Oh, look — a blog post; wherein I “come out” about things

It’s been some time since I’ve felt the energy to make a post here.  I’d say I’m sorry for being missing all this time, but — it’s been entirely out of my control, so I’m not really anxious to take the blame for medical reasons.

I’m also writing this with a [most likely] broken elbow, so… there may be typos and stuff you normally wouldn’t see here.  Such is life, apparently.  also, a protip: if your hand’s turning purple, your splint is WAY way too tight.

Life has been interesting.  I’m in between therapists right now because my previous, awesome one finished his internship and is leaving [v. sad] and I’m waiting to make an appointment with my new one.  This, of course, would have to happen right as things blow up, medically, mentally, and emotionally.  There’s something going on with my personal life that I’m having a very hard time coming to grips with — and I’m not comfortable posting about it until I talk to a couple very specific people first.

I’ve been dealing, on and off, with back pain for a long, long time.  Like, thirteen-fourteen years “a long time.”  At the beginning of the month, however, it got severely worse, to the point where I could barely make myself breakfast [when said breakfast consisted of toasting a bun and slicing some cheese up].  My doctor, however, told me that I didn’t need imaging, that the dowager’s hump I have is “just fat!”, and that I just need to [here it comes, folks!] LOSE WEIGHT AND EXERCISE.  Right, because I can totally run or lift weights or use the elliptical if I can’t stand, y’know?

Two visits to the emergency room, one myelogram, and some unusual meds later, I find out what’s going on.  No herniated discs [thank fuck for that, I’m not exactly excited over the prospect of spine surgery right now], BUT: I have degeneration in both of my sacroiliac joints [where your spine connects to your pelvis AKA rather fucking important] as well as what amounts to an extra joint in my lumbar spine.  And yes, both of them are extremely painful.

What this means to me?  I have no “hope” of ever “losing the weight by being active” again.  It’s taken a long, long time for me to admit it, but here it is: I am disabled.  I’m not in that “able with issues” group any longer, I’m fully in that “yep, I’m fucked!” stage.  And while this, again, is only my view and take on it, it’s … shocking.  Even though I had a niggling feeling for so, so very long that there was Something Wrong with me, I’d not only refused to admit it, but I wouldn’t have accepted it if a doctor told me, flat-out, that my spine was fucked.

I guess that’s the danger of a slow, slow crawl from “fully able and active” [I did gymnastics, soccer, flag football, and seven very successful years of softball when younger] to “disabled.”  It’s harder to accept, because you can’t see the changes.  You’re too close to the problem, something like “not seeing the forest for the trees.”  And while I can’t say that a car accident would’ve been preferable [oh hell no], I still wonder how my thought processes would have wandered if it had been something sudden.

And here is where I gripe, yet again, over the state of health care in this country.  Because I look “just fine!” other than the terrible, terrible sin of daring to be fat, nobody believes me when I say that I have spine, hip, and other problems that preclude things like, oh, I dunno… walking across the [very large] college campus in one go.  The looks I got last week while doing a visit for ~daring~ to sit down and rest after walking some distance were … extremely hurtful.  The alternative, of course, would have been to keep walking and collapse in a fit of pain-induced vomiting fifteen steps later.  I’m not joking, it’s really really fucking painful and there comes a time during the day when I have to sit/lay down and rest or I will be making a trip to the ER.

And sadly, a number of the people giving me the nastygram looks were people with other disabilities.  Canes, wheelchairs, walkers… whatever.  And — at this point in time, I take my cane with me almost everywhere.  It’s not worth the risk of not having it when needed anymore, so it’s not like people can’t tell I’m having problems.  It’s an “invisible disability,” but I’m not without visual cues that shit’s fucked in Kaieville.

Well, now that I’ve rambled for some time, gonna try to get back on track.

The thing is, it’s not easy for me to accept this.  And I know that certain of my ~medical care team~ will do everything they can to shame me and bully me into thinking that I did this by *omg* being fat.

Except — lumbarization is not something you can control.  You can’t sit there and say, “hey, spine, don’t fully fuse at the sacrum/lumbar intersection!” — it’s automated, and you can’t fuck it up by doing… whatever.  And the degeneration?  Yeah, family history there.  Hips?  Injuries and sciatica… blah blah blah.

I’m not really looking forward to my next appointment.  And while yeah, I could technically switch doctors, that’s not as easy as it sounds.  Because, you see, Medicaid is a jackass and limited me to one PCP, one controlled substances provider, one pharmacy, and one hospital [for non-emergency purposes].  And so all referrals need to go through my PCP… which… means I can’t vet or change doctors without him approving it.

Can you see it?  “Yeah, doc, I want to stop seeing you and check out other doctors because you’re not doing what I need you to do; can you give me a referral?”  In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be an issue.  Hell, in a fucking perfect world, I wouldn’t be needing to switch doctors.  But, in this fucked-up system and fucked-up world, you take what you get.

And besides, how do you successfully change a doctor’s worldview from “your fat olololol CALORIES IN CALORIES OUT” to “yeah, being thin isn’t the end-all-be-all, just focus on being healthy for now”?  Especially if he thinks that your spinal problems will go away if you just… oh, forget it all.

I’m having a rough time, honestly.  I’m withdrawing into myself again, because I can’t get outside often, and when I do, it’s either to the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, or the grocery store.  That’s it.  I haven’t been “out” for fun in… since my birthday, actually.  Two and a half months.

It’s hard being alone.

And it’s even harder when none of your providers can accept that shit needs to happen BEFORE you’ll be able to ~lose weight~, especially if you can’t be “active” at all.

That’s gonna be a helluva appointment.

And with that, I bid you adieu for today.  I hope to post more often, but — I won’t guarantee anything.  Just keep checking back as you can.

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Oh, fat hating! Fun times

The other night my partner and I went to see Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy at the Key Arena in Seattle.  The show was great, for the most part, we had a great time, the nachos were delicious, the end.

Except not really.  As usual, Jeff and Bill were the best parts of the program, while Larry… I wanted to shrink through the floor.  Larry seems to rely on crude “jokes” and fat-hating, slut-shaming, trans/gay-phobic routines to get a barrel of laughs.  And what’s really sad is that most of the people there [that I could see, at any rate] were laughing as hard as they possibly could.

For example:

My wife sent me to get a bucket of lard at Costco, and while I couldn’t find any in the store I found one at customer service, and I was scared of going up and asking a bucket of lard for a bucket of lard.

Ugh, gag him with a stick.  Please.  This kind of fat hate is not only stupid and crude, but it can be dangerous.  These kinds of things can inspire hatred, fatphobia, and sometimes even violence in extreme cases.  It’s already hard enough living life as a Fatty Fat McFatterson, but to have your size, something that you may not even have control over, mocked by someone as “famous” as Larry, it’s extremely disheartening and it feels oh-so-cruel when you realize that everyone around you is laughing because of someone who may even be smaller than you are.

The thing is, it’s not like we don’t know we’re fat.  Every time we look in the mirror, we see it.  Every time we put on clothes, we see it.  Every time we get on the scale, go outside, go to the doctor, try to buy clothing or bras or panties or even just a bathrobe, we see it.  So what do they hope to do?  Are they thinking that their laughter will somehow ~inspire~ us to lose our fat asses [that we obviously gained through being lazy] or get on the treadmill as soon as we get home?

It seems like the majority of people simply assume that we got this way by eating a cake after every meal and eight courses for dinner every day.  It also seems that there are a number of “former fats” who slimmed down with “diet and exercise” and now assume that combination will work for everyone, but never take into consideration things like thyroid problems, pre- or full diabetes, PCOS [polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance], or any one of a number of different conditions that can affect weight loss/gain.

Personally, I am quite sick and tired of my health being fodder for public discussion.  And that’s what it is.  I’ve caught a number of people talking behind my back about how “nasty” I was and how I should just shut my mouth and stop eating, and so on [never mind the fact that I have mild to moderate hypoglycemia, and need to eat regularly so I don’t pass out] and so forth.  People honestly think that because I’m not an “accepted” size that they can discuss my health and my body with no compunction around me, as if I belonged to them.

News flash, world: fat people don’t “belong” to anyone but themselves.  If someone decided to talk about, say, your haircut or your tan or your child or anything about you like people talk about us?  You’d be up in arms having a fit.  So please.  Cut it out.

And while I’m at it?  Stop acting like we’re fodder for comedy routines.  Larry, this means you too.

On Fat and Clothing

In my post about bras, I addressed some rather unfortunate issues in the lingerie industry.  Well, now it’s time to talk about the clothing industry itself, specifically about “plus-size clothing” and how there are two very, very weird camps people fall in.

Either you’re “plus-sized but not fat” or you’re “deathfat,” relegated to wearing what looks like a circus tent [not that I am not criticizing the style, it’s very classy, but the colors] or taupe, black, or “nude” so as to blend in with the background.  It’s bad enough at places like Target and Wal*Mart, but if you walk into a “plus-sized store” it’s even worse.

The attitudes, I think, are what’s the worst part about going shopping if you’re any bigger than a size 12.  A size 16 is now considered to be plus-sized in every fashion industry in the states [I do not know enough about foreign fashion to know whether this is the case elsewhere as well].  And yet, even if you’re shopping in, say, Lane Bryant, the larger you are the worse the clothing gets.

First is the issue of finding anything in your size.  Yes, even at places like Lane Bryant and Catherine’s, us “fatties” have problems finding larger sizes.  Not only are the pickings scarce, but the few things in stock are poorly-made and ill-fitting.  Only the most basic of apparel is made at the same quality of the smaller sizes – camisoles, t-shirts, stockings, slippers, socks.  Everything else is essentially hit-or-miss.

And then you have the styles.  Rarely do you see anything fashion-forward enough to be “trendy,” but instead there seems to be a reliance upon the age-old tunic and wide-leg pants.  Floor-length dresses, broomstick skirts.  We don’t have a chance to even try on something like this shirt, from aofei.en.alibaba.com, but instead are shuffled into zebra-print jumpsuits, Tribal Rhythms, and the like.  It’s as if we’re being told that we’re not worth the design time/effort to make stuff that fits well.

Most of the time, at least.  Torrid is pretty good, though their sizes tend to peter out the higher up you get.  I’m just tired, and I know others are too, of being shoved to the side.  And that, as they say, is that.