Thursday, June 9, 2016

To the P.A. Who Made Me Cry

I was so excited when I found out that I was going to be getting health insurance through my work place.  With my employer covering half of the cost of the premium I finally would be able to afford Health Insurance.

I eagerly awaited the day my insurance would kick in and I would be able to find a Dr.  I hadn't had a primary Dr in 13 years....with the only health care I had that was routine being my 2 pregnancies and yearly well woman visits at Planned Parenthood.

I called several Dr's first that my family members went to.  None of them were taking new patients.  Then I saw a sign at a Dr's office that said they were. So I called to get some more information.  They asked that if the Dr was unavailable if I was okay with seeing the Physician's Assistant in their office.  Since this is all I had been seeing anyway going to Doc's in a Box I said sure.  Why not.

I got approved and made my first appointment.  I arrived 30 minutes early anticipating tons of paperwork to be filled out and lots of "get to know my medical history" questions.

None of that happened.

The gentleman who called me back was so very nice, it made me glad I chose this office. He listened to me, let me finish saying what I was saying before following up with questions.

He left to go get you.  I had started this morning nervous and excited.  I was finally going to be able to afford routine health care! I was finally going to have a Dr's office that would be mine and would help me get back to where I needed to be.

There is so much going wrong with me. So much.  Mostly due to my not being able to afford the tests and procedures that I needed.

Then you walked in and right away, I knew, you judged me.

I want to start off by saying in no way am I skinny girl.  I have never been a skinny girl and short of a miracle or medical intervention I don't ever see myself being a skinny girl. I am taking steps to make myself healthier.  Watching what I eat, cutting out the bad foods, increasing the good foods, making an effort to be more active....

You didn't ask me any of that.

You asked me the standard follow up questions to what the nice gentleman had asked me previously.  You check out a few things that I had mentioned.  You suggest sleep apnea being the reason I am so tired.  You wanted to do a sleep study.  You asked me if I wanted one.  I told you that I would do any test you wanted me to do as long as I could afford them.  My insurance is new to me, and I am not sure yet what I would have to pay to be able to do one.

You then mention a couple of the other items that I had mentioned and then the words come out of your mouth that I was waiting on.

"Most of the issues you are experiencing can probably be handled with proper weight management.  Less soda, less junk, less carbs, more protein, exercise 4 to 5 days a week and a 1200 calorie limit."

and right there in your office my heart broke.

It was all I could do not to cry, which I ended up happening as soon as I got in my car.

You didn't ask me if I was currently doing anything to manage my weight.

You didn't ask me what my daily diet looks like.

You just assumed because I was over weight that I was not doing anything to prevent it.

You just assumed that since I was over weight that I was ignorant of some of the health implications due to my increased size.

You took one look at me and judged so many different things about me......things that were completely wrong.

You didn't ask so you didn't know

How I have completely changed my diet in the last 6 months.

How I used to walk all the time until my foot, which I didn't dare bring up, starting hurting and swelling so bad that I could barely walk to the bathroom without crying in pain.

How I have basically tripled my water intake from previous years and have drastically reduced my soda intake.

How I have been doing everything that I can right now, this minute, on the budget I have with the tools I have available to me, to make myself and my life better.

You didn't ask, so you didn't know.

I left your office feeling crushed.  I want to think that wasn't your intent.  That your intent was to possibly motivate me, more than I am now, to shed the pounds that I need to lose.  But instead you made me feel more defeated, more hopeless and above all a failure.

I know you will never see this.  I know that you will continue to treat people as you have been for 14 years at the office where you work.  I just hope that one day you learn how to listen to the person sitting in front of you and value them as an individual and not judge them based on outward appearance.