First Do No Harm

I hate going to the doctor.   

I didn't have insurance for years and years, so I couldn't go.  Just a doctor's visit, with no tests, costs a few hundred dollars without insurance.  (At least, it used to.  God knows how much it is now.)

This was a time where I was eating lots of rice and beans because they're cheap and I couldn't always afford food on a regular basis.   I once ate just rice for a week straight, because I couldn't ignore the enormous hole in my terrifyingly loud muffler any longer.  And the muffler money was supposed to be food money, but sometimes shit happens.

This is not a period of time in which I saw a doctor or a dentist without putting up a huge fight about it.  I got stuck paying off an emergency room visit for over a year.  And they didn't even DO anything for me on that visit.  They stuck me in a room to be "monitored" while my horrifying allergy symptoms went away because I had panic-chugged over 5 Benadryls prior.  That cost me a couple thousand dollars! 

Now that I have RAD BENEFITS with really good insurance, I am using the SHIT out of it.  I went to the allergist AND the dermatologist.  I had tests and whatnot done!  I never miss a teeth cleaning.  

I've had back problems for years and years.  And now my knee is fucked up too.  If you have a history of multiple car accidents and falling down the stairs and off the curb, you might end up with some back and knee issues.  I thought to myself-- Self, can we get some physical therapy for this stupid back issue?  Cause it sucks to go places and constantly have to sit down because your stupid back is giving you stabby pain. 

And it turns out-- physical therapy is covered!  There isn't even a copay.   


So I'm at my first physical therapy appointment.  And the PT girl says to me (all earnestness)-- Have you ever thought of losing weight?  Because if you were to be wearing a backpack with 50 extra pounds in it, that would be really tiring. 

Motherfucker.  Really?  REALLY? 

Let's see.  Well, I am a fat woman in America who grew up fat.  I have eyes and a mirror and everyone in the world is concern trolling me about my weight.  So YES.  It had occurred to me a various points in the past to lose weight.  

I started dieting at 8 years old.   I destroyed my relationship with food and my body, to the point where I'm still never quite sure if I'm hungry or not.  I lived off of pretzels and Diet Coke for months.  I carry around a lacerating sense of guilt and disgust at my own body.  I failed over and over at diet after diet (as almost everyone does).  I have abused my own body and I have been abused by others.   

For fuck's sake.  Have I thought about losing weight.  Why yes, I have.  I sure would have liked all the verbal abuse to stop, especially when I was a little kid before I had developed a hard outer shell against how much other people seemed to hate me for no goddamn reason. 

And this is why I hate fucking doctors and health care folks.  Because if you're fat, this shit happens pretty much every time you go to a doctor.  

Really, what is the point of medical school when you can apparently just look at someone and magically tell what's wrong with them?  Why are we making med students pay all this money to, I don't know, LEARN THINGS??  Cause when I go to the doctor, I'm just told everything that's ever wrong with me is because I'm a big fat fatty.  And since I know that already, what exactly is the point of going?  

If you're thin, you may be thinking to yourself, surely it can't be that bad.  Yes it is.  Please pay attention.  I am not exaggerating for comic effect when I say this happens every time.  I am shocked when a new doctor doesn't have some nasty asshole thing to say to me about being fat.  That's why I've kept my GP even though I moved to another state and it's kind of a pain to get over to her office.  Because she doesn't give me a face full of asshole bigoted bullshit when I have mono. 


When I was 8 or 9, my mother told a doctor that I had food allergies.  And he said-- well, they must be working in reverse because she's SO FAT. 

The doctor who thought I got pneumonia from being fat. 

The doctor who accused me of eating fast food for every meal and then called me a liar when I said that I didn't.   Because I was SO FAT.

When my birth control gave me panic attacks, the doctor said that wasn't possible, and it must just be something to do with me being SO FAT.

After a car accident, the doctor told me I should lose weight for my knee, and had I ever thought of weight loss surgery?  

My friend who got diagnosed with a sinus infection caused by being fat. 

Another friend who was denied the back surgery she needed for a year.  Just lose weight!  Meanwhile, she now has permanent nerve damage. 

Further examples. 

I hate to even mention that my knee hurts to a doctor.  I can see in their eyes the fucking glee it gives them to have the opening to mention my weight.   Did you know you were fat?  Did you?  DID YOU?

Because no one who is thin ever has a knee problem.  Or gets sick.  I mean, thin people don't even get colds, right?  And they live forever, I've heard.  Because people sure do like to tell fat people about how they're going to die. 

Guess what, concern-trolly motherfucker?  SO ARE YOU.   

Is there even a medical solution for a thin person with a hurt knee?  Oh there is?  Well.  THAT'S WHAT I WANT.  You give me whatever you would give a thin person.   

And if I ever want to get back into hating myself and performing bulimia behaviors, I'll let you know that I'm ready to diet again.  Until then, fuck you.  I'm choosing to have my insurance pay your ass, so maybe you could be less of a dick. 

Does it not occur to people that maybe the reason fat people have worse health outcomes is because they can't stand the constant goddamn bullying and they refuse to see a doctor?  Oh but we would never do a study to test for that.  We as a society want fatties to be ashamed.  Because we don't like looking at them.

That is bigotry, you guys.  And I am sick of the bigots.