I had a neurology appointment today because I’ve been dealing with migraines from stress and eye strain. The minute I sat down I knew it was a mistake. The first words out of his mouth were to ask me if I knew that being obese can aggravate your migraines. I told him that I do understand that being obese can aggravate migraines but so can a host of other things and that it was a good thing that I was not in the obese category. According to the BMI charts, I am still firmly in the overweight category. I had been tracking when I was getting my migraines and that they lined up with eye strain and stress. I had been approximately the same weight for quite some time and these migraines were fairly new.
He then preceded to tell me that stress and eye strain can be helped with exercise and eating right. I did ask if thin people had ever had migraines and he backtracked on a few of his statements almost immediately. I have not fluctuated more than 30 pounds in the last 20 years and that was through three pregnancies. When I go to a doctor to deal with a real medical issue and all they can focus on is my BMI it is so disheartening. Here I am 20 years later, after losing and keeping off 300 lbs. and all he can fixate on is that I am not lining up with what his BMI chart says I should be. I’m so angry that we still have to deal with this. No matter what we do we’re still nothing more than a number on a scale to some doctors.
Telling me I was one step away from being morbidly obese again just destroyed me. It sent me right back to that 14-year-old girl who would have just aspirin to try not to make her stomach growl. I know I’ve gained some weight during the pandemic. Most of us have. My BMI is still in the overweight category. It always will be. I am probably 20 pounds heavier than I should be, but it’s been a rough couple of years, and I am trying to give myself grace.
He did give me some very helpful tips on dealing with the stress and eye strain part of my migraine. If I just set my phone down or got off of my computer and went for a walk or a swim, then my eyes would feel better. If I took a couple of hours break in the middle of the day and went for a walk, I would feel better and have less stress. Yea, in Arizona, in the summer.
He didn’t even bother to ask what kind of exercise I did or if I exercise at all, he just assumed that because the numbers on his scale were not what they should be according to him that I was fat, undisciplined, lazy, and clearly needed his help. I got to listen to a 20-minute lecture about how if you burn more calories than you take in you will lose weight. Really? 🤦♀️All this after he had looked at my chart and we discussed that I had bariatric surgery almost 20 years ago. So obviously I have some disordered eating in my past.
I have not felt this bad about myself in years. All I can concentrate on right now is what I should and should not be eating. Did I have one bite too many for dinner? Maybe I should go and try to make myself throw that up, so I don’t gain any more weight. It’s so easy to fall back into the trap of feeling like you are no more than numbers on the scale. Even 20 years later I still fall into that trap. To be honest I have not had a doctor this shitty in years. I was planning on calling when I got home to get to my follow-up with someone else and make sure that they knew the reason why, but I was afraid I would be crying too much on the phone. So here I sit in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep wondering how I am still that teenager who feels so horrible about herself.
Before bariatric surgery, all ailments can be blamed on your weight. After bariatric surgery, all aliments will be labeled as GBGB( gastric bypass gone bad). It’s been a rough day. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. I hope you all are braver than I am and can stand up for yourself in the moment.