Complex ankle fracture? It would be healed by now if you weren’t fat.

Mareen writes:

My doctor kept telling me to lose weight over almost 15 years. Even when
I was a size 8/10 and a healthy athlete. This year, i finally had the
courage to decide not to see him anymore.

I had broken my ankle and after 8 weeks i went to see him to give me at
least another 14 days off of work (I work in a kitchen, 8 – 12 hours
standing and walking around), as the doctors at the clinic had told me
to. I also had stomach problems he always knew of but could never cure.
The doctors at the clinic said several times that it was very dangerous
to the further healing process to go to work too soon, as it was a
complex fracture. They even said that I would have to stay at least 12
weeks at home, which wasn’t possible, as I had to cover up medical and
other bills. I already was endangering my health due to the fact I
needed to go back to work again and earn money.

I could barely walk without a crutch, usually still used two, my foot
was still very stiff and my leg muscles had dramatically decreased. So I
sat down, exhausted from the way from the parking lot and the stairs (no
elevator) and told him that I couldn’t go to work and needed another
sick certificate. He didn’t even look at me and asked: “Why?” I was
confused, since he had seen that I couldn’t really walk properly. I told
him about the stiffness and that standing for more than a few minutes
caused pain and that working too soon would definetely cause a gait
disturbance, as I hadn’t even begun physiotherapy yet. He then turned to
me and angrily said: “You’re in pain, because you’re so fat! You would
be running around by now if you weren’t so fat! All this fat is huge
pressure on your foot, I told you many times to lose the weight, you
even gained over the years, no wonder that the healing takes so long.”
I didn’t know what to say. I KNEW he was wrong, since I had a letter
from the hospital, stating what I had already told him about healing
time and exposure, complete with directions on how long I would not be
allowed to go back to work. He wouldn’t even look at it. After 10
minutes of debating, he finally wrote a sick note. But that wasn’t the
I then complained to him about my stomach and digestion problems. I’ve
been complaining here and there for almost 10 years. First, it was
always to blame on my weight, since I of course wouldn’t eat healthy
enough, then it was to blame on the smoking (quitted 3 years ago), and
always again on the weight. Heavy cramps, diarreah on a daily basis,
sickness, headaches (also a migraine patient, but I know my triggers
very well, and migraine is very different from a regular headache). He
then ranted another 10 minutes about my “fatness”, which is destroying
my life, that I would be dead by thirty (i’m 24 and 209 lbs, 5’7”, not
an unfit person), develop depression etc etc.

I left and almost cried. Still no solution for the stomach thing. During
the following weeks I started to pretty much accidently eat a vegan
diet, as I wasn’t very hungry and veggies, fruit, nuts and grains made
me feel a lot better, not so stuffed. Eventually, it made me feel
extraordinarily better, so I completely avoided certain things for
months, including my beloved dairy products and meat. All of my symptoms
pretty much disappeared. I talked to a friend about it and she burst out
laughing. “Did you eat ANY dairy products the last months?” I said no, I
noticed before that cheese, milk, ice-cream, and yogurt often made me
feel awkward, but I never really saw a connection – and i’m addicted to
cheese too much to even have thought about avoiding it. She explained to
me what lactose-intolerance was, she suffered from it from her birth on
and couldn’t believe that my doctor didn’t find out something so
obvious. After talking to her, I went to a different doctor and after
some tests he told me that I was lactose-intolerant and that my heavy
consumption of dairy products over years has caused further damage to my
body. I’m helping myself out with soy products and lactose-free cheese,
i get used to the thought that my tolerance-level will only get worse as
I get older, better a solution that makes me somewhat unhappy, than a
lifelong struggle.

This new doctor only addresses my weight when I ask for it, he isn’t
rude and he FINALLY found out what my problem was. My life quality has
ridiculously increased since I know that i’m lactose intolerant and know
what to avoid to feel like a NORMAL person – and not to think daily
sickness and diarrhea are what I had to live with because of being fat.
And my physiotherapist helped me a lot, especially in gaining the
muscles back and having a normal gait again, without ever harassing me
about my weight.

I’m german, so if there are any grammatical mistakes, feel free to
correct them! 😉 Thanks a lot for your blog by the way.

Leave a comment


  1. I’m kind of hoping against hope that you’re in the Munich area –and that you will read this– because I’m looking for a good physiotherapist….

    And good for you in leaving that first doctor’s practice!

  2. Mary

     /  October 12, 2009

    Mareen: I’m sorry you’re going through this pain. I am also 24, 5’7″ and 201 pounds…only difference is I have a good doctor. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good doctor!

    I have lost some weight recently, but not on purpose– I have simply stopped eating certain foods because of how my stomach reacted to them, and increased my intake of natural foods, but I haven’t changed my exercise routine at all. My doctor has never said “you are overweight,” because she knows that my blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar are all healthy. She has never pulled out those ridiculous “healthy weight range” charts, either. I haven’t seen one of those since my terrible doctor in high school.

    Good luck dealing with your leg pain and your lactose intolerance- hopefully your new doctor will help you through this struggle! Soy milk isn’t so bad 🙂

  3. Dee

     /  October 12, 2009


    Sorry to hear about your experience with that lousy doctor.

    I used to be lactose intolerant, but over time i’ve found that I can eat small amounts of dairy, where before i could eat none. Yoghurt should be fine, if you get live culture yoghurt with no extra milk solids added. Maybe try a health food store? Also, I took courses and courses of probiotics, which really helped as well. Hope you find what works for you!

  4. Carolyn

     /  October 13, 2009

    You should definitely check out Celiac disease. Your stomach issues sound very similar to mine.

  5. inge

     /  October 13, 2009

    Depending on how bad your lactose intolerance is and how much you are willing to do for cheese, you might want to try if Lactase pills help you. Most of my lactose intolerant friends swear by them.

  6. Zelly Kurtlen

     /  November 10, 2009

    Humans are the only species who drink milk after they are weaned, and not even their own species’ milk! All adult humans are lactose intolerant to some extent but Big Business doesn’t want you to know that. If you think about what I just wrote common sense will tell you that it is true.
    I too have been through hell with the insane medical community. I find a plant based vegan diet is the only healthy way to go.

  7. Caro

     /  January 5, 2010

    Pfft, Zelly Kurtlen, a LOT of us Northern Europeans have a genetic “defect” (defect my arse, it’s fantastic) that enables us to continue to produce lactase for the rest of our lives. I can go through periods of no milk and go back to lots of milk and it isn’t a problem because I produce lactase anyway. I’m not, and never will be lactose intolerant, and that goes for a lot of other Norwegians, too.

    Mareen, I hope you get better! Complex ankle fractures and a job that require standing sounds awful 😦


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