Medical Prejudice Against Fat Women

Today I went to the Dr. and I realized for the first time how different I was being treated, and believe it is due to my current state of obesity.  In the past two years I’ve gained 30 lbs, mostly in my belly.  Since thyroid cancer I am heavy and tired and look the part of a frump. 

My husband went to the exact same walk-in day before.  He had same symptoms as I, completely drained of energy, weak, struggling to sleep and breathe.  I gave him the bug he was being evaluated for.  He’s 6’3”, a solid assuming sort.  With identical symptoms he returned home without ever having been given a chest x-ray, without the doctor hearing anything in his chest, no sign of the infection in his ears or face with the antibiotics needed to feel better within a few hours.  The inhaler, and another breathing aid. 

Next day hardly able to walk about the house, canceling my appointments as I couldn’t keep my eyes open and breathing shallow, Ted decided to take me to the doctor.  When I got there, they could see in a walking test that my breathing went down to 94.  The Dr. suggested an X-ray to my chest which I hesitated to have done as I have been through two cancers already and thought if we could do without another dose of radiation, I’d appreciate it. 

I left with a suggestion to return in a week if things don’t improve.  Its been 3 weeks already with two relapses.  I realized on way home that I was not taken seriously.  I’m think it’s because of my giant belly.  The fat on my body due to thyroid issues.  I walk 20 to 30 miles a week, and still have 30 lbs extra weight as my missing thyroid has messed with my life.  The prejudice was the first I’d felt in years. 

The last time I felt dismissed for being me was during a time we were building our house.  Hanging out at paint stores, places where trusses are designed, bolts are purchased, siding is ordered, a man’s world at that time had little space for a woman who was doing 90% of the buying for a housebuilding project.  Guys daily cut in front of me, the guy at the desk would look past me and ask to help the guy behind me.  When I finally got to the desk, I’d be ignored when asking for a part and was given what they thought I needed, only to have me hand back the part and ask once again for the correct part they said didn’t exist, only for them to find it and ring it up indignantly. 

I don’t like the feeling of prejudice.  To be a female in some places is uncomfortable.  To be a fat woman is almost unbearable.  Portly men, they are thought to be powerful and strong.  Not women.  I hope to shed this weight once I figure out how to be healthy without my thyroid, but I’m glad I’ve had a chance at experiencing what it’s like to be minimized and disrespected inside a body that won’t cooperate.  I don’t want to ever forget for the sake of others who are stuck in a body they can’t alter.

There was zero reason today why I was not treated and my husband was.  There is zero reason to take one person more seriously than another.  Except for prejudice.  It’s time to ask, when do I take others less seriously for no good reason?  I’m sure I do.  Growing curve, teach me more.  I want to be kinder and more respectful. 


I Collect Good Men – Oops… stories of:)

This past couple years disrespect of women has become more public than in the recent past.

The Stanford Rape Case – girl gets left like garbage out on on the ground and swim jock rapist get community service.

Bill Cosby – 60 women destroyed and he calling it “casual sex”, admits to using sedative hypnotic methaqualone with the women – admits knowing that giving it to another person is illegal, but won’t call it rape.

Mark Driscoll the lead pastor of Mars Hill is off’d his mountaintop for a variety of reasons – I’m sure his graphic sexualized prophecies and hyper-fixation on teaching women in the church to provide certain kinds of sex to headship husband lest they neglect their Christian wifely duty have added to the list of reasons why.

Seventh day Adventist Church:  Women’s Ordination.

Donald Trump.  Lets see, strip clubs, objectifying his own daughter.  Filth spoken to his buddies long ago, (‘We all do it’, quip the supporters.  No, many of us have never had thoughts like the words that came out of his mouth, or ever heard such words.  And needed a shower after hearing such words.  No, we don’t all act like that and talk like that.). Reports that he raped a 13 year old girl (read the reports. Yes she dropped charges after her life was threatened.  This was a group effort, the other man accused, Jeffrey Epstein, Trumps buddy, is a registered sex offender and payed the girl off for his part.) 

This is the year it became impossible to talk about the happenings in the news round the dinner table. The year we couldn’t have our kids involved in the election process as it became X-rated and revolting.  The year an old family entertainer we all love and who made us laugh was found to be too violent and grotesque in his secret life to be funny at all anymore. 

Today I ran across a short little video about a single Dad who started classes in his community to teach other Dad’s how to do their daughter’s hair.  This Dad says knowing how to care for his daughter’s hair became one of the challenges for him and as he figured out what to do, he decided to share what he learned with other Dads.  Thirty-four classes later and 800 plus guys through the program, he reminds the guys it’s not a gender thing  “Even a messy braid is still time spent together. It’s not about the braid, it’s about the bond”.

I ran across a story about a woman who went to her husband’s work because he had been working late.  She found him sound asleep in his chair, feet up on desk, holding a little two year old on his chest.  This man works for Child and Family Services, the baby had been taken, and was between placements.  A big kind-hearted guy sound asleep on duty, helping the little one during this terribly painful time of transition. 

There are the abusers.  The selfish.  The toxic and manipulative.  Liars and users.  There are monsters.  The types who say words with a smile, but words that cut holes in the souls of those around them.  There are people all about power over.  There are small types who have to talk filth to feel big.  Small ones who drive giant trucks, suck up gas and burn tires to prove how important they are.  The people who do not care the scars they carve into those who trust them.

And then there are the others.  Not perfect, and still day after day he goes to work, brings home all that he has been earned, rarely uses money just for himself.  The guy who grocery shops.  He cooks.  The one who still tell bedtime stories, he doesn’t do it all just right, but cares deeply for the people in  his life.  The guy who doesn’t spend his life angry because he is hamstrung by the old lady and a couple-a snot nosed dependents.  No, a guy who loves and adores his wife, still finds her hot despite the way they’ve both aged… the marks grooved deep into her being, stretched lines telling a story about their love and their love babies.  A guy who doesn’t want the plastic of porn.  It’s his wife he desires.  Not just her body, but her friendship.  

This year I hope to collect stories of respect given by men to women and women to men.  Men and women to children.  Not tales about why it’s so important for women to respect men and why women don’t need respect but love.  The church has contributed to the abuse by ideas that we have propagated.  The Bible is crammed packed with why respect and love are important for all.  Male headship, leading and following.  Balderdash.  He who is greatest must be servant of all.  Jesus, God himself, says he calls us FRIENDS.  Men and women are all in this together, we either all contribute to love or to destruction.  We all need each other.  I am collecting stories of mutual care and love given between equals.  Help me collect the stories. I look forward to each one. 

P.S.  Happy Birthday Adored Husband.  Thank you for the little ways you remind me every day that not all guys are like the horrific males who make the news.  The kids and I are blessed.