FAT: In Sickness…

This post is about 10 days old, but I haven’t really been up to writing anything because I’ve been sick. This is an unusual predicament for me because despite my weight, which all the “experts” claim is the cause of untold illness and a drain on the healthcare in our country, I am an extremely healthy person. I have LOW cholesterol, LOW blood pressure, and my body does a good job of handling sugar.

I have a high stress job, I have bad sleeping patterns, I am more than 150 lbs overweight. According to every health article I’ve read and every medical report on TV, I should have about 17 fat-related maladies, from diabetes to gall stones, but I don’t. I’m pretty healthy for a 45-yr old woman and I don’t have to take any medications. My only physical complaint is intermittent pain on my ankle, caused by a car accident in my 20s.

So when I got sick two weeks ago, my instinct was to just ignore it. I had severe pains in the abdomen, but I figured they would go away after a few days. I was wrong about that. When I stopped eating, the pain did get less severe, but I still felt a lot of pain. Finally my mother convinced me to go to the “Doc-in-the-box” which is our short-hand for the walk-in clinic.

Side note here: My regular doctor, the one I’ve been seeing since I was 18, retired this past year. I pretty much haven’t found anyone else yet. Being relatively healthy I don’t really need a doctor that much. I’m starting to think that might be a mistake. Also, I stopped going to the gynecologist when the one I was seeing told me I was essentially too fat to take birth-control pills. That’s a long story, but I will get to it later.

When I showed up at the clinic, and discussed the pain with the doctor on duty, she immediately said I needed to go to the emergency room. The placement, frequency, and intensity of my pain could be many things, she said, but she didn’t have the equipment to find out what. *Sigh* I really didn’t want to go to the emergency room. Luckily for me I have a brother-in-law who works in the ER, so he was able to get me seen without a long, long wait. I know how rare this is for someone who isn’t having chest pain or bleeding profusely.

The first doctor who looked at me asked me the usual questions about preexisting conditions, and when I said I had none, he gave me the typical doctor’s WYTBW look. Obviously I was crazy or lying. How could someone so fat, at my age, be in good health?

Am I projecting? Perhaps, but I don’t think so. I’ve had enough medical professionals tell me to my face that I was too fat to be healthy, despite any medical evidence to go along with that diagnosis.

Anyway, I was in the ER for 10 hrs. During which time they gave me morphine (what a lovely drug) to quiet the pain, and every test known to medical science to figure out what was wrong with me. Oh, first they scared the beejeebers our of me by letting me think I had pancreatic cancer (I don’t) or kidney failure (nope, my kidneys are fine). In fact, all the hospital professionals could do was tell me I had a lovely gall bladder (seriously, at least three people looking at my CT scans told me what a lovely gall bladder I have) and that while I was in intense pain, there was nothing wrong with me. My kidneys were good, my liver was fantastic, from the blood they drew, everything (everything) was in the normal range. I was about as healthy as a 40-something yr old woman could be. Well, except for the sharp, persistent pains, of course.

It took about two days more for a diagnosis to come in, and it is a relatively benign one. I have a hiatal hernia. Of course this is another ailment that is attributed to obesity, but it is not life threatening and usually managed with medicine and changes to diet. So now in order to keep from being in excruciating pain I get to give up caffeine, chocolate, carbonated beverages, citrus, acidic foods, fatty foods, and all that is holy and wonderful in the world. Lovely….

Of course there is an irony here, that this “disease” suddenly appears just when I’ve gotten my eating under control for the first time in 6 years. I mean I lose 16 lbs and  have already given up most fatty foods and big meals anyway, and then I get this weird stomach deformity? Figures.

Of course the real problem (in my warped mind)  is that this is totally messing with my diet:

  • First, the one thing keeping me on Weight Watchers the past month was enjoying what I am eating. I limit the portions and focus on really enjoying my food. But now 80% of what I like to eat is no longer on the menu.
  • Second, while I was sick I was actually fasting for about four days. When I did start to eat it was only about half my points for the first few days. This caused “fake fat loss” which means now that I’m back to eating my full points, things are going to even out. My head knows this, and that it will even out eventually, but in my heart it will feel like a sucker-punch. I’m dreading weighing in tomorrow. Even though I’ve been really, really on program this week, I know I will have a gain.
  • Third, getting this “fat-person” disease has been a blow to my ego. I don’t care how many people think I have a lovely gall-bladder, I was just starting to feel empowered. People talk about will power, but I think that is a lot of crap. For me, I need to feel self-confident and empowered to be able to lose weight. This experience just makes me feel small.
  • Finally, I’ve always used any excuse to get off-track before. I don’t want this to become my latest excuse, which is why I am blogging about it. Trying to dare myself to get past this.

Ok, so this was a long post. If you got all the way to the end without getting bored, Thank you. I hope to have more to report soon.