Real Quick: The chicken and the egg

By | May 19, 2011


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Screenshot from Cry-Baby, in which the homely Hatchetface gets an immunization shot.

Even Hatchetface knows she deserves adequate preventative care!

A few sharp-eyed readers have sent me a link to this recent poll of South Florida ob-gyns, which revealed that some offices outright refuse treatment to all women over a certain weight.

Fifteen obstetrics-gynecology practices out of 105 polled by the Sun Sentinel said they have set weight cut-offs for new patients starting at 200 pounds or based on measures of obesity — and turn down women who are heavier.

Some of the doctors said the main reason was their exam tables or other equipment can’t handle people over a certain weight. But at least six said they were trying to avoid obese patients because they have a higher risk of complications.

Hey, something else to add to my comprehensive list of reasons why I refuse to be weighed at the doctor’s office. The equipment argument is one of my favorites, as it’s unlikely you’d find doctors as willing to outright refuse accommodation to anyone other than fat folks. In my own anecdotal research, consisting of me hefting my 300+ pound ass up on many an exam table over the years, I have never yet run into a table that seemed on the verge of collapse under my ponderous girth. This doesn’t mean that weak tables don’t exist, but it does mean that strong ones do, and that they are common in the world.

Several ob-gyn offices said their ultrasound machines do not give good images of internal anatomy in obese women, making it harder to diagnose some medical problems.

Solution: don’t treat them! Brilliant!

I have gone for regular annual pelvic exams every year of my life, starting when I was eighteen, even before I was sexually active. Last year was the first year since that I didn’t have one, because my doctor now believes that given my monogamous long-term partnership and my lack of ever having had an abnormal result, I could do with only being papped every couple years or so. I am fine with that, because in spite of my near-religious adherence to regular meetings with the speculum, I have never been fond of the procedure. For many years I had debilitating anxiety leading up to it, a result of three different doctors who decided the best time to ask me about my presumed plans to lose weight was during a pap smear. At the time I thought it a terrible coincidence, but in retrospect I wonder if they chose that particular moment to mention my obscene size because, hey, they didn’t have to look me in the eye while they did it.

Roughly a year ago I had a trans-vaginal ultrasound. My current doctor, who has never asked me about my fatness while staring at my cervix, recommended it during a time when we were wondering if I might have a fibroid or two. Prior to this procedure I did a whole lot of research and discovered that a TVU is also commonly used in early pregnancy, when the fetus is too wee to image with your standard external ultrasound. So I went and got jabbed in the ladyparts with a wand smaller than your average sex toy, and though it turned out I was fibroid-free, we did get a nice baseline of what my lady innards look like, and I got to see the follicle from whence that month’s egg was primed to burst, which was SUPER COOL.

After the TVU, I asked my doctor point-blank whether my fattery impeded his ability to feel my ovaries or my hypothetical fibroids or whatever, and if that wasn’t an additional reason for his recommending this procedure. He gave a noncommittal shrug and said kind of, but mostly there were details one could get from a TVU that you just can’t reach with a standard pelvic exam, and he thought a baseline reference of my plumbing was a good thing to have, should I have problematic symptoms in the future.

Doctors also are allowed to drop patients, if they believe they lack the medical skills to properly treat them… [B]ut decisions about patients typically are made after assessing the individual’s condition during an exam, not by ruling out an entire group, said Dr. Robert Yelverton, a board member of the Florida Obstetric and Gynecologic Society. He said he would discourage physicians from excluding the obese.

“Do I think it’s a good policy? No,” Yelverton said. “Overweight people need doctors. I don’t know where a patient in that situation would go if every practice had that policy.”

A good doctor will take into account the subjective health and characteristics of each individual patient, and recommend a course of diagnosis and treatment based on these points. While frivolous malpractice suits are an understandable concern, the idea that fat people are a homogenized group sharing all the same illnesses and risks is both inaccurate and damaging. I am not going to go into the hard facts about the dubious science that says obesity in pregnant women always makes them “high risk”, because The Well-Rounded Mama (possibly NSFW) does that already.

