This morning, I woke up to more negativity on Facebook. I sighed and blocked yet another rando who decided to chime in on my flippant comment on Carolyn Hax’s advice column. I wrote about that situation yesterday, but for those who don’t want to read my rant, here’s a brief synopsis.
A woman in her mid 50s, describing herself as obese, was complaining about her gynecologist’s insistence on harping about her weight at every appointment. The woman wrote that she discusses her weight with her internist, and had engaged the services of a professional personal trainer. The letter writer was annoyed by her gyno’s fixation on her weight, especially since the doctor’s suggestions were not workable for her. She was seeking advice on what she should do about the doctor’s unwanted warnings about her weight issues.
Carolyn’s advice was to find another doctor, or be more assertive about asking the doctor to stop fixating on her weight. She wrote that if the letter writer was too nervous about confronting the doctor verbally, she should write a letter. I agreed with Carolyn’s advice, and yesterday’s long winded rant spelled out the reasons why I agree. A lot of other readers did not agree, and felt that the woman should simply follow the gyno’s orders, annoying as they might be to her.
I was one of the first people to comment on the Facebook post about this column. I wrote “Get another doctor, or be like me and don’t go.” It was kind of a flippant remark, but I was being serious on one level. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I don’t go to doctors very often at all. I realize that many people would say that’s unwise, especially since I can afford to go. But medical situations– at least when they involve me, personally– make me a bit crazy.
In yesterday’s post, I wrote about a woman named Winnie Jay who blasted me and someone who responded to me, then called me “girl”. Winnie Jay doesn’t know me, and doesn’t know the origin of my comment. Like it or not, avoiding doctors is one very effective way to avoid being lectured about weight loss. It may not be the wisest thing to do, if you want to maintain your health. But it truly is an effective way to silence the shaming, at least from a doctor.
I wasn’t offering advice, though, when I wrote “don’t go.” I don’t expect that the letter writer was reading comments from randos on Facebook to find out what she should do. She wrote to Carolyn Hax, not the Overeducated Housewife. 😉 I was just responding in a flippant way to the column… that is, in a way in which I’m sure a whole lot of people can relate. Who wants to spend money to hear a doctor tell them they’re fat? Duh… most fat people already know they’re fat, and a lot of people have already considered the obvious solutions to that problem.
If I wanted serious advice on losing weight, I certainly wouldn’t consult a gynecologist. The vast majority of physicians don’t actually get that much training on that topic in medical school and can’t offer advice that works. Most of them can only offer drugs and surgeries. If I wanted to lose weight, I’d probably visit a nutritionist and a personal trainer. If that didn’t work and I was still determined, I might go to a doctor who specializes in bariatric surgery.
Why waste time discussing weight loss at a 15 minute routine gyno appointment, when you could be talking about more specialized topics that a gynecologist would be better able to address, like coping with menopause or enjoying sex during middle age? Especially when the letter writer– obviously someone who values maintaining her good health– is already addressing her weight issues with her general practitioner? Or, at least she claims to be doing that… but why would she lie about seeing a GP?
After yesterday, I thought maybe that pithy comment would be part of my history, but then I woke up to a tag from another young woman who is now on my block list. She wrote something along the lines of, “Sure, don’t go to the doctor, get a disease that goes unchecked, and die. Stupid advice.” That this person called my “advice” (which my comment wasn’t meant to be) “stupid” is what prompted me to block her. I figure if it’s her first inclination to insult strangers online, she’s not someone I want to know, or need to engage with further. Life is short. Especially when you don’t visit the doctor on a regular basis. 😉
At first I was pretty annoyed about the second person’s comment. It stings to be insulted by another person, even when it’s a stranger. But then, after talking to Bill over our breakfast of blueberry pancakes, bacon, and coffee, I came to a conclusion about the weight obsessed gynecologist. And it was all due to the obnoxious comment from that stranger. Perhaps the rude rando did me a solid, after all.
And now… about today’s blog post title.
A few days ago, I was watching random YouTube videos and I came across one by a content creator called “Fixin it”. The channel is about how to do minor household and car repairs. The video that attracted my attention was titled “How to TURN OFF the Annoying SEATBELT ALARM BEEPS CHIMES”. See below:
The guy who runs the “Fixin It” channel explained that sometimes the seatbelt alarms go off when they aren’t necessary. In today’s nannyish world, where we have warning chimes and flashing lights for every hazard, the warnings can be overkill. Or, maybe there’s some kind of malfunction in the software or hardware that make those alarms go off when they aren’t needed.
I used to drive a Toyota Corolla and the alarm would go off whenever I put something in the passenger seat. In my car, the alarm would turn off after about fifteen seconds, but sometimes they’d keep sounding. That’s pretty annoying and potentially dangerous, especially if you’re the only one in the car, you’re wearing the seatbelt, and you just want to rock out to the Doobie Brothers while you’re “rockin’ down the highway”. The warning chimes can be distracting and cause unnecessary stress.
