Eye Problems and lecture about being too fat by eye doctor

Pamela writes:

To begin with, here’s a short back story. I’ve been having problems with my eyes for the last five months or so – I had to stop wearing contacts and use drops every day, but things weren’t getting better and my eye doc was mystified, so she sent me to a specialist.
I went to the specialist, and it was NOT a good experience.
There were two main problems. First, the guy kept insisting that I must be sleeping on my face and aggravating my sore eyelids. I definitely do not sleep on my face. But he seemed to believe that all overweight people were simply incapable of sleeping any other way – he didn’t seem to believe that I could possibly sleep comfortably on my side because I would “choke” on my fat.
The next is the worst part. After telling me that I probably have Floppy Eyelid Syndrome and have to tape shields to my eyes every night so I don’t move my eyelids when I sleep, he proceeded to lecture me for ten minutes about being overweight, including advising me to get gastric bypass surgery and, when I said I wouldn’t do that, he suggested that I go on an extreme diet like MediFast.
Now, I’m sure you don’t know this, but I was on some medicine that made me gain about 75 pounds in less than six months. I was always a big girl (size 16/18) beforehand and quite happy with myself. However, after that weight gain and hormone issues also caused by the medicine, I got severely depressed and went on a lot of crazy diets to try and lose weight and am just now getting to a point where I have decided that rather than go on any more crash diets, I will just eat well and exercise and try to accept myself for the size I currently am (22/24/26, depending). Having my EYE doctor degrade me like that, without knowing my medical history at all, and with HIS DOOR OPEN SO OTHER PATIENTS COULD HEAR just made me feel absolutely horrible.

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  1. Piffle

     /  July 1, 2009

    Tell the doctor who referred you to him about the problems with this doctor. He may be practicing medicine with a license, but he didn’t know the patient or her background, which means he’s a piss poor excuse for a doctor. And tactless to boot.

    Did anyone discuss dry eye syndrome with you? I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know what I’m talking about, but just in case I thought I’d mention it.

  2. Muggy

     /  July 1, 2009

    Hmm, sounds to me like the doctor is the one sleeping on his face because obviously his brain is NOT getting enough oxygen.

    I’m sorry you had this experience, makes me want to poke that doctor in the eye!

  3. Diana

     /  July 2, 2009

    At my last eye exam, I was told that I was nearsighted because I was fat. I told him that was interesting, cause when I was thin I was damn near blind (before LASIK) and that I come from a long line of thin, can’t-see-their-hand-in-front-of-their-face people. He also tried to tell me to stop eating processed foods (already done) but didn’t recognize any of the awesome food I do eat. Also tried to explain to me how my immune system disease, which he’d never heard of, was affecting my vision, which it doesn’t, cause he GUESSED what it was based on it’s name and OMGTEHFAT. Luckily, he did not try to charge me a co-pay (esp after a very condescending talk about what an explanation of benefits is, AFTER I told him I’m a licensed medical insurance agent. I know what a damn EOB is.)

    Sigh. Oddly, it was one of the few fat-negative encounters I’d had with a medical person – I’ve been very lucky to have pretty good care as a fat broad. 🙂

  4. Wow, I am so sorry to hear that. I am the Un Diet Coach here in Los Angeles, California. I help people QUIT diets for life so they can find their “Skinny”. Meaning enjoy food AND love their bodies. It is a shame that just b/c someone has an M.D. they can discriminate!

    Bridget Loves

  5. Charlotte

     /  July 9, 2009

    Blaming eye problems on fat? WTF?

    I am so sorry that happened to you; that doctor is ridiculous.

  6. Most definately anyone visiting this page experiencing dry eye problems should look up the symptoms and consult with their primary/gp, eye, or rheumatologist if Sjogren’s syndrome or sicca syndrome are a possibility.


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