This candid practice of denying fat women treatment simply because they are fat has cultural effects that go far beyond individual inconvenience. It contributes to the widespread anxiety that fat women feel about going to the doctor at all. It creates the statistical reality that fat women are less likely to seek routine preventative care and screening, both gynecologically and otherwise.

Some of these doctors felt justified in openly proclaiming that they refuse to treat fat women. This says something about the medical community, that even a minority of doctors think this is acceptable behavior. The implication is that fat women are less deserving of regular care, and must be singled out as untenable health monsters to be shuffled off on “specialists” whose treatment may cost more, or may not be covered via their health insurance at the same rate (if they are lucky enough to have health insurance at all!). Certainly, there will always be some number of fat women for whom this is legitimately true, but the assumption here is that all fat women are automatically a “problem”, an idea which is borne out by numerous studies which have found that doctors see their fat patients as “awkward, unattractive, ugly, and noncompliant.”

Given these attitudes, is it any wonder that there might be a statistical correlation between obesity and health problems? Avoiding the doctor is a major health problem in and of itself, as is failing to receive life-saving screenings for cancers that are treatable and survivable, as is simply believing that we do not deserve respectful and well-informed health care that is invested in treating us as whole people. The popular “Those damn fat people are using up all the healthcare!” guilt-trip allegations reinforce this idea to the extent that avoiding the doctor—that we don’t consume more than “our share”, a worry common enough amongst fat people already—seems normal and appropriate, when it’s wrong and unjust.

So long as these assumptions are in place, how can we ever say for sure which came first: the anti-fat attitude, or the obesity “disease”?


50 Comments

buttercup on May 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm.

I recently had my first pelvic/pap/etc in nineteen years. Nineteen years. I did not want to be treated as I’d been treated in the past so I didn’t go. This is the reason.
I also got the “very special ultrasound” which I hated, but everyone treated me well. My pap and mammograms were fine but there is something going on with the endometrium that bears further investigation. I had a D&C last week to get samples and pictures. It was very unpleasant, but I voiced my concerns at every turn, and was not maltreated.
There is no doubt that the attitudes of the medical industrial complex have kept my fat ass away from speculae lo onto these many years. Hopefully it isn’t going to cost me anything major, like my life.

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Flo on May 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm.

I had the same thought about the catch 22 of fat folks being denied care because they are “at risk” for all sorts health problems and being at risk for health problems because they are being denied care. I’ve had all sorts of awful doctor experiences because of my weight, and I’m someone that would (just barely) get under the 200lb limit they’re setting!

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Carol Gwenn on May 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm.

As I’ve reminded many friends over the years, a doctor is a REPAIRMAN, someone you employ to fix what’s broken or to keep what you’ve got in good running order. It is most certainly not his place to refuse honest work. Think of it this way: you drive an old but well-maintained car & it breaks down. Is there a mechanic anywhere who will refuse your business just because the car is old? I think not, and one repair guy is pretty much like another. When you’re considering hiring a new doc, make sure he KNOWS this up front: that he is the employee and you are the person in charge of what he does & how he does it. If his attitude isn’t right, if he’s sizeist in any way, move on down the list: there are many more docs out there.

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Annette on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm.

Wow…I didn’t know doctors were even allowed to refuse care to patients at all, much less for bullshit reasons such as your weight being over the magic number. If fat people really are “at risk”, it certainly doesn’t follow that doctors would refuse fat women the preventative screenings they need.

Carol Gwenn makes a good analogy with mechanics and old cars. Why would a doctor turn away work? Just makes me feel like many doctors really don’t give a shit about helping folks.

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kcjones on May 21, 2011 at 12:00 am.

