Lack of insurance and biased doctors hurt us

Amanda writes:

Hi guys,

My story isn’t necessarily about discrimination, but I do feel like I have to put the whole thing out in the universe, and in writing it down, maybe it will help to relieve some of my anxiety about what is to come.

I should start from the beginning. I have always fluctuated in weight, in a range of 50 pounds or so. When I was 16, I got pregnant, which caused me to become extremely sick, way beyond the scope of normal. I lost about 30 pounds in the three months that I was pregnant, which brought me down to about 110. A lot of tests were run, and they ended up telling me that it was a “fluke” that I got pregnant in the first place, that I wouldn’t be able to carry to term, and that if I ever got pregnant again, which would be highly unlikely, it would almost certainly end in a miscarriage. All I remember them telling me at the time for the reason is that my uterus is tipped- if there was another cause, they didn’t tell me or I don’t remember.The reason for this portion of the story is because I stayed really sick for several months after. My doctor got frustrated with not finding out the cause and told me that I was making it up. Three years later, when I was 19, my weight was up (at 165 or so, gained over about 2 years) and I had skipped my period for an entire year. I went to the same doctor and he put me on Depo-Provera, and that was the last time I went to see a doctor. It was shortly after that that I started getting man-like facial hair on my chin.

I am 32 now. I lost that weight when I was 20 over a three or four month period, which brought me back down to about 110. I stayed steady for about a year and a half and then I gained weight over the following two years, maxing at 185. I didn’t keep that top weight for more than 6 months or so, and I lost it over a few months leveled out in a 135-145 range for the next 6 years. That puts me a few months before my 30th birthday. Out of nowhere, I gained 50 pounds in a month and a half and another 30 pounds over the next month and a half, for a total gain of 80 pounds in three months! I immediately lost about 20 of it over 2 weeks or so, bringing me to hover around 200. I jumped from 140 pounds to 220 pounds, and I was devastated. I literally wore a pair of jeans, did laundry, and couldn’t pull them up past my thighs the next day.

I didn’t have insurance, and I have an irrational distrust of the medical field, so I didn’t go to the doctor right away. Several things have happened over the last two years that made this time so much different than any before. First, I still weigh 200-210. I have never gained that much, or gained that fast, or kept it on for this long. My ankles started swelling like crazy, and then I got a kidney stone (two, I think). I still didn’t go. I have developed sores on my legs and skin lesions that don’t heal (my saving grace is that people can’t see it). Several months ago, My pinky and ring finger on my left hand went numb. It stayed that way for a while, and the sensation is still a little bit less in those fingers than the rest of them. A few months ago, I woke up and went to get coffee and I almost dropped my cup because my hands just kind of decided that gripping things was not going to work. That lasted for about two weeks, and my hands were so swollen and sore I felt like an invalid. I’m sure there are things that I am forgetting.

I recently signed up for insurance through my job, and I finally went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago- an internist. He did end up listening to me, but I had to convince him that I wasn’t just a fast food eating fat girl whining about being fat and not wanting to diet. He ran blood tests for thyroid, diabetes, and cholesterol, and had me schedule an ultrasound. My thyroid levels were slightly elevated, and my blood sugar and cholesterol were both on the high side of a normal range. They called me this week and said that the ultrasound didn’t show any ovarian cysts, but they need me to come back in right away to discuss the results. When I was there for my initial appointment, he said that he thought I probably have hypothyroid and polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is what I have thought for years. He said he wanted to rule them in or out before he tested for Cushing’s. I’m kind of scared. Not of cancer or a tumor or dying- I can accept that. I am scared of being sick for the rest of my life. Of having to possibly come to terms with the fact that I just turned 32, don’t have any children, and might have to have a hysterectomy. And, the vainest of them all, of staying fat permanently.

Through the years and my personal experience, though, I have noticed that the way people treat women is directly linked to their weight bracket. Interestingly, it isn’t the men that treat you like garbage. It is the women that judge you and talk about you and exclude you. It doesn’t really matter that you *used* to be a pretty girl. What matters is that you are now the fat girl.

That is my story up to now. I have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday, so I guess it is a waiting game. It doesn’t really matter to me if you publish it or not. I really just needed to release it, because it is destroying me.

Leave a comment


  1. Will be thinking of you. xxx

  2. Yikes, that sounds like a roller coaster.

  3. Other people’s opinions are so destructive. Also, gaining that much weight that quickly is a sign that something’s gone awry in the body’s equilibrium. Any doctor who shames a person for their weight in any case is an ass, but in situations like this they really need to keep any anti-fat opinions to themselves and focus on what’s happening with the patient’s health.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story and wishing you good health.

  5. I can’t agree with you more to the quote where you said, the way people treat women is directly linked with her weight. Especially the part where it is women who tend to let you down more. Thanks for sharing the story. Lookism discrimination particularly based on overweight or underweight should stop.


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