Alternachicks - doctors visits

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12-17-2005, 10:17 PM
I didn't really see a forum that suited my question, so I thought I'd just post this "at home" and see what response I get...

I am sure I'm not the only one, but I have a problem with most of the doctors I visit blaming whatever that ails me on my being overweight. It's humiliating, and not always true, and I feel that I'm not getting the best patient care because of it.

I am just wondering, because I'm sure I'm not the only one out there, how do others handle this? My husband right now is really frustrated because I'm in pain constantly from my back, but feel there is absolutely no point in going to the dr, because I've been about 10 times for my back in the last 13 years, and was completely disregarded. They don't seem to believe me when I tell them my pain started BEFORE I got fat, and that while I understand my weight aggravates my condition, it is NOT THE CAUSE!

I just want someone to take me seriously and actually run some tests or spend more than 5 minutes with me, while I lift my shirt and bend over (seriously, that's the only test I've gotten from some doctors).

Any thoughts or suggestions? Has anyone had any success getting doctors to actually listen to them? I have other medical issues I'd like to discuss with my doctor, but am worried that there honestly is no point or that I don't know the right things to say to assert myself.

Thanks for listening, would love any suggestions.

Valerie Joy
12-18-2005, 02:04 AM
I feel the same way about the doctor. Always blaming everything on my weight. You might want to see a chiropractor about your back. Seeing one has helped my back feel much better! Good Luck!

12-18-2005, 10:12 AM
I have had the same experience, but unfortunately have no suggestions. I haven't managed to get them to listen either.

12-18-2005, 10:24 AM
I know what you mean...I have had cronic constipation (I know fun huh) all my life, and for 20+ years whenever I talk to the dr about it, they tell me "eat more salads, get more fiber, take a laxative".....excuse me, I can not live on laxatives, and I ALWAYS eat salads!!!!!!

12-18-2005, 10:31 AM
If it's possible, switch doctors. I know that isnt always possible. If you can muster it, when you see the doctor again ask for a referral to someone who is competent enough to recognize that the patient is in pain and is willing to see beyond the fat. I know that sounds harsh, but you could always change the words to something sweeter if it suits you better. And trust me, I know what you mean about doctors. My mama is a big woman and her present doctor is TERRRRRRRRRRRIBLE at that. He blames colds on her weight, however she cant switch doctors just yet and I've had my own special situations with doctors. Some can be caring and educated and others are simply educated dummies.

12-18-2005, 11:07 AM
hi there. do call the doctor. you do NOT have to live in pain. while the pain in your back may not be a result of your weight, we all know that - of course - having extra weight just magnifies any pain you DO have. this makes it easy for doctors to have a nice little pre-packaged diagnosis. however, even doctors (should) know that it takes a while to lose weight safely and in a healthy way. when you go to the doctor for your back, mention that you are trying to lose weight with diet and exercise but that you know it is going to take a while and you are in pain NOW. mention that it is impeding your weight loss goals, because it actually hurts to exercise, so you are putting it off (i imagine this is probably the case. if not, go ahead and modify whatever you need for it to suit your situation). ask him for a referral to a physical therapist/physiatrist who might be able to help you with the pain. you can also say that you've had this pain for a while, even before you gained weight and specifically request an x-ray and/or an mri to rule out slipped/bulging disks or pinched nerves. if your doctor refuses the referral, make a point to tell them you want it written in your notes that you requested and were refused diagnostic/treatment modalities, in case the situation worsens in the future. remember, while your doctor has the education, s/he still "works" for you, so to speak. and most of the time, when you actually request a procedure, doctors will refer you because they constantly have to cover their arse these days. most don't want a lawsuit on their hands. something like an x-ray or an mri is non-invasive, so most won't deny you at least that.

then, if it comes back clean... on with the physical therapy for pain management and continue your diet for weight loss.

and if it comes back with a problem, you earned the right to go there yelling "nanee nanee poo poo... i was right, i was right! maybe you should pay ME now!!!" :D or, at least thats what i would do. but then again, i like to indulge my immature inner child every now and again. :D :p

either way, good luck. and remember, you have every right to request a procedure. the doctor may not agree to the referral, but you have nothing to lose by asking! you may not appear to have a displaced disk, but an mri could rule out a pinched nerve (something they can't see from the outside).
best wishes!


