for over 3 months (later it turned out to be a not discovered inflammation in my jaws, this could have been seriously dangerous and influented my health for more than a year)
    When you are not “normal-sized”, many doctors won’t treat you.

  26. One doctor diagnosed me with knee problems but then initially refused to tell me the exercises I needed to do for them because “you’ll never do them anyway.”

    Another bullied me into taking prescription acne medication after I’d repeatedly told him I didn’t want it. It gave me an ulcer.

  27. Many years ago, when I was much thinner, I was in a car accident that left me with some nerve damage. We moved and I needed a new neurologist. The nerve damage was in my arm. The f first thing the lovely man said was that I needed to lose weight. I later found out he had money in one of the wright loss places, which of course, he recommended to me.

  28. I’ve had a similar problem, although it was not related to my weight, but instead, my gender and mental health .

    The story starts when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an auto-immune intestinal disorder. I needed to have surgery to remove part of my intestine, which had swollen shut.

    Before I was admitted to surgery (which had been scheduled before hand) I had to pee in a cup and wait for the doctors to run a pregnancy test. (I was not told that this would happen before hand. Also, would they have not have done the surgery if I’d been pregnant? Was the possible life of a baby worth more than the surgery I needed for MY life?) The surgery was delayed further, due to an earlier one going long, further aggravating my anxiety issues.

    While in the hospital and recovering from surgery, the doctors gave me a new brand of anti-depressants AND a new brand of anxiety medication. They also refused to give me my birth control, which I’ve been on for years because my periods were so heavy I was losing too many nutrients.

    Following the surgery, I had no energy well beyond the time frame I was given for my recovery. I went to all my doctors and a therapist, and they insisted it was depression. I know what it feels like to be exhausted because of depression, and this was not it. Eventually I got one of my doctors to perform every blood test they could. It turns out that the section of my intestine that had been removed had been the part that absorbed vitamins B-12 and D, and I had zero levels of both of those vitamins in my system.

    But I was brushed off as hormonal and depressed.

  29. When I was eighteen months old, I was in pain. My mother could tell something was definitely wrong, as I wasn’t usually a cryer and had started sleeping through the night fine almost a year before. The pediatrician she took me to told her I had colic.

    (Note- I’ve worked in a doctor’s office as an adult, and the doctor I worked for told me babies don’t get colic after the first THREE MONTHS)

    She brought me back to him three more times before taking me to the ER. Every time, he said I was colicy.

    At the ER, I was diagnosed with a Wilm’s tumor in my left kidney. After surgery and rounds of still-experimental chemotherapy and radiation, I was put into remission at four and officially cancer free at eight.

  30. I can relate so much to your post.

    In recent years I have had all sorts of doozies. The time I went to the doctor and asked them to please look at my foot because I was pretty sure I had injured my heel while exercising, and please don’t just diagnose me as fat. To which the doc replied, “OK I’ll look at the foot but it is because you are fat.” Funnily enough I am still fat but my foot no longer hurts – and no thanks to that doctor.

    Last year I got terrible flu – fever, headache, cough – and when I went to the doctor to make sure I didn’t have pneumonia or bronchitis she took the opportunity to strongly advocate weight loss surgery to me. I actually started crying because I just felt like, look I’m f**king miserable – can you give the fat sh*t a rest just for today please?

    I just went to a different doctor a few weeks ago because I wanted a general checkup. She was much nicer than the previous doctor I’ve seen. But she STILL suggested weight loss surgery to me – even though every single test I took that day came back “perfect.” She dropped it immediately and was very nice about it but STILL!

    But nothing tops my check up in 2008. I hadn’t gone to the doctor for a long time because I was afraid of being yelled at for being fat, but in 2008 I got my courage up and went because I’d had red patches on my skin for years and nothing I tried got rid of them and no research I undertook revealed what they were.

    Went for my visit, the assistant ACTUALLY SAID ‘oh MY’ after she weighed me. (I now refuse to be weighed.) She then spent the rest of the visit advising me not to eat two cakes every day (um…. OK? Wasn’t doing this), to walk more (at the time I walked on average 2 hours a day 5 days a week) and to switch from white bread to brown bread (easy to do, since I never eat white bread). When I asked her repeatedly to look at my skin – you know, the reason I was there?!? – she suggested I ‘put some cream on it.’