I was curious about the comments. Most people were delighted by the guy’s practical advice. They had all consulted YouTube to find out what to do about the annoying nanny chimes in their cars, and the “Fixin It” channel had really helped them. A few people wrote to say that the advice hadn’t worked for them, which is bound to happen sometimes. And I wasn’t surprised to see comments chastising Fixin’ It for offering advice on how to disarm an important safety feature in a car. Below is a small sampling of those reactions…
Or.. and follow me close on this one, buckle your seat belt.
could also make a video on how you dont survive an accident for not wearing seatbelt. because the only reason you want the beep off is you dont wear it and it keeps beeping
dude really? it’s there to save your life.
Not a good act to show
I wouldn’t recommend doing this
I like beeps because it warn me I am not wearing seat belt
You “fix” it by wearing your seatbelt lmao
Here’s a brainwave! If you wore your seat belt as the law dictates, you wouldn’t have any warning noise.
y’all can just buckle up bro.
It seems so simple, right? Just buckle your seatbelt and you won’t hear the beeping. Except sometimes you don’t want to put stuff on the floor of your car, and you don’t want to have to buckle all of the belts to prevent the chimes from going off while you drive. And some of us don’t need a warning chime to do the right thing. Some of us are married to a man who turns into Pat Boone if they don’t buckle up. 😉
There I was, talking about Carolyn Hax’s advice column with Bill, thinking about the two insulting comments those two women– neither of whom know a fucking thing about me– decided to leave for me like sprays from shitstorms, as opposed to rays of sunshine. And then it dawned on me. They weren’t unlike the incessant seatbelt alarms. Then I realized that the obnoxious OB-GYN was even MORE like the seatbelt alarm that won’t turn off.
I stopped to think about that letter again and realized these things:
- The letter writer self identified as obese. She knows she’s fat.
- It’s not possible for a person to lose weight immediately, as the doctor suggests it. It takes time and effort.
- The letter writer has written that she is taking steps to lose weight and get fit. She says she’s hired a personal trainer and works out with them three times a week. It’s true that exercise alone usually doesn’t help people lose weight as much as eating fewer calories does. But it is an important, health promoting step to take, and it is a sign that she’s doing something to be healthier.
- The letter writer clearly cares about her health. She not only sees a gynecologist regularly, but she also sees a general practitioner. That’s more than a whole lot of people do.
- Although a lot of people think fat people are liars (and I’ve blogged about that phenomenon, too), I see no reason to assume the letter writer is lying about what she’s been doing to improve her health.
- Even if she is lying, she’s mainly only hurting herself by doing so. Continuing to nag her about her weight isn’t helpful, and might even be harmful, if she decides she no longer wants to visit the gyno.
I’ve mentioned that I very seldom go to doctors. I probably should go to one, especially now that I’ve hit menopause (or so I assume– it’ll be official in January if I don’t have a period). But I don’t go to doctors because I was harmed by a couple of them. Both were overly concerned and very critical about my weight when I had come to them for help with other issues. One of them actually physically hurt me and left me with some pretty awful trauma issues.
My decision to not see a doctor could be disastrous if I placed a high value on living for a long time (which I don’t). Or, my decision to see a doctor could be disastrous if I see one that gives me bad advice or just blows me off (see this post for an example of a situation like that), blaming all of my issues solely on my weight. It sure is annoying to have to PAY for that experience, especially when it turns out there actually was a pretty serious issue going on that had nothing to do with weight. Or, I could do everything right and still die in my 50s because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time (see here for an example of that scenario).
Life is a crapshoot. The one thing that is certain, for every single one of us, is that someday, we WILL all die. There is no escaping it. And while most people want to live for as long as possible, some folks would just as soon leave the party early. And then there are people who wouldn’t mind staying longer, but don’t have a date, have no transportation home, and/or can’t afford the bar bill. 😉
If you are an especially risk averse person, you might choose to go see every kind of doctor there is, listen to everything they say, and follow their advice religiously. Maybe, if you can afford to do that, and you still have time to do anything else, you might enjoy a long, healthy, pain free life. But most of us can’t do that, nor would we WANT to do it. Moreover, if you ever venture outside of your bed, you’re going to be at risk of freak accidents that could kill you faster than cancer and diabetes ever could. And hearing the same annoying warning chimes from one doctor, when we’ve already been “buckled up” by another, isn’t effective or useful. Sometimes, it’s necessary to turn off the seatbelt warning chimes to stay safe, and get from point A to point B without having a wreck.
So, I stand by my flippant “non-advice” for the letter writer to find another doctor or, if she doesn’t want to hear the incessant fat shaming warnings, simply stop seeing her (or any other) gyno. Like it or not, she’s going to die someday, anyway. It might even happen when she’s rockin’ down the highway, listening to the Doobie Brothers, while grimacing in annoyance at the sounds of the malfunctioning seatbelt warning chimes.