So, I've been dealing with severe pain in one knee due to advanced osteoarthritis. I'm 47 and started having pain about 16-17 years ago, mild at first, of course, increasing in severity over the years. Throughout that period of time, I was treated with cortisone injections (which helped, until they didn't), then Synvist, which didn't help at all, and for the past 5 years I've been in severe enough pain that my activity levels have dramatically decreased. I can't walk a block without severe pain and can't walk 2 without needing to rest. It aches at night, keeping me from sleep. There is LITERALLY no cartilage left in that knee, so it's bone grinding on bone with every step. It's fucking EXCRUCIATING.

I am also very very fat. I was not a fat kid or teenager. I put some weight on in my 20s, dropped a bunch after I had my kids (actually dropped a bunch during my first pregnancy, delivering a 9lb 10oz baby after only gaining 12 pounds) and while certainly not skinny, I was reasonably fit, I exercised, I tried to eat reasonably well, blah blah blah. The pain in my knee, however, continued to get worse. Oddly, it's only one knee, which every doctor I've ever seen has said is extremely unusual without having been seriously injured at an earlier time, so it's not normal wear and tear from being a Fatty McFatterson. But I did start to slowly gain weight in the past 4-5 years, and in the past 2 I've gained 50. That's a fuck of a lot and I know I'm fat. But I can not really express how bad my knee hurts. The absolute only thing I could do that doesn't hurt is swimming, and a) I can't afford a pool/gym membership, b) I don't have adequate childcare for my younger son, who is autistic, and c) I can't swim well enough anyway for that to be an effective form of exercise. And not only is exercise of any form, even walking, excruciating, it's caused me to get even more depressed than normal. I mean, I've struggled with depression off and on for 20 years but the past 2 years I've just felt hopeless about my situation, in large part due to the horrible, debilitating pain.

So. I'm FINALLY in a position to be able to get the knee replaced. I still don't have short term disability, but I do have a BFF who is quitting her job as of Jan 1 and will be a lady of leisure for a year, who offered to drive me to my clients' houses, meaning I can return to work in about 3 weeks rather than having to wait about 6 (since that's probably how long it will be before I can drive). That means I can squeak by financially. Plus she'll help me with PT appts, cooking, etc. So I scheduled an appt with the best knee guy in the region here. I mean the absolute best, he and his partner. I went for my appointment today. They weigh you and ask your height, which I expected, of course, and was prepared for at least some comments about how losing weight would make my knee a little better, blah blah. But after talking with the doctor's assistant and getting the full rundown, the doctor comes in, shows me my BMI on his stupid smart phone, and immediately says "you need to fix your weight. The knee surgery is just a band aid. Your problem is your weight. You should get lap band" and ON AND ON. He was horrible. I started crying (which infuriated me because I fucking HATE that, I hate looking weak when what I really wanted to do was fucking punch him in the face) and he continued to be a total dick. I told him all of the above, as well as pointing out that my mom was significantly overweight before she got her knees done, and ended up losing weight afterwards, because she WASN'T IN PAIN ANYMORE. He actually said to me "she's an outlier. NO ONE WITH YOUR BMI CAN LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT SURGERY." What. The. Fuck. I've known people who've lost 100 pounds and kept it off just from weight watchers and walking!! More than one!

Advertisement

So fuck, man. I basically ended up saying "are you doing this or not?" He said he would but he was going to talk to my doctor and impress on her how important it is that I lose weight along with getting this surgery. I said "I'm not stupid and I have a pretty good amount of personal insight. You're not telling me anything I don't already know."

I posted on facebook and a friend who is a statistician immediately came up with three valid studies saying weight doesn't effect outcome. I'm going to print them out, as well as the recent study showing that fat-shaming actually makes people GAIN weight, and I'm giving them to him the next time I see him. FUCK. HIM.