Hospitals can refuse care too. When I couldn’t afford to pay my psychiatric hospitalization bill, the creditor said that if I didn’t pay the hospital would put me on its “do not admit” list. I absolutely know that my favorite mental hospital has a do not admit list in place, because one of my (ex) friends is on it. I felt like my world was falling apart, because there is no other mental hospital that I would feel comfortable going to if I needed it. Fortunately, I contacted the hospital and told them my situation and they wrote off the rest of the bill with my status not affected. A long-winded way of saying that there are plenty of medical places that will refuse care for many reasons. And where would I go if I couldn’t go to this place? Either I’d refuse to go or I’d end up somewhere that wouldn’t give adequate care.

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silentbeep on May 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm.

If these doctors only want to see patients that they think are “healthy” (true or not) they are missing the point of their job entirely. What assholes.

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Veronica on May 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm.

I have come to the conclusion that healthcare is seen as a privilege rather than a right in USA. Kinda sucks in my view.

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Awlbiste on May 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm.

As a 230ish lb woman who carries the vast majority of her weight in her tummy and apron area, I have never once had a gyno tell me that my weight was an impediment towards doing the bimanual exam. Actually the only thing weight related a doctor has ever told me was related to doing breast self exams (due to my rack o’ doom).

I’ve certainly never had issues with a weak table. That just seems made-up, almost.

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ErinLala on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm.

200lbs! is that even fat? what if you are 6 foot2? lol. gawwwwwd!

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JupiterPluvius on May 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm.

Yeah, right? If Serena Williams got pregnant and gained 30 pounds of baby weight, she would suddenly be so deathfatz that it would be an OB-GYN’s risk of life and limb to treat her?

Not that this shit is okay at any weight, just laughing at how low the bar is set.

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Christine on May 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm.

200 lbs is such an arbitrary amount! Gah. Well one more reason I won’t be moving to Florida in the near future (sorry parents!)

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Liza on May 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm.

200 is totally that arbitrary cutoff point that society has made up, after which you are just too damn fat to be worth anything.

I haven’t seen a weight starting with a 1 since high school. Maybe earlier.

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Staci on May 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm.

I’m going to the doctor next week, and I’m dreading it. Last time, she sort of made this—I don’t know how to describe it—”whoa” noise when I had to do that part where you scoot as close as you can to the bottom of the table after you’re in the stirrups. I know it was a small thing, but it made me feel like crap. That was two years ago and I haven’t been back since, but I need a mammogram (my birth mother went through treatment for breast cancer last year) and it took me forever to get the courage to go to this woman in the first place. I just don’t feel like I can start over with someone new.

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Staci on May 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm.

Oh, and it wasn’t just that noise. She has already sort of given me doubtful looks and all when I tried to talk to her about HAES. I used to have the most amazing doctor who has since retired. I never knew how lucky I was to have her.

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buttercup on May 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm.

Staci, do you have a midwife center anywhere around? The one in my town also does regular gynie care, that’s where I went and it was wonderfully woman-centered, respectful, and comfortable. When I needed a referral to a regular gyn doctor, they got me an appointment within a week. (I had been calling doctors that friends had recommended and the new patient wait was in excess of four months) Anyway, if you can get to one and they do non-birth related care, it might be worth checking out.
I’m with Lesley 100% on the boot to the head thing.

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Lesley on May 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm.

Honestly? Any doctor that makes anything even remotely approaching a “whoa” noise while you’re in the stirrups deserves to get kicked in the head.

Luckily they’re perfectly positioned for it in that situation.

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kbryna on May 19, 2011 at 11:59 pm.

Kick to the head, preferably in pointy-steel-toe-shoes.

I second Buttercup’s suggestion and add to it my own suggestion of perhaps trying Planned Parenthood? I’ve gone to several PP clinics in several states, and the women I’ve dealt with there have always been pretty great. Admittedly I wasn’t actually Fat at those times, but the clinicians I’ve dealt with have been very businesslike without ever being cold. Not gushy-huggy warm, but like they actually, you know, care about the patient’s comfort and well-being during the exam. Planned Parenthood may be able to offer you some recommendations of good OB-GYNs in your area, too.

