My Medical Running/Weight Loss Paradox

Hi guys.  It has been a hot minute since I’ve written a blog post.  I hope everyone is doing well.  However, I had an experience yesterday that I need to get off my chest.

Let’s preface this story by saying that I enjoy running.  It is a form of bodily movement that makes me feel as though I am accomplishing a personal goal.  Running helps me relieve stress and is a way for me to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.  I run for many reasons, but weight loss is not one of them.

Image

Speaking of walks with my pup (I love any opportunity to show the world the perfect being that is my dog Tessa).

About a week ago, my foot began to hurt.  It was a dull and persistant pain but I really didn’t think too much about it.  Even though I was training for a 10K that was to take place Memorial Day weekend, I stopped running as to not aggravate any injury I might have.  However, I still led an active lifestyle and continued to take my beautiful pup for long walks and used my bike as a form of transportation.

About three days ago, my foot started to swell pretty badly.  I asked a friend with a background in sports medicine if she thought I should seek medical attention and she said that pain with delayed swelling may be a sign of something serious.  Yesterday the pain was worse and the swelling was…well…disgusting.  I decided to go to urgent care and get a professional opinion.

Let’s begin my story about my visit to urgent care by stating that being fat my entire life has made me dislike doctors.  Doctors have continually used my weight as a way to be lazy and to jump to conclusions instead of diagnosing the root causes of problems.  Instead of asking me questions about my lifestyle or about the illness that brought me to the doctor, they see a number on the scale and conclude that my diagnosis will always be “obesity”.  Sinus infection?  Lose weight.  Nasal Polyp?  Lose weight.  Common cold?  Lose weight.  Influenza?  Lose weight.  I now refuse to step on the scale when I visit the doctor because it will make her at least ask me why I refuse to get weighed and start a dialogue about my lifestyle.  However, universally, the recommendation of the doctor for how to lose weight is to increase activity and eat lots of fruits and veggies.  More on this later.

Anyway, here I am at urgent care.  I’m seen by a doctor that I have never seen before and I will never see again.  My foot is swollen and discolored.  The doctor asks how I injured it and I say “I don’t know but I am a runner so I have a feeling it is related to running”.  She replies in a snide tone “You’re a runner?” and continues to say “This may be a stress fracture.  Stress fractures are commonly caused by beginning runners who are obese.”  Beginning runner?  BEGINNING RUNNER?!?!?!?

I reply “I’ve been running for about four years.  I am not a beginner.  I am training for a 10K and hopefully will a half marathon under my belt by the end of this season”.  The doctor then replies that perhaps running isn’t the best form of exercise for someone with my BMI.

I tell the doctor “Let me get this straight.  Every time I go to the doctor, they tell me I need to lose weight.  One of the prescribed ways to lose weight is through physical activity.  Now that I’m physically active, you tell me that it is the wrong kind of physical activity for someone with my body type?  Do you even know what you’re talking about?”  Why is my weight always a problem that prevents doctors from doing their job?!?!?!

So, I’m in pain.  I’m worried that I won’t be able to do an activity that I love due to this injury.  I’m worried that a fee that I’ve already paid for a race is going to go to waste.  I don’t need the paradoxical jargon of doctors giving me a lecture about weight loss.  I need some pain killers and some advice as to how I am not going to fuck up my foot worse than it already is so I can get back to running as soon as possible.

All the doctor did was give me an X-ray, conclude I indeed have a fractured foot, give me a prescription for Vicodin and send me on my way.  I was not given any advice for care, not given a splint or a cast, NOTHING.  I was given advice about how I need to lose weight though.  How fucking kind.

Needless to say, I’m frustrated.  However, I’m not surprised.  It is much easier to tell me I’m fat than it is to heal my broken foot, I guess.  I’ll keep the blogging universe updated as to what my “real” doc says once I get an appointment.

Thanks for listening to my rant, friends!

Advertisements