TW: fatshaming, eating disorders, talk of suicidal ideation, self harm,
This is really a specific letter to a specific doctor but can apply to any doctor out there.
(I put that in quotes because the validity of you being able to practice medicine is under question.)
You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you. I remember every single word of that visit. Every unwanted touch as well. I was just another fat person coming in with stomach issues. My painfully filled out history forms meant nothing to you. Even though every single check box and line of writing physically hurt me to do. I did it anyway. I like to be thorough. I have a complicated medical history and a lot of issues. I was doing my job.
You however didn’t do yours. Your nurse just looked at me a fat person with a cane, hobbling slowly back to the room. Such a pity being so fat. Oh your blood pressure is high the nurse said. Yes I have anxiety and I am here alone, of course it’s going to be high. They just look at me and know already my blood pressure is high because I am fat and eat badly. Obviously.
Then you walked in after sitting for another 10-15 minutes. After all the previous waiting for my 3:00 appointment and it’s now 3:30 and you waltz in. You the doctor tell me that the test I just had done, an esophagram showed nothing and I certainly don’t have a hiatial hernia. You asked about my cane and I saw you flip through my history sheets, you asked about my knee surgery of which I had to repeat I have had two already.
You then had the gall to ask me “Have you thought about diet and exercise?”. Excuse-what-me? “Are you fucking kidding me?” is what I am screaming in my head. I also mention my medications (weight gain side effects), How I hadn’t been cleared for anything but my at home PT isometrics and stuff. I told you about having PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). None of this matters. You give me a pamphlet about healthy eating and exercise.
You tell me you couldn’t even do a surgery on me cause it’s very invasive and “people with your such high BMI have high morbidity rates.” You literally told me a surgery would probably kill me cause I am fat. Oh BTW, I now know that most of those surgeries are done laparoscopically.
Then you ask me to lie down so you can look at my stomach. Why? I am not sure why. Actually but I am already on the verge of crying, (I have PTSD as well) so someone just said do something you do it or bad things happen. That is the mode I was in. I learned to never go to an appointment alone again that day. I can NEVER GO ALONE. I lied down on the fucking table thing.You don’t tell me anything about what you are going to do you just do it. You have fucking terrible bedside manner I note later after I am done screaming inside my head. My history says I have mental health issues, if you had cared to read it.
Lifting up my shirt, pulling down my skirt poking at me in places I didn’t even fucking agree to in the first place. I am frozen. That is what happens. Freeze mode with PTSD flashbacks. You comment more about my weight, pull my skirt back up and my shirt down. Which I could have fucking done myself thank you very much. You just send me on my way. I practically run out the door as fast as a person can with a cane and tears in their eyes. I slam all the doors on the way out both opening and closing them. I don’t check out with your receptionist.
I am done. I get to my car in the handicapped parking spot. I am bawling so hard I can’t even speak as I am trying to call my therapist. She talks to me for over half an hour while I am still in my car in the parking lot. Crying, hiccuping, gasping for air, wanting nothing more than to just be dead. But no she calms me down enough that I am able to drive. She gives me a mission to go to Barnes & Noble so I can “do something nice for myself”. Tells me it’s not my fault, that I am right to be angry and sad.
I go to B&N I assumedly buy a book because that always makes me feel better. I can’t even remember the drive home other than pulling over at least once to clean my glasses because crying that hard and much is a messy business.
I find out the next day getting a call from my GP’s (General Practitioner) office. They are letting me know the results for my esophagram have come in and it’s very important I see “Dr.” Fuckface who I was talking about above. I try to as calmly as possible tell him I am not mad at him but that I already saw that “Dr.” and then went on to explain the fat shaming and awful, horrendous time I just had with him yesterday. To the guys credit he was furiously typing the entire time I was speaking. He also said he was sorry and that it was uncalled for and he would get a note back to my GP asap.
I did get to talk to a triage nurse who works with my GP and she spent over 30 minutes on the phone with me outlining a bunch of stuff to do and try. It turns out I do have a fairly large sliding hiatial hernia, and I also have a large amount of esophageal damage. I am being treated well with my GP and tips from one of the best nurses ever. I haven’t been sick in almost two months. Which is actually a record for me going back years. That is how long I had been dealing with almost daily vomiting. I even went off all my psych meds for a year because I thought “too many meds” were making me get sick all the time.
I actually felt really great that year off those psych meds. My GP even noted how well I was doing that year, while we were trying to deal with all this other stuff. However I am back on an anti-depressant, something for anxiety and my Prazosin. Thank you “Dr.” FF. I am now so depressed because of your fat shaming bullshit, that I not only am struggling back with my ED being active (very active), but also dealing with suicidal ideation. My depression is one of the lowest it has been in years. I have been wanting to as well as actually self harming.
If you are a doctor know that the fat person you think is so lazy and awful also has feelings. We might have so much going on that every day is a struggle to survive. You do not get to kill me. As hard as it is I have to keep living and exist just to piss you fuckers off. You don’t know my story and maybe you should. Maybe you should have done your job “Dr.” maybe you could have actually read my history or even talked to my GP after the assessment. You flat out lied about my test results, you did things without my express permission, you shamed me into near oblivion.
This letter is me crawling out and trying to feel the sun once more. It’s so bright and painful but I am tired of darkness. For now I need to scream if be for someone to hear me. This is my screaming.
I have feelings and they do matter.