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Wow, time flies. July 17, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, fat, health, medical school, osteopathy, yellow bile.

I am sorry that I might have frightened some people by my absence.  Actually, I have been neglectful of this blog because I started my OB-GYN rotation on July 1 and it is kicking my fat white ass.  It doesn’t, of course, help that I am still trying to straighten out all this affair mess with Mr Phledge, but at least I haven’t killed anyone—at home or at work—yet.  I have to tell you a story, though.

The doctor with whom I am rotating has a nurse practitioner/naturopathic doctor who works in the office with him.   She is pushing, if not over, sixty years old but she looks like she might be in her forties.  In and of itself, this is not a big deal to me; lots of people don’t look their age, above or below, and I am the first to get past the whole book, cover, judge thing.  However, I had to spend some time in her shadow as she worked with her patients, and she makes me sick sick sick.

First off, she pushes her “specially formulated” products on every single patient.  Most women ended up with at least two bottles of stuff that may or may not help their condition, and it seemed that there were a lot of conditions that were treated with evening primrose oil, vitamins, and bioidentical hormone replacement.  The first one, the primrose oil, went out to patients having such diverse conditions as fibrocystic breasts, menopause, sexual dysfunction, ADD/ADHD, skin disorders, urinary tract infections, postpartum depression, prolonged pregnancy, and cramps.  WTP?  I seriously doubt that there have been any reliable trials to determine whether her specially formulated evening primrose oil really works on any of those conditions, and even if there had been you most certainly can get a more active product by actually eating the food.  I mean, hey, that’s the natural way—not to cultivate, harvest, and mechanically or chemically extract one part of a plant that we think is the “active” ingredient.  So that’s bogus number one.

Secondly, she touted the primrose oil as a way to stay young-looking.  Ah, so that’s how she does it!  I’m sure it has nothing to do with her genes, or what she puts on her skin, or if she stays well-hydrated.  So some poor schmuck is gonna dish out the $15 for a month supply to look like this woman, and if it doesn’t work, well, then, that leads us to part three.

I have never met such a fat-hating, oblivious health care “professional” in my life.

If you don’t look like her, it’s clearly because you eat too much junk food and don’t ever work out.  I sat in her office listening to her tell a post-menopausal woman that the reason the patient’s libido had taken a hike was because she had gained ten pounds since January.  (I weighed more than both women combined, yet somehow my libido manages to keep me, erm, well-informed.  It took what little energy I have these days to keep from turning her desk like Jesus turned the moneychangers in the Temple.)  Dr Wackaloon (and trust me, it was difficult to pay her the respect of calling her “Dr Wackaloon”) gleefully pointed out that when she hit menopause she had to double her workouts—four hours of tennis a day instead of two!—so she could stay at her current size AND YOU CAN TOO.  Several women were told that they simply had to work out more or else they would get fat because they were going through the Change.  And then?  Clearly she noticed that I was extremely uncomfortable in the office because she asked, “So, are you uncomfortable with sexually explicit conversations?”  Yeah, she did.  I couldn’t help myself:  I laughed and said, “No, not at all.”  But it wasn’t one of those wow-you’re-funny-belly-laughs.  It was a are-you-that-fucking-clueless-laugh.  Fortunately I don’t have to work with her for much longer.

You know, one of the things that really bothers me about this experience is that I actually am pretty open-minded to complementary medicine (hell, OMM is still considered complimentary by the NIH).  What I see here, though, is a woman terrified of her own mortality and spreading that shit liberally amongst her patients.  A woman who took an oath to “cooperate with the healing powers of nature” but now does nothing more than glorified anti-aging medicine, an oath to “conduct my life and practice of Naturopathic Medicine with integrity and freedom from prejudice” even as she admitted in an office consult that she has a hard time being kind to people who are obese.  And the fact that she sells her own product, telling people that it will help their problems, smacks very loudly of conflict of interest.  If I am in charge of your health, and I tell you that only Pill X will cure you, but I am the sole shareholder of Pill X, then something’s fishy, non

Look, folks, weight fluctuations, body size diversity, aging, senescence, and death are all a natural part of life, and how can someone call themselves a naturopath when they don’t respect that? 

PS—she’s amazingly tan.  Should I point out to her that she’s a bad example for dermatological care and skin cancer prevention?

The end. June 13, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, blood, family, fat, feminism, fun, health, medical school, phlegm, yellow bile.

This is a difficult decision for me, but I am certain it is the right one.  Effective 1 August 2008 this blog will be sacrificed to the Toob Gods.  I’ve discovered that I spend a great deal more time online than I would like, in general, and way more time thinking and worrying and prepping for this blog, specifically.  I am definitely available by email (see “Comment Policy/Contact Me”) and would love to hear from my, erm, fans.  The blogroll is a good place to start looking if you want to find something else sort of like me that contains some fun ranting and hearty thinking, but I just can’t do it anymore.  It hasn’t remotely been what I expected—no fault of anyone’s—and I can’t put the energy into something that isn’t bringing me joy.  Peace out, y’all.

