You are running a fever, exhausted, been throwing up for four days, or your back, arm, (insert literally any body part here) hurts. AND, the first thing your oh-so-helpful doctor says is that you are overweight. UMMM well yes, as I dress my plus sized self, look in the mirror and – oh yeah live in this body, I think I realize that it doesn’t meet your standard of “healthy”. This also IS NOT WHY I AM HERE.
I have noticed- and took to friends, family and elsewhere to verify that I am not crazy- this not so great trend of doctors, nurses and well pretty much everyone wanting to place a plus size woman’s issues on her weight. Backstory, I had hernia surgery last month (have had three c-sections so an abdominal hernia was not caused by weight- which was of course insinuated by several doctors but refuted by the actual surgeon who did the procedure. Now about three weeks later, I had developed an infection – under the incision no amount of anything I could have done could have prevented it. I ended up in the hospital for 6 days. Without going too far into detail let me state there was a literal hole in my stomach to fight the infection- a hole. A big covered hole.
And yet… every time I turned around, a dietician was in my room… you do know you are diabetic right?!? If you lost weight then that wouldn’t be such a problem. Let’s talk diet! Ummmm HOLE IN STOMACH let’s talk that??? Then the nutritionist comes in, Let’s discuss how to get your weight under control- how much daily exercise do you get? Mind you, I am literally stuck in the hospital bed and cannot walk away from their skinnier-than-thou “education”. Plus size or not- don’t come bugging a sick chick when she is sick about nonsense like do you raise your heart rate for more than 30 minutes 3 times a week- woman its raised now…
I was there for a bad infection- 6 days is no joke, and yet I saw wound care once, I saw a surgery doctor once, but saw the diabetes doctor, the dietician and the nutritionist no less than 7 times. And I get it- lose weight means healthier. But at the same time, they assumed too much! Yes, I am plus sized but, I don’t gorge on fast food and binge eat my way through the dessert isle, one of my favorite things to eat is a salad. I don’t drink sodas or juices- I weaned myself off sweet tea. I’m not sedentary- I stand and walk around and move 6 hours a day at work and then have three kids that we are always running around doing something. I am starting a Professional Organization business, I do errands and walk all the time. But telling them these things didn’t matter. In the end, I just agreed to the new pills, the new shots of insulin and that yes, of course, I would contact the (many) resources they provided to help me overcome- oh and the places that did weight loss surgery because I was a great candidate for it!
Note that there is still a huge hole in my huge stomach. I am bruised all over from the different shots and blood draws and such and left the hospital completely demoralized and my self-esteem below China at this point. It didn’t matter that I had already lost 30 lbs on my own, or that I had just discovered diabetes (it runs in my family heavily and I had had gestational diabetes with 2 of my kids) so my numbers weren’t good yet. All that matter was I was fat and that was the cause of my issues.
So readers, chime in- do you have a story to share? Did a doctor say or do something similar? How do you answer when they start talking weight when you are clearly there for another reason? Help me- and our fellow plus size women flip the script and get back our health care.