12-18-2005, 01:46 PM
Lizz - I bet I can fix your back for you - if your problem is the same problem I had - since you are on the computer as much as me.

Let me guess, you have a spasm about mid shoulder blade on either side of the spine that radiates down to your hips and up to your neck. It is mostly on one side and sitting at your desk aggrevates it? And I bet laying down doesnt help much, heating pads will help long enough to go to sleep, you constantly feel like someone is stabbing you in the back - literally.

First go to a Doctor with a DO in there instead of MD. A DO is like a mix of a regular doctor and a Chiropractor. Mine would adjust my back gently - it was way out of whack at one point, and she only did it once from hips to neck, gave me some exercises to do and an Rx of Aleve (over the counter works good too, get the generic naproxin sodium and take double for the Rx strength) they work twice as well as advil.

Then when you doctor asks you why you have a spasm in that spot and you dont know why - think about which hand you mouse with - do you have a mouse? After my doctor gave me the Rx - I started feeling a bit better - pain managed but not gone - then I bought a laptop and only use the touch pad - guess what? After about a year of being pain free - I had to use the old PC with the mouse for just a week and had the pain back and it took another week to make it go away.

You see she had felt my back and it turned out the knot was so predominant that I didnt have to tell her where it hurt and then she asked if I was right handed which I am not - then she asked what I use my right arm for so much that would cause this spasm - the mouse - the dirty little white thing.

Anyway - that is what happened to me - doctors are at best only useful if you have obvious injuries or really really good medical coverage.

Let me know more about your pain.

12-18-2005, 05:44 PM
pj - heh - actually, that is one of my back problems. i never thought about the good old mousey being part of the problem. :) I have had a couple of minor injuries that never really got inspected enough.
When I was 12, my lower back just went out. I was in bed for several days on drugs and then it kinda cleared up so no one gave it another thought. But it would still hurt, I just would have friends pop my back like the stupid teenager I was and I'd have some releif until the next time it went out.

At work I helped someone lift something way to heavy and under my left shoulderblade sort of went numb like and lasted for a week or so, then cleared up. Once in a while I'll sleep funky or something and it'll bother me again, that's been about 4 years or so on that one.

Most recently I changed jobs, new chair and desk situation and my back started hurting every single day, badly. I got permission to have my desk raised so I can stand if I want to, and I had a drafting chair to sit in, which is a little nicer than the crap chair they had for me before. Don't businesses realize that if they have a person sitting in a chair for 9 hours a day they should get them a chair that is mean to hold someone for that long. ugh.

Anyway, between the old injury, the lower back constantly hurting me, and sometimes my middle back to boot. And them the kicker is when my lower back starts to spasm. *LOL* Basically I'm broken. It can not all be because I ate too much and got myself all fattened up. :)

btw- the dr I have now sucks, but I've had others and they all tell me the same thing. All physical therpy did was make me ride a stationary bike, and at the price they were charging my parents - I could have just gotten a gym membership and done it a lot cheaper.

Enough of my *****ing. Thanks for the suggestions. I am just going to have to bite the bullet and go in there and be forceful and hope that i get listened to. And if I don't, I'll change doctors effective immediately.

pj - what's a DO?

Goddess Jessica
12-18-2005, 07:31 PM
Hi lizzie - I'm a bit late on the thread but I thought I'd tell you that not all doctors are this way. My feet hurt for a very long time and I chalked it up to being overweight. Finally, I mentioned it to my doctor casually one day. He said, "Take off your shoes. Stand up. Okay, you have really flat feet. Where does it hurt? Hmmmm... I'm going to guess a bone spur but let's refer you to a podiatrist to make sure." Turns out I have bone spurs and after some physical therapy, no more pain. What makes me laugh is that I never thought it could be anything but being overweight! If you think a doctor isn't taking your concerns seriously, dump him/her.

12-18-2005, 08:10 PM
I say go to a chiropractor or massage therapist. Either one would try to find out what's wrong with you and not blame your weight. During physical therapy after a motorcycle accident I was told by the head of PT that if I lost weight my knee would probably get better faster--my daughter was with me and I thought she was going to punch him square in the face--I told him I have always had knee problems even when my weight was 120-125 lbs. My chiro did more for me than the PT did. I was so out of whack everything was out of line. He couldn't make my knee go back into place but he helps keep everything else okay...

