Y’all, I need advice. I don’t know what to do any more. And also, please make this a medical OT- share your own medical dilemmas and mysteries that you’d love to crowdsource.
As I’ve posted about here before, I’ve been struggling with a handful of symptoms for the past few years. Here is a brief timeline it started in 2016, when I started gaining weight for no reason; no eating habits changed, no exercise habits changed, but I gained 10 lbs in that year. I’m a pretty small person, and that was a LOT for someone my size. I’m healthy in general - I exercise or run 6 days a week, and usually have a dance class or two a week on top of that, and was eating okay. Not amazing but I watch calories and I like veggies.
In January of 2017, I talked to my GP about it at my physical. She was pretty dismissive, because I was still at a very healthy weight. I tried to explain that my concern was that there was no obvious cause for the change and that I wasn’t worried about my current weight as much as I was about continuing to gain. She had me do a food diary for a few weeks, and ran basic blood work and everything came back okay-ish. I had high blood sugar, but not crazy, and nothing weird on the thyroid panel. Her advice was to try to address it lifestyle wise.
So I went to an nutritionist she recommended, a nutrition therapist. Then I went to a second nutritionist. I spent all of 2017 literally living my best health life. I ramped up my exercise and trained for and ran a half marathon. I did more strength training to boost my metabolism. I ate six small meals a day with tons of protein and veggies and light on carbs. Outside of drinking wine on weekends, I was pretty stellar.
But I kept gaining weight. And I also started noticing more things wrong with me. I was constipated all the time. My anxiety is through the roof - I developed TMJ, I don’t sleep well. I’m lethargic most of the time. I’m either freezing (I sit with a heater under my desk thats on 100% of the time) or I’m boiling (at night I get super hot and can’t sleep).
And by the time I went back a year later, I gained 14 lbs - in a year that was literally devoted to a weight LOSS program. This time my GP seemed to take me more seriously because she had numbers right there showing a significant gain. My blood sugar was still high so I started taking small doses of metformin. My thyroid was slightly high but was retested six week later and was okay.
So I decide its time to go specialist, because I need someone with more ideas and experience than basic blood work. I finally got in to see an endocrinologist after months of waiting for a appointment.
And then I just wanted to cry. Because while the resident who took down my basic info about what I was experiencing was lovely and nice, the endocrinologist was horrid. Just like a walking cliche of horribleness to women. I felt like I was in 1890 getting a diagnosis of hysteria. He walked in, without talking to me or asking me anything, and told me that there was no problem. He told me I was just obsessed about my weight. Those were his exact words, within two minutes of walking in. He asked me what I ate in a day and I said what I ate. He said why do you eat that? That’s all wrong. I said... because that’s what the nutritionist at your hospital said to eat. He both told me that my weight a few years ago was anorexic (it was not) and then a sentence later told me that his recommendation was just for me to skip meals (THATS NOT WHAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE YOU THINK WAS ANOREXIC). I sat there and advocated for myself - telling him that I’d heard everything he was saying before from my GP and I’d spent a year addressing EVERYTHING lifestyle it could be and that it was not normal to gain weight. I pointed out that I was eating between 1400 and 1600 calories a day on my nutritionist recommended diet and expending usually between 400-600 on an average day meaning that my net calories were 1000 a day and it was insane to GAIN weight on that. I told him the same thing - even if I was fine with my current weight, my concern is that it keeps getting higher and higher regardless of what I do. He finally agreed to order tests, but told me twice he didn’t expect to find anything in them. Which terrifies me because... if you look at a result already thinking you know what you’ll find, thats what you’ll find. When I asked him “So if the tests are normal, whats the next thing I should do? Where should I go next, what could be another source” he didn’t respond.
None of my other symptoms were mentioned or addressed. I managed to not cry (on a side note, I wish I could just ONCE get super angry at an older white man without getting angry tears. And I wish that they would understand that women cry out of PURE ANGER ALL THE TiME not weakness or sadness), but I also managed to not get any thing out of it. And I’d been really hoping that finally seeing a specialist would get me some answers that I’ve been looking for for two years. And instead I feel like I’m back at square one.
So I’m asking you guys, because if I’m going to be treated by a guy who basically thinks I have a wandering womb then I’ll do what women have always done, and seek out the advice of other wise women to figure out how to fix themselves. So GT witches and village healers, what the hell else could it be? Where should I go next? I was hoping he’d do a full hormone panel to see if I have weird levels of estrogen or something. I have copies of all of my recent tests and numbers if those are helpful. I know there are multiple thyroid tests; I know some people have thyroid issues that don’t show on tests or who’s numbers appear normal when they’re not. I have a lot of thyroid-y symptoms AND a family history (aunt and sister) of hypothyroidism but fine numbers. I have some PCOS symptoms but not the major ones (my symptoms get worse at certain times of the month but I don’t miss periods or have weird hair growth).
Where should I go? What should I look at or think about?
And finally - what do you guys know about reporting medical professionals for being fucking terrible? he works for a major medical hospital here and I’m assuming they have a patient care place I can file a complaint with? I’m sorry, but I’m done with people not giving women any medical fucking care and I will complain to high heaven.