Why I don’t celebrate Mother’s Day. May 11, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, family, fat, medical school, yellow bile.

If there is one way I believe myself to be a lesser, evil being, it is the way I feel about my mother, who died in 2001.  It’s complicated, and contradictory, and changes depending on what I’m doing, but by and large I did not have much patience or respect for her.  I live much of my life focused on not becoming her (who doesn’t?) but since this blog has pretty much become my therapy I’ll explain why: (more…)

Wouldn’t you know? May 6, 2008

Posted by phledge in fat, feminism, medical school, phlegm.
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Just when I decide that I really should focus on studying, Kate goes and links me to Shakesville.  I kind of feel like a rube invited to meet the Queen—Shakesville is one of my favorite places on the ‘toobs—but all I can say is:  Welcome Shakers!  Hope you find something useful here, and I’ll be back in a jiffy.

Hold my calls. May 6, 2008

Posted by phledge in medical school, phlegm.

I’ll be out for a couple days while I finish the last tests of my second year (yay!) and then I take boards (boo!) on the 21st.  I might come up with something noteworthy, but I doubt it—my brain is packed to overflowing with hematological disorders and ocular parasites.  Mmm, loa loa.

Vajayjay? Honestly? May 1, 2008

Posted by phledge in family, fat, feminism, medical school, yellow bile.

I’m ashamed to say that, as I alluded to in a comment, I am indeed not very good at confrontation.  Upon reading SM’s brilliant analysis of what words can do, I let my sister get away with it. And this is the one to whom I’m closest, the one with whom I can talk all kinds of issues and still feel safe and loved (more…)

Bad ice cream, or, being contrary. April 30, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, fat, fun, medical school, yellow bile.

So, y’all remember the faculty member who asked me why I thought fat people avoided doctors?  And how stupid that was?  (O, actually, that was a comment I posted over on SP:  I have a primary care faculty member who, after dozens of fat-phobic lectures, looked me straight in the face and said, “Why on EARTH would obese people avoid doctors? That’s just stupid.”  Sorry.)  He gave a lecture today about upper respiratory infections, including stuff like strep throat; for symptomatic control of sore throat he advocated cold things, like drinks and ice cream, “except, maybe not ice cream because of the calories.  So, popsicles.  Sugar-free ones.” (more…)

Pardon me? April 29, 2008

Posted by phledge in feminism, medical school, yellow bile.
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So, when an older black gentleman, clearly a distinguished member of his profession, teaches at our medical school and makes a whack-ass comment about how “real women don’t work in the yard” and I can’t tell if this is a joke or not, and then he goes on to say “men are wimps” and I can’t tell if this is a joke or not, is this evidence of why all human rights dialogues should be merged?  Because do not tell me for a second that this man has not had his share of repugnant experiences in his time based on the color of his skin, and if for a sweet second he realized the nature of his own biases that he would, in some way, see a connection.  It popped an aneurysm in me cranium to think of how wrong it is to be a member of a minority and bash on a member of a different minority.  It’s all xenophobic us-versus-them patriarchy, and it’s all fucked up.

Ms Crankypants. April 15, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, fat, health, medical school, osteopathy, yellow bile.

If I seem a little less than graceful or generous it’s because my campus in deep in the throes of what is being called “Fit For Life Week.”  The motivation behind this is misguided at best and fat-phobic regardless.  The current president of the American Osteopathic Association, a Dr Peter Ajluni, has taken it upon himself to overcome Teh Obeeeeeesity Crisis!!!!1!eleven! during his tenure which, thankfully, ends in July (the tenure, not the so-called crisis—forsooth, something can’t end if it hasn’t yet begun).  His presidential theme is “DOs:  Fit For Life” because he thinks that it’s absolutely shameful for osteopathic physicians to not look good.  Oh, hell, let him tell the story: (more…)

Whoa, sorry! April 4, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, fat, medical school.

So two weeks turned into almost a month.  Mea maxima culpa.  I just got done talking with a psychiatrist who took his PTSD patient off Zyprexa—a drug he called “a miracle cure” for this particular patient—because he “blew up by 50 pounds.”  Yup.  I’m not sure if this person’s reaction to the weight gain even remotely matched his reaction to the horrible memories that plague him day and night, but I can’t imagine, after listening to this patient’s traumatic experience and resultant psychological suffering, that in the same situation I would choose to discontinue a miracle cure.  Also, I would hate the culture that pressed me to be more worried about my weight than my mental health.

 Oh, wait.