and that’s why I don’t go to the doctor unless I’m sick, or “Defying Doctor’s Orders.”

This is kind of an emotional one today.

I took off work today to go to the doctor for an annual physical… but they didn’t give me a physical.

The practice I go to has a few locations, and I’ve been to one for walk-in sick appointments, and last time I was sick, they said, “You’ve never had a physical with us,” and since I’m not getting any younger, I said, “Sign me up.”  My appointment wound up being at one of the other locations, but I figured, what the heck. A doctor is a doctor.

I got set up with the nurse, she took my blood pressure and my weight. My BP was normal, although if they took it now, I bet it wouldn’t look so good. Then the nurse practicioner came in, beckoned me off the examination table and into a comfier chair, and talked to me about my medical history. I talked to her about a concern I’ve been having with my foot – sometimes my foot falls asleep when I run and I’ve been experiencing pain that I am pretty sure is plantar fasciitis. I told her all about it, where it hurts, when it hurts, how I started doing the stretches and the foot massage and the rolling my foot over a frozen water bottle.

Well, plantar fasciitis is exactly what she diagnosed me with, and then she told me that I would have to stop running. “We have to get that weight off your foot. Can you join a gym? You should swim instead.” … Gyms are expensive and I think a gym membership is kind of a waste. I have access to everything I need except a pool. I’m not paying $30 a month just to use a swimming pool. Hate to break it to you lady, but if my intermittent foot pain hasn’t stopped me from running, I’m not going to stop now. Is my foot going to fall off? No? Ok, then I’ll keep running. What I WILL do is start doing the massages and stretches more consistently, because when I do them, I notice a big relief the next day.

She told me, “Being overweight causes plantar fasciitis, so if you can get the weight off another way, it won’t bother you so much to run.” Well, being overweight might make it worse, and I’m pretty sure there are runners out there who aren’t overweight and still have plantar fasciitis, so I don’t think we can lay all the blame on my weight.  That was the only time she ever mentioned my weight….. until I read the paperwork they send you home with that she has diagnosed me as OBESE.

I don’t look in the mirror and think OBESE. I look in the mirror and see that I am the best possible version of myself that I have ever been. But that doesn’t matter when you weigh 245 pounds. I run four times a week. I lift weights. I drink water. I eat healthier than I have EVER EATEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. My clothes are looser. I have been doing all this for months, and I haven’t really lost any weight but I’ve toned up a lot. AND I AM ANGRY. Not at the fact that I haven’t lost any weight, but I AM FURIOUS that all of the good stuff I do doesn’t matter because of the number on her scale. (Also, I had been to another appointment earlier where they had weighed me, and I’d been four pounds lighter. I think her scale is possessed. Someone call an exorcist.)

AND ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS. She wants me to go and get bloodwork and meet with a physical therapist about the plantar fasciitis and THEN COME BACK FOR AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL. I am incredibly annoyed that I took off work and paid a co-pay for a physical that I never got, to be told something I already know. I’m at work when the doctor’s offices are open, so I would have to take off another day to go in for bloodwork and then another day to go back for the physical, and probably another day for the PT. I’ve wasted some time off already due to the bad snowstorms we’ve had, and I’m not going to have used up all my vacation days by February. I would have really liked to talk to a specialist about my foot, so I will look into the PT, but I will not believe that this is only a problem because of my weight.

I had thought it would be great to talk to a professional about plantar fasciitis, I thought they would give me solutions – but I only have more problems. In the past few years, a lot of doctor’s offices have gone digital, so each person carries around a computer instead of a chart. It feels like the doctor spends more time looking at the computer than at the actual person.

I called the office back and spoke to someone at my normal location about what had happened. I was really emotional about the whole thing. I’ve had doctors tell me I should lose weight, but at least they talked to me about it, and no one has listed the official diagnosis of our visit as “obese.” That’s going to be in my medical records forever. She should have talked to me about it before listing it in my records. I get that, clinically, my BMI is in the obese range.

But I am so much more than the number on the scale.

and now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going running.

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8 thoughts on “and that’s why I don’t go to the doctor unless I’m sick, or “Defying Doctor’s Orders.”

  1. Whether your BMI is clinically obese they should still include body fat % and waist hip ratio for a more accurate reading. BMI has been going since 1840 and isn’t really an accurate measure in isolation.

  2. Being a bigger runner is not for the faint if heart. I recently began training for my next half marathon and started experiencing hip pain. When I finally saw a doctor (not my regular). He immediately started focusing on my weight. Never mind that I have dropped 50 pounds in the past few years. He then launched into a whole conversation about how I should start exercising and walking to lose weight. It’s incredibly frustrating. But you have the right attitude. Get mad. Keep going. The scale doesn’t define you, the miles do!!!

    • Thanks for the support & for sharing your story! I have read a lot of horror stories about doctors blaming people’s weight for all of their medical problems, but I never thought it would happen to me. Sorry you also had a frustrating time with a doctor – sounds like they don’t know what they’re doing! Good luck with your half marathon, I’d like to do one someday when I can handle the thought of running 13 miles in one day!

  3. That’s ridiculous! I am so angry for you. We both know however that doctors are idiots, especially the ones in private practice. They get a god complex that they are not entitled to. Brain surgeons? Yes! Heart surgeons? Yes! NICU nurse practitioners? Definitely! GPS or internists or whatever they are called now, or anyone not working in an ER? Not so much…

    You just keep walking your walk, or running it as the case may be. You know your body better than someone who glances at you, and then spends the next 10-15 minutes convincing you that their snap judgement is correct.

    • Me too! Every once in a while I think of it and feel anger, especially because the doctor was a woman who was also overweight. Physician, heal thyself…

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