Medically speaking, attitude is everything.

On Tuesday I had my long awaited follow up appointment about “Weight management” after starting my thyroid medications. I was nervous, not knowing what to expect, as while I’d been on my best behavior food and exercise wise, my body likes to go rogue. We don’t have a scale in the house anymore either, and after several crushing weigh ins, I was expecting to hop on the scale and be met with a gain, because that’s always what happened before. Why should doing everything right matter? I got on the scale. Down three more pounds. WHEW!!!!! Now, 3 more pounds in a month and a half is devastatingly slow progress. However? It’s progress. Three pounds in a month, after ten months, is 30 pounds. I was relieved, and to make it even better, my blood pressure was fantastic – 110 over 79. As I celebrated my small but valiant victory, the new doctor came in and said, “Aw, too bad you haven’t had much progress, have you?”

My happy mindset deflated like a cheap balloon. I recognize that medically three pounds in a month and a half sucks – - but for a patient who gained NINE POUNDS after a 12 day detox eating nothing but cauliflower and medical shakes, it’s nice to see my body actually reacting in the way it should. As I explained to the doctor that I was actually relieved and happy with the weigh in, I realized how important attitude is. No, it’s not ideal, but a solid, “hey, we’re on the right track” at least, is invaluable to someone who needs a little bit of cheerleading. Most people refer to their doctor’s demeanor as “Bedside Manner”, and while I don’t need information to be sugarcoated, I would like a little bit of optimism.  This applies to all things medically related; a lazy liver, ridiculous allergies to feathers, even scary-looking but benign ovarian cysts. When shit’s gone wrong, some positive encouragement from people who know what they’re talking about is hugely helpful. Otherwise, Dr. Google and I spend lots of late night hours together, my anxiety growing as I comb through horror stories of the very conditions that ail me.

There’s part of me that thinks I need to just “man up” and look past a need for rainbows and sunshine in a medical environment. After all, medically, obesity sucks. It’s dangerous, it’s a huge risk factor, and for most people, it should be simple to treat. However, I’m not most people, and I’m also not the type of person who can easily man up. I’m sensitive. I’m artistic. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t. But; attitude is everything — and a positive one can make a big difference.

Have you had trouble with doctors having a more direct bedside manner? Does it bother you or not? Why or why not?


9 thoughts on “Medically speaking, attitude is everything.

  1. I don’t mind direct. I do mind insensitive. Losing weight is hard. Keeping it off is harder. When you’re battling weight and other medical issues at the same time, you need all the encouragement you can get. I think your doctor could have shown some optimism.

  2. I think what your doc said was a tad insensitive. I agree that we all need some encouragement and even though it was three pounds, it was still a loss of three freaking pounds. I would have been ecstatic! I hope you shared with your doctor that maybe they need to show a little more optimism next time.

    • I definitely did. I said to her several times that while it wasn’t much, I’m used to coming in and gaining, so this was a big victory, haha!

  3. I was slut-shamed by my gyno…that was fun! I was like, really??? You’re going to tell me I’ve had too much sex? OKAY THEN.

    Doctors are kinda ridiculous sometimes.

  4. wow, I think that’s amazing – you lost 3 pounds WHILE starting new meds! that’s a change your body had to get used to and still it managed to work in your favor! I am pretty amazed the doc didn’t see this as a big deal. congrats :)

    I hope you continue to see changes with the thyroid meds, seems like that’s something that is challenging for a lot of my health conscious friends, either people whose thyroid aren’t working correctly or people who are trying to find the right dose of the meds to balance everything out :)

  5. As someone who’s been battling a disease that has caused major fluctuations in my body, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of finding a doctor who is a champion for your health. That’s a victory for you – even it’s “small” – and should be treated as such supportively and respectfully. What this person did was callous – a dick move – and not productive. Time to switch doctors. Feel good about this win!

  6. I think 3 pounds in a month is pretty good — perhaps your doc has been watching too much “The Biggest Loser”?

    Maybe, though, she was thinking about adjusting your meds to make for an easier loss? My doc has bumped up my synthroid dose several times. It hasn’t made it that much easier to lose, unfortunately.

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