WT everloving F!?!?!? All-around bad gynecological care here – every stereotype you can name.

Lil writes:
I have been overweight since I was very young – except it was called puppy fat and ‘nothing to worry about’ right up until I was 14 and then those very same doctors who had laughed at my worries about being over weight switched to ‘why have you let yourself get so big?!’. I was blessed with being able to fall pregnant quite easily but had problems after my first c-section. My periods became irregular, painful and so very heavy. I had slightly more problems conceiving the next baby…but was blessed with twins. One died in vitro late in the pregnancy, but the doctors said this was good as it was one less risk! I delivered the twins by C-section and was treated very badly due to my weight post-natally. I tried hard to conceive, and then miscarried late. Again I received poor care due to my weight….I nearly died during the eventual miscarriage (it took 10 weeks after the baby had died for my body to lose it) and was blue-lighted to hospital – the doctor walked in, I was laid on the bed in labour with all the pain that goes with it, and devastated because i has stupidly believed that maybe the early scan was wrong and the baby was okay after all, there was blood everywhere as I’d been bleeding at home for 4 hours…the consultant’s first words? ‘Oh my goodness! Do you know you’re obese?! Have you tried to lose weight?’. My husband went nuts, he was so angry that the doctor felt it was okay to make such a comment at such a low moment in my life.

It took me over a year to conceive the next baby and my hospital was again lousy in their care, so I opted out (as is my legal right) and only had midwife care. At a scan, where I was humiliated and ridiculed by the consultant and her registrar, I had really had enough and I walked out and informed my husband that I wasn’t setting foot in there again. I had already discovered that the hospital’s unwritten policy was to c-section anyone who was very over weight or obese (despite the extra risks involved). The midwives were nervous, but supportive when they realised I was serious, and supported me in my choice to have a home birth. So I had a home birth. It was a wonderful experience. Then my BP dropped and my midwife suggested I go for a check-up at the hospital – just to sort out some BP meds. Whilst there the hospital decided I was obviously diabetic (just from looking at me – no need for tests!). I told them I wasn’t. They took my baby and put him in SCBU, told me he was going to suffer from withdrawal due to my diabetes! They put him nil by mouth and then his blood sugar dropped (anyone else spot the obvious reason…clue: nothing to do with diabetes!). They told me my milk would be useless as it would contain too much sugar so made me throw away all that important first milk!!! Eventually I forced them to test me – no diabetes! Oh, so then it was GESTATIONAL diabetes. I pointed out I’d been tested during pregnancy and was fine. The doctor declared that the tests were useless and many women of my size managed to pass the tests despite so obviously have diabetes! He told me my son was seriously ill, and it was caused by my size. It wasn’t until I looked into his claims and was far enough away from the situation to think straight, that I realised he had lied – all the problems my son had were caused by the 5 day nil by mouth and a dairy intolerance. Their main proof of it being my fault was he’d lost so much weight after birth…he was on nil by mouth. How on earth was he meant to gain any weight?! Well I put in several complaints about the treatment my son and I received…things like sitting in a room filled with posters of ‘kangaroo care is best’ and then told *I* couldn’t do kangaroo care because I was too fat and would make people feel sick! ‘Breast is best’ but told my milk would be ‘filled with the crap you stuff in your face’ . I was even made to sleep in a separate room because ‘fat people smell’ and ‘they might have nightmares about whales!’. All absolutely humiliating, especially the laughs and smirks after the comments!

My relationship with my GP hit rock bottom at this point too. I had failed to listen to medical advice, (home birth) and he seemed to see this as a personal affront! It was nothing, apparently, to do with the fact that one of the doctors I reported was a personal friend of his! I tried asking him for help with my still heavy periods. He told me to have a hysterectomy! I refused and said I would have as many children as I was blessed with, and didn’t think I should have such drastic surgery without even a test before hand! I then asked for advice and help with a discharge – he gave me antibiotics – the discharge stopped and I ended up with thrush. I got thrush treatment from my GP and the discharge came back. I asked for more treatment, got different antibiotics, got thrush again and yet again the discharge came back. My GP said ‘live with it. It’s due to your weight’. Then everything was my weight -even an injury from falling over. I gave up seeing my GP, and only saw him whilst taking my children to him.

