Thursday, February 17, 2011

We're on a Roll!

Sorry for two negative posts in a row. I'm a little behind in my "scheduled posts" so you are getting in-real-time junk right now.

One of my least favorite activities in the world is going to the doctor. (The one exception to that would be OB appointments involving ultrasounds. Those were always a lot of fun.) I put off going to the doctor for as long as possible--sometimes much longer than I should. The point of this being that it takes a big scare or a really freakish symptom to make me set up an appointment. I might be something of a hypochondriac, but I'm a hypochondriac only in the privacy of my own home.

Back in November I hurt my knee while running on our treadmill. At the time it really felt as though it was a tendon or ligament problem. The pain was pretty gnarly when I put weight on it or moved it but became pretty tolerable under the combination of basic pain relievers and immobility. I decided that it just needed to rest for a bit and then would be fine. So that's the plan I went with. Ever since then, however, I have developed a slightly strange symptom. Every time I get on the treadmill I end up with a dull ache-y pain around my kneecap and my calf swells up. It's the swelling that freaked me out. My calf on that side swells up an inch or more--I noticed it initially because my right calf was straining against my jeans while my left was just normal. You can tell just by looking at it. If you do an internet search for "calf swelling" you will probably understand why I bit the bullet and made myself an appointment.

I wasn't going in there looking for a cure to this problem. I just wanted to make sure the swelling wasn't an indication of some really nasty problem. I was also hoping for some tips on how to keep my self-injuries to a minimum, but I know that this sort of thing is common when one is overweight and trying to exercise. I might be fat but I'm not stupid.

The doctor was incredibly short with me. She did not introduce herself or say anything about the doctor who was shadowing her for the day. (The shadowing doctor managed to explain her presence to me when it became apparent that the "main" one wasn't going to do it.) Even though I stressed that I really just wanted to know whether or not to be concerned about the swelling, she was uber-focused on the knee pain--which is practically non-existent at this point. I can tell you with absolute certainty that she thought I was ridiculous for coming in for something that I could control with over the counter pain meds. Her tone was condescending and she did everything short of rolling her eyes at me.

Her brilliant tip for how to keep my self-injuries to a minimum? Lose weight, of course.

I really want to rant and rave here, but I'm going to try not to. (I've already held back considerably in what I've said about the doctor. Let's just say that I'm not a big fan and leave it at that.) Right now I am stuck in this vicious cycle. I can only get to a certain point with my weight loss through diet. My metabolism alone isn't getting the job done; I need to exercise! However, every time I start exercising I hurt my knee because of my weight. In other words, in order to exercise without hurting myself I need to lose weight but I need to exercise in order to lose the weight.

See what I mean? Vicious. Cycle.

It's not that I'm surprised at the outcome of this appointment. I'm just frustrated. I'm frustrated with the medical system and with myself. This whole situation sucks. I'm going to be spending the next few days trying to come up with a good game plan.

Anyone else have a good whine or feel like venting? What's frustrating you today?


  1. I HATE doctors like that. Why get into medicine if you suck at dealing with people? I think my worst experience yet was when I visited a doctor because I was regularly having very scary chest pains. I was treated like I was making it up for attention or I was being a drama queen. Eventually (after several follow up visits) they decided that I might have a sore/hole in my esophagus.

  2. Does it hurt to walk? Do you have access to a pool or elliptical machine? Those are great ways to work out without stressing the joints too much.



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