Either way, Staci, know that you have what appears to be a small but formidable army of folks here who are on your side totally. {And maybe a pep talk from Your Beluga Best Friend on the day of your doctor visit wouldn’t hurt?} Good luck to you with the doctor and with your checkup.

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foreveropera on May 20, 2011 at 12:30 am.

I’m a regular at PP since I don’t have any health insurance, and while I won’t lump every one of their docs into the same category, they have this new thing (at least in Illinois) where they’re required to talk to you about being ‘overweight’ if they give you a prescription for birth control, and some of them take that as an opportunity to scold. Personally, I think it’s B.S. (I mean, I have yet to see the studies that show being fat AND on birth control=extra complications) but if they have to bring it up, it doesn’t have to be followed with, “so how are you trying to lose weight?” Nothing better than ASSuming a person must be trying…

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Staci on May 20, 2011 at 2:01 am.

It’s hard to express how warm and happy I feel right now, coming back and reading all this righteous indignation and support. RIGHT ON! Even when I wrote that, I wondered if I would sound like I was making a big deal out of nothing. I’m so glad you get it!!! I should have known you would. :) I love this safe, understanding space you’ve created, Lesley. Thanks everyone.

I used to work at the local Planned Parenthood (although on the advocacy side of things), so I always feel a little weird that I know the staff, but I think I’m going to get over that or find a nice midwife or something. I really need to remember I have options.

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JessDR on May 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm.

Seriously. But if you can’t muster up a kick, a neutrally-toned “what do you mean by that?” can work too. Even when I can’t collect the energy/courage to call people on their cr@p, not taking it silently helps.

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eli bishop on May 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm.

“If his attitude isn’t right, if he’s sizeist in any way, move on down the list: there are many more docs out there.”

in cities of a certain size, this may be true. but there are a lot of places outside those cities where your choices are limited.

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crookedfinger on May 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm.

Really? Weak exam beds? Seriously? Every single one I’ve ever been on was quite solid and made of metal, and despite my 280 lb body sitting on it, I’ve never even heard a squeak out of one. What a load of shit.

Also, having just had my fat belly ultrasounded for a gallstone diagnosis, there was absolutely no problem seeing through all that fat to the internal organs underneath. Double load of shit!

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outrageandsprinkles on May 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm.

Seconded! I had an ultrasound years ago because they suspected I had gallstones. I am ZOMGSUPERFATZ (I would like that whole thing to be my super hero name, please) and the tech had no complains and the results were clear.

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Arwen on May 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm.

I have solved the problem in my own life by getting a fat doctor who doesn’t hate on every other fat person. Oh, sure, he’s dealing with the same shit as the rest of us and sort of desperately mentions weight control options once in awhile, and then I point out that diets make me fatter and he can’t really be suggesting I get fatter, can he? No, of course not. I also suggest that I’d try any change that provably works to make a fat person thin, keeps ‘em thin longer than five years for greater than 60% of adherents, and won’t be compromising my health — of course no such thing exists. He usually makes a sad sort of noise.

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Meowser on May 20, 2011 at 6:12 am.

They can’t find an exam table that holds more than 200 pounds? What a festering crock. Sports medicine, especially for professional athletes, would be out of business if such things did not exist. Something tells me they can find plenty of exam tables to hold the weight of tall guys who regularly pump iron. This is ALL about punishing women for eating anything more than a handful of lettuce leaves, make no mistake about it.

Next up: Oncologists refusing to treat people with cancer because their patients have a 50/50 chance of dying on them.

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polianarchy on May 20, 2011 at 10:38 am.

“First, do no harm.”

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Liza on May 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm.

“First, do no harm.*”

*Void if patient is icky and fat. Then do whatever the hell you want.

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Liv on May 20, 2011 at 11:06 am.

