Friday, November 7, 2014

Sanctioned Nagging

I'm mad. I would tell you about the underhanded fat-shaming tactics used by my son's doctors, but I'm don't want to. What I intend to do is change doctors. I'm done with these people. I couldn't even stand to call them when Nick sprained his wrist because I knew they would make the whole session into a problem with his weight. The piss ants. Today, we arrived to get a shot, just a shot. Without my knowledge, the doctor scheduled a visit to 'check his blood pressure' and consult with her. The last few times his blood pressure has been high because he was nervous and was going to get a shot. Well, my blood pressure goes up when I'm scared and nervous too. They used that as an excuse to lecture us about his weight yet again. The last half dozen visits, no matter what they were intended to be about, a knee injury, a shot, a stomach ache, were focused primarily on his weight. Leave the poor kid alone, won't you?

Here's the thing that I shouldn't have to tell you. Nick doesn't drink soda. He doesn't even drink juice. He doesn't eat sugar except a small amount on Halloween and Easter. He eats salads every other day or so. He gets exercise nearly every day.  The poor kid has been struggling to eat healthy since he was in kindergarten. We took him to a nutritionist then and it became my job to nag him about his food. This woman had no children and wanted him to eat only salads, eggs, grilled chicken, and oatmeal made with flax seed oil. I couldn't even eat that shit. We quit with her and after a couple more years of nagging, these doctors convinced us to bring him to 'Wellness' sessions at Children's Hospital. The doctor there said, after six months of strenuous effort and no results, that he didn't keep track of his overall success, but that he had to admit that he didn't see improvement with most of his clients. In the meantime, another nutritionist had us at each others throats, blaming even Mike, for bad 'eating hygiene' even though he wasn't there to defend himself. When I realized that Nick was just feeling worse and worse about himself, I quit the program cold turkey. We could try to proceed with the recommendations we were given, but the nagging and finger