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Driving Me Crazy!!


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UGH, it frustrates me that, LITERALLY, almost every day I hear someone say something about my size, how skinny i look, asking me if i eat, asking me if people call me "olive" from popeye??, etc,etc,etc, ..............ya know, i dont think people realize that comments such as these are JUST as offensive and hurtful as if they were making comments on someone being overweight. seriously, you never hear comments (at least i dont) about people that are over weight, and i work with plenty of them -- and they never get picked on and harrassed about their size. it annoys me because i cant do anything about how skinny i am because my stomach is messed up. i have been trying so hard just to keep my weight where it's at, and even THAT is a challenge in itself, so when people make these comments, it really hurts................. makes me feel like i look gross or something....i dont think i look anorexic, i have always been on the thin side to begin with, i just dont know why people have to open their mouths and make comments about my size.........

B):)

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like for example, about 20 mins ago, i was getting some hot peppers to eat (along with some dinner) and a doc i work with was across the salad bar from me, and i said to him "geez, i should probably stop eating these hot peppers, i've been eating them since i was about four, i'm going to end up burning a hole in my stomach" .............his response was "well, there's not much there to burn in the first place" ....i know he was joking around probably, but when you hear comments like this every day, sometimes MANY TIMES A DAY, it really can start getting to you.............

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I know that people have no right to know about your medical history, but sometimes telling people about your gastroparesis might help them understand that your body-weight isn't under your control.

Even just saying "do you realise that comments like that are very hurful / upsetting?" might make them think twice about commenting in the future.

Sorry that people can be so thoughtless and cause you such upset,

Flop

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that would be very annoying. I have never had a problem either way, but i have friends who eat so much food and dont weigh more than maybe 100 pounds. That would be really annoying to have to deal with day to day, when you cant control it and its because of a health issue. I guess all i can say is try and not let it get to you, because they really arent trying to be mean i dont think, they just say it without thinking about how it could actually affect you.

Just remember that it really doesnt matter what people think, you know the truth and what really goes on in your body and why you are like this, and just try your hardest not to let it get to you, and i know its much easier said than done, my family is really dumb about accepting that i am actually sick, and its not easy to just let their comments breeze by.

Good luck with everything!

((hugs))

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I know it's kinda mean, but I just say something snarky and thoughtless right back. "Joking" is no excuse for hurting someone's feelings.

If it's a relative stranger I just stare at them and say "That was a stupid thing to say"

or in some cases, "It's funny how fat people always feel the need to squeeze in a snarky comment about my weight"

Most people when you call them out so baldly will usually stop and think next time. And although it makes me feel bad to hurt people's feelings (it shouldn't since they hurt mine first, but it still does) it's worth it for the remarks to stop without me having to "explain" things each and every time. I'm slowly learning that being a little bit mean does not make me a bad, or even unlikeable person.

I still have problems with friends trying to make "helpful" comments. I know they're trying to help, but I can't seem to get it across that they're actually doing the opposite.

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Angela,

I'm sorry you have to hear those hurtful comments. I've seen your picture and you are far from looking gross or anorexic. You are beautiful.

If you are comfortable saying something, then I think Flop's suggestion is a good one. Let them know simply and kindly (even though they aren't showing kindness to you) that you are not able to gain weight due to your health problems. You can give as much or as little information as you want. Maybe that would teach them to think twice before making comments about someone's size or appearance. While some have the luxury of being able to control weight, others simply do not.

