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.