Sorry I haven’t been around much. Typing was getting more and more difficult with the huge ball of pus on the side of my thumb. But you probably didn’t want to know that…
I’ve been having a gynecological issue since last Christmas or so, and my GP was trying to deal with it. She wasn’t having much luck, and consequently, neither was I. I finally managed to get a referral to a gynecologist and so off I went to my appointment on Friday afternoon. I dragged Kari along with me because I wasn’t sure I’d be in any shape to drive after having a biopsy in my hoo-ha. (sorry… I would normally use the word vagina and be very descriptive in what went on, but I’ve discovered that my mom reads this blog, which is slightly disturbing… hi mom!)
Anyway, I’ll spare you all the gory details (as any male readers I might have breathe a collective sigh of relief). The doctor (a guy) did his examination and let me sit up (still uncovered, thank you very much) and proceeded to tell me that all my problems boiled down to the fact that I am too fat.
I’m sorry, but WHAT? Look buddy, I’ve been fat for fifteen years. This problem cropped up in December, AFTER I had lost a bit of weight, and has NOTHING TO DO WITH MY WEIGHT. But no, he took one look at me and decided that anything wrong would be due to my weight and nothing else (oh, well he did say I should change detergents… riiiight….). The best part, to my mind, was that this doctor was at least a hundred pounds heavier than me. And I’m willing to bet he’s never had a doctor dismiss his concerns and tell him that all his problems will go away if he loses a bit of weight.
He asked me at one point how much I weighed. I said 282 (because that’s what the scale said the last time I weighed myself). He actually scoffed at me and said, “Really? Let’s find out!” and had me step on a scale. It was abjectly humiliating, and he had this really smug look on his face when the number 289 popped up. “See?” he said, “Most women underestimate.” Um… yeah, most women also don’t weigh themselves with their shoes on right after having consumed lunch (my appointment was at 1pm). But whatever. 7 lbs of food and water weight didn’t bother me any. What bothered me was his attitude.
The attitude that, as a morbidly obese person, I did not deserve to have my concerns heard; that as a morbidly obese person, I did not require or deserve his best effort at medical care; that as a morbidly obese woman, I did not deserve the basic courtesy of being spoken to like a human being, that it was alright to humiliate and debase me. His actual words, “Most girls, if they listen to what I tell them, end up being much happier. The girls who don’t listen to me, well, they’re unhappy.”
I’m sorry, but you don’t know me. You may be a medical expert in the field of gynecology, but you have not demonstrated this expertise to me. From what you have shown me, sir, I have no choice but to believe that you entered the field of gynecology so that you would be able to talk down to women from a position of authority. That you have no interest in helping women medically. I know that a lot of my problems (arthritis, allergies, fatigue, etc.) will be lessened if I lose weight, and I have been attempting to do so. I am in better shape now than I have been in a long time, and I’m exercising and eating better. Refusing to entertain ANYTHING other than the fact that I’m too fat as a medical reason for the condition I’ve come to you for? That’s immature, laughable, and malpractice. Because you’re not practicing medicine. You’re practicing bullying and nothing more. If there was a way I could get the province not to pay you for your services, believe you me, I would do it.
I’ve felt horrible about myself for years because of bullies like this doctor. And I’m done letting them push me around. So Mister Misogynist Doctor fellow, I have only one thing to say to you. And I can’t say it because my mom reads this blog.
(Oh, and I went to another clinic and had the thing on my thumb drained, which hurt like hell, but at least now I have my two thumbs again!)