Thursday, 17 January 2008

Health - one way or another

Just to get this off my chest first, I went to see my GP this morning about these problems I've been having with my vision. Basically, I'm pretty confident that it's a new evolution of my migraines - although that in itself is worrying, from one every couple of months with no vision problems to have 3 in a week with deteriorating and dramatic loss of vision is a sign I need to get it checked out anyway.

My GP first started talking about opticians - I said I'd seen one (ho ho). She then said she needed to make those sort of checks because of my "obesity". I sat there looking at her in shock, then I said "Obesity? I've lost loads of weight" or something similar, probably in a small wounded voice. She hadn't even looked at me! She said that I'd been weighed in June. I said I knew that, but since then I'd lost 3 1/2 stone. Then she weighed me: "Oh you've lost loads of weight". Me: "Yes, I know, that's what I said" (through gritted teeth). I can't believe that they are STILL trying to blame every single medical hiccup on my weight, it's just laziness on their part. I then said I felt the vision loss was related to migraine and got her to refer me to a GP with a special interest in headache and migraine - I clearly wasn't going to get any sense out of her. Then, just to send my blood pressure sky high (and it was higher than normal but less than last time I'd had it done there - surprisingly I avoid going. I told her that I'd had it done monthly when on LL and it was of concern therefore if it was higher - but she won't count that.) she looked at my medication record. A couple of years ago, my weight specialist recommended me for rimonabant (appetite supressent basically) but my GP would only prescribe if I went there every week. Needless to say, they only open 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon so that wasn't possible unless I gave up work. So, she says brightly "Are you still taking rimonabant?" Me: "No you wouldn't prescribe it for me. In fact, when I asked for help to lose weight you wouldn't help me at all and when I went to do it on my own you charged me for completing a tick box form". Her: "Oh well, you seem to be doing fine on your own". Gee, thanks. It makes me furious all over again just thinking of it. Grrrrr.

Yesterday I saw my weight specialist. He's lovely but quite mad. He's NHS but a professor in weight issues. I always find out something useful and interesting from him. He was talking about a US website where people who have successfully lost alot of weight discuss tactics (as I understand it - He said that exercise was key. No great surprise but we discussed how hard it is to find both the money and the time. I had thought you had to do something at least 3 times a week but apparently it really depends what it is - he said if you played squash (and he eyed me and said he didn't imagine I would be - he was right) you'd only need to play 2 x 40 mins games a week to get plenty of exercise. Then he started talking about bowls (as the other extreme) but I pointed out that you'd get a better work out shopping. This confused him as he started to debate whether I would be able to do that every week! Bless! He seemed to think tango dancing would be a good thing for me to do. Quite mad. He does make me laugh though, when he was getting carried away with being thrilled about my weight loss I felt the need to point out that I was only half way through and said "People who don't know what I've done will still look at me and see a fat girl". He said "No, I don't think so, people will look at you and think you have pretty hair. That is, you've always had pretty hair but people will notice it first. That is...." He always manages to trip himself up but he's so sweet and I find it so funny that I don't mind a bit. We had a couple of times where he clearly thought he'd been tactless, tried to correct himself and made it worse!

And I'm reading Dietgirl's book (on Mrs L's recommendation). I'm less than halfway through - although I did have to read it on the tube this morning as I'd run out of anything else; I camoflaged the title with a large postcard I used as a bookmark especially! - but she (Dietgirl) went to the gym at 18st. In theory, I'd like to belong to a nice gym - I used to belong to a Holmes Place and I enjoyed some of the classes, I'd like to do Bodypump, kickboxing and dance type classes. But my local gym is £90+ a month and I really, really can't afford it or even half of that - and even if I could, I'd be quite shy going on my own. I don't want to feel that I'll never keep the weight off unless I exercise when I can't figure out how to do just that. Yes, I can hear you Lesley but believe me, running around East London is a grim prospect - even if it didn't kill me one way I think it would another!

Anyway, the bad news is that I was so fed up(and felt so squelched) after my infuriating GP visit, that, mid stressful day I ate a small (very small) bag of Iced Gems (98 cals but 'pure' sugar I'd guess) and a dozen jelly babies. Both were lovely but not calculated to get me back into the next stone bracket down (1lb less and I'll be in the next bracket down). I had lost 8lbs at my WI this week - and had lost 3lbs before that so have lost 11lbs in a week and a half (although I can't quite believe it and keep counting it on my fingers). And although it's been a really hard, hungry week and a half that's a pretty good result. Don't want to scupper that with my arch nemesis, sugar. My head knows it's a false friend but my heart is yet to catch up.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Hi there. It has been a recurring theme over the last year for people to report horrible and degrading/depressing incidents with their GP's and consultants. While many doctors are supportive (mine was fantastic and touchingly proud of me) so many are dismissive and ignorant. I find it quite distressing.

I was speaking to my sister (an overweight GP) about it over Christmas and she couldn't really explain why some of her colleagues are so prejudiced and unhelpful.

If it was bad, I would suggest complaining to your PCT. I complained years ago about a foul GP in London who misread my weight by 10kg so failed to spot that I'd lost that weight and when I presented with severe vomiting and stomach upset said I'd probably just been "stuffing my face with crap"!! I was so wretchedly ill having been retching all night long that I couldn't argue or correct him but afterwards I got rightously indignant and filed a complaint. Putting it in context I was about 14 stone at the time so not morbidly obese.

So, I really sympathise - there is NO excuse for being offhand and rude like that.

I like the sound of your weight expert though - he sounds like a laugh. I agree with im about the exercise being key - I feel terrible having not done much until this week for 2/3 weeks. How about swimming? Is there anywhere near where you work or where you could go in the evenings? I know it can feel daunting exposing the flesh but, once you're in, the water supports you and you can plough up and down practising Paul McKenna type visualisation techniques about how thin you're going to be and what clothes you're going to buy and the time just flies by.

God - London is so expensive. Nice gyms are great but not for that money!

Good luck in finding something that suits you. How about a bouncy trampoline at home - cheap, low impact, rolls away, you can do it in front of the telly and then do some crunches and stuff with your fitball and some hand weights (aka - tins of beans!). That's what I do if I REALLY can't get out running and it's surprisingly tiring. I've got a home workout created by my trainer which I could probably scan and email to you if you think that would help - it's got pictures of all the exercises, like squats and lunges etc??

Lesley x