12-18-2005, 10:53 PM
I'll chirp up for chiropractors too. I have a congenital defect in my lower back and it helps a lot to go regularly. Strengthening up my abs has also been really helpful. (As well as specific stretches suggested by my massage guy) I was hoping my back pain would go away when I lost the weight, but sadly no such luck.

12-18-2005, 11:16 PM
Hey Lizz - A D.O. is a doctor of Osteopathy - see a quote below from one and a link to a website with more info:

"I think the primary difference in my mind is the additional training that osteopathic physicians receive in regard to the musculoskeletal system. The ability to use a hands-on approach to the patients to both diagnose and treat conditions that might otherwise be missed if you weren't looking for that.

It gives us something additional that we can offer the patient. Not just a pill, but putting our hands on and helping to correct imbalances that might be present, and giving them a better outcome."

And lose your mouse - trust me - it may not be the original cause - but it definately is aggrevating it. A Lot you will be amazed. Especially that spot between the shoulder blades but more on the side with the mouse.

12-21-2005, 11:27 PM
well, i am braving the doctor tomorrow. i'm going to write a list of all the troubles i've had with my back and request diagnostic testing and a referral to a back pain specialist if there is one here. If i don't get the result from her that I'm looking for, then I'm going to ask her to put in my file that she refused to help me, as suggested above. I am then going to immediately go find myself another doctor and hope for the best.
hopefully it won't come to that.
Thanks so much for being a sounding board, I love the suggestions and will be looking forward to seeing whether or not they work out for me. *LOL* Wish my and my fat cells luck tomorrow!

12-23-2005, 12:28 AM
okay, so good news and bad. she's sending me for physical therepy to see if that works. she gave me some anti-inflamitory pills (i'm leery about taking them, but i guess i'll try not til the weekend when i can see how they react to my body tho). i asked about mri and xray and she said not til i tried the pt for about 6 weeks first. she still harped on me about my weight - and speaking of i had to wait for her for 50 minutes after my appt start time!
i am still considering a new doctor, though from what i can tell, an hour's wait is becoming standard. i wasn't brave enough to ask her to include in my file that she refused mri, but i did watch as the ra noted my account that i requested it, so i'm satisfied with that for now.
wish me luck! :)

Goddess Jessica
12-23-2005, 12:34 PM
It's VERY common practice to not run expensive tests until PT is done. I can't blame them. There have been many times that I have started PT and thought, "It's ridiculous to think this will improve the pain." and lo and behold, I'm cured after months of it. I'm a huge proponent of PT (pain and torture). :)

I have started doctors visits with, "Yes, I know, I need to lose weight. If I acknowledge that, can we skip the lecture?"

12-23-2005, 12:57 PM
When I was at 216, the doctors always made me aware that if I lost weight 'whatever' condition would get better. In some cases she was right and when I lost weight my blood pressure came down, my joints didn't bother me, etc. But being overweight is not the cause of 'everything'.
Gonnaloseitagain, I also suffered from cronic constipation, for many many years. You are right, they tell you to take metimucil, Senokot, drink lots of water, eat veggies and fruit. Like you, I did all of the above and NONE of that helped. Oh and let me add, I exercised til the cows came home.
Then one visit to my oncologist/gyno and he took a look. He found out that I actually had an obstruction from a previous surgery. So on Novemeber 1st I underwent utro vaginal pro-lapse surgery. Since then I go number 2 with the best of them, I am sooooooooooooooooooo happy. No more Senokot, no more Diet Slim is wonderful.....
I guess the trick is finding the right doctor, maybe by going to whatever is bothering you, to a doctor in that field.......
Now everytime I go number 2, I think of my wonderful Dr.

12-23-2005, 05:55 PM
Star - you go girl! Sorry...that was just too tempting to not use... :lol3:

12-23-2005, 09:18 PM
LMAO that's too funny. I'm sure your doctor would love for you to tell 'em that you think of them every time you go. :)
Funny, they perscribe the same thing to me for chronic diarhea - fiber capsules and fruits and veggies. sadly, they make things worse. anyway ...

i did pt before and it was horrible. i'm looking forward to it being with my time this time.

on another side note- every time they take my blood pressure they are genuinely surprised that it is normal. makes me mad. *L*