Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Making the person who called you fat feel about an inch tall? Priceless!

First of all, thank you, everyone, for all the positive comments that you wrote in my blog and emailed to me. I haven't really had a chance yet to respond to the private emails I got because I was working late last night, but I really really appreciate it, more than you know. It is SUCH a relief to know that I'm not bonkers for thinking that my doctor is off her gourd.

I pretty much spent Monday night being pretty down in the dumps and not really eating much...which is par for the course when I am feeling fat and chunky. I went to bed sad.

But I woke up MAD. This was before I even read any of your comments. I couldn't believe I had empowered that woman to make me feel so bad.

So the first thing I did after reading all the comments and all my emails was to call my old doctor's office and ask them what they thought. I could tell the nurse was extremely reluctant to say anything since they haven't treated me in over a year and a half, but she finally did admit that if no circumstances had changed regarding my physical health and I hadn't gained my weight back and what I had told her regarding what had happened with the miscarriage was true, then my doctor's comment that I shouldn't gain any more weight was just plain ridiculous.

The next thing I did was to call the cow's office and leave a message for her to call me IMMEDIATELY or risk losing me as a patient. Then, I called another doctor's office in the same hospital and made an appointment. When I told them what my doctor had said and why I wanted to see another doctor, the nurse just chuckled and said she had never heard anything so silly and of course they would take me on as a new patient. The new lady is 34, only a few years older than me, and the nurse put me on hold so she could ask her right then and there when she wanted to see me. That, I like. Availability is good.

Around 4:15 pm on Monday, my cow doctor called back and left me a message. I was very surprised to hear from her considering that the receptionists at the front desk told me that Tuesday was her surgery day and that she wouldn't be able to talk with me until the next day (today), but I called her back and got her right on the phone.

I wish that I could regurgitate the details word for word, but unfortunately I don't have much of a memory for details when I am a) in tears and b) driving down the road at 65 miles per hour. But what I DO remember was really reading her the riot act and telling her how incredibly BAD she made me feel on Monday by insinuating that I was grossly overweight, didn't know how to eat properly, and adding the additional stress of telling me that I should not gain any more weight through my pregnancy. I told her that unless I was mistaken, I was growing another human being inside me and that I would like her to tell me precisely just how I am supposed to keep my weight at this number I am at now, grow a baby, a placenta and amniotic fluid, all without dieting, and that I wanted to know if she had ever had a patient that had done that successfully. I told her that I felt it was incredibly unfair of her to assume that I was treating this pregnancy as a license to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's every day and sit on my ass watching television, instead of being happy that I did what a lot of women don't do before they get pregnant and took care of business by getting my weight down to a respectable level. I explained to her that my pre-weight loss weight was 228, which is still over 40 lbs less than what I was at, when I got pregnant the second time, that I could not help being sad and unmotivated after my miscarriage, and that I did not, no matter what she said, think that gaining five pounds in my first ten weeks of pregnancy was the end of the world, and that I couldn't believe that she would pass judgement on me when she did not know me before, didn't realize how far I had come with my weight loss journey, and worst of all, that she had NO idea what she did on Monday for my psyche considering that I had just reconciled the idea of gaining weight in my mind with getting pregnant. I also told her that I had enough to worry about already with another miscarriage and work and didn't need to also add the additional worry of being lectured by her about gaining any weight at every appointment. And one of the last things I threw at her was that it was one of the worst moments of my life being called fat by my DOCTOR after I had struggled for almost two years to get to a healthy weight before trying to conceive, and that by doing that, she completely ruined my experience of hearing my child's heartbeat for the first time.

Clearly, I said a lot.

Her response was not what I expected at all. She was extremely contrite and very apologetic. She must have apologized about fifteen times in the thirty minutes that we were on the phone. She immediately said how she never meant to imply that I shouldn't gain any weight at all and that her intention was good and that all she wanted to impress upon me was the importance of regular exercise and a good diet. That was all. Of course, I immediately demanded to know why she said that I shouldn't gain another pound if that wasn't what she meant, and when she dodged it again, I reiterated word for word what she said to me on Monday. She felt very bad, I could tell. She apologized profusely for her cavalier attitude about it and said that clearly she didn't realize what a sensitive issue it was for me, but that she just really wanted to see me have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby, especially after she watched me have the miscarriage and how much being pregnant means to me. She said that she felt really really bad that we had gotten off on the wrong foot on Monday and asked me to please reconsider giving her another try as she really cared about me and wanted to continue treating me, although she realized that I would have to do what I felt comfortable with. She also said that she had no intention of ever bringing up the weight again unless she felt like my health or the health of the baby was in danger, and that she was sorry that she had made me feel stupid, like I didn't know how to eat properly. She said other things too that I can't recall exactly, but clearly she felt very small and like a total heel.

