I am morbidly obese.
I know because I saw my doctor 9 days ago.
(Because my blood pressure has been bouncing around. Highs of 167/128 and lows of 90/56.)
My doctor said, “Well, you haven’t gained any weight since I saw you last. This is very good.” (She has an Indian accent, like from India. I’m unsure how to write an Indian-like-from-India accent, but when I wrote that sentence, I can hear her flute-melody-like-words in my head. So please, read whatever she says with an Indian-like-from-India accent if you can.)
“But you have not lost any weight either.” She frowns, just slightly, but it’s there.
I correct her. “That’s not true. I have lost over 100 lbs…”
Perplexed, she checks her computer chart and looks back at me.
I continue, “…I’ve just managed to gain 100 lbs too.”
Oh, math girl: Whatever you do to one side of the equation you have to do to the other.
“I worked very hard, and lost 30lbs. It took me 2 months of very stringent measures but I did it.”
Her smile is nearly hopeful, even though she knows how the story ends.
“I gained it all back in 3 weeks. Then I managed to lose 10 lbs, and gain it back, then 15, and…”
And at this point she is nodding with me, pursing her lips, and letting out a wise and empathetic “Mmmmm.”
“I see.” Again the knowing nod and pursed lips.
She looks down my list of medicines and supplements. It’s a long list.
“Are you taking your thyroid and your progesterone?”
Yep. I forget things, and it’s been a struggle, but I am on track and doing well, taking my medicine every day.
“The vitamin D? Vitamin D is very important, you know.”
Yep. I remember.
“You are on metformin, I see. But you are not diabetic…”
I remind her that the endocrinologist put me on it with the explanation, “Well, at this point, it can’t hurt.”
Her head is now bobbing like one of those dashboard dollies I’ve seen in taxi cabs at the airport. “Mmhmm, mhmmm…”
She goes on, “Ibuprofen for pain, magnesium will help…”
Yep. And DHEA, and Vitamin C, and Omega oils, and the green tea pills, because I don’t drink enough pf the stuff, and on…
“Good, good, very good then.” She is saying this to the glowing screen. Everything looks right there; she is pleased.
She turns back to me, and frowns. She knows that everything isn’t very good, it isn’t right at all.
Pursed lips, “Hmm.”
I wait. I hope. This is the time when I imagine her giving me an answer, some solution to me.
And she tells me to try to lose weight, and she hands me two Diets printed from the internet, one with a not-as-limited-as-I-have-been-eating-plan and one with my I’m-not-dieting-this-is-normal menu. I’ll reread them later, maybe I missed something.
She tells me to get out for a walk. I don’t mention that I’m terrified of the two big dogs in the not-fenced-high-enough-for-me yard next door, of dogs anywhere really. I do mention the pain and the clicking in my spine with each step. She pauses, nods.
She doesn’t mention the gym. She knows that I usually have children with me, that I live out of town, that logistics fight with consistency.
I mention I’ve been doing some yoga exercises, and pilates. She smiles, but weakly. “That is good.” But she looks at me with serious consideration. I know what she does not say: “It is good, but it is not enough.” None of this is enough.
I’m losing my health and I’m not strong enough to get it back. Everything hurts. I am constantly exhausted. I am not well enough to make myself better. It’s like I leapt from a great height and we are just watching the inevitable descent to my demise in slow motion.
She gives me a prescription. It is going to help me feel satisfied.
I had no idea there was a pill for that.
“Is this a placebo?” I tease her. “Because it’s not nice to give the fat girl a sugar pill, you know.”
She laughs and the tune lights up her dimples, and ignites sparklers in her eyes.
She wants to see me in a month. “I expect you will work very hard and will eat carefully and exercise and you will feel better. Trust me, you will see.”
The pause, the pursed lips.
“I hope this will help you.” The tone is unmistakable; she does so hope it will help. She is not sure it will, but she wants it to, very much. She wants to see me well.
In the 9 days since I have seen my doctor, I have gained 12 lbs, and then lost 10 of them. I am skipping dinner tonight, in hopes of balancing the scale.
I look at the calendar. Only three more weeks until I see my doctor again, and I don’t want to disappoint her.