05.26.06

3:50 a.m.

too fat

When I went to the doctor yesterday, I was scared out of my mind. I was unsure whether or not to mention my bulimia. That, compounded with the fact that I had to be weighed, made me have a massive panic attack. No one knows my weight and it's something I keep quite secret.

It’s just a number; I realize that.

I arrived at the health center and waited to be called. The wait was longer than normal, apparently they were running behind. I wasn’t mad in the least bit – it’s free and I’m grateful – but my anxiety rose with every passing minute. I must’ve changed my mind about telling the doctor about the bulimia 12 separate times during my wait.

Finally, a nurse called me in, weighed me (which I closed my eyes for because I’ve been depressed enough lately), and took my blood pressure. It was outrageously high: 142/104. The nurse looked a little freaked out, and asked if I had a history of high blood pressure. I told her no, but it’s usually elevated at the doctor’s office and they’ve retested it at the end of an appointment and it’s significantly better.

The nurse told me that the top number fluctuates with stress, but the bottom number usually doesn’t, and 104 is really high. Whatever. The nurse took my history, then asked for my family history.

‘Do you have a lot of paper?’

‘No, should I get another sheet?’

‘Probably.’

So, I begin listing all the ailments that plague my parents and grandparents:

High blood pressure/hypertension
Heart Disease
High cholesterol
Glaucoma
Breast Cancer
IBS
Diverticulosis
Diabetes
Hypo & Hyperthyroid
Hypoglycemia
Lung cancer
Emphysema
Leukemia
Colon cancer

‘Oh, and anxiety – which I forgot to tell you I have, too.’

She asked me why I was there, and I told her I was forced to come, but that I needed to get back on my regular medicines. Then I proceeded to lie and told her I used to be on 0.5mg Xanax in addition to the slew of asthma and allergy meds I really was taking at one point. Score! She believed me.

After a short wait, the PA came in and started talking to me. In a moment of weakness, I blurted out that I was bulimic.

Oh fuck. What the hell did I just do?

Then, in the worst moment of my life, she slowly looked down at her chart and said, “Are you sure? You aren’t underweight for your height.”

I couldn’t speak. I went completely numb. The painful kind of numb - like when your foot falls asleep. My entire body tingled.

I am too fat to be bulimic. A doctor just told me I was too fat to be bulimic.

I mumbled, ‘You know, it’s not that bad. I think I might be over reacting. Nevermind.’

She changed the subject to my family history of cancer, and I quit listening. All that I could hear was that line over and over in my head. “Are you sure? You aren’t underweight for your height.”

“Are you sure? You aren’t underweight for your height.”

“Are you sure? You aren’t underweight for your height.”

“Are you sure? You aren’t underweight for your height.”

“Are you sure? You’re too fat to be bulimic”

“You’re too fat.”

“You’re too fat.”

I didn’t hear another word she said.

She also ordered a full blood panel just to make sure I’m not dying. I have to return in a month to go over the lab results, and I will be thinner.

Immediately following the appointment I went to the store to fill some of my prescriptions and I bought Dexatrim and diuretics. I’m not eating for the next month. I will be thinner by my next doctor’s visit.

I know I'm being irrational, but I don’t care.

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