A new doctor and all that goes with it.

I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment to see a new doctor.  This doctor is a primary care provider, but it’s a step I have to take to work on getting my migraines under control.

I’ve suffered from migraines all my life, from the time I was a kid.  My mother even took me to the doctor once because of the headaches, but he just looked at me and told me to go home, it was nothing.  One day I asked my mother what a migraine was and could my headaches possibly be them, and she told me that if I didn’t know what it was, then I didn’t have it.  (Yes, what wonderful logic.)

I have had migraines in various levels of frequency and pain since then.  Some years I only have one or two.  Some years I was having them once a week.  But, you know, it was “only” a headache.  And when I didn’t have insurance, it didn’t matter how bad it was or how often I had to be in bed because of them, I couldn’t see a doctor anyway.

My husband and I finally have good insurance.  Co-pays of $15, no deductibles for things that aren’t doctor visits (like labs or tests),  co-insurance at a reasonable rate.  Couple the decent health insurance with my last two migraines being so bad that I was crying with the pain and had to go to the ER with the pain, nausea and hallucinations, it seemed like it was time to find out what’s causing the migraines (if possible), get them under better control (if possible) and why they are getting worse.

I found a neurologist who specializes in migraines.  YAY!  Only, she won’t see me without me being under the care of a primary care physician.  Nuts!

I understand why.  Really, I do.  It’s just…  My last PCP was an ass.  No really, he was.  Every time I came into his office, he kept trying to push anti-depressants on me.  Because I was fat.  I refused the anti-depressants, even going so far as to NOT fill a script he wrote me the first time I came in.  Yes, the first time I came in, presenting with symptoms of altitude sickness, and in fact having been diagnosed with severe altitude sickness by a Urgent Care Physician earlier, and this doctor took one look at me and told me, “You are fat, therefor you are depressed.  Here, have these pills.”

This wasn’t the only thing he stereotyped me on.  He made me go through sleep apnea testing (even though I had no symptoms of it) and always insisted on checking my blood sugar (fasting) for diabetes.  Every time I went into his office, it was some new “fat disease”.  And always, he kept mentioning the anti-depressants.  There were a couple of times I told him that I was under the care of a clinical psychologist, and that if he and I together decided I needed to be on anti-depressants, then he (the clinical psychologist) would prescribe them.  However, a medical doctor did not have the background to diagnose my emotional state, and just by looking at me he could not tell if I was depressed or not.  He (the physician) didn’t like my attitude.

I eventually stopped seeing him.  Just never went back.  It’s not like I’ve not been under a doctor’s care, after all.  I have been seeing my gynecologist regularly.  And then there was the whole knee thing.

But this neurologist won’t see me unless I have a primary care physician. 

So, I finally bit the bullet, and called one that was recommended to me by my Physical Therapist. 

Of course, I’m nervous.  After all, I’m fat.  I’ve had a LONG history with doctors diagnosing me fat and being lazy.  Telling me that the only thing wrong with me is that I’m fat, and if I just lose weight, I’ll be so much better.  I’m not sure I’m up for yet another doctor telling me that I need to lose weight, or that because I’m fat I’m obviously depressed and need anti-depressants.  I’m not sure I’m up to having to fight for the one prescription I need (having PCOS and Insulin Resistance, I do need to have Metformin, which the previous pill pushing doctor refused to prescribe for me).  

But, the migraines are getting worse in intensity, if not occurrence (I’ve only had 4 in the past year, but two were so bad as to force me to the ER, and both of those came with hallucinations).  I have to take care of this and try and get them under control.  Or find out if there’s something more serious going on.

After all, we’ve all heard the stories about how a person was getting more and more headaches (or they changed in intensity or duration or whatever) and they did nothing.  And then died of brain cancer/tumor/aneurysm/whatever*.

 I’m hopeful that this doctor isn’t going to be in the anti-fat crowd.  I have hope because the Physical Therapist who recommended her to me knew of my struggles with doctors, knew the story of the first specialist I saw about my knee, called the first specialist crazy when he saw my well developed muscles and what that specialist ordered for PT (just to build up my muscles to support the knee because I was so fat the muscles were obviously underdeveloped from my lack of exercise).   He always treated me with respect and like any of his other clients.  In fact, one day when I told him how ravenous I was after a PT appointment, he told me, me, a fat woman with a BMI of 30+, to eat a hamburger meal, make sure to have fries and not a salad, and drink a chocolate shake with it after my appointments. 

Since he recommended this doctor, I’m hopeful.  But still, I’ve put off going to see her for at least a half a year, due to my reluctance to have to deal with the anti-fat discrimination.

We’ll see what happens in a week and a half.


*No, I’m not being flip about it.  Okay, I am, but it’s the way I keep myself from worrying.  My shrink isn’t allowing me to just be in denial about this, is pushing me to take care of this.  Since my initial coping mechanism isn’t working, I’ve got to find a new one.  Which is to be flip about it.

