“People Your Size are Irresponsible”

Kelly writes…

I had avoided going to the gynecologist but I knew that I needed a reliable method of birth control. So, I went, had a great visit and came home with a script for the Ortho-Evra patch.

One pregnancy-free year later, I go in for a check up feeling super-confident and ready for the horror of an internal exam. I got another doc – a woman – who seemed unhappy to be dealing with me. I told her what BC I was using and she was aghast.

She gave me a 30 minute lecture about people “your size” and how it was irresponsible of me to use the patch because of my weight and then, out of the corner of her mouth, said “Well, I guess it’s no surprise.” I asked her what that meant, and she said – “It’s obvious you have a problem with being responsible for your body.”

I am still angry with myself for not a) putting her in her place, b) complaining to the regular staff and c) putting my clothes on and getting out of there. Instead, I laid there with tears in my throat and finished the exam. I also went back to that practice when I went off BC to get pregnant. I’m more empowered now and won’t go back.

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  1. When I was around 23 years old and newly married, I scheduled an appointment through my HMO for an exam and birth control, and the Nurse Practitioner who saw me acted shocked to see my size and began berating me, saying there was no way she could prescribe the pill to me, and that I needed to go to Overeaters Anonymous, and sent me out the door without any alternatives, no condoms, nothing.
    I had no idea what to do. I ended up making an appointment at Planned Parenthood, where they did give me a prescription for the pill after my taking an oral glucose tolerance test (which did show I had prediabetes — I don’t recall the exact words they used).
    At the time, I weighed about 25-30 pounds more than I do now, and I had put on weight quickly. But would it have been better for me, a newly married young person, to become pregnant? Was I just supposed to not have sex? There was no examination of why my weight had gone up quickly, either. What may have been an opportunity for someone to encourage me to see some help for why I had suddenly gained weight, a compassionate, thoughtful, respectful interaction, I had an experience that made me not want to go back.
    By the time I did see a gynecologist next, he was very sensitive and encouraged me to see a regular physician as he suspected I had type 2 diabetes, and he was right.
    I am horrified about the way I was treated, and no doubt other women were treated, by that particular nurse practitioner. I know she was short on time, but she needed to be far more sensitive and concerned about what I would do for birth control.

  2. lunarennui

     /  November 16, 2007

    that is…appalling. i can’t believe that that woman can manage to stay employed.

    it’s like the mental health worker i saw a couple weeks ago that informed me that she refused to work with me because she ‘didn’t understand how i was going to pay for my medication’ (and that’s her business, how?) and she ‘doesn’t work with potential crisis patients’.

    so i guess she prescribes anti-depressants only to people who don’t need them.

  3. Jodie

     /  September 22, 2009

    I know this is an old post and I don’t know if anyone is still reading, but just in case… it is well-documented that women over 190 lbs (weather that’s muscle, fat or bone or you’re just really tall) have a much higher rate of failure with Ortho-Evra (i.e., unintentional pregnancy). It’s a limitation of the delivery system of the medication, and has nothing to do with BMI or health or anything else. Of course, I don’t know if that’s the case here, but just in case someone ends up here on a google search, that’s probably an important piece of information to have.

    The treatment here though, is awful.

  1. “There’s Nothing Worse than Being Fat and Pregnant” « Fat Health Care Horror Stories

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