Sunday, April 17, 2011

Listen and learn

This is the kind of question that I hate, in this case coming from a doctor who I like: does anything feel better? No, I already told you that I feel much worse, why would you even ask me a question like that? I mean really – I wake up in the middle of the night with bloating so awful that I start to worry that my whole midsection might explode, and this goes on for hours – how could anything feel better?

And then she asks: what is your ideal weight? My weight – why are we talking about my weight? She’s responding to something I said at our initial intake, about how I was anorexic as a teenager, and maybe how this bloating makes me hate my body again, not quite the same depth of hatred but still a discomfort that makes me feel gross. And then, when I weighed myself, it was true that I weighed less than I’ve weighed in a while, which isn’t something that I feel for the most part, intestines and stomach expanding anyway, I worried that maybe I’m losing muscle mass, since I haven’t been able to exercise in the ways I’ve wanted to over the last 10 years or so.

But anyway, how does this translate into asking me about my weight. I don’t have an ideal weight -- in the short-term, I want to get rid of this bloating, and in the long-term I would love to be able to exercise more, but when the doctor asks me about my weight I just feel gross. Which I’m guessing is the exact opposite of her intention -- how do I communicate this to her?

At least when I tell her I can’t take the metronidazole any more, she says she’s glad I was able to get so much of it into my body. Now she’s brainstorming the next hideous pharmaceutical to swallow, and I guess all this pain is somehow supposed to help. When the doctor mentioned her concerns to the lab before I started on this drug protocol, the guy said something about how I would just have to muscle through it. Which is exactly what got me into all this pain in the first place -- the fibromyalgia pain over the last 10 years, I mean. When do they listen, and when do they learn -- these healthcare practitioners, I mean. And when do I listen, when do I learn?

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