Hang in there,

Rachel

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thank you all for your comments......it's not good to "harbor" things, i know....sometimes i just think of my response/reaction as just "letting it roll off my shoulder", but i know after many many comments from many many different people, after about 6 months of listening to it all, i find that NONE of it EVER had rolled off my shoulder and that it really hurt....

it is more difficult to address a random comment from someone that has never made ANY comments before about my size (like tonight with that doc) ....that doc has never mentioned anything about my size before, so to go up to him and say that he hurt my feelings and explain to him my stomach problems and etc, i think he'd take that as me just being too sensitive.....now if he had been saying comments to me repeatedly over the past couple months, i then would find it appropriate to approach him and address the problem...............i think the biggest problem is that these are random negative comments coming from random people that i work with -- here and there people so to speak ....the people that i work directly with, on a day to day basis NEVER comment about my weight and if they think i look skinny.........it is just the people i casually pass by in the halls (which BLOWS my mind that people who dont even know me well would speak out such hurtful things! usually it is the people that are closest to you, that perhaps would feel more "comfortable" putting you down or building you up, either way, to make comments whether indirectly or directly to you)..................i would never walk up to someone i barely knew and make comments about their size or their appearance......................so hurtful..........

thanks rachel, i'm glad you dont think i look sickly. funny, reflecting now back about four months ago when the doc down in boston ranted and raved about how "wonderful" i looked, lol, i probably shouldnt have gotten so upset over him saying such things, feeling like he was just discounting my symptoms .................actually thinking about it now makes me feel better, that he thinks i look good! i think i look okay! i dont think i look anything like someone who is anorexic! not even close...i am thin, but that's it.............i guess ultimately it is what I think that matters most, not what others thing..............I know, easy to say because words DO hurt and what people THINK, whether we say we dont care what they think, ultimately i think we do, to an extent. ....we want to be accepted, and want to be loved, want to look good, want to feel good........

..........just never realized how tough this journey could be dealing with illness - not only physically, but emotionally/mentally as well -- with my own personal battles and then warding off the verbal battles of people who just dont understand................

i'm trying my hardest not to let it get to me ........it's very hard when you hear these comments SO MUCH. it would be one thing if i heard this stuff like a couple times a year, but when you hear it LITERALLY every week, sometimes every day,it is upsetting to hear.................

thanks to you all for listening...........i appreciate it.

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hi angela -

first & foremost, i'm sorry that you have to deal with people's insensitive comments. not letting what people say affect you is easier said than done & while i'm lightyears better at it now than i was years ago it's by no means something i can't still relate to. i have actually been on "both sides of the coin" so to speak in regard to weight/ size, aka at different times b/c of health issues have been both overweight & quite slim. and more than either of those i've spent lots of years pretty darn average in that regard. but with that said, i do have a few things to add...

in regard to people not making comments to people who are overweight, i can almost guarantee that that is NOT the reality. sure, people may not say things so openly for the sake of political correctness, b/c more awareness has been raised in recent years, etc. but i guarantee that side-comments, glares, etc are happening for those that are overweight. and i would also hazard to say that in general the comments are even more derogatory & demeaning that what you have to hear regarding being thin. i am not saying this to minimize your frustration & it by no means makes what people are saying to you right, but i did feel the need to add some perspective as someone who has "been there, done that"...even at weights that weren't really overweight at all (and was incredibly active/ healthy/ athletic) b/c of involvement in certain programs with weight requirements.

i do want to point out though that your one example of the situation of the comment made to you in the dining hall was a situation that you probably could have avoided. i'm NOT saying that you intentionally invited the comment. and of course the doc could have just said, "yep, those peppers sure can burn" or something else neutral. but he was put in the position of having to respond to your comment & while i'm not saying he couldn't (and shouldn't) have said something more neutral, comments about food/ eating are generally going to bring about a response that is related to food/ eating/ body/ weight. i'm not trying to give him a pass but just trying to point out to you that there are some situations wherein by not bringing up certain topics you may be able to reduce unwanted comments. should this be your responsibility? no. does it make what others say/ do okay or relieve others of their responsibility? no. but if comments are bothering you it's still away to take some control of the situation in some instances. b/c like it or not there are always going to be people that make thoughtless comments.