Then my GP reported me to social services….unexplained injuries to my child? No. Something my children have said or implied? No. The reason? I am fat, ugly and smell! This apparently is emotional abuse as my children have to live with me as a mother! The fact that the smell he stated was the discharge he refused to investigate or treat (not a single swab was ever done) seems to be by the by. He also told social services that as I had refused and ignored the medical advice of a doctor for myself (ie refusing to have hospital care and a c-section) it was only a matter of time before I started to ignore medical advice for my children too! This, social services decided, counts as neglect. The fact that I am fat also was proof that I am uneducated (I am very well educated actually) and shows that I can’t see to ‘even the basic care’ of my children (the only one of my children to be over-weight is the oldest and she is 23 and only been over weight since she was 18-so not when I’m the one having to provide ‘basic care’). The conclusion of social services was that I am a bad parent who does see the damage I am doing to my children by looking the way I do! They have insisted that I am the one that collect my children with no exceptions (a comment of ‘the exercise will do you good’ was made but not included in the formal minutes!)…so when I have a period, and I’m flooding and have to sit on folded towels and change my protection every 20-30 minutes? Yep, I have to walk to pick up my children! My youngest children are on the at risk register for neglect and my social worker doesn’t offer any advice. I went to a dietitian whilst breastfeeding, and the diet she gave me I followed exactly – I was so hungry and my size 4 sister was horrified as she eats more than I was allowed. I lost 3 lb and my milk dried up…the dietitian said I must have been cheating as someone my size would lose 7lb or more on week one! I was so humiliated by the ‘child conference’ held by social services – where school teachers etc sat and listened to how fat I was and how sick I make people feel because of my size, that I have started to have panic attacks…I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack to start with, but they are now 2 or 3 times a day and I haven’t dropped dead yet! I have had to self-diagnose as I can’t bare to visit my GP…and social services say any attempt to change any health professional will be viewed as an attempt to hide something. I am petrified that if I don’t lose weight they will take my children away. I have tried to diet again – it started well with 2-3 lbs every week…but then it dropped to 1lb a week and then stopped. My heavy periods continue to dominate my life and I could do with proper medical advice – but I doubt I’ll get it, even if I could muster the guts to visit my GP. I haven’t had any contraception for 2 years now, but no sign of pregnancy…which is possibly for the best. I know I am blessed to have lots of children, but as long as my husband and I can take care of them financially I don’t see why the doctors have a right not to help us. I really don’t see why my weight is abuse to my children – they are healthy sizes, they have friends and those friends visit and even stay over…surely if I was that much of an embarrassment my children wouldn’t bring friends over and if I made people feel sick to look at me, those friends wouldn’t want to stay over either. I am so embarrassed and worried about ‘the smell’. I thought the discharge (which is only really smelly during the last few days of my period and a few days after) wasn’t bad enough for other people to detect. Now I am fearful of sitting too close to people in case it’s that bad they can smell it. I am so depressed, but trying to hide it as I know depression will count as more neglect towards my children in social services’ eyes. I weigh far too much to just lose it over night – I was 25 stone, but am now just below 22 stone. I should weigh no more than 8 stone…so that’s a huge difference. I am worried that my heavy periods are a sign of some problem that is just being ignored due to my size.

I spoke to a nurse at my GPs practice, and she told be that government policy was for surgeries to lose money from their budget for patients with high BP and over-weight or obese patients. This is meant to encourage doctors to help these patients become fit….from my experience it just makes the doctors despise the patients and give them bad health care. But if my GP thought he could get rid of me this way, he’s shot himself in the foot! Because now social services won’t let me change doctors! If he’d just asked I would have left his ‘care’ quite willingly.

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24 Comments

  1. OMG I just feel so sick reading this, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this, this is not acceptable at all.

    Reply
  2. Holy shit. This post is terrifying. The mistreatment you’ve been subjected to by both your doctor and your government is criminal. Have you thought of hiring a lawyer to plead your case, so that you could be taken off the at-risk-for-negligence rolls, or at least argue that you can perhaps not change GPs but get a second opinion on your situation?

    This is criminal discrimination and prejudice. It sounds like you could have undiagnosed PCOS (though I’m not a doctor). You and your children are being held hostage by bigotry.

    Maybe someone else will have better advice. I’m stunned by the depth and breadth of the abuse you and your children have suffered, and I’m truly sorry for what you’ve had to go through.

    Reply
  3. sarah

     /  April 19, 2012

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all this. I wish I had some advice to offer on how to improve your situation, but it really sounds like they’ve set things up around you and your children in a way that makes it nearly impossible to fix.

    Reply
  4. I would like to second Big Liberty’s comment. You need legal help. Right now the medical establishment has you coming and going but there has to be a way you can at least get a second opinion without losing your children.

    Nobody deserves to be treated this way. Nobody. Not for any reason.

    Reply
  5. Words fail me. I have never been so disgusted, and never felt so ashamed to be the same species as these people.

    I am incredibly saddened and angry by what you have had to deal with. Not acceptable in any way, shape or form.

    I too second Big Liberty’s comments with seeking legal help.

    Reply
  6. Chutti

     /  April 19, 2012

    I can only echo how sorry I am that you have received this treatment.
    It is undeniably wrong, and you have undeniable rights.
    I hope you’ll be able to get legal redress, and to have some comfort too.