I don’t usually comment, but I think that this is a very important issue. I’m a 22 year old woman, and while I’m right on the obese border of BMI, I’m 5’8” and I definitely have thin privilege in my everyday life. So, because of this, I’ve always been terrified of going to the doctor because of getting weighed, which probably stems from childhood. When I was a kid, the doctors themselves never really made a big deal about my weight (I’ve always just been heavier–regardless of weight fluctuations, I think my bones are made of lead or something), but my mother often used the doctor’s scale as a segue into weight “conversations.” Horrid.
So even now, I feel like at the doctor’s office I’ll be “found out”–suddenly everyone will have charts that say unequivocally that I am NOT OK. This even prevented me from getting STD tests for a while, because I was so nervous about that. Fortunately, though, I was able to say “Fuck this” and make myself an appointment anyway. But if fear of the scale has made me (I’m very confident and usually don’t have any issues telling people to stop the BS) second-guess my own health care, then I’m sure many others are struggling too. I mean, at least I don’t fact constant harassment for being fat in the everyday world–I can only imagine how nerve-wracking all of this would be for someone who’s told constantly that their body is inferior.
When did we start weighing people at the doctor’s office, anyway? It seems like many, many people (especially women) would have major issues with this, and I don’t see any reason why I should be weighed automatically. Not cool.

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Natalie L. on May 20, 2011 at 11:40 am.

Hey Liv, you can totally opt out of getting weighed when you go to the doctor! I don’t get weighed when I go to my doctor–I have to opt out each and every time but it’s never been a big deal. It makes their electronic records sad, but that really isn’t my problem to deal with.

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Liv on May 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm.

Yeah, that’s what I did! I was really nervous about how it would go, but then when the time came, I just said “I prefer not to be weighed,” and the nurse was totally fine with it. So fine with it that it seemed like this happens not infrequently–I wonder if other people are doing the same thing? But yeah, there’s something about medical “authority” that’s always stopped me from doing it in the past–from now on, though, that’s how I’m rolling.

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Nyssa23 on May 20, 2011 at 11:57 am.

This is why I haven’t been for a pap in 5 years, even though there’s some cancer history in my family. Trying to find the courage to go again now that my health insurance has changed but ugh. Just ugh.

When I lived in TX as a teen, I once had a doctor tell me I was too fat for a pelvic exam and that I couldn’t possibly be happy being the size I was. Even though that was almost 20 years ago those words still fucking hurt.

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Liza on May 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm.

So I haven’t been to a gyno in an embarrassing amount of time (I think it’s been 4 years). My official reason is a lack of health insurance. I have an application filled out for New York state free insurance, but have yet to send it in. Part of that is because I think you have to actually physically go to a government office to apply and those are a general hellhole, part of it is that if I qualify and get insurance, I have no official excuse not to go.

See, my last doctor was an asshat who bullied me into go on his “medical weight loss” program that was basically a liquid starvation diet (and prescribed me phentermine when I complained about always being hungry), then when I wanted to quit he told me my BMI was still “obese” and belittled me when I pointed out that BMI is flawed.

If I do get insurance, I will probably try to see the doctor my dad goes to. He’s apparently only mentioned weight once, when my dad had high blood pressure (which turned out to be from a medication). Other than that it doesn’t come up. Unlike the doctor my (less fat than me) mom went to who made sure that was the first thing out of her mouth.

I do have an appointment at Planned Parenthood in a couple of weeks to get my lady parts examined, but no immediate plans for any other medical things.

I was wondering, for those of you who opt out of being weighed — how does it work? Do the nurses ever give you grief about it? Have you had to argue? I’m thinking about trying to opt out when I go to PP but I am terrible at arguing in person.

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jaed on May 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm.

I’ve just said “I prefer not to be weighed” or “I’m not going to be weighed today”. In a firm but quiet tone. I have heard of people who have gotten mild to significant attitude over it, but usually I have not – the person doing the weighing just nods and goes on to the next thing on the list. (The only exception was when I was in a hospital and felt as though it would be moving mountains just to stand on a scale long enough – I was dehydrated and very weak at the moment. The assistant told the nurse when she came in “She doesn’t want to be weighed!!” and seemed very upset, but the nurse just shrugged and said OK and went on with her business.

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Liv on May 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm.