i could go on & on with stories (some truly horrific) regarding things that have been said/ done to me in relation to weight - highs & lows - over the years, but will spare you. my latest frustration in this regard (though ultimately a small one) was one of my docs making fun of my commenting that i don't want to lose any more weight, saying that she wishes that was her biggest problem, pretending to play the violin in sarcastic sympathy, etc. it frustrated me to no end b/c she's the one that brought up my weight loss in the first place & i didn't come close to saying it was my biggest concern, only that i'd rather not keep losing. so i do know where you're coming from and know that it's not fun.

and while it doesn't make it painless (as i definitely agree that things tend to pile up even when/ if you try to ignore them), i hope you're able to figure out the right responses - for YOU - in various settings that will make you feel a bit better about things. b/c while i think it's an individual thing re: how to respond, i do think that different people/ settings call for different responses. b/c a random stranger is different than a close friend/ family member who again is still different from an acquaintance or co-worker. and keep in mind that some people may actually think they're paying you a compliment and/or actually be concerned about your health, especially if they've noticed you losing weight; this doesn't mean you hear it that way or that it's okay, but it may be their perception all the same & a simple comment may enlighten them quite readily. b/c while it may not feel any different on the receiving end, i do think someone's intent does matter, i.e. someone making fat/ skinny jokes versus voicing concern.

hang in there,

B) melissa

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I agree with everything Sunfish said.

People make comments everyday that accidentally hurt other people. If they don't mean to be offensive I think you should just forgive them for being ignorant and move on. And hope when you offend people they are equally as forgiving of you.

For example, in your first post, you said quote "seriously, you never hear comments (at least i dont) about people that are over weight, and i work with plenty of them -- and they never get picked on and harrassed about their size. it annoys me because i cant do anything about how skinny i am because my stomach is messed up"

I personally found that offensive. You are commenting on people being over weight. Why? How do you think that makes a person who is reading this board and is over weight feel? Is it any different than the comments you get? Do you think being over weight is a bad thing or worse than being thin if you are wondering why people aren't being mean to them? Then by saying you can't do anything about being skinny you are implying overweight people can do something about being overweight. There are many reasons people are overweight, many can't do any more about their weight than you can.

Yet I am relatively certain you didn't mean to be offensive.

You also said you were offended when a doctor told you that you looked great.

I know that since I have been sick I have been emotionally fragile. It seems like body image is an area where you are very sensitive. You aren't going to change people, the only thing you have control over is yourself. I suggest you work on accepting yourself for who are, and accepting that people who mean well can hurt your feelings.

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Jan,

I dont know if this is what angela meant since i am not her, but the way i took her comment on larger people never get comments about their size, i dont think she was at all inquiring that larger people dont have problems with not losing weight, i think she just meant that society portrays it as mean and hurtful to make a remark to a larger person about their size, but not hurtful to say it to someone who is small.

Again i dont actually know how she meant it at all, but i think she of all people is not going to go and be a hypocrite and say anything to a larger person about their weight struggles.

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Angela,

Being thin myself, I understand you. I always get, are you dieting? Are you losing weight? Are you feeling well you are so thin? You are so thin it's unbelievable! Q-tip, beanpole, olive oyl(get that one too). I enjoy salads, so I normally eat that for lunch or sometimes dinner, well, of course I get, oh so that's how you stay thin, or no wonder you are so thin, you have to get some meat on those bones! Even gotten when I've gone for a sono, wow, we can see right through you,,(boy if that does not reinforce that your thin, I don't know).