    I went home, I cried and then I got angry and phoned and complained. My second appointment saw me referred to a dermatologist, who diagnosed my red patches as mycosis fungoides – an extremely rare form of cancer. Luckily it was treatable and I am still here but imagine if I had just gone home after that first appointment and not followed up?!?

  31. My town is very small and only has a small medical clinic with one doctor, so when I went in with a pain in my chest I was told it was either a pulled muscle or a blood clot and he told me to go to the hospital 45 minutes away to get a test done. So I booked a ticket on the next bus because I didn’t want to pay for the ambulance ride, and I went in. After a few tests they concluded it was just a pulled muscle and I was perfectly healthy. That’s what stuck with me though, they actually said I was healthy. And I thought about for a long time, and despite having a bit of extra fat I am healthy. I don’t eat to bad, my days include a lot of physical activity, and I have never had any health problems related to weight. I think the only problem I actually have is that I have to take vitamin D supplements because I work night shift and sleep during the day. But everyone had been telling me I was unhealthy because of my appearance. It just really felt nice to hear it from a doctor for once.

  32. I’ve rarely had good experiences with doctors, so I usually avoid them at all costs (luckily I’m usually pretty healthy). But I remember one instance where I was pretty sure I had a UTI, so I’d been drinking a lot of water to try to flush out my system. I had insurance with my job, so at my spouse’s urging I also went to a doctor to see if anything else could be done.
    The doctor asked me if I’d been urinating a lot and I said yeah, because I’ve been drinking a lot of water trying to flush my system because I think I have a UTI. Well, the urine test they ran didn’t turn anything up, so I guess it worked. Meanwhile, the doctor gave me some antidiuretic pills. …Even though I told him the reason I’d been urinating so much was because I WAS DRINKING A LOT OF WATER. If I’d been concerned with how much I was urinating, I had a much easier solution: stop drinking so much water.
    I never took the pills or went back to that doctor.
    IDK, it seems to me that if someone has or had an infection in their urinary tract, giving them something that slows down how often it gets cleared out could be potentially dangerous. :/

  33. I went to my doctor a couple months ago with a true myriad of symptoms–pretty bad & prolonged digestive problems, tingling in my arms and hands, near constant wrist pain, intention & hand tremors, fingers that sometimes didn’t want to bend out of their position, daily bouts of sudden and prolonged muscle & joint weakness, memory problems that’ve developed over the last year or so, pervasive generalized confusion over everything, severe migraines (two in two weeks, specifically) where before I’d never had anything quite so bad, and my favorite, a grey circle that took up a good portion of my left eye’s vision for about two minutes; in the last four months, I’ve had nineteen different blood tests run, and each time? All my doctor had to say was “congratulations, you’re healthy!”

    Which I’m not. I want to know what’s wrong with me, because something is. I have an interesting fear of my skin separating, so I don’t like the blood tests much, but I can honestly say that I dislike not knowing what is wrong with me even more, especially when it’s quite plain that something is.

    (also I disagree with what they define as “normal” wbc count, but that’s neither here nor their)

    Anywho, I went back after the Circle phenomena because wow not normal, yeah? And instead of doing an MRI or…something, just something, she made sure that I wasn’t having a stroke right then in her office by raising both my arms and walking in a straight line. And then proceeded to inform me that I should only come in with symptoms if they worsened–if I went blind in one eye, for example, or if I lost complete usage of a limb. I swear, these words came from a doctor’s mouth.

    I honestly couldn’t believe those words came out of her mouth. Especially with the family history of Crohn’s, MS, and cancer that I have, to name a few things. :’D

    But yes. Suffice to say that since my vision is still blurring and, you know, staying that way for several minutes in spite of eye-drops an blinking and stuff, I’m going to the optometrist next week. And I picked a new doctor, too. Hopefully she’ll listen to me and not gaze upon me with the light of ‘HYPOCHONDRIAC’ in her eyes.

    You know, maybe. 🙂

    1. You know, your symptoms look a heck of a lot like Fibromyalgia to me. Do some poking around online, maybe suggest to your doctor that you look at it as a possibility. And don’t stand for it if he says it’s all in your head. It’s not. Even the Federal Government says so.

    2. Back in the spring I had the grey circle symptom you describe. It turned out being a Retinal Vein Occlusion (A blood clot in the vein in my eye.) I lost total sight, but eventually, over months, it came back. Now it is almost normal. Please definitely get it checked out. Taking a baby aspirin might be a good idea. Good luck. I really hope it turns out okay.

