I was taken to one of the back offices, which was quiet. I was glad. I hate screaming babies. The office was painted with a mural for kids. A zoo setting: giraffes, seals, tigers and such with their children, only we were the ones in the cage. The cheeky tiger cub was handing me a piece of popcorn. Silly tiger, don't feed the animals.
I waited for another fifteen minutes and a doctor in a pink knitted shawl came in. She seemed nice enough. Introduced herself, and looked over my chart. She asked me a series of questions on my throat congestion and sometimes difficulty swallowing.
blah blah blah
She got up from her stool and used that light stick thing to look in my ear and nose and a tongue dispense to check my throat. All of 6 seconds. She never even touched me.
Really, I asked.
"Yeah. I don't see anything wrong."
Now, what I wanted to say was who has allergies entirely and of the same consistency for a duration of 3 months? But I didn't, she is the medical professional after all.
What am I allergic to?
"Don't know. I'll prescribe you an antihistamine." She then went on to talk about my last pap-smear, which, granted was a while ago. She seemed much more inclined to get my lady parts in order than anything else. She then went on to comment on my blood pressure, which was 'a little high' as commented by her and the nurse who took it. Never got any inkling as to what 'a little high' was. Could it be a stress high? Because my life has been a shitty one these last few weeks? Didn't ask because I was still reeling that we were talking about this and not my throat of which I was not satisfied from her conclusion.
But I'm also tired a lot, I said.
"Could be because of your weight. Have you thought about getting serious about it."
WAIT I thought.
"That might be the reason for your high blood pressure." Oh, so now it's high? I get it, this woman sees a lot of poor and low income people and she automatically assumes that I'm sitting at home eating chips all day and drinking soda. I shit you not, I had to cram my lifestyle into this conversation.
I'm actually vegan and I do most of my own cooking and baking-
Um, no...I do a lot of dancing and walking too.
"Well that might be why your blood pressure isn't higher."
It was at that moment I flashed back to my old doctor in San Francisco. She was an Amazon, did like 5 iron mans, a vegetarian and a very inquisitive person about an individual's lifestyle. She asked about *me* and when I went in there I was worried that my health was related to my weight. My old doctor told me, "From what you have told me, you eat right and have an active lifestyle. Sure, you could loose some weight, but its not an absolute for your health." My blood work reaffirmed it, I was in good health, no sign of anything bad, and I was eating worse then than I am now :)
Well, I'd like to have some blood work done, just to see where I am. The doctor paused and nodded.
"That's a good idea. We can run a diabetes and thyroid test." Thanks, doctor. "You also might want to keep a food journal so you can keep track of how much you eat. You know you'd be surprised. Document everything...a chip here, or there."
I don't buy junk food. What I found ironic was Food Inc. was still playing in the lobby. I *wanted* to say: You know, I noticed you playing Food Inc. in the lobby. I went to Santa Monica when it was in limited release to see it. I've read both of Michael Poland's books, and I actually have 'The Omnivore's Delemma' on my phone and listen to it when I grocery shop (which I do), and I also read Fast Food Nation, twice. But I didn't say that. I agreed to the food diary. What she does not know is I've been in the habit of keeping one for over a year now. I measure mostly everything. Half teaspoon of sugar in my 5 oz coffee with one oz of soy milk every morning. Yeah doctor, bring it on.
The experience was a sucker punch. Perhaps it's the manic depressive in me, but makes me wonder how other people perceive me. Here I am, thinking I'm being a confident strong, albeit overweight woman, and exuding that, and I guess all people are seeing is another fat girl. I don't know what to do with that.
I've been taking the prescription for a few days, still no change.
I know I can't change other people's perceptions, but how in the world can I or any of us compete with our own stereotype?