Anyone who has known me for a while knows this: I have had a severe fear of being judged & lectured by doctors. As a plus size person, you can encounter an unpleasant stigma from nurses & doctors. This isn’t always the case. But once it happens to you once or twice, you begin to develop a sort of paranoia about it.
It wasn’t so much that I was in denial that I had a weight issue. I KNEW I had a weight issue & understood the gravity of the situation. I just didn’t want to talk about it with anyone.
In my late teen years, I started to refuse to be weighed at the doctor’s office. Sometimes the nurse just said, “okay.” Sometimes she got snippy about it. Regardless, I’d refuse.
By my early twenties, I just stopped seeing doctors completely, unless I absolutely had to for a work physical. No matter how sick I was, I’d just deal with it. Needless to say, I wasn’t getting yearly check ups either.
Even more severe was my fear of seeing an OBGYN. Having to expose bits of my naked body? No thanks.
I knew I needed to see an OBGYN. I knew I had menstrual irregularities I wanted checked on. And I knew I needed to see a doctor as well. I knew that several years ago, my blood pressure was reading high & that I’d eventually need to address that. I’d also never had bloodwork done so I had no clue what my cholesterol or blood sugar levels were.
It took a long time to come to terms with this fear & decide it was time to put it aside & take care of myself. I can’t tell you, exactly, how I did that. I know I had lost a lot of weight before that moment came. So, I’m sure that helped.
This year, at 27, I finally saw a doctor & OBGYN. I’ve lost 80+ pounds & worked so hard on improving my physical fitness. The next logical step was to make sure the rest of my health was in check.
I found a brand new doctor in a small office with just a few staff members- the kind of family practice where you KNOW you’ll be getting your doctor & not one of ten physician assistants. That helps because I like consistency. And I made sure I felt comfortable around that doctor & didn’t get any negative vibes from him or his staff.
I let the doctor know, right off the bat, what my previous weight was, how much I had lost, & the things I do to take care of myself & my weight. My vitals & bloodwork all reflected my efforts. My blood pressure was back down in an excellent range. My cholesterol & sugar levels were also excellent. I gave him copies of physical forms from previous years so he had solid proof of how far I had come.
My doctor’s appointment was extremely positive. We discussed important issues. I had a list of questions on my phone & he was happy to answer them. He even helped me find an OBGYN. That led me to make my next appointment.
My first OBGYN appointment at the age of 27 was interesting. I was scared & didn’t completely know what to expect. But again, the doctor I found was very nice & that made it as pleasant as that sort of visit can be.
I asked all the questions I’d always wanted to ask. I had my exam, pap smear, & an ultrasound to check for PCOS. All of those tests came back normal, to my relief.
After having a complete physical, blood work, OBGYN exam, & sonogram, I can say that I am healthy & I know that’s a fact. I know that I am making positive improvements in my life & in my health. That urges me to keep going & keep working to be healthier.
When is the last time you had a check up? Do you avoid doctors out of some kind of fear? Take the time to find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable & start addressing your health. At the end of the day, your health is the most important thing you own. Make it your priority.