  34. So I’m doing my senior project on how doctors should treat their patients as opposed to how they actually do treat their patients since my mom had some really bad experiences when she had to be treated for her breast cancer (aka doctors being rude to her/our family, not telling us things that we needed to know, not going over proper procedures) and this makes me so much more mad at them…even more than I already was….I am so so SO sorry about this. This is unacceptable.

  35. I’ve been tiny my entire life, but when I was around 13 or 14, I was having trouble focusing in class, so my parents sent me to a small clinic near our house to see if I could be tested for an attention disorder.
    Almost immediately after she took my height and weight at the clinic, the doctor chewed my mother out for never having me tested for blood diseases, thyroid issues or eating disorders. My mother calmly explained that being small at my age runs in our family, and I eat as much as she does. Still, the doctor subjected me to blood tests to make sure I wasn’t being neglected (ha) and that my thyroid was working fine. My mother was fuming, she knew there was nothing wrong with me and yet the doctor pushed and prodded to get into our business.
    Sure enough, a week later, she called our house to explain that there was, in fact, nothing wrong with me and my glands were working fine.
    It works both ways, for those large and small. It really is ridiculous what nosy people will do when given a powerful position in the medical community.

  36. A friend of mine died because of bone cancer when she was 32 years old.
    The doctor ignored the symptoms for years and interpreted them with her overweight. After years she visited a different doctor, who diagnose bone cancer in advanced state, it was already too late.
    This happened in year 2011, in Germany, unbelievable.

    1. In other words, the medical monolith hates overweight people and hopes they die off. This should be a major news story and lawsuit.

  37. My son started having vertigo issues when he was 2. After his second spell they gave him an MRI and a Cat Scan (They need to put a 2 year old under for that, which is risky alone) because they thought it was a brain tumor. After they cleared that mighty scary testing process they said it might have been a scorpion sting (I live in Arizona). Mind you, there were no sting bites and he never said he got bit or stung by anything. (Scorpions stings HURT)

    They tasted for allergies, checked his ears, did blood tests – finally they said he has a hearing issue. (even though it was right after the flu and he had an ear infection)

    Finally, after 2 years and tons of invasive testing I went to a naturopath. She got copies of his records and called me.

    “You know he has anemia, right?”

    Me: “What? No.”

    “Well, he tested positive for it. They never told you?”

    Me: “No.” At this point I”m furious and in tears but maintaining composure.

    The results were in his blood work from his old doctor and they never told me.

    She put him on iron and he’s been fine ever since.

  38. Ive got one, not as life threatening but it could have gone bad fast. and I’m still emotionally scarred from it.
    when i was around 18 and about 250 i started getting awful pains in my lower abdomen, and i was terrified it was a cyst or something do to my pros. after a whole week of begging my parents to take me to a doctor they caved and took me to my pediatric doctors office (we had yet to get a general prac because i have specialists out the wazoo for an unrelated brain thing) the office has a weird rotation, so you alms never get the same doctor twice, most were pretty nice, treated me kindly though always lectured me about the weight. this guy was a huge asshole.. firstly he never spoke to me, ever- only to my mother who was there for support and didn’t know anything about what was going on. then after barely looking at me or taking my concerns into place he said i was just constipated and that i needed to use an enima, despite the fact that i was having normal bowel movements. then he suggested TO MY MOTHER not to me, that i should get a lap band surgery..because I’ve been struggling with my weight my whole life..i left in tears.

    i felt like an animal at the vet or a food monster that coudlent stop herself from eating nonstop.. rather than a person. icing on the cake was he knew i had problems eating to begin with, i was lucky if i managed to make myself eat a meal a day, and i was undernourished because of it.

    when the enima ended up making the pain way way worse we finally went to the er, after a whole day of tests and being poked and prodded- but never -thank god- lectured for my weight, we find out i have diverticulosis and a very very bad infection because of it.

    short story version, went to doctor with abdomen pain, he said it was constipation despite normal bowel movements, then told the person with me-not me directly- that i should get a lap band. i felt like an animal at the vet.

