Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Well, I went to see my doctor today and things didn't go quite the way I had envisioned them. I wanted to ask about fibromyalgia, my knee, and my hernia. I didn't object to being weighed, I was kind of curious to see if following the low-carb WOE for DH's diabetes was helping me maintain my weight. I was shocked to see that I had lost 10 lbs (and I don't know how the hell that happened, I sure as hell haven't been watching portion sizes or calories or anything like that, just cutting down on the carbs we eat).
As far as the fibromyalgia, my doctor won't make the diagnosis, I have to see a rheumatologist and she said it's really hard to get in to see one (I'm guessing we don't have one in our small town, which means going to Minneapolis, no way am I doing that in the winter time). She said from my symptoms, I probably have it, but getting meds will have to come from the rheumatologist. She also said it was good that I had lost some weight, and that losing a bit more might help with that (*head desk*). I had thought she was above all that nonsense (and she gave the tired old spiel of calories in/calories out). Yeah, right, tell me all about it, I'm sure I'll believe it this time around. She did say that I shouldn't weigh myself at home (yeah, I haven't found a home scale yet that goes over 350 lbs, so I don't think that's going to be a problem) because then you start obsessing over the number on the scale. Uh, up until she weighed me at my physical in February, I hadn't stepped on a scale in 8 years, why did she think I would be starting now?
For my knee, she recommended that I see an orthopedic doc (and again, even losing a little weight will lessen the pain in my knee, okay, you're sure of that, are ya?). I guess there are shots that can be given for knee pain (I knew about cortisone shots, but she was also saying prednisone, and there are some new ones too). I also asked her about my back, since it cramps up when I have to stand or walk for any amount of time, and then I can't stand to have anyone even touch my back, it hurts so bad (and it still hurts quite a bit even when the muscles aren't cramped). She said maybe physical therapy could help, but didn't recommend where to go or who to see (fat lot of good that does me). So, I have an appointment to see the orthopedic doc, and I'm going to ask him about using a recumbant bike for exercise once my knee pain is under control (I think that will help with strengthening my leg and stomach muscles, which should help my back problems). Why the hell do I have to figure this out on my own? I thought doctors were supposed to be so fucking smart and know what will help us? All she can tell me is lose weight, even if it's only 20 lbs, it will help and I will feel better (and I just so believe this, right?).
She did say that diets don't work because you can't stay on a diet forever, and the minute you go off the diet, you gain the weight back (no shit? tell me something I don't already know). She says you have to change the way you eat, but didn't really have any recommendations, other than keep on with the low-carb diabetic WOE we've been doing since that seems to be working (I'm not doing it to lose weight, I'm doing it because it's too damned expensive to do low-carb for DH and regular meals for me, plus it's not fair to DH to have stuff in the house that he shouldn't eat because it will send his BGs sky high).
And for my hernia? Well, she couldn't feel anything along the gallbladder incision (which is where they repaired the hernia from the GB surgery and where I can feel a bulge). She said I'd need a CAT scan for that, and we should wait to do that until I've lost some more weight to see if it's still a problem (since it only hurts when I do a lot of laughing, evidently it's not a big deal). Like I'm going to try to lose weight. I don't think so. I'm going to keep on eating low-carb, for the reasons I stated before, and because it seems to be a fairly healthy way of eating (at least I'm getting more fruits and veggies than I did before, and finding out I like more of them than I thought I did). I'm going to keep on doing what exercise I can handle, when I can handle it, but I'm not doing this with losing weight as my goal. I just want to feel better, I don't want to hurt anymore, I'm fucking tired of hurting all the damned time, and if she isn't going to help me with that other than by suggesting weight loss, then I'll figure out how to have less pain on my own.


  1. Oh, honey, I'm so sorry about all this.

    I can't stand to have anyone even touch my back, it hurts so bad

    From what little I know of it, that sounds like classic fibro for me. Is there any chance you could get to Mpls in the winter? It seems insane that this doc is willing to say, "Yeah, you probably have it," but not make any effort to treat you for it. And all the weight loss stuff... Come ON. You're in constant pain, and she can't do anything for you until you lose weight? I want to come up there and deck her.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that you figure something out. I'm just so sorry she was so useless.

  2. You want the doctors to do EVERYTHING for you, and yet you don't even trust what they say? Kind of a double standard, don't you think? Or maybe you don't think.

    Oh, I know, you're just going to keep bitching and bitching and not make anything better. I know that's your way.

    But when you're still hurting because you didn't follow any doctors' recommendations, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    I bet you won't even reply, because you know it's true.

