Forget the debilitating illness — let’s talk about your daddy issues

Cory writes…

When I was in my teens I developed IBS. It was pretty debilitating and, combined with the anxiety and depression I was already experiencing, it turned me into something of a shut-in. I didn’t have a name for it, because it took me about ten years to get a diagnosis. In that process, I saw a lot of doctors. One, who I went to see on the recommendation of a family member, was particularly awful.

I came in for an introductory physical, and after weighing me, taking some blood, etc. he asked me why I was there. I had told him that my main compliant was IBS (I had found the term by then, and suspected that was what was wrong) and that I wanted a medical opinion on
what I could do about it. We went into his office after I got dressed and when I sat down, he asked me if I had ever heard of something called “The Atkins Diet.” Uh, yeah. I was gobsmacked. What was he talking about? I was 22, weighed about 240 lbs and was 5’7″. I had heard of every diet that had existed since the beginning of time. And I wasn’t going on any of them. Despite being at various degrees of fat my entire life, I had attempted dieting only once and had hated it so much that I stopped after three days.

I also know my body; my muscles are huge, my bones are dense. I am always going to weigh a lot, and I don’t care about that number. Before I could get a word in edgewise, he managed to ask me if I had trouble with my father (!?) because that’s where a lot of girls my age ran into trouble with getting fat and he also suggested the “half” diet to me. That’s where you can eat anything you want, but you just have half of it! Oh joy! Why hadn’t I thought of that! Just chuck the food in the garbage!

Not once did he mention the IBS. I asked if he had any advice on the problem I came in with. He said no, but maybe he could recommend a specialist. I walked out and never went back.

The worst part was, when I tell people that story, they don’t really get what was so awful about it. Because teh fat killz, right?

Leave a comment


  1. sweetmachine

     /  November 16, 2007

    Oh good lord. What an ass! It’s particularly horrible that he was focused on dieting when you came in for a DIGESTIVE DISORDER. I’m so sorry you went through that (from one intestinal sufferer to another!)

  2. I sure hope you didn’t pay the copay and that you alerted your insurance company to the fact that you didn’t get what you paid for. I really hate that doctors seem to think they are above the law. If I go to a store and purchase a size 7 pair of shoes, and get them home to find I have a 10 in the box, I’d be able to exchange them or get a refund. Why shouldn’t doctor offices be the same way? If you don’t get what you paid for, why should you pay?

  3. nonegiven

     /  November 29, 2007

    Actually, a gluten free or low carb diet (that also restricts grain products) can help IBS A LOT.

  4. You sound a lot like me… muscular, dense bones & IBS.

    Are you still struggling with IBS? If so, you may want to look into Celiac or food allergies. Took me years of uncontrolled IBS, for me to finally figure out on my own that it was all food allergies.

  5. Harold

     /  January 29, 2008

    Cory, I’m sorry you had an awful doctor and he deserves to be called out for how he treated you.

    But…I hate to say it but he was also partially right. Diet is the most powerful current treatment against IBS. If you are IBS-C, Atkins isn’t a bad choice along with increasing your insoluble fiber intake. (If you’re IBS-D, fatty acid chains send your guts into apoplexy and low carb diets like Atkins with their emphasis on fatty foods will simply make you run to the bathroom 15 times a day.) And there’s evidence exercise also helps a lot.

    Bottom line is if this is what he was intending he needed to explain this to you rather than lecturing you on your weight, though. I hope you’ve gotten tested for celiac and food allergies and you’ve worked on the anxiety and depression too – those are often linked to Celiac.


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