by Angi Ingalls
PCOS in ConnecTion
My World Changed
I am often haunted by one particular experience with an OB/GYN in my past. I was 19 years old and knew quite a bit about PCOS for the times although I still had a lot to learn. The doctor was an older gentleman and seemed like he was caring of his patients’ health. I would soon find out that was not the case, at least not with me.
After the external examination the first thing out of his mouth was “You need to stop eating mac and cheese then maybe you won’t be so fat. And start exercising. now.” I then felt two inches tall. I knew I didn’t eat poorly nor did I eat a lot for the average person. I certainly didn’t eat “mac and cheese” more than once or twice a year.
He proceeded to ask me to lay down on the examination table for a vaginal exam. No female nurse was asked to attend nor was I asked if I wanted someone there. When that part of the exam was over, I quickly realized he had done the exam without any gloves. His actions impacted my already low-self-esteem even more. I was then made to feel like a plague. He didn’t look at me, talked to me like I was ignorant and he didn’t try to help me. All I got was a lecture on why I was fat and he demanded I walk every day. Needless to say, I left and never returned. It was that day I decided to take a stand for all patients and turn my world into an informative one.
Society usually blames a person for being unhealthy. Rarely does anyone take the time to understand or want to know why. Many of us usually twist an off expression, a smirk on someone’s face, or even see someone laughing at our own insecurities. This has usually been the case for being socially abused in the past.
When the weight won’t come off, we tend to feel hopeless and not accepted. When we deal with hair loss or excess hair, we feel less like a woman and are teased. When our skin has problems, we feel unattractive and ridiculed. When we can’t conceive easily, we feel despair and pitied.
It is now that you need to try to realize that society is not out to get us intentionally. Unfortunately, many just don’t know any better – they follow along with everyone else like sheep. Many have their own insecurities and try to make others feel inferior to raise their own emotions up. Some have been abused themselves and don’t know how to act towards others. It’s in your power to thwart off their negative comments and ignorant ways. We grew up with the term “Just say no” – that applies here too. Say no to negativity. Say no to ignorant behavior. Say no to being forced into the crowd.
When someone says something negative to you, say “That’s ridiculous” and keep saying it without any explanation. You can substitute that with “That’s an ignorant comment” or simply “No” – every time. Eventually, you will raise your spirits, show others what ignorance they possess and hopefully thwart them from doing it again to you or someone else.
It may feel silly at first but the outcome will be grand! If you have the power in you, help those that don’t understand through education and compassion, even if it’s a doctor.
Doctors are people too
Dealing with the medical profession can be even that much more difficult and have a larger impact on our self-esteem. I say this because many people put false security into their doctors and clinics. Many put their medical professionals on a pedestal. Society must realize that doctors are human, they make mistakes and can be just as socially ignorant as those that make negative comments to you about your image.
We must say “No more!” We must take control of our own health and stand strong. Don’t let your doctor dismiss your feelings or your symptoms. Don’t let your doctor off the hook from investigating the core problem. And don’t let your doctor convince you he knows what’s best for you.
Your doctor works for you and without you, they don’t get paid. You have the power to find a new doctor if your current one isn’t listening to you. You have the power to say no. You have the power to get what you want. All you have to do is realize what you are worth, that you are a person who matters and that you deserve better health care.
So next time you go out the door, stand tall with your head held high and remember that everyone you look at has problems too. The ones that are socially inept are the ones that need your compassion the most. Don’t take their rude behavior personally and “Just say no!”
Angi Ingalls; PCOS in ConnecTion