  39. I’ve had some terrible experiences with doctors. When I broke my collarbone in grade 9 they left me in the waiting room for almost 2 hours where I consequently went into shock and had a panic attack…the only reason I finally got in was because a lady ahead of me was like “dudes I have a COLD take her first”. Then the nurses shoved my shoulder back against the x-ray panel and pulled on my arm, asking “does this hurt?” (as I let out strangled screams of pain.) THEN they put the sling on backwards.
    Turns out it was the wrong type of sling (!!) so my collarbone did not heal properly and although I tried to tell the doctors about it, they ignored me until it was diagnosed as a non-union fracture 6 years later (by a breast health clinic doctor, because they were the first to actually listen). This means the bone is not actually connected, but a joint in the bone has formed, and it is extremely painful. I have also developed tendinitis in that arm.

    More recently, I was suffering from an eating disorder, in which I was basically starving myself. I agreed to see a dietitian, but when I weighed in at 95 pounds she told me I should “feel lucky” and that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, even if I was skin and bones. I got the same reaction from other doctors as well so I stopped seeing people after that and got better on my own with the help of my mum.

    what the hell, doctors??

  40. I had been feeling a little lethargic, so I took a day off of work to get some rest. I called the doctors to get a medical certificate but my regular doctor was fully booked, so I took an appointment with another doctor.
    I go in to my appointment and tell him what was going on. He checked out the glands near my throat and ordered some blood tests (I requested the blood tests as it had been a while and I wanted to rule out anemia as my mother has suffered from it).
    He then started asking me about my weight and started to talk to me about getting lap band surgery. Before I could even say “I’m not interested in talking about that”, he picked up the phone and called a specialist to get prices. Meanwhile, he starts tapping away on his computer, and hands me referrals for a nutritionist and an exercise specialist while he still talking.
    He then puts the phone down and starts talking to me about getting lap band surgery again and what the referrals are for.
    By this time I was getting pretty angry and told him to stop talking. He was said, “You are very overweight and you need to fix this and I’m going to help you.”
    My response; “I didn’t ask for you help in this matter. I came in for a medical certificate and a blood test. I did not ask for you to discuss with me things that I would discuss with my regular doctor.”
    He gave me the medical certificate and then started again about my weight.
    I just took the medical certificate and the blood test referral. He tried to make me take the other referrals, but I left them on the desk and told him “You have given me advice that I did not ask for, so I will not take these. I will talk to my regular doctor.”
    I walked out of there so shaken and upset that I broke down in tears to my partner about it.
    (I will point out that I prefer female doctors over male ones and I am uncomfortable in talking to male doctors. Luckily my regular doctor is quite lovely and I did tell her about what happened. She requested that my results went to her so I wouldn’t have to deal with that doctor anymore).

  41. I was diagnosed with uterine cancer last March, had a radical hysterectomy in April, and radiation in July. I was already post-menopausal, thank goodness. The oncology PA who have me the stage and grade diagnosis was young, and had a pretty cold manner. My cancer was stage 1a, I caught is very early, but graded 3, which means an aggressive tumor. That’s why the radiation (vaginal -never do this unless you have to).

    I called this young PA a few weeks after getting the post surgery staging/ grading info to ask her about my risks for estrogenic breast cancer, reasoning that since my uterine tumor may have been an estrogenic one, I wants to be sure I know what my breast cancer risk was. Her answer when I asked if I was at risk: “That should motivate you.” I left my body. I knew immediately that she meant that the fear of breast cancer should motivate me to lose weight, but I didn’t ask for clarification, or for an actual answer to my question. I just hung up in shock. It took me SIXM MONTHS before I realized I had been fat shamed.

    I reported this all to my Gynecologist at my last surveillance exam, and she was shocked. Additionally, it turns out that grade 3 tumors are unlikely to be estrogenic, though mine probably was as I had hyperplastic endometrium (greater than 3 mm post menopause is problematic; mine was 11mm), and that the current research that there is no measurable risk for estrogenic breast cancer for those who have had an estrogenic uterine cancer. So, that uppity, I’ll informed, fat shaming PA was just freaking wrong.

    One of these days, I am going to write her a letter informing her of three things: one, that she needs to get current on her knowledge regarding estrogenic breast cancer or refer to someone who is; two, that fat shaming is not only inexcusable, but presuming that overweight patients are at higher risk is medically inaccurate; and three, that motivation is NEVER fear based. I am still really steamed over it all.