Yeah, maybe I just had a good experience, but it was really anti-climactic for me. I mean, I was really anxious about how it would go, but they totally accepted it. I was fully prepared to give a reason, saying that I’ve struggled with disordered eating and being weighed isn’t good for me because of that, but it didn’t even get to that point. Although I’m sure it depends on your particular nurse or whatever, as well as how they “size you up” on their own. Which is dumb.

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Amy on May 20, 2011 at 8:56 pm.

Wait, so that’s why when I was pregnant they weighed me every time I came in, because if I broke 200 they weren’t going to let me up on the table?

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JupiterPluvius on May 23, 2011 at 2:46 am.

There are actually some good reasons to weigh some people who are pregnant frequently—it’s a good way to pick up a sudden increase in water retention, for instance.

But if you need to be weighed for actual medical reasons, the providers should explain why and understand if you want them to keep your weight to themselves. I had some GI issues a while back where it made sense for them to weigh me at my check-ins every couple of weeks, so we set it up so that I would stand on the scale backwards and they wouldn’t share my weight with me.

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E on May 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm.

This issue drives me up the fucking wall. But instead of ranting, I’m just writing to appreciate the image from Cry Baby! Woohoo!

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kbryna on May 21, 2011 at 11:33 am.

Wouldn’t it be incredibly helpful to have a directory of FA doctors? It sounds like there are some real shitheads out there, being terrible to people, and it would be awesome to be able to find the Good Ones without having to go through the ranks of asshats first.

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Natalie L. on May 23, 2011 at 11:23 am.

There is a directory and, as far as I know, Stef is still updating it regularly: http://cat-and-dragon.com/stef/fat/ffp.html

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Prairiedog2 on May 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm.

I can remember when I was in elementary school back in the early 70′s, everyone in the class, once each year, had to step on a scale (the kind with the sliding weights) in front of the whole class and have their weight recorded.

The site of that scale being brought into the room struck terror into us overweight girls and maybe even into all the girls. I don’t know.

This was in Michigan. And yes, the boys would snicker at the high weights of the overweight girls. How grown adults could subject children to that kind of humiliation is beyond me. I guess it was just a kind of “if you don’t want to be snickered at, quit stuffing your face thing.” The all too usual ignorant attitude of people who have never had a weight problem.

I lost 75 five pounds a few years ago, and got down to 160, (I’m around 50 years old now) and slowly, over time, gained it all back. So now when I go to the doctor I will get on the scale, but I tell them not to tell me what it says. I did not want to know how much of the weight I had gained back, though I could tell it was getting close to how much I weighed before the weight loss.

It never entered my mind to refuse to be weighed at the doctor’s office. I’ll have to think about that.

I finally got the nerve and stepped on the scale the other day (at home). Yep, if I gain five more pounds, I will be right back where I stared from. Thanks a lot SET POINT!

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Violet on May 23, 2011 at 1:41 am.

Wow, what complete BS. Is this only ob-gyns? It makes no sense that every other doctor could have no problem treating people of any size but ob-gyns somehow have such a harder time.

It’s also interesting that it’s a specialty for women, and I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I am sure if other doctors refused to see people over 200 pounds (regardless of gender) it would never fly. If men were getting refused treatment there would be major protests. But since it’s “just” fat women, I’m sure it will go on.

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JupiterPluvius on May 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm.

Well, yeah. Why don’t they just contact their urologist pals and find out where they get the tables that can hold more than 200 pounds? Because the average male weight in the US is 191 pounds.

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Alyssa on May 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm.

Im loving my current gyno more and more. Ive read so many posts by plus size mommies to be who have been told by there doctor not to gain any weight at all, which is unrealistic and sets the poor mother up for panic. Now this? Im probably 280 right now, 275 when Im not prego. How scary to find out your pregnant and not be able to find a doc who will care for you. On the other hand, maybe itll be easier to detect the more FA doctors without having to guess.

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E. Ai B. on May 25, 2011 at 12:38 am.