  3. That's so frustrating for you.

    Doctors need to admit that losing weight doesn't solve all medical problems and that they really don't know how to make people lose weight permanently.

    I hope your health issues get sorted for you soon.

  4. anonymous, when did I say that I want doctors to do everything for me? I've dieted, and lost weight, and the pain didn't get any better. And when I couldn't stand starving anymore, and started eating again, I gained all the weight back (and this wasn't just once, it was several times), so I fucking know that weight loss isn't going to make the pain any better, been there done that, doesn't work. I even had weight loss surgery that didn't work, so don't tell me I haven't followed doctors' recommendations. Who the fuck are you to tell me all I want to do is bitch because that's my way? I've trusted doctors in the past and all most of them have done is make matters worse, so I'm supposed to trust a doctor that's telling me the same old shit today that hasn't worked in the past? I'm supposed to believe that? As far as I'm concerned, it's Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. When a doctor can tell me something new, instead of the same old calories in/calories out, weight is causing all your problems tripe, then I'll be willing to listen. When the same old shit is being told, and you know it doesn't work, why should you trust it?

  5. Kate - thanks, I'm doing some research on fibro and supplements to see what might work, and I'm keeping up with the yoga and my stretchy bands on my good days. I'll figure something out, I usually do...

    fatadelic - thanks, it'll get sorted out one way or another. I'm hoping the orthopedic doctor has some ideas. And I found a recumbant bike for a good price, so I may just invest in one of those and just dose myself up with ibuprofen when I want to use it.

  6. Doctors seem handicapped without ordering a lot of tests. Have you considered going to see an osteopathic general practitioner doctor(an O.D.)? Their training focuses more on the skeletal and muscular systems.
    I have also found OD's to be able to focus better on overall wellness, while MDs like to chop you up into your component parts. And don't let the MD's unwillingness to put you in touch with a PT stop you. A PT will definitely work with you on safe strengthening exercises. A PT is a must, along with seeing the ortho for yuor knee, the rheumo for your fibro, and possibly an
    OD for some better care (or, the OD before the ortho).

  7. This has some great info -

    It specifically mentions seeing a PT for a home exercise program for persons with fibro and seeing an osteopath for joint and spinal care, in addition to listing the medications that can help you. By the way, none of those medications have to be prescribed by a rheumo. A rheumo just may be better equipped to rule out other diagnoses.

  8. Vesta -

    You may want to ask your orthopedist to recommend a Pilates instructor for you (one that specializes in rehab).

    Everyone I know who has had back/knee problems and done it regularly (including me, although it's only my knee, TG, although I'm a little pissed that my otherwise brilliant ortho didn't suggest it; I had to bring it up to get a scrip) has felt better.

  9. Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions, I'll have to check with insurance and see what's covered and what isn't. Looks like more research is in store.

  10. That sucks, I'm so sorry you're in pain. I also think it's outrageous that your one-track-mind doctor isn't doing more to help you! Are you able to get a second opinion elsewhere or switch GP's?

    My mother got one of those recumbant bikes when she had problems with her knees. She absolutely loves it and says it's much less stress on the joint. I think the Pilates idea is a good one too, but I'd make sure you can find a trainer that knows how to work with fat women. Personally I'm pretty strong, but there's still no way my fat butt is going up into a shoulder stand :-)

    And for "anonymous", who feels they can offer an opinion when he/she knows nothing about you, your situation, or your relationship with your doctor...What a complete and total douchehound!

  11. Well isn't she helpful? I have to say that is definitely a drag but do try to get out and see that rhuematologist (sp?) soon. I know the winter is crazy but my mother also has fibromyalgia issues too and I've been trying to get her back into the doctor also!!

    I love how they conclude that everything no matter how unrelated, is related to being fat.

    Sorry she sucked!

  12. Our local clinic has an orthopedic dr who comes every other week and I'm scheduled to see him in January, and I think I'll ask him about the rheumatologist, since my doc isn't going to refer me. I love small town living, but the availability of docs in specialties leaves something to be desired, that's for sure.
    In a funny coincidence, one of the diabetic lists I belong to was talking about fibro and tramadol and Lyrica, so I'm going to ask about them as well. I had taken a muscle relaxer (flexeril, I believe) about 20 years ago that I quit because it made me a real bitch (worse than what I normally am, that, and I'm allergic to codeine (makes me itch something fierce), so not sure if tramadol is an option, but there's no harm in asking.
    I also don't think the back pain is related to weak back muscles, because the worst pain comes when pressing on my spine, not when pressing on the muscles on either side of my spine. The muscles just cramp up when I have to stand for more than 5 or 10 minutes or walk for 1/2 block or so (and that could be weak muscles, but the bone pain isn't).
    Right now, getting to Mpls is reserved for DH and his knee surgery. Once that is over, and he's healed, depending on what I find out from the doctor in January, I'll see what I can find. Holiday season sure isn't a good time to be dealing with all this crap (it's hell getting old and falling apart, but I've been falling apart for years, so maybe it's not old age doing it....LOL).