I am what I am, and that's all that I am!...... Maybe I have been hanging out with Popeye too long... B)

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This is not what i meant at all ..........I am accepting of EVERYONE, from the thinnest to the biggest ....I have a big heart and love all people, not matter what their outward appearance. the point i was trying to make is that nobody ever runs up to someone who is a bit on the large size and says "wow, your big and should lose some weight" .......there are talk shows upon talk shows of people that get beat up with hurtful words because they are heavy, but do you ever see a talk show on people getting beat up with words because they are thin?? absolutely not - at least i havent..............my point that i was trying to make is that, many people, OUT OF RESPECT, would not walk up to someone and say "you're overweight lose some pounds" because supposedly the "standard" is to be supermodel size. i would completely disagree. who knows, for all I KNOW, those that are overweight, ALSO have a med problem that they struggle with that prevents them from losing weight ..........some people i work with, they wont go up to a person/patient and tell them straight up that they are too big, but will go running back to me or others and start gossiping about the person's size - and guess what, i leave the conversation because it makes me sick.....................

i was NOT trying to be offensive, just pointing out the obvious - that most people, a NORMAL person, would tend to be more sensitive towards someone who is large and not open up their mouth with hurtful words than to someone who is thin. people dont tend to think that a comment thrown here and there to someone who is skinny is offensive, but many WOULD feel it to be offensive to make a comment to someone who is obese. what i'm getting at is IT SHOULD work both ways - whether you're skinny or overweight -- it is offensive to make comments about people's size - shape -- looks - anything superficial . that is not what counts in the first place....if you knew some of my friends, you'd see that they were very overweight, but who cares about that - it's their personality, their friendship that matters most to me ..........

sorry if i came across the wrong way ... perhaps i should avoid posting certaiin topics on here that are on the sensitive side -- i think i've gotten stomped on a few times here for bringing up things that should not have been portrayed in a negative way at all ............if you knew me personally, you would know what i was trying to say with all this.

I agree with everything Sunfish said.

People make comments everyday that accidentally hurt other people. If they don't mean to be offensive I think you should just forgive them for being ignorant and move on. And hope when you offend people they are equally as forgiving of you.

For example, in your first post, you said quote "seriously, you never hear comments (at least i dont) about people that are over weight, and i work with plenty of them -- and they never get picked on and harrassed about their size. it annoys me because i cant do anything about how skinny i am because my stomach is messed up"

I personally found that offensive. You are commenting on people being over weight. Why? How do you think that makes a person who is reading this board and is over weight feel? Is it any different than the comments you get? Do you think being over weight is a bad thing or worse than being thin if you are wondering why people aren't being mean to them? Then by saying you can't do anything about being skinny you are implying overweight people can do something about being overweight. There are many reasons people are overweight, many can't do any more about their weight than you can.

Yet I am relatively certain you didn't mean to be offensive.

You also said you were offended when a doctor told you that you looked great.

I know that since I have been sick I have been emotionally fragile. It seems like body image is an area where you are very sensitive. You aren't going to change people, the only thing you have control over is yourself. I suggest you work on accepting yourself for who are, and accepting that people who mean well can hurt your feelings.

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I am very thin and have been for years!!! And I always, always get comments about it! So, I can definately relate to it with you! For me, it depends on who makes the comment and what they say whether I let it bother me or not. Usually, I end up making jokes about it right back with them until I can tell that they realize how USED to it I am and that they are not original by any means...I've heard it all.

If it's someone I know, for example, my boyfriend's father, I had enough of hearing about it from him, so I took the time to explain to him exactly why it is VERY difficult for me to gain weight, let alone hang onto the little bit of weight I have, with great conviction, and he's left me alone ever since.

Hang in there!

Sarah.

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I've been at both ends due to meds. Over and under. And to top it off, I'm very very short. I used to get asked if I was going to sue the city for building the sidewalks too close to my rear end,etc etc. I actually found it funny too. (I'm sure Nina can relate!)

People didn't pick on me when I was over weight, (My gastro did say at one point I had "a long way to go" before I needed to worry about my weight loss. He eats those words every time he sees me now, but he is more bothered by it than me) but I have no doubt comments were made, I've heard more than I care to think about, when people are talking about other people. Now people say I'm too thin. I get more comments now, but I have never taken it as a negative. Unless someone just comes out and says I'm fat, or accuses me of being anorexic, I just assume they care about how I am. Call me naive, but I just don't let what people feel or think about my weight or height bother me.