  42. I once told a psychiatrist that I couldn’t stop thinking about death and that I felt I needed a low dose anti-depressant and he told me that everyone has a hard time thinking about and/or accepting death and that I just need to get over it.
    That was three years ago before my medical insurance was cut off. I suffered from multiple suicidal episodes and I will forever be disgusted with his response and lack of empathy considering the fact that I was there to get help. All I needed him to do was his job – diagnose me, acknowledge what I’m saying, and treat me. He had an opportunity to improve my health and my quality of life, but instead completely failed me.

  43. One time I went in to see my doctor to get bloodwork results. She wasn’t in, so I saw one of the ones who is there as a filler (she’s not part of the regular practice). I sit down and she starts berating me about my weight – telling me how I need a gastric sleeve (apart from this obviously being awful, I’m like a size 16/18 – hardly notable), etc etc, and really being awful. She forced me to get a glucose tolerance test, because at my weight diabetes is imminent.

    The doctor who did the test (in another area of the city) made fun of my teeth and my weight.

    I went in to get the GTT results a week later and told my regular GP, and she hit the fucking roof. Guess what? My sugars were completely normal and cholesterol low.

  44. In 1998 my wife’s legs started to swell slightly with her period.She is extremely heavy.She began to get rashes on her legs and went to an infectious disease specialist.He said she had cellulitis and gave her a short course of antibiotics.It went away but came back in a week.He refused to give her a longer period of antibiotics and it came back. He put her in a small hospital in Queens for intravenous antibiotics but refused to give her a longer course of treatment.The reason given was that overuse caused resistant bacteria to survive.She had cellulitus 7 times and after the last time her legs were drastically swollen and her weight ballooned with water
    swelling. She had developed severe Lymphedema which at the time was almost unknown by NY docotrs although was being treated in central europe and Germany for more than a hundred years.While hospitalized in this small facility they did not move her or give her exercise and finally she had a severe pulmonary embolism.It was so severe she had to be on oxygen full time and if she raised her head she turned black from anoxia. I demanded they send her to a much better hospital or I would sue.They sent her by ambulence to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan which had a “good” reputation. Many specialists evaluated her and then finally close to thirty of them came to me and said she should have intestinal bypass bariatric surgery. I realized this would be murder, since there was no chance she could survive.The last one to see me,said they had an UNTRIED experimental laproscopic procedure to encourage weight loss.I refused so reluctantly the put her on a low calorie liquid diet that was water restricted. In a month she lost 100lbs and was moved to another hospital where she recovered.She finally got an infectious disease specialist who knew something and he prescibed antibiotics for a very long time(years) which cured the cellulitus but she still has a chronic case of Lymphedema which is wrapped every day. So much for medical; treatment of fat patients
    in this country with its bigotry.

    1. That is awful. Can you sue for malpractice and inaccurate diagnosis? All those boneheaded choices would have killed her.

      It also shocks me that North American doctors are so behind in medical knowledge compared to Europe. There used to be an old joke that USA was 50 yrs behind England, and Canada was 50 yrs behind USA. Maybe it’s not a joke after all?

  45. I was enraged by what had happened.When I finally had time, I contacted a medical malpractice lawyer. He explained that the case would probably eventually go to trial, and I would need to hire a doctor who specializes in giving testimony against other doctors. ( it is a specialty since most doctor are trained not to testify against other doctors). They are very expensive and I had to pay upfront. I realized that a strong argument was that most doctors in the US had no knowledge of what Lymphedema is. In the whole city of NY with 8 million people there was one doctor in Manhattan who treated the illness. (Dr. Lerner who eventually treated my wife with his version of wrapping and brought her under control.) Besides being unrecognized in the US ( although Lymphedema is a common result in Cancer patients who have their lymph glands removed in breast cancer surgery). I realized also that there was tremendous bigotry against fat people in the US and this would have influenced the jury against her so I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble to sue and didn’t.I decided to bring a civil action against the infectious disease doctor who treated her improperly with antibiotics.(Its a long time and I forget the name of the group that made the determination.Although recollection suggests it was associated with medical licensure). They of course were peopled by doctors and they listened to my com[plaints and his reponses over a period of months and
    finally decided to do nothing. About the only roll off from that action that may have been positive is that since then (for whatever reason) many doctors now know what Lymphedema is and recognize it.
    In retrospect I believe I made the correct decision.Although Lymphedema occurs in people of any size naturally, it is probably more common in very fat people.Since the swelling is often associated with fatness(lypodema) and looks like fat it engenders fat discrimination among doctors which is endemic here.Perhaps that is why they knew nothing at the time.
    My wife initially I believe had the beginnings of lymphedema with her initial swelling.When she developed cellulitis it was a dead give away.Had she been properly treated with antibiotics she might have gotten away with compression stockings as a treatment. Bigotry and mistreatment against fat patients can have very real deadly effects.