  13. I love my stationary recumbent bike! I don't have fibromyalgia, but my knees are pretty well shot, and the bike does help tremendously with strengthening the supporting muscles and just keeping things "lubed" in general, it seems. When I'm not using the bike regularly, I really notice the difference.

    That bike is also the ONLY piece of exercise equipment I've ever bought that didn't eventually turn into a clothing rack or an under-the-bed dustbunny reef.

    I'm sorry you're hurting and hope you will soon be put in touch with someone who will actually HELP you rather than lecture you about losing weight. (Hell, that's my wish for ALL fat folks, including me!)

  14. I can solve the mystery of the ten pounds. When you reduce the carbs you eat you are also reducing glycogen stores in your muscles and liver. Glycogen requires 3 times it's weight in water when stored, so when you reduce your glycogen you also reduce water and less carbs also means lower insulin requirements. So, if you are carrying say 40 oz less glycogen then you are also carrying 120 oz less water 120+40=160 oz=10 pounds. Just eating more carbs would put it back on without eating more food.
    This phenomenon is the reason all WLDs take off water first, even low fat dieters eat less sugar. It is also the reason there are unfounded medical claims that losing just a few pounds can make a difference in your health. IMO it isn't the weight that makes the difference, it is the water loss and the lower insulin levels.

    When I started low carb eating for blood sugar control 3 years ago I did not expect to lose any weight, I had sworn off dieting in the early 90s. I refuse to ever go hungry again. I have lost some weight anyway (still fat, though.)

    Have you tried a good chiropractor for your back or your fibro? Of course, they would have to touch you. Mine x-rayed me and got a copy of the MRI another doctor ordered. I don't have fibro but I know mine treats it, also. I noticed they had a sign up about fibromyalgia week or something, once.

  15. nonegiven - I tried a chiropractor about five years ago when I had a job standing/walking on concrete floors most of my work shift. It helped some, but my insurance would only pay for a limited number of visits a year, so I had to quit seeing him. I don't know if TriCare will cover that or not, I'll have to check on that and then see if any of the chiropractors in town accept my insurance.
    I'm also going to check out some different shoes. I've noticed that every pair I wear out, the heel on the outside back is worn more than the rest of the shoe, so that could be contributing to things too (and when I walk around in socks, I tend to end up with the heel of the sock on the inside of my ankle, the whole sole of the sock ends up on the inside side of my foot, but only on my right foot). This has been going on for years, ever since I was a kid (maybe why I had to wear saddle shoes when I was younger). The things you notice when you decide to start taking care of yourself and not let things slide, I

  16. I am also overweight, but was not overweight my whole life. In fact, my problems started after my hysterectomy, when the weight started piling on.

    Not long after the hysterectomy, I moved to another state, and of course needed a new doctor. I discussed the rampant weight gain with him, and the man told me I was fat because I ate too much. He didn't do a blood test, and he didn't ask me what I eat. At that point, I was about fifty pounds overweight.

    Four years and about 75 more pounds later, I saw another doctor for an ear infection. I told him about the fatigue, back aches, etc. He mentioned losing weight. I told him about the hysterectomy, the 'your fat because you eat too much' doctor, etc. He did a blood test, and found out that I gained weight - and couldn't seem to lose it, because I have hypothyroidism.

    A year later, I've dropped 35 pounds, without changing a single thing that I eat, and without exercising. All it took was a little tiny pill each day to keep my thyroid hormone level right.

    But the weight loss has stopped, and this GOOD doctor told me that I am actually going to have to work to get the rest of the weight off, so I'm going low-carb to see how it works out - but I refuse to start counting things. I just look at the labels, and if it is low or no carbs, and I'm hungry, I eat it. I've lose about fifteen more pounds doing that, in about a month.

    The real trouble for me is exercise. I had knee surgery as a teenager, to remove torn ligaments, and as I've aged - even when I was not overweight - it has given me more and more problems. The back pain is also a problem. I can walk, but not fast, and certainly not far!


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