Why Doctors Aggravate Me
Last updated: October 2019
Anyone living with psoriasis knows the necessary evils and obligations of going to several doctors. For me, I see both a rheumatologist and a primary care doctor. This is what I have to do to keep my psoriasis and other conditions under control. But why does it have to be such a heavy ordeal to go? Why does it seem I have to hear the same speech from every new doctor? I wait for that one simple question with anticipation yet never hear it. Maybe it's my fault for allowing it to irritate me but I expect what I am writing about will resonate with a lot of you. The same theme I see, the subject that comes up the most: weight. Or being overweight for that matter.
I will be the first to admit it, I am seriously overweight. Being of short stature does not help my situation either. I wasn't always like this. When I graduated high school I was a whopping ninety-five pounds. This, of course, was almost thirty years ago. It's not like I just sit back and let the pounds pile on. Having two children along with sixteen years of taking psoriasis medication - these factors haven't helped my situation either.
When your psoriasis doctor focuses only on your weight
I will never forget one primary care doctor visit I had. It was a new doctor. It was like any other doctor's visit. The nurse comes in with a lot of questions, she obtains my medical history, takes my blood pressure, temperature and finally, my weight. The doctor precedes to go through everything she had noted and asked if I had any problems or pain that day. I told him about my lower back hurting and asked it could be from the psoriatic arthritis I have. I will never forget his words that came next:
"I do not know anything about psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis but I guarantee you if you lose some of that weight you will find your back will not hurt." I was floored. His comment insulted me to no end. All I could do was sit there with a loss for words. He swiftly walks out of the office only to have a dietician walk in to talk eating habits. I can tell you that was the last time I saw that doctor. He didn't even address my concerns. He made it all about weight and nothing more.
Frustrating discussion after frustrating discussion with doctors
A week ago I had my follow up appointment with my rheumatologist. Currently, I am on Cosentyx which has me almost completely clear for the first time in my years of living with psoriasis. I am truly excited about that. I figured my doctor would be too. Well, she was all about the results.
She instructed me to stay on the current treatment plan and see if I will totally clear up in the remaining two areas. Guess where the conversation turned to next? You guessed it, my weight. She stated that since my psoriasis seemed to be under control, she recommended I do something about losing weight. Really lady? Yes, I know I am overweight. Yes, I stay as active as I can. No, I do not want to speak to a dietician. Been there, done that. That bus has left the parking lot more times than I can count.
The one simple weight loss question I wish my doctor would ask
So what is that one simple question I wished the doctors would ask? How about them asking something like "Mrs. Wilkerson, are you trying to do anything to lose weight?" What a concept, isn't it? For me, that would open up a dialogue where I can defend what I am doing to lose weight. But alas that question is never asked. Instead, I must sit like a chastised child who apparently can't think for herself and unaware that extra weight is bad. It is like weight loss is seared in the doctor's brain straight from medical school and when a patient is overweight it is the only thing that needs to be addressed.
I will end this article with a great comeback that a dear friend gave me. He said that when his doctor told him about losing weight he replied: "I lost two pounds and it happened to come back with four friends."
You can guarantee, I am going to use that comeback when the topic inevitably comes up again.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?