It Happened To Me Contest Entry: I Got Fat Shamed By My Doctor And I Fucking Hated It (She Also Pinched My Vagina)

Oh, what’s that you say? My vagina is 100% healthy? Then please, do shut up about my weight.

Feb 21, 2013 at 2:30pm | Leave a comment

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The disaproving look I wish I had given my doctor. Instead I just cried.

By Victoria

So under normal circumstances, I love my gynecologist. She's funny, realistic, interested in me as a human being, and really good at getting around insurance malarkey. But she's decided to go off and have a baby (rude) so I can't see her for a while. While she's gone, I made an appointment with one of the other NPs in the practice and I've just returned from my awful appointment with her.

I sat down in her office and we started to go over my details, she asked me if I still smoked and then lectured me about how i need to quit (typical, reasonable). Then she did something strange, she asked me how tall I am. Isn't she a doctor (or a health professional or whatever)? Shouldn't she find out how tall I am for herself? Whatever, I'll get back to this later.

Then she told me to take off my shoes and get on the scale and she weighed me. After that she showed me into the exam room, and had me get undressed.

When she came back in (while I was sitting basically naked in a too small robe on a the table) she proceeded to lecture me about how I needed to lose weight.

The first thing she brought up was how my BMI was over 30 and that makes me obese and I couldn't help but think, bitch please! How do you know what my BMI is? You didn't even measure how tall i am?! I could have told a complete lie! Then she asked me if I exercise (I do), lectured me about eating good fats, vegetables and whole grains (I do), and told me I'm sliding out of control and I need to get it in check while I'm still young.

Then she took my blood pressure, which was high, (surprising to no one) and gave me some grief about that too! I have NEVER had high blood pressure in my life, I'm sure it was high because this woman I hardly know had spent the first half hour of our relationship together judging me.

Then it was feet in the stirrups, scoot your butt down to the end of the table, you'll feel a little pressure blah blah blah. She was using one of those cheapy plastic speculums that clicks when you expand it and while she was trying to get it in place she pinched me! On the inside!! OF MY VAGINA! At that point I basically shut down and realized that I wasn't in any position to have any kind of positive relationship with this woman and I more or less didn't speak for the rest of the appointment.

The whole thing was one of the most degrading and shameful experiences I’ve ever had.

This woman knows exactly nothing about me or my life. She knows nothing of my past and the issues I've had with food and my body which are serious and long lasting.

Before the appointment, I filled out a form with my medical history on it on which I clearly state that I've suffered from eating disorders in the past; I can't help but think if I were thin she would have paid some attention to that and wouldn't have immediately bombard me with a lot of negative talk about my body.

She didn't ask me a single question about my life, or my holidays or my job, if I'm in a relationship, nothing. I was nothing more to her than a number and that number was too high, so she felt it necessary to make me feel badly about it.

While she was doing all this guilt tripping she kept saying things like "You probably know all of this but I'm sorry, I have to say it", and I just wanted to shout "No you don't!" I know that I'm fat! I know that the world says I need to lose weight. I get a million messages from all over the place telling me that shit every single day. I don't need it from her too. 

Her job is to make sure I'm healthy, specifically, to make sure my vagina is healthy. She took no steps at any point during my initial consultation to find out about my overall health, and further more, when did it become OK for your gynecologist to have an opinion about your weight? Is my fatness making my vagina not function properly? Oh, what’s that you say? My vagina is 100% healthy? Then please, do shut up about my weight.

The worst part was that I couldn't even muster enough indignation to fight back. I wanted desperately to tell her that I actually have great blood pressure but it was high because she was making me uncomfortable. Or to stop her when she started lecturing me about how to eat healthy. All I could do was sit there and try to fight back tears. I am so vulnerable and ashamed when it comes to my weight/body that all of the things I know intellectually go right out the window. Looking back on it now, I'm able to be pissed off and to argue my case, but in the moment all I could do was feel like shit.

I know that the way our health care system works in this country is a mess and health care providers don't always have the resources provide the level of care that we as patients deserve, but doctors have got to start treating people like more than just the sum of their parts. The idea that a human being's body is some kind of machine and if there's too much of this or too little of that it has to be changed, well, to me that's not good enough.

I still haven’t worked out whether or not I actually want to lose weight, but i know if I decide I do it won’t be because some complete stranger has told me I should.

I'm more than a series of number to be plugged into an equation and I demand to be treated as such.