Medical Gaslighting

Medical gaslighting is a form of abuse prevalent in the medical community especially with minorities and women. If the phrase it is all in your head sounds familiar then you may have experienced it.

As a plus sized, biological female, I have my fair share of stories to tell. The phrase if you would just loose weight then X is very familiar to me. Apparently weight loss can heal anything from a torn tendon, hypothyroidism, and PCOS to mono.

Getting a second opinion is like second nature to me at this point. It took me 2 months of antibiotics and steroid packs for acute thyroiditis and strep through until my family at their wits end finally took me to an endocrinologist during a huge snow storm for me to be diagnosed with mono. One simple blood test missed over and over again because of my weight and medical bias.

Crippling periods with heavy blood loss and pain so bad I would vomit from the ages of 12-20 were not addressed until I ended up in the ER for a terrible stomach bug and they incidentally found ovarian cysts. Some of this was exacerbated by doctors saying just take an advil it cant be that bad and loose 50 pounds and join the military you will be fine. It did not help that the one doctor who offered me birth control for the pain at 15 was told no because it broke my Catholic mother’s heart.

At 20 I ended up getting an ovarian cyst removed. After the surgery I lost over ten pounds and two pants sizes. Then my thyroid went and it took two years to get a diagnosis which ballooned me up 100 pounds and now I am told the only thing that will fix me is weight loss surgery.

I am not sure how my doctors can advise weight loss surgery when I have had crippling abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, 2 ER trips, 6 biopsies, 2 diagnostic surgeries and still no answers. I will not let anyone advocate removing part of my digestive track prior to finding out whats wrong with it.

Loosing half my body weight will only cure the fact that physicians have trouble looking at me, not my pain.

All this to say I have a chronic illness and I am working on getting healed but it is difficult when I am told it is all in my head or that it will all go away if I just loose weight.

Love and light

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