    Reply
  7. lilacsigil

     /  April 19, 2012

    The way you have been treated is absolutely disgusting. I have also experienced medical staff diagnosing (and trying to treat) me without actually doing any tests, but even so I am appalled that they would then starve an infant because of it. I’m really shaken by your post and I’m so angry on your behalf that they’re threatening you with losing your children if you try to advocate for yourself.

    Reply
  8. Michelle

     /  April 19, 2012

    I’m sorry to say this, but it’s time to bring up the topic of death. Get up the guts to go to your GP, and ask him exactly what will happen to him if you die under his care, because he refused to even perform a simple test. Record it, and if he hedges at all, play the recording back to him. And in your other pocket, have your cell phone, turned on, and on call to your lawyer, so he can hear it all. Then, repeat back to your doctor all that you have written here, including all the bad treatment you had before, and the accusations from child protective services that HE caused, plus the starving of your newborn infant. Point out that you are literally hemoragging every month, and that such huge blood loss is a sign of serious issues, such as anemia and possible kidney damage. Also point out that he has taken an oath to First Do NO Harm, and he is breaking that oath, and WHEN you die, from lack of treatment, HE will be the one guilty of murder. Yes, use that word. And that if he doesn’t take care of you RIGHT NOW, you will have it on record that he should be charged after your death.

    If he still balks, just hand him the cell phone with your lawyer on the other end, and let your lawyer talk to him.

    Because frankly, he really is trying to kill you, slowly. If you want to live, you have no choice but to take action, despite your fear.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  9. I just want to say I am so so sorry for what you went through. You did not deserve any of this at all, you are a human and deserve to be treated like every other human. What he did was completely reprehensible! I think Michelle gave a very good idea of how to handle it.

    Reply
  10. bubbly

     /  April 20, 2012

    Um…I think you mean in utero not in vitro. In vitro means “in glass ” as in something in a petrie dish. In utero means. “in the womb “.

    Reply
  11. This is totally, absolutely appalling. Nobody should be treated like this. Nobody.

    I would definitely get legal advice on this – unfortunately (am I right that you’re in the UK, Lil?) I know from various things I’ve read that dealing with Social Services where children are concerned can be a tricky matter. You definitely need impartial outside help.

    As for the NHS (again, assuming you’re in the UK), the page for starting a complaints procedure is here:

    http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/complaints/Pages/NHScomplaints.aspx

    You might also find some of the organizations under ‘External links’ helpful.

    I really hope you can get the help you need, because the treatment you’ve received is simply unacceptable by any ethical medical standards.

    Reply
  12. KellyK

     /  April 20, 2012

    That’s truly obscene and evil. I think getting a lawyer is probably a good idea. I’m sorry you’ve been through so much and people are so stupid as to put you and your baby at awful risk because of their own hateful prejudices.

    Reply
  13. kellie

     /  April 20, 2012

    Im sorry this happened to you …Get a Lawyer…then you will be able to change doctors and maybe even also go on with your life….you were 350 pounds? unless you are 6’5” yes you are over weight but so is a mass amount of people in this world…Are you telling everything ? The reason I ask is “why didnt you stop seeing these doctors in the first place?” Why would social services say you cant change doctors? This must be a VERY unusual case…Get a Lawyer …period!

    Reply
  14. Anna

     /  April 20, 2012

    That is horrendous, I barely have words.

    I don’t know law, but it sounds like bullshit to me for them to try to tell you what doctor you’re allowed to see. Also, “fat, ugly, and smelly” are definitely not legal terms so you need to find out what they’re actually investigating, what the specific charges are.

    I don’t know this 100% but everything I’ve read with a quick google search says that CPS can only ever do anything with a court order, so they can’t come in your house or take away your children or force you to do anything unless they have a signed court order. I assume that applies to choosing your medical care, too.

    You need to find out what your rights are. Find websites dealing with CPS issues that are based where you live, speak to an attorney who has experience fighting CPS or contact Legal Aid if there is one and ask for advice there.

    Reply
  15. Denise

     /  April 20, 2012

    Regarding the extra-heavy periods, the following helped me:

    Depends (adult diapers) on the extra heavy days
    Supplementing vitamins A and D
    Avoiding wheat (but that might not be everybody, I just found I was wheat-intolerant and when I quit eating it, it helped with the heavy bleeding)

    Is there a UK equivalent of the ACLU? If so, I would contact them and see if they could help.

    Reply
  16. I think you need a legal consult as well. Don’t accept this kind of treatment; keep pushing back against it and make it miserable for the people who are trying to pull it. Do everything you can to document it and document your complaints as well.

    Like Big Liberty said, PCOS springs to my mind. It can cause all kinds of grief with periods, from none to super-heavy ones, usually because of an imbalance of hormones. Sometimes, metformin or herbs like vitex can help balance those hormones and reduce insulin resistance, and periods improve. But you’d obviously need to be tested first before trying anything like that. Perhaps a naturopath might be more neutral to see?