I am about 250-270 normally. When I lost just a lb. or two from morning sickness, my OB said that if that happened again, he was going to really worry. There are great, humane med. prof. for fat women. I was never once told not to gain or try and loose.

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Alyssa on May 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm.

yeah mine told me the first visit that he expected me to gain about 20lb the whole pregnancy. The next visit I apparently lost a pound and the doctor was like “well.. I see you lost a pound but I don’t think its anything to worry about.” I had to go to the ER once because I was having warning signs and my gyno told me to. When I got there they asked me if there I had any medical problems I said no but I expected someone to bring up my weight as an issue. No one said a thing or even hinted at that possibly causing my issues. I was quite relieved and has made me look forward to giving birth there.

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Kella on May 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm.

I am a med student and often for federal funding we are asked to weigh people and calculate BMI. I am just constantly “forgetting” to do that…gosh darn! :)

I am also studying midwifery & just did a paper on fat women in pregnancy & childbirth. I think it is so important to screen every woman for pregnancy related risks because so many people of varying sizes in our society don’t
eat well or move enough. To assume that a thin woman just won’t have complications is as horrific as assuming a fat woman will have them. Either way, the woman does not receive adequate or appropriate care.

I want women to know that good and adequate nutrition during pregnancy is so much more important than not gaining an arbitrary amount of weight.

This whole article makes me so mad. Oh, and US through the abdomen can usually be done for even very large women from the end of the second trimester on. I personally keep wondering why we are so eager to look in on the little nippers so much!!

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L on June 17, 2011 at 5:10 am.

200? Leaving aside everything else wrong here, and it’s all pretty wrong, that is seriously the weight at which they’re claiming you’re a risk to equipment? I’m somewhere around 190, haven’t checked in a while to know exactly, and so far the only furniture I’ve ever broken has been already-in-bad-shape furniture I was trying to repair and instead fucked up more. And I use a lot of crappy, flimsy chairs and am not terribly respectful to furniture. Hell, there are little-kid chairs belonging to my preschool niece that I somehow haven’t broken while being a goof and sitting on ‘em. …Are they seriously using exam tables flimsier than pink plastic Wal-Mart Disney princess kiddie furniture?

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fallinglight on June 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm.

I ran into medical weight descrimination recently with an orthopedic doctor. I have had bad knees for years and was seeing a PA in another state. It was recommended that I needed a total knee replacement. I decided to go to a doctor that was in a town where I had friends so that it would be easier for me to have help during my recovery. I never even got to see that doctor because his PA flatly told me that because of my BMI the doctor would not even consider doing my surgery due to the risk of complications. I went back to the original doctor’s office and he assured me that my weight would not be a problem. I had the surgery in September and my wonderful supportive friends took turns driving long distances to help with my recovery. My knee is fine and it has even stabalized my other knee so that I don’t feel I will have to have surgery on it for many years. I’m so glad I went with the doctor that had the confidence to do my surgery instead of trying to meet the standards of the doctor who was unsure of his own surgical ability to help me.

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Rachael on June 26, 2011 at 10:32 am.

Hi Lesley,

Thanks for this well written and informative post. Hope you don’t mind, I shared your article on my blog Links of Interest

Rachael
The Smile Spot :)

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Annie C. on September 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm.

I’m a new reader, and first of all, this blog is fantastic.

Secondly, I am a thin person and I still don’t allow doctors to weigh me. It’s such BS. I just woke up one day and realized that it wasn’t worth it to get all paranoid and freak out and not eat before going to the doctor out of some irrational fear of the scale, when I could just refuse to stand on it in the first place. The first time I did it, the nurse tried to convince me to just do it with my eyes closed, and I still said no. I just don’t see what difference it makes how much I weigh, particularly at the OB’s office.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like it shouldn’t be anyone’s business how much I weigh, nor should it be my business how much anyone else weighs. Who cares? People act really weird and competitive about it and it freaks me the eff out. I purposely talk about how much I love fries whenever I’m around women talking about their diets. It took me a long time to get to this place in life, but I’m glad to be here.

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