An editorial memoir by Bold Staff Member, Mel Mayhem.
Going to the doctor has always been something I avoided. I could almost predict what was going to happen and what was going to be said to me. I’ve been heavy my entire life so I’ve seen multiple doctors and each one, with the exception of one amazing man, would attribute every single ailment to my weight. Most recently I visited a nurse practitioner provided by my university due to a continuous cough and congestion. I informed the person that I have severe allergies and when it gets bad enough I get an upper respiratory infection and am normally given a Z-pack or medication to help combat the infection and I get better within a week. I told her this because prior to moving to San Antonio, I had an amazing doctor who was able to look past my weight and see what was really wrong.
“Health and weight are SOMETIMES related,” says Bold Media CEO, Christopher Salute. “But, not always. And, often health professionals take advantage of their authority to promote weight loss. I’ve heard too many stories about women being fat shamed for health issues that are gender related, hereditary, or just plain circumstantial.”
He [my doctor] had informed me about my allergies and asthma problems and informed me that should they get agitated enough I end up sick. Hoping that this practitioner would be the same as my previous doctor I told her this information. Instead of treating me for an infection she claimed that my weight was agitating my asthma and that my eating habits were causing reflux. She told me that taking reflux medication and getting back in control of my asthma would help and that nothing else was the issue. I’ve never had reflux issues but I attempted to listen to the professional and went to buy medication. I took it for several days and I have yet to get any better and have yet to have a night that I can sleep. It wasn’t until two days ago that I was able to sleep because I took cold and flu medication and got
“Some doctors use a person’s weight as an excuse not to treat an overweight person,” says Alyssa Roensch, Bold Media staff member. “In my personal experience, I’ve had a doctor go as far as to tell me that regardless of what my test results came back as, the underlying issue of my symptom was obesity. The same doctor also repetitively told me I needed to lose weight in disgust as he touched my lower back during a procedure. I left crying.”
Editor’s Note: Roensch has no weight related health issues to speak of.
Just because I’m heavy doesn’t mean I’m unhealthy. I’ve gotten labs done to prove this fact and can say that my weight is not always the issue. Yes, being heavy can cause some issues but when it comes to most ailments it’s not a contributing factor. I’m so disappointed in the medical professionals I meet that are always “shocked” when they get lab results back saying I’m healthy. I’ve literally had a medical professional look at me and say “I was shocked when your labs came in to see that all your levels are great. I really thought I’d be telling you that you were at least pre-diabetic or even diabetic. Good job”. I wanted to cry out of anger that this doctor had actually said that to me. My hope is that I can find another doctor like the man I had back in my hometown because he was the only one that didn’t treat me like “fat garbage”. He treated me like any skinny person and showed me a level of respect that I have yet to be shown again.
Editor’s Note: We’re all about body inclusive health. Check out our articles for Fat Fitness Friday HERE and HERE. And, join us at Sarah Sapora’s Body + Love Workshop in Las Vegas the last weekend in September to love your body and improve your health at the same time! And, be sure to ask us about our Fall reading list which includes health books, books on the history of weight and size, and body wellness books!