For the past three years I’ve been struggling with severe fatigue and gradual weight gain. I’ve done sleep studies, blood tests, diet, exercise, and nothing seemed to help. In the last year I’ve gained 40 pounds, partially because I’m too damn tired to exercise regularly.
I went to see my primary care provider, who dismissed my concerns right away as being my depression’s fault. I’ve been on anti-depressants for 5 years, and the only reason I feel sad now is because I’m too tired to do anything! But she would not even consider alternative causes and prescribed a new anti-depressant (that has some ugly side effects) and told me to diet and exercise. She said that weight gain is normal for a woman in her mid-twenties.
When I said I was too tired to exercise, she said, and I quote, “Sometimes when I don’t exercise for a day or two, I just feel like sitting on the couch. But then I force myself to exercise and I feel so much better.”
Thank you, o wise one, for such a gem of information. It’s not like I haven’t been told to exercise and diet before, or that I haven’t tried it. Nope, I’m just fat and lazy.
I was so incredibly upset by this outright dismissal.
Then I turned to a different clinic, called Women-to-Women, where nurse practitioners have hour-long sessions with each patient. Before, I would have probably written this clinic off as being too homeopathic, too granola-crunching. However, my nurse practitioner believed me right off the bat that it wasn’t a matter of diet and exercise. She ordered a battery of tests, both blood and stool (ew!). We found out that I have insulin-resistance and severe vitamin D deficiency.
I will never respect my primary care provider in the way that I respect that nurse practitioner. To the doctor, I was just deliquent on my diet and exercise. To my nurse practitioner, I was the expert on what my body was telling me and she did everything she could to help me remedy my problems. Totally different experiences!