I think all that doctor meant was, you are thin. Well, you apparently are, so he was just making an accurate statement. I have far more problems with "you look so good, so you can't feel bad." I don't think there's female on earth who doesn't have a few body image problems, and we just have to deal with them as best we can, because there's always going to be someone sticking their foot in it, depending on how sensitive you are.

I guess my point is, if the worst thing anyone ever says about me is, I'm pudgy, skinny, or short, I will feel fortunate. My guess is I get more comments on my attitude than my physical appearance...LOL. I'm a whole lot crankier than I used to be. B)

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Like Morgan, I think most of us are bothered by the YOU LOOK SO GOOD COMMENT...aka how the **** can you be SICK nuance.

Frankly, I have learned to chooose my battles and frankly, if I were ABLE TO STILL WORK as you are be GRATEFUL.

Learn to lighten up and have a sense of humor.

I have been fat and I have been thin. Develop thicker skin.

If they comment on your thin ness, say "Thanks...I have anorexia and am working on getting so skinny that when I turn sideways I disappear"

Or if one is too heavy, just say "I have the opposite of anorexia, I never think I am fat enough." If you have great DELIVERy to such comments it can OFTEN make folks laugh to break the tension of the comment and then cause dialogue...usually like "I didn't mean that to sound the way it did".

Frankly, with all the problems I battle with this junk, i Just have moved on ALLOWING others opinions to define who I am.

JMO.

Also, I think MOST OF us loathe the "BUT YOU LOOK SO GOOD!"

Course, I have heard folks say that to dead people in their caskets.....so it.s all relative you know?

:(

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i've been skinny for ever, but am gaining weight for last two or three months. i've found it difficult when people told me that i could take another cooky because it didn't seem to matter (in a not so nice way), while i just didn't want one, as i had just had dinner (think you know what i mean!). when these remarks hurt(ed) me, i just told that. i told people how much trouble i had to stay at a (more or less) healthy weight and how doctors ALWAYS want to check my thyroid (that, btw, is and always has been perfectly okay!). and guess what: people just hadn't a clue! they never thought of having to struggle not to loose weight instead of not to gain weight. for them it was a real eye opener which made them understand (which was just what i was looking for).

when people tell me how good i look, i've learned to take it as a compliment. AND tell that. who says that they are thinking: how can YOU be sick??? maybe they just want to be nice to me (or maybe they just MEAN it :(:lol: ). i've leanred that, now that i take it as a compliment i get very much joy out of it (which is very good for my ego :lol::lol: ). maybe you should give it a try, it might help you!

take care,

corina :)

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Angela I am truly sorry your feelings were hurt,people really do say dumb things,some intentional,some not.

I have been overweight my entire life,even now when I am so ill. Trust me people have said many nasty and mean things to me,the remarks are very hurtful. As I get older,I guess I just roll with the punches,hope you will be able to do that.I know that I am a good person fat or thin,as I am sure you are.One other thing,being heavy forever,I used to think telling someone "your so thin" was a compliment,I guess we all have alot to learn. Oh I also get that"you look good" all the time ,that still bothers me. Pat

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I know from experience how hurtful it can be when someone comments on your appearance--even if it is meant to be harmless or even a compliment. And some people are downright cruel. In high school I was 115 lbs and 5'10" and I remember the hurtful comments--even from friends--into my mid-20's, where I finally got up to 125 lbs +/-. I think when you are younger you are naturally more body conscious and comments more hurtful. As I got older I began to understand and internalize that when someone is mean, intentionally or not, the problem is in them, not in you. Sometimes it is actually jealousy on their part. Often it is bad feelings they have about themselves that they are expressing. Understanding this helped me manage my feelings. Humor also helps. So does self-acceptance. Self-acceptance for me has been a long process. I am still working on being comfortable in my own skin and with who I am.

