I want to say a few things right off the bat…
First, you don’t realize how much you need people until they save you. This whole project is not just about me at all, it’s about a community of people who have graciously decided to walk with me through the next year. Thursday was hard but the support from everyone has been unbelievable. I am so grateful. I know I say that a lot but I don’t want to take anything for granted and I want to communicate that as much as possible!.
Last night, I was spent. I was having a hard time and felt like I was close to a migraine coming on. I decided not to post and to go to bed instead. My goal is to always post everyday but sometimes that is not going to be possible though it should be rare!
Many people have sent me messages inquiring about my doctor. I thought I would share a little of my history and experience with doctors and then give you the information regarding my own amazing, supportive, rock-star Doc.
From a very young age I feared the doctor. I think I can say with confidence I feared doctors much worse than other kids. Even though I did not know the word for it, I was taught to be ashamed of who I was well before I turned 10 years old. Two specific incidences scarred me for a life time. This is not easy to write about but I think it is so important to share and I hope others have not been through the same, although I have a feeling that sadly they have.
I was a junior in high school and my neighbor worked as a manager at the post office. I was looking for a summer job and he happily agreed to set me up with something at the post office. I was thrilled, my first “real” job! It was entry level and I just needed to get a physical as that was a standard company policy. I wanted to make a good impression and remember choosing what I would wear very carefully, picking out my best shoes and making sure my hair smelled nice. At the time I was probably around 450lbs….while I was nervous I was under the false pretense that this doctor would have to nice to me. My friend Scot went with me for support because he was my best friend and always by my side. This might be saddest part of the story…I don’t remember anything about the office, the details of what happened really…I remember his bitter words… “you disgust me”, “why are you wasting my time, you will be dead soon” and “how did you get like this?”…I remember being hysterical, running out, crying and I remember throwing up in the hallway. Thank god Scot was there with me, to help me get myself together. We walked out and I never looked back. I would avoid doctors for the next 10 years of my life.
I felt like I was not worthy of care. I was just young enough that I believed that doctor and what he told me and I didn’t want anyone else to tell me I was a waste of time. Much later I would find the first medical doctor who would treat me with respect and compassion. When I knew I could no longer avoid the doctor I called the hospital and ask the lady who answered who the nicest doctor was she knew on staff that was taking new patients. She said “Oh honey, have I got the perfect Dr. for you”….and she was right. Dr. Jessica Bocook (Bradt) would be the first doctor I did not fear. The first doctor who listened to me with an open heart and while never ignoring my weight, she could see past it and I received excellent care. It’s kind of funny I followed her around the area all the way to Maysville, Kentucky( about an hour and 20 minuets away) until she moved last year to NC. I am proud to say we became friends and her impact on my life would prove to be enormous, as I now know I do not have to settle for anything less than being treated with respect, dignity and kindness.
A few years ago I got sick and we could not figure out what was wrong. I was having what I thought was reoccurring urinary tract infections. After months of antibiotics… I saw two male urologists and the second one was so bad, and so infuriating that I eventually walked out of the office after being catheterized for the third time and the nurse saying to the doctor (like I was not even present) when I winced in pain….”I am surprised she can feel anything with all that fat”….. this time I was not 17 and I knew better and Jessica had taught me that I deserved better. I walked out and on my way I told them both they should be ashamed of themselves and that I was reporting both of them. I researched my symptoms and found a specialty pelvic pain center in Louisville Kentucky where I received stellar care by the whole team in that office, especially the nurse practitioner Alyce. She is the best! If you can laugh, and be relaxed and comfortable when someone is putting a garden hose up your who-ha, THAT is good care people! I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis and travel the hour and a half for my care dealing with my IC and I would not have it any other way. Again, when you find people that really care about you, it makes all the difference.
Because of Jessica and because of the care in Louisville I knew I needed to find someone special when Jessica moved out of state. I asked around and waited until someone in my life really loved their doctor. My friend Deb called me and said, I think I found a great doctor you will like. I was still scared, still apprehensive about just making an appointment and so I wrote a letter. I was honest and laid it all out there as to who I was, and what I was looking for in a doctor. I sent the letter and on the second day after I send the letter I had a phone message from Dr. Beiter telling me that I was welcome to come see her. I really do believe that the people in our lives come in when we need them and Dr. Beiter was no exception. She is the doctor that is meant to be with me on this journey. When I first met with her, she spent over an hour talking with me about my health history, my concerns and she just listened. Amazing right?! I knew I felt comfortable and was glad I found the practice but on Thursday when I got on that scale and had gained 4 lbs, she knew just what to do…that sealed the deal! If you are 125lbs or 425lbs and looking for an amazing doctor who is compassionate, kind, and thorough look no further! She has given me her blessing to post the contact information for her practice. I will post it at the end of this entry.
All of this to say, it is okay to seek out the right fit for you when you are looking for a medical doctor, to demand that they respect you and treat you in with dignity no matter what your size might be. It is okay to walk out and say no thank you! There are other doctors out there who will be happy to show you what being a real doctor is all about! Here is Dr. B’s info
Mercy Medical Associates
7447 Wooster Pike
Cincinnati, OH 45227