She said a lot. A lot that I didn't expect. Usually when I threaten to take my business as a customer elsewhere, the people I threaten are like, "Go ahead, beeyotch! See if I give a rat's patooty!"

So, that's kind of where we stand at this point. I haven't made up my mind either way yet. As much as she hurt me on Monday, it does seem like she felt bad about what happened, and everyone is entitled to have an off day once in a while. I know I have them every now and then. And she's human. The one thing that I can never forget is how wonderful she was during my miscarriage. P kept reminding me of that the last two days. She is very much like me in personality...she doesn't mince words, she doesn't fawn or coo or make a fuss, and she gets right down to business and tells it like it is. Which is not a bad thing at just so happens that one of the things that she was blunt about happens to be the most sensitive touchy spot in my universe!

So we'll see what happens. I'm going to think about it for another week or so before I make up my mind. I don't have to decide anything. In fact, I can go see this other doctor and see if she rubs me the right way before I make up my mind! The thing is, I need to make my decision now...because I doubt that any doctor will accept me as a new patient if I decide to switch in a few months.

That's all I've got for now. I'm trying very hard to let what she said go, but it's hard. As I sit here typing this, I'm dressed for the treadmill, even though I'm very tired from a long day of work and have a long day in the field tomorrow. Today for lunch I was craving a hamburger in the WORST way, but I made myself get a grilled chicken salad. As much as she apologized, the damage has been done. Now, instead of looking in the mirror and seeing a cute pregnant poochie, I see...

Well, you know. *frown*


Blogger Erin said...

I would let what she said soak in for a couple of days, then I would go see the new doctor. That way you have all the information and you don't play "what if," no matter who you decide to go with. Hang in there! And for goodness sake, if you want a burger, eat a burger! Just don't do it every day. :)

7:11 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I'm glad you talked to her. I didn't read your blog yesterday so I didn't comment, but I can totally see why you were so upset. You worked very hard to get down to a healthy weight and she acted like you had no clue about anything. I'm glad she at least apologized and realized what she did. Maybe she'll think twice about what she says and how she says them in the future.

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was Underweight when I conceived. My doctor was on my back about my weight the whole pregnancy and I spent many an afternoon crying after my Dr. visit. But I wish I hadn't gained as fast as I did in the beginning when my baby was the most vunerable. I wasn't keeping my eye on the end of the pregnancy when I would gain the fastest and the most. I was so toxic with high blood pressure that I couldn't walk across the room without feeling faint. I started at 121 lbs and ended the pregancy at 176 lbs. I had a very strict diet of no salt - no fat at the end.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Erica, I'm sorry you are going through this right now. Doctors sometimes aren't good about being *people* people. They look more at the scientific and forget that their patients are human. *Hugs* I started my pregnancy with Alyssa at 115 pounds and gained almost 60. I ate several small meals a day like they say, but still gained the weight. I couldn't stand the taste of cokes or chocolate (my favorite things!) and ate mostly salads and grilled chicken. That's what my body craved. But yes I still gained 60 pounds. Your body will do whatever it needs to do to take care of the little bundle. And I only gained 15 pounds with Aislin, as I was very sick and diabetic. Please don't worry about your weight right now. Just eat healthy (hamburgers aren't at all bad!) and remember that no one can dictate what your body is going to do to compensate for another living being. You're doing great! There are so many more worse things you could be doing besides eating, so keep it up!


9:34 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Go Erica go! Good for you for having the nerve to stand up to her and tell her how you feel. You will make the right decision, the one that's best for YOU.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Suz said...


I'm glad you called back your doctor. You mentioned she was so good with you during your miscarriage, so I really want to tell you to go easy on her, but you should see the other doctor and see how you like her.

Since I worked with so many doctors for so long, I've seen them on their good and bad days, and you're right, they're only human (as you can see, I'm rather sympathetic towards them, so take it as you will), and it sounds like you did the perfect thing letting her know how she made you feel. It sounds like she made an error and judgement and she knows it and you dressing her down will ultimately help her be a better doctor with her patients, so good for you, no matter what you decide.

I'm really sorry she made you feel bad, but we know, and most importantly YOU know that you worked really hard to be in excellent shape and you are still in great shape compared to where you "started" from. A little heavier or not, I'd bet you are still way healthier than most people. You know what you're doing and I'm sure you will do great.

Now, you look in that mirror see a pregnant poochie and smile - that's an order.

7:33 AM  

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