‘You’re a woman’, ‘You don’t have an eating disorder’, ‘You have gained a substantial amount in 2 months’ and ‘You’re fine’.
This was just clips of my previous GP appointment that keep popping up in my head and making me feel that surge of hurt and anger at not being listened to. At not being heard. The anger that my gender has anything to do with the situation that I find myself in.
I find it hard enough going to go to the Doctor’s. I always have. I have an irrational fear of seeing them. I always have this belief that they aren’t going to listen. That they won’t believe me and that I am just making it up, despite how I feel at that time. And in that appointment, my fears were completely justified. I had every reason to dread going to the Doctors, because instead of listening or helping, they give you a lecture and make you feel worse.
I had my appointment booked over three weeks in advance, because that is how long it takes to get seen these days. I was booked in to get results from an Ultrasound Scan I had (Which wasn’t even needed in the first place) and then to be referred for an endoscopy to finally try and establish why I suffer with these tummy problems. I had to go on my own because my Mum couldn’t get out of work and had no one else to ask. I put in a very specific request to see the same Doctor, because we no longer get the right to request to see the same Doctor every time, but instead get the fun and games of explaining the situation a hundred and one times to a different person each time. I eventually got to see the Doctor I requested for. I knew my results were going to be fine but I just had a horrible feeling about this appointment.
I can feel myself getting enraged and upset just thinking about what I am writing next.
I got into the room, and he was looking at my results. I already knew there was nothing wrong, they couldn’t see tmy left ovary despite trying multiple methods because I was too gassy in the bowels (+++ gassy as the Doc so kindly pointed out, which in case you didn’t know, in the medical world means it is severe. And my Doctor kindly went on to explain that a single + is Not severe, ++ is Moderate and +++ is Severe. Apparently that isn’t just common sense, instead he felt the need to look down at me and explain slowly and multiple times despite me knowing exactly what it meant). Aside from no left ovary being accounted for and a bit of a dark patch on my pelvis which apparently is from a previous infection, again, nothing to worry about, everything was hunky dory and there were no cysts on my ovaries to be the cause of why I have such little iron. WHICH I TOLD HIM ALL ALONG. I feel awful because I feel I wasted the NHS time having the Ultrasound scan, and took the place of someone who needed it far more. My Doctor only sent me for one because he didn’t believe me when I said I didn’t have heavy periods. Instead, he insisted that I wasn’t capable of telling how heavy my periods are and might mistake the amount for a smaller amount than it is. Now, I know my body. I think every individual does know their body pretty damn well. You know when something is wrong and something is right.
Anyway, so next I was hoping he would refer me for an endoscopy. Instead he went on to my last confession that I had with him about my eating disorder. I have never disclosed this to anyone, apart from you guys that read my blog, but that’s behind a screen and completely anonymous. I am not sat there face to face, opening up to you about my most vulnerable secret. Seeing the reaction of the other person. See them slowly judging you. But I did, I told my Doctor, I was 100% honest. In that initial consultation he didn’t really react to it, didn’t say anything about it, just kind of brushed it under the rug. But this time he brought it up and asked me to stand on the scales. Now, I confess, my binging has been through the roof recently. I have been doing it most days and spreading it out over an hour or so and the problem with that is, you never quite bring it all back up so you will always have those extra calories which build up and up. I have been finding it harder to purge completely because I feel tired and exhausted. Unfortunately, that weight gain has shown on the scales and of course, in my appearance. The Doc blurted out in shock that I had gained 2 and a bit kilos, almost a half stone I’ll have you know, which he commented was a substantial amount in two months. How I didn’t cry right there and then, I do not know. He then proceeded to inform me that I didn’t have an eating disorder because I had gained weight. I also wasn’t depressed I was simply affected by my break up that I was going through the last time I saw and told him all that was wrong with me. I am just emotional about not being with my ex and thus there’s nothing wrong with me.
Next he decided to rub salt further into the wound, by commenting on my gender. Apparently I was suffering with these tummy problems, because I AM A WOMAN. And as a WOMAN I am apparently INCAPABLE of going to the loo in public. Apparently, I shy up when I go to the loo in public so hold on to the urge which causes the build up of gas in my intestine. Apparently my tummy could have also been caused by the fact that I was dumped. That I was going through something emotional and because I am a woman, it takes a bit longer to get over. Women aren’t that great at dealing with emotion. Women just apparently are flawed in so many ways and we all, as a gender, inflict pain upon ourselves because we are women and that’s what we do.
Despite my attempts at trying to talk to him. To explain that I actually am very much capable of going to the loo and when I do get an urge as he so delightfully put it, I do go running to the toilet like a good little girl and go. I do let out any gas as and when I can. We all fart and yes, it can be embarrassing, but most of the time it is silent. I eat fairly well, well until recently anyway, but I have had tummy issues for a lot longer than I have been severe with my binging and purging sessions so I know it isn’t that. It probably hasn’t helped but it didn’t originate from that.
I also said the breakup, yes, it didn’t help matters, but if he had read my medical notes from earlier that year he would have seen that I was signed off work for a couple of months. That I was prescribed very strong anti depressants until I freaked out on them. He would have seen that I have been feeling the way I do for a lot longer than three months and a hell of a lot longer than when my ex broke up with me.
I came out of that Doctor session feeling pathetic. I felt fat. I felt like shit on the bottom of the world’s shoe. I hated the fact that I was a female which I have never even hated before. I hated that it felt like my ex had been right when he insisted there was nothing wrong with my stomach all those months we were dating. I hated that the Doctor agreed with him. I came out with the knowledge that:
- I had gained almost half a stone in two and a half months – which is a substantial amount
- I am sad and have a bit of an issue with food because I am still very emotional and upset about being dumped a few months ago
- I have tummy problems and low iron because I am incapable of knowing when I need to go loo and because I am a woman, when I do realise I need the loo I won’t go in public.
There is nothing wrong with me.
Of course there isn’t anything wrong with me.
He doesn’t see me when I eat and eat because I have got myself in this vicious cycle. I eat to feel good, I eat no matter what the emotion – Happy? Eat to feel even better. Sad? Might make you feel better for an hour or so. Ugly? – Eat because what do I have to worry about gaining weight I hate myself anyway. He doesn’t see me when I am red in the face, with my fingers scratching down the back of my throat so I can try and get that last bit of carbs out of my system. He doesn’t see the sick on my hand and in the toilet basin. He doesn’t feel the sore throat I have for days after. The puffiness of my face. The state of my nails. The damage to my once perfectly straight teeth that people used to comment on and tell me I had a beautiful smile. He does’t see my fear of seeing a dentist because I don’t want to be told the extent of damage that I inflicted upon my teeth.
He isn’t inside my head to know that I am deeply unhappy within myself. He doesn’t hear the continuous thoughts that are whirling around my head on a daily basis. He doesn’t know how much I hate walking past a mirror or a window or anything that I can see my own reflection in. He doesn’t know that every day I contemplate how I would end my life. He doesn’t know how empty. How soulless. How alone and how sad I feel. How truly unhappy I am despite how many wonderful people and things I have in my life. He doesn’t know that this has been how I have felt since I was 17. That’s seven years I have been battling these thoughts, these ideas, these needs and habits. He doesn’t see me when I am on my own and the true sadness that I let show. He just sees what the rest of the world see – a smiley, young girl who is absolutely fine and has a great life. He doesn’t know that as time is going on, I feel myself getting closer to a decision. He doesn’t know that he is the reason why I won’t attempt to ask for any more help. I will keep this to myself and won’t trust another person with my secret or my honesty.
Not Quite Made Girl