13 Responses

  1. I feel your pain. Literally – I’ve had migraines two Sundays running now.
    You probably know as much about them as I do, so I’m not going to start listing the standard advice about trigger diaries and such. You know how you work better than I ever could.
    I will say this though.

    Anything that causes you agony is important.

  2. Some people find help via a chiropractor or via acupuncture. Not everyone mind….but some do. Might be worth considering, along with the usual things recommended by traditional docs.

    Just a thought to consider, or not, as you prefer.

  3. Anything that causes you agony is important.


  4. Fingers crossed that your new doctor is awesome. I’ve put off finding a new eye doctor and dentist for a while now because I’m so tired of doctors who are either just jerks, or who want to make me feel horrible and guilty for things like having genetically thin tooth enamel. (Yes, all those cavities are a moral failing too, apparently.) It’s getting urgent, so I suppose I’ll have to face it soon. Here’s hoping that we both have good luck with it.

  5. Wellroundedmama:
    I’ve actually thought about acupuncture and chiropractic care. I’ve been on my own as far as paying for my health care for so long (at least 2/3 of my adult life I did not have insurance due to either the premiums of my husband’s group insurance being too high, or being single and working a couple of part time jobs — couldn’t find one full time job — or doing free lance work and always being too fat to get individul insurance) that I’m really big on alternative medicine.

    However, right now, my finances are such that I cannot afford an accurpuncturist, and it’s not covered under my insurance. Limited Chiropractic is covered and that is an option I’m looking at.

    However, I do need to make sure all the grey matter in the cranium is just what it’s supposed to be: brains instead of something else.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Froth:

    I know what most of my triggers are, stress being the number one trigger these days (as I’ve been able to control other triggers like too much carbohydrates and too little sleep). Unfortunately, right now, stress is my middle name.

    The scary thing is that the migraines are worse. Not frequency, but intensity. I have a very high pain tolorance, and I was crying due to the pain of the migraines. Also, the last two migraines were the first I’ve ever had to come with hallucinations. So, something is changing.

    Which, yeah, means I need to get this dealt with. Bleh.

    “Anything that causes you agony is important.”

    You know, that should be a given. But I’ve gotten so used to ignoring my pain over the years that it’s almost a new concept for me. As I said to wellroundedmama, I’ve spent 2/3 my adult life without insurance. I learned that unless it was something catastrophic (like needing stitches, and even not always then) I just deal with it how I can and go on.

    So this “listening to my pain” and doing something about it? Is about as new to me as FA, HAES and intuitive eating is. Only, newer, cuz we just got the really good insurance in September.

  7. caffeine, good luck on finding a good dentist. They are out there, I know. My husband goes to one.

    And of course all those cavities are moral failings! It shows how you are eating all sorts of bad for you food (sugar, sugar, and more sugar, with a heavy syrup chaser)! It has nothing to do with naturally occuring differences in people’s enamil, that could be caused by things like genetics or constant dieting or… Nope! Not at all! *rolls eyes*

  8. welshwmn3: yep, that’s why I said it. I’ve had migraines since I was two. For most of my life I’ve had the attitude of ‘it’s just a migraine’. It happens all the time and I know it isn’t going to kill me, so it doesn’t matter very much.
    The idea that it matters just because I’m in pain is one I’m still working my head around.

  9. One day I asked my mother what a migraine was and could my headaches possibly be them, and she told me that if I didn’t know what it was, then I didn’t have it.

    That explains how no infants ever die of cancer, of course…

  10. Jennifer L:
    Yeah, well…

    To say logic wasn’t her forte is to put it mildly.

  11. i’m fighting the “NO antidepressants!” war myself. himself finally accepted the ass-chewing and agreed to silence himself on the subject matter. *G*

    other than that, she’s a good doc. and she agreed that if the eye surgeon said “you need a neuro, not new glasses!” then its out of her abilities. another day, another day closer to insurance… *sighs*

  12. What is it with the anti-freaking-depressants?? If it helps at all, they push them at me too, w/o me being terribly above their idea of normal weight. I, too, am searching a new primary care doc…so good luck to us both!

  13. Labrys:

    A lot of doctors have the idea that depressed=eats more/exercise less. And they also agree with the if calories intake > calories expended = you will be fat. So being depressed (eating more, moving/exercising less) means weight gain.

    Their conclusion is faulty though. Most anti-depresants CAUSE weight gain, up to 50 lbs. Once I’m on the thing that’s going to further abuse my metabolism (which has been abused enough) what are they going to blame my fat on? Especially when I start gaining weight as a side effect of the medicine they put me on (that I don’t need)?

    It’s gotten really bad when you are being pushed to get on anti-depressants. Good luck in your search for a doc that listens to you.

    Also, I’ve seen recent pics of you. If your doc thinks you are fat s/he needs to get glasses!

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