    1. That is terrible. I too have looked into suing a doctor, but after reading some articles online, it looks I would be out of pocket many $10,000’s, and even more in debt than I am now.

      In Canada, lymphedema is known about, perhaps a bit more than in the US. My grandma developed it in her arm after breast cancer surgery and removal of the lymphatic tissues

      I am glad though, that more doctors are made aware of lymphedema, as it is a common side effect of so many things. Lipedema runs in my family as I’ve just recently discovered, and in advanced stages it can lead to lymphedema as well, as the lipedemic fat crushes the lymph nodes and blood vessels.

    2. Wow! That’s horrible!

      Well, I understand not wanting to sue, if it’s likely to lose in a jury trial. However, have you considered contacting a journalist? Your wife can’t possibly be the only woman in America with this issue, and it sounds like we need to get the word out there and educated the American doctors!

      Investigative journalists know how to put the story out there, without libel/slander issues, and know how to get results.

      This particular case goes beyond fat-shaming (common enough, and no single article will fix it) to flat-out medical ignorance in a so-called “advanced” country, and NEEDS to be addressed. If you can do it, I recommend it. If you can’t do it, that’s your underpants, and your choice. But perhaps someone else will see this comment, and recognize their own similar experience, and they will take up the cause. After all, you never know who’s reading these comments, so just putting it out there, already, may be just what was needed.

      Thanks for alerting us to this! It’s another thing to look out for, when we see these symptoms. We have to be educated, and stand up for ourselves with the doctors.

  46. I believe most newspapers in the US are owned either by large corporations which are controlled by CEO’s who are members of the upper class as are their close subordinates, or by rich billionaires and super millionaires. So the papers are controlled almost exclusively by the upper class. Ditto for TV stations and most movie studios.You can bet that Rupert Murdoch who controls the News Corp does not allow anyone who works for him as a writer or TV personality to act counter to his beliefs.If they do they get fired.That’s true for most controllers of the media.The upper class in the US is determined by money, and follows almost exclusively two major sexual standards. The Beautiful People Ideal and The Thin Is In Ideal.(The names are mine, but what they represent is clear.)
    They become oppressive when they are projected as the ONLY STANDARDS of beauty, and everyone else is flawed.Fat women fit neither one for the most part,although there are some beautiful fat women, but because they have cellulite they are not allowable.Hence fat women are singled out for special treatment which leads to especially severe fat discrimination.
    It is wishful thinking to believe that any paper with a large following will publish a story that is seventeen years old about a very fat women who was mistreated is expecting a lot given the power structure.
    I am uncertain about the nature of the upper class in Canada, Australia and Great Britain.However the British Royal Family only recently has begun to follow the Beautiful People Ideal. Queen Mary the mother of Queen Elizabeth was a fat women.Likewise much of the Royal Family was rather ordinary looking. With Prince Charles marrying Diana this changed things, since she was rather beautiful in the ideal sense.Her sons are handsome in the conventional sense and Prince William has married a model.
    The comments in this particular blog by Ragen highlight a number of cases where doctors pushing weight loss and other forms of fat bigotry have severely endangered fat patients lives. I seem to recall telling the lawyer what the “specialists” wanted to do to my wife. He said there was no case against the hospital, because their was no records as to the recommendations of surgery. Rest assured none of the doctors involved would have admitted in open court to what they suggested.This is the way a lot of fat bigotry occurs, especially medically. Silently,almost innocuously
    but deadly sometimes.
    There is two ways to judge whether a doctor is potentially a fat bigot.Bill Fabrey when I first met him in Naafa talked about measuring the chairs when I went out with a fat women.I frankly thought he was nuts.He was right.If you like fat women its sensible to make sure she is comfortable.
    If a doctor does not have a double chair without a middle armrest, or a chair without arms somewhere in the office, time to move on. If a doctor as soon as you enter starts talking diets and weight loss say good by and don’t pay.

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