Saturday, February 9, 2008

The right way to talk about fat

Recently we had a lecture about various gynecologic cancers. There were several mentions of weight as a risk factor and it was as simple as that. Not in a condescending way, not in a "they deserved it" kind of way, not in a "and by the way they need to diet NOW" kind of way. Just simply explaining. The lecturer also pointed out that women with ovarian cancer are often told that they're just getting fat when, in fact, they have tumors growing. Not surprising to me, but good to mention to our class, I think.


Laura Collins said...

This is a marvelous blog, and you bring a really interesting and important perspective to the topic.

You make me feel optimistic for the future of medicine, since you'll be in it!

Anonymous said...

It's very good they mentioned it to the class. Not to mention all the other health problems passed over when a fat person goes to the doctor, cause you know, they can't do anything until you slim down.

There was a recent episode of Mystery Diagnoses from Discovery Health channel. This girl had dizziness and shortness of breath. First they though she had Asthma, cause she's fat. Then they figured, well maybe it's cause she's fat and not working out enough. Despite the fact that everytime she tries to work out, within 10 minutes she passes out.

So finally after being told she was lazy for not hiking with her family, by her parents, who apperantly fell for this it's all cause she's fat BS hook line & sinker. She has a really bad attack, and is sent to the hospital.

It turned out the girl had pulmonary hypertension. She could've died during any one of her attacks, all someone needed to do was look past her fat, to have discovered the problem.

I was really angry at seeing the episode, but I think it's good because like your blog, it helps teach people that not everything is due to being fat.

I think generally Mystery Diagnoses is a good show, because it also helps patients to learn what they need to ask when they encounter something a doctor might not know how to cure.

chartreuse said...

Laura, thanks so much for posting! I loved your book and appreciate you reading my blog.

Violet_Yoshi, thanks for your comments. What a terrible story, but I agree it's good to remind people of this! Have you seen the "First, Do No Harm" blog? It's full of stories like these.

Anonymous said...

I've been to the First Do No Harm blog, but only once in awhile. I've been diagnosed with depression, which I'm medicatred for. Still as you can imagine though, reading too many of those stories can be mighty depressing.