The Doctor, Part 1

In this episode, Marianne and I discuss The Doctor — the medical doctor, not the kind with the TARDIS — and some of the common pitfalls of being a fat person seeking quality preventative care. We also talk about why it’s important to learn to advocate for yourself and your health in the doctor’s office.

Fatcast is currently being featured on iTunes as a New and Noteworthy podcast! Swell!

We’re still hashing out the sound (i.e. Marianne needs a NASA headset), and Skype was being a jerk for this one, but we’re seeing improvements! Thanks so much for all the excellent props and support.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Amplestuff (hospital gowns, etc.)

Letter to a doctor by Hanne Blank

Office of the US Surgeon General

Bartleby, the Scrivener (blame Marianne for this one)

The music used in this episode is by Wasaru.

9 Responses to “The Doctor, Part 1”

  1. Megan Says:

    May I leave a question for Marianne?

    I’m 25, and my last pap smear was when I was 18. The last time I went for a physical, I was 21, after my insurance from work kicked in after three years of being uninsured. I was weighed by a nurse, and then the doctor came in and before she even looked at me, she started in on my weight and gave me grim, speculative diagnoses of cancer and some other stuff that I can’t really remember now. But she scared the hell out of me, and I refused to let her touch me and left the office in hysterics because the whole experience was just so frightening and humiliating.

    I haven’t been back to the doctor since, but I’m realizing that I probably should do because my partner and I have started talking about starting a family, and I’m pretty sure I have PCOS and fertility issues (not so good if you’re trying to get pregnant). I was wondering how you got up the nerve to go back to the doctor after years of avoiding it, and if you have any advice for others who haven’t been in a long time. Not only am I afraid of the fat shaming, I’m also afraid that I’m going to be flagellated for not having had a pelvic exam in such a very long time.

  2. The Rotund Says:

    Hi, Megan!

    I just wanted to a) Thank you very much for the question, I absolutely appreciate you leaving it and b) Let you know that The Doctor, Part 2 opens with my response to you – we’ll be posting that podcast this weekend (I think on the 8th) because I think it’s a really incredibly important thing to talk about.

  3. paperkingdoms Says:

    Because it’s something I’m thinking through as I ponder what’s been really frustrating about my recent medical adventures, and thinking about how to handle bits of it as I pick up and move across the country this summer, and thus start the doctor search all over again… do either of you have thoughts about how this intersects with a health condition that *is* linked to what you’re eating (type 2 diabetes in my case)?

    I’ve seen several doctors about it, and we discuss my eating habits (which have changed dramatically since my diagnosis), and the exercise that I get (plenty, thank you), and they agree that things are going well on those fronts. And we’ve been trying various combinations of medications, not getting the desired results. So then they turn around and pull out “but the biggest thing you could do to help with this is loose 10 pounds”. And it just seems that no matter how much we talk about that, I can’t get them to take it off the table.

    Which, honestly, I think is sort of an undercurrent about these being the wrong doctors for me. But I’m wondering if either of you have any thoughts about how you factor in medical conditions that are connected to parts of your lifestyle that are commonly connected with how fat you are when you approach the medical community.

  4. Ankaret Says:

    I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying these podcasts. The part about the big blood pressure cuff really resonated – there are two things that consistently push my blood pressure above its usual 120 over 80 and those things are being measured with a regular cuff, and having to have a stressful argument with the nurse about getting the big cuff.

  5. Going to the Doctor Whilst Under the Influence of Fat « hepfat Says:

    […] been the one who helped you find it.  I’ll also recommend that you go ahead and listen to Episode 2 and Episode 3 of Leslie Kinzel and Marianne Kirby’s Fatcast, which both discuss health […]

  6. MayDarling Says:

    I am totally on board with the big cuff deal. My family has a history of hypertension (and now I wonder how much of that is misdiagnosis with wrong sized cuffs…) and I was told that I was per-hypertensive as a teenager and then again as a young adult. When I went for my annual (after many years of not going to the doctor) I was told that I was borderline again, which was really odd because the last time I’d had my bp measured it was on the low end. Like Leslie, I was going in to the gyno to get on the pill and I got the spiel about it raising your bp, etc, etc. But I appreciate the fact that my doctor put me on it for a month, told me to come back and we would proceed from there. Aside from a few weirdo mood swings (and a lowered BS tolerance 😉 )I felt fine. Cut to the next doctor’s appt the nurse took my bp and it looked to be sky high. The doctor breezes in, looks at what was written down and made a little face and asked “Did the nurse use this cuff to take your bp?” He pointed to a smaller cuff, which she did use. He made a disgusted face and said “she’ll never get an accurate read with that thing.” His tone suggested that this was not the first time to happen. At which point, he grabbed the larger cuff, strapped it on and proclaimed my bp to be on the low end of normal. Ta-frickin’-da!!! That visit and my doctor’s matter of fact treatment of me went a long way to taking away a lot of my white-coat anxiety. Another thing people can do besides buying their own x-large robes is to buy a large bp cuff. They are available for sale just like seat belt extenders and that way you know you always have it.

  7. Amanda Says:

    Hey loves, I know this is months old but I know you moderate the comments and I just wanted to thank you both. I just got home from my first (INCREDIBLY TRYING) experience with a pelvic exam and pap smear and I had one of the moments Lesley was talking about re: wanting to kick the doctor in the head because she was lecturing me about my weight when I was spread-eagle in the exam chair. She was very insistent that I begin keeping a food diary, and I didn’t know how to explain to her that I feel about writing down everything I eat and then having someone see it about the same as Lesley seems to feel about scales.

    I don’t know. Long story short, I had a shitty experience and what I did on the ride home to make myself feel better was listen to y’all tell me that I am allowed to advocate for myself. So I will NOT be keeping that food diary and I will have to think hard about whether I return to tha doctor at all.

  8. arcane_scholar Says:

    So I was reading through the links of this podcast (I listened to the episode a couple months ago; however, I haven’t had a chance to visit the blog until now), and I have something I would like to bring up. In Hanne Blank’s letter it says: I do exercise, eat a balanced diet, take my vitamins, brush my teeth, wear my seat belt, vote, call my mother regularly, and seek medical care when appropriate.

    I find this problematic. It implies that if one does this, than the doctor should not worry because they are “good” and “follow all the rules”. What about people who don’t though? I don’t exercise, or eat a balanced diet, or wear a seat belt, or have a mother to call. Actually, I don’t do any of that list. Does that mean my doctor should lecture me? Does that mean that I deserve more scrutiny? I don’t know, maybe I just being overly sensitive.

    I have a lot of issues with going to the doctor anyway, and the constant push for health. Can I tell a doctor, “I only want to talk about X and Y”? I feel as though the overall message in society, even when it comes to fat acceptance and HAES, is that if one isn’t doing everything necessary to be “healthy” then they don’t deserve to have any health problems tended to.

    I really enjoy these podcasts, and ya’ll are some awesome and amazing women, yet I feel really…alienated listening to these doctor ones. There are some excellent points, and yet the push to see doctors and be “healthy” is really disappointing on a lot of fronts. Especially since the only comment Marianne could make about lack of accessibility to medical care came down to “I understand, and it sucks”. There are no other options? Some of us are left out to dry by inaccessibility, and yet we’re still being told “go to the doctor”, “get healthy”, “make sure you do yearly check-ups”, etc. Surely y’all understand how frustrating that can be?

  9. Kaia kommer hem » Blog Archive » Baraföratt Says:

    […] avsnitt att börja med: Episode 2: The Doctor, part 1 och episode 3: The Doctor, part 2. AlltsĂ„. Om att gĂ„ till doktorn, inte om the […]

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