    Sometimes a thyroid imbalance can lead to abnormal periods, so that’s something to have checked as well. Get the exact results, as what’s considered “abnormal” differs from doctor to doctor. Oh, and some people with PCOS do have wheat/gluten intolerance issues; that can be something to check into too.

    One very important thing to rule out would be endometrial problems; women with PCOS are prone to endometrial cancer and abnormal bleeds can be a sign of problems like that. Don’t panic; in younger women, it’s more likely to be due to hormonal imbalances than cancer, but endometrial cancer should be ruled out, esp if you have pelvic pain, pain urinating, pain on intercourse, or a personal or strong family history of cancer. The smell issue could be related too. Definitely something to have checked.

    Finally, even if it’s not due to anything abnormal, heavy bleeding like that predisposes you to iron-deficiency anemia. You need to have your hemoglobin, hematocrit, and ferritin levels checked. There are some good herbal things you can do to improve your iron levels without having to resort to nasty iron pills, but sometimes that’s needed too. Anemia can predispose to a lot of other issues so it’s critical you get checked for that too.

    I hope you find a GOOD healthcare provider that you can really trust so that you can get to the bottom of these problems soon.

    Reply
  17. Cassandra

     /  April 23, 2012

    This makes me feel horrible :( I can’t believe how you have suffered, and I wish I could do something to help. Please, please, PLEASE get a lawyer. If you can not afford a lawyer there must be some sort of legal aid for low income etc assistance in your community. Your rights as a human being have been been actively blocked by these so-called professionals!

    Reply
  18. Laura

     /  April 25, 2012

    I am so angry about how you’ve been treated! How dare they!!! I too have a big problem with my weight. NOT because I stuff my face! I barely eat anything at all! No, I am neither a liar nor delusional (for the record). I do, however, also suffer from very heavy periods and a constant hormone imbalance. Also, (or the record), my weight problem REALLY kicked in when I got diagnosed with ME. There was absolutely NOTHING that I could do to stop the weight gain at all. I could only slow it up a little by eating next to nothing.

    Why is it so hard for so called “medical professionals” to understand that! It is (or should be)well- known within the so-called “medical profession” that hormonal imbalances cause considerable problems with weight gain and/ or inability to lose excess weight. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that artificial hormones are stuffed in the meat and dairy products that we consume everyday. Maybe some of us are more susceptible than others?

    Nevertheless, theories aside, I wouldn’t care if you were overweight because you ate yourself silly….that is still absolutely NO excuse for the atrocious treatment that you have recieved! I am still horrified. What the hell ever happened to compassion?

    Reply
  19. Laura

     /  April 25, 2012

    P.S. i have panic attacks too….they can also be a sign of
    a hormonal imbalance, but can also be a sign of being treated very poorly and stressed out too!

    Reply
  20. Marlie

     /  April 26, 2012

    I don’t know how the medical system works outside of the US, but I have a separate doctor for female-specific healthcare. Even if you cannot change GPs now, perhaps you can see another doctor (OB-GYN) in addition to him.

    Reply
  21. Seeker

     /  May 3, 2012

    Start recording these “meetings” with these sickos and start posting them on you tube and expose these roaches to the light of day … it sounds like you have might have a thyroid problem that is undiagnosed because your drs want you to fail. keep gathering evidence never give up the good fight! and even if you lose your kids in the short term use it as more evidence and sue them for every thing they are worth …

    Reply
  22. Jenny Islander

     /  May 5, 2012

    Personally I would write down a timeline, using dispassionate phrasing, of exactly what happened to you and when, and take it to a pro bono lawyer and also to the press. I strongly suspect that there is an underlying medical condition that your providers have failed to treat because they are obsessed with the size of your ass. Your periods, for one thing, are absolutely not normal!

    Reply
  23. Arlene

     /  July 2, 2012

    It is terrible the way you are being treated, you are probably dealing with a hormone inbalance and insulin resistance. I had this years ago and the weight gain and heavy periods stopped after I got a D & C, but I was never able to lose the weight. It is most likely insulin resistance causing the weight problem. If you could get a doctor to give you metformin it might help decrease your appetite. Truthfully, it is next to impossible to lose weight without gastric bypass surgery for most people! With insulin resistance your body gets fatter all the while you are actually starving. it is an epidemic these days and I’m sure it has to do with the high fructose corn syrup and additives in food.

    Reply
  24. Orrin

     /  January 10, 2013

    Please, if you can manage it, get legal help. The way you’ve been treated is beyond terrible, and the way your infant son was treated by these people may well have been criminally negligent.

    I hope your situation has improved in the months since this was posted. You are not the problem; they are. I hope you can get the medical help you need, and also sue the pants off these disgraces to the medical profession.

    Reply

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