I am not sure the story, and the process of self-acceptance, is any different for a thin person than for an over-weight person, or for anyone who has any perceived "flaw" or is "different" (this would cover most of the human population probably). This is not to downplay your very real hurt and frustration, just to say it is part of the human experience.

I think you've gotten some great advice on how to respond--either to a commentator or within yourself!

Take care,

Katherine

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katherine, I too have had to deal with this my entire 25 years and hopefully it wont continue the rest of my life! I am 114 at 5'8', I have a twin that doesnt have any of these problems (medical), she weighs 140 and 5'8' also -- and I always get compared to her, which also bugs me to the face of the earth! I have been very self conscious BECAUSE of all these comments over all these years.....

......if it's not enough to feel like you are defective to some because you have physical limitations in dealing with chronic illness, you have to dump on LOOKS to feel like you're not attractive enough, too skinny, and too, limited and/or defective in that way as well....I dont mean to have a "woe is me" sob session here, it just hurts to hear comments when i already have enough on my plate to deal with...........I havent been in a relationship with a guy for about four years now, mainly because I hold MYSELF back because i have believed the lies of people who say, BASICALLY, "you're no good" -- too physically limited, too confined, too skinny, too this, too that...............it's a saga that goes WAY BACK to day one and it just came out here on dinet with the "weight" factor and peoples comments/how they view me....... perhaps it's just a self esteem thing that I need to work on, and I just shouldnt let what people say get to me.................

anyway all, thanks for listening/commenting. i know you gals understand.

-Angela.

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Hi Angela,

it is very easy to focus on visible things like weight both for us as patients and for others arround us as it is easily visible and hard to disguise.

I'm having weight issues myself at the moment. I'm 5'7" and used to weigh 125lbs. At University I was too thin at 110lbs and got comments from people. I especially remember a class where we were taught to measure body fat percentage with skin fold calipers. My classmate got mine to be 13% and the tutor said that wasn't possible so hauled me out to the front of the class to measure me herself - she got me to be 11% body fat. At that time I had a healthy (but dairy free diet) and was exercising a lot. Looking back at photos of me then I look skeletal and gaunt.

During my time at uni I put on weight and reached a balance at 128lbs which suited me, I was a happy size 10 and looked balanced (if rather flat chested!!).

A while after leaving University I developed POTS. Since then my exercise ability has been severely limited and I have had 2 prololnged courses of prednisolone as well as continuous fludrocortisone. My appetite didn't go up massively but I continued eating "what I felt like". Without the exercise to balance things my weight has increased to 155lbs (size 14/16). I now feel "fat" and am very self-conscius about my body. I know that lots of people weigh far more than I do but I am just not comfortable at this weight.

What is frustrating is that people comment on how I've gained weight. Some say that I look healthier now but although I know it is meant as a compliment, I interpret it as a negative comment.

I'm fortunate that I can probably control my weight with some will-power (don't have much of that at the end of a potsy day at work) even if I manage to stop gaining so I don't end up really obese. I have realised that it is how I feel about myself that is most important - the comments hurt because I am not happy in my body.

Have you thought about trying to work with a psychologist? Often exploring your hidden feelings can help you understand how you feel and help you to work on feeling happier with yourself.

Flop

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I was on both sides of the fence. I was told I must be anorexic because I lost 25 pounds in two months when I crashed hard with my POTS symptoms. I weighed about 145 pounds just before the POTS crash at 5 ft. 4 1/2 in.

I carry it well, and could still wear a size 10. Then after the 25 pound weight loss I went down to a 6.

After being put on POTS meds I started gaining my weight back. Then cervical spine surgery/steroids added----and gained an extra 20 pounds----ending up at about 160----- :unsure:. Still carrying my weight fairly well, I only went up to a size 12--------------then I was considered OBESE, and my POTS wasn't taken all that seriously----and it was more of a "deconditioning" problem, despite all the spine issues/ cervical/cranial instability, EDS, and hashemotos thyroid. The majority of my life I was very thin, and sometimes dealt with a few comments on how skinny I was, even until my late 30s----until my weight was more average.

Now I have lost most of the extra weight I gained, but it's hard to do when i'm so limited on what I can do.

I feel that overweight people have a definate predjudice against them in society, expecially the medical community.

I have done my own personal investigating on this one--- ;):angry: I have watched my own medical treatment change in just a few months, but I have witnessed much worse. Many overweight people with very serious medical problems are completely dismissed by some physicians. Some so severe-----------THEY DIE. From neglect! It happened to my own mother. She was full of cancer, and did not get taken seriously until two days before she died. Diagnosed of terminal cancer on one day----gone two days later. Her lesions in her liver two years ago were considered------- "fatty lesions". Hmmmm, maybe if they did a biopsy she would be here today, or at least had hospice care to improve the quality of her life, but hospice was not there until the last three hours.

Whatever the reason for someone's weight being higher then the desired weight, no one should be treated that way. All patients should be treated equally---------------AS A RESPECTED PATIENT.

My EDS diagnoses was delayed, but fortunately it was not delayed long, as I knew better, and took matter into my OWN hands, and continued to advocate for myself until I found doctors who were more interested in my medical condition, and not how I looked on the outside. It was considered that due to my "body type" that I could not possibly have EDS. I wasn't THIN enough. I even said I was very thin most of my life until the meds caused some weight gain.

I think this doctor feels differently about it now that he/she is more educated on EDS, and knows all the different types of it that exist. But I worry about people who are 50 pounds or more overweight--------------------they get it worse......... :blink:

When people commented on how thin I was is was nothing compared to being called OBESE, and deconditioned by a nurse practioner when going to an appointment for POTS complications. I never cared about the "thin" comments. However, I didn't think it was nice for people to think I was anorexic just from a 25 pound weight loss. I was still a normal weight for my height.

Either way-----------I needed good medical care. Dang, I just looked too good.

Woman in general are not taken seriously by the medical community sometimes, but being overweight makes getting the proper and TIMELY medical care much more difficult to get. Thin folks are sometimes not taken seriously either, especially if they are a woman, but I think the overweight community has it much worse.

Ok----off my soap box---------------------------- for now-- ;)

Maxine :0)

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Since getting ill, I've sometimes been asked whether I'm PREGNANT because I have skinny arms and legs and carry all of my weight around my stomach. I was very thin before getting sick and gained about 15 lbs (on my 5'3" frame) when I got sick, all of which is on my belly. Now I have lost about 5 of that and STILL got asked if I was pregnant as recently as last week. Although I laugh it off, it does strike a nerve because I've lost myself (the way I am used to looking) to POTS. I have a closet full of clothes I can't fit into...which I have held onto for 3+ years in the hopes that I will fit into them again! I think that is your point - a sense of loss - and we all feel this whether or not we are able to work. So, cardiactec, I can understand how you feel.

Although you probably WILL develop a "thick skin" to these comments over time as others suggest, this is easier said than done and the comments still hurt.

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Oh Angela-

When I was much younger, I had to deal with the same thing- dozens of comments a day. I was sooo tired of it (and so immature) that I sometimes blurted out "Really? must be the chemo..." I loved seeing the horrified look on the busybodys' faces. I'm not recommending my tactic, but it certainly shut perfect strangers up.

Now, at 45 y/o, I'm, 130lbs. at 5'9" and feel downright "chubby." But, I'm so confident in myself that others comments just blow around me. Rather than defining me, their comments tell me who they are.

It's all in you, sweetie. You are not WHO others perceive you to be. You are perfect just as you are. You are not defective in any way. I think you're incredibly strong and brave to work as hard as you do with such severe symptoms. You deal beautifully in the midst of amazing adversity. YOU are a role model to anyone. Hold your head high.

Julie

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