Posted by Pattie on 2/17/2003 06:41:00 PM


This is what aggrevates me (among other things). I was recently in hospital and was told that my blood work indicated that I was borderline hypothyroid. I was asked if I had recently gained any weight. I don't weigh myself because it is usually a meaningless number. But here is an example where knowing would help. It is one of the few things for which weight is a symptom. I told the doctor I didn't think I had gained any weight. The last time I weighed myself was August of 2001. Well, I weighed myself today and it looks like I've gained about 25 pounds. I was surprised. My clothes don't seem tighter. But now I have a dilemma. Well, not so much a dilemma as a painful task. I'm going to have to tell the doctor about this and talk to her about whether I should take medicines or do further tests.

In a fat neutral world, this would not be a big deal. This would be a symptom that I would report to my doctor. I would discuss this like the intelligent woman I am. I would receive all the information I needed to give informed consent. Then she and I would work out a treatment that made sense.

But I don't live in a fat neutral world. Fat hatred is going to complicate this. So far with this particular doctor I have not been told to lose weight. My weight has been irrelevant to the treatment recommendations. When she asked me if I had gained any weight recently, she did not ask me how much I weighed and she has not asked me to weigh in her office. I've been happy with this. She seems more concerned with my health than my weight, a refreshing change of pace. But I'm concerned now that if I bring this up, my weight will become the issues.

In addition, hypothyroid is a "fat person's disease" and I will have trouble trusting the information I'm given. There have been abuses in the past. Lots of fat people have been given thyroid treatments when they didn't need them. I'm not sure that I will be able to obtain clear and truthful information from which I can make a wise judgement. Informed consent may not be possible even if my doctor has the best intentions.

This is the price of stigma.