Saturday, September 13, 2008

Walk on Down the Hall

A friend of mine had been riding my ass for a while about going to the doctor. The
primary reason being that he, like everyone else in my life, is tried of witnessing my day to day self abuse. The abuse is in the form of three hour daily gym sessions and an insanely restricted diet. I don't see a problem with these things. Sure, I only eat about three hundred calories per meal at each meal, I've eliminated fats, sugars, and carbs, and I do workout seriously hard, but why are all these things bad? Okay, fine, yes, I have a serious problem, and it's not anorexia.

I've had this conversation before I go out with someone and they watch me pick around food and ask if I want more and I say no. I get stuffed fast because I don't eat enough. It's kinda of gotten to an insane point though because all the dieting and exercise in the world is not doing a damn thing. So I keep going. I found a new way to get personal
trainers, I work out harder, faster, longer. I spent this entire summer eating very small meals and spending three times my regular amount of time in the gym. Do you know what the result was? I gained weight.

This is my life.

My friends have been urging me to go see the doctors so I have finally agreed and let the Captain, and the driver of my car pool, set me up with someone he knows. I don't want to go. I hate going. I'd rather cut off my left nipple then go. But I let him make me an appointment and drop me off at the hospital on the way home from work.

Nothing more fun than walking into a Korean hosipital in the middle of a busy afternoon. Korean can't help it. They stare. I understand I'm here and can provide a bit of distraction from the otherwise general dullness of hospital life. The staring doesn't help my hospital frame of mine, but it comes with the territory. I walk down the hall and find a booth here there are two orderlies and a computer and think they might be able to help me. I walk up to the booth and they look at me like deer trapped in headlights.

In Korean I ask them for the doctor's office and they both sigh as a wave of relief passes over them. They start to write things down for me and then a nun walks buy. The nun is waved over and they explain to her what I am looking for and the nun kindly takes my hand and walks me out to show me the way. At first she just points and tells me to go straight and I say thank you and start to work in the right general direciton, but I guess nuns are programmed for self sacrafice everywhere as I barely leave her side before she comes and gently takes my hand and leads me down to where I am going.

The second information desk has the same reaction as the first only worse because now I'm saying the Doctors name and for some reason it sounds like Greek to them. We talk for a few more minutes and finally I write it down so I can get somewhere. They take a look at the note and are able to figure it out and off down the hall we go.

I walk into the doctor's office and she says hello. She's been expecting me.

"So," she says, "you have very severe PCOS.*" She knows this without having to give me an exam. She can take one look at me and know exactly what my problem is.

"You're hair is thinning, your overweight, you have really bad acne, hair on your face, your legs are hairy too?"

"That is the one symptom I don't have to deal with, actually."

"That's unusual. But good."

I hate that I walk into this office and she can just look at me and know something is wrong with me. I hate that she points out all the things that I hate about myself so desperately and work out and eat right in a vain attempt to fix. The problem is, though, that my body is working against me on this one and that's why I'm at the doctor.

My new doctor takes one look and knows all of this without even hearing the history, and there is a lot she needs to know before I can start a treatment. That she knows is a good thing. In Korea the doctors are great if you have something that Koreans commonly deal with. Part of the whole homogenous society, everyone gets the same kind of sick. PCOS is not common in Korea so not many doctors don't know what it is or how to deal with
it. She does. This is a bonus.

So we make a plan that among other things will include a consult with the male doctor who is an expert on PCOS. She will do the exams and they will consult together (let's just say I have more than a hundred issues with male doctors) and then they will plot a course of action. I already know what the course of action will probably end up being but I'm at my wits end. I miss food. I really used to like eating and I'd like to be able to have
food again without fretting (last week I nearly started crying when I realized the snack I brought for lunch had seven grams of fat in it because I read the Korean wrong, damn fat filled Sun Chips).

While it sucks if the treatment goes well all that time in the gym my start adding up to
something. Granted I am already pretty freaking hot in a t-shirt and jeans but anything to boost my ego and let me eat again will make me happy.

I still hate going to the doctors though.

*About PCOS:

If you are not familiar with PCOS it's polycystic ovarian syndrome and I'm about as bad as it comes. Basically it means I get cysts on my ovary. This happens to a lot of women. But if you get to be special like me you get more than five or ten at a time. And when this happens you have entered your own special level of hell. Ten years ago they didn't know nearly as much about it as they do now. So hopefully I'll be able to get some treatment this time around.

1 comment:

Tony said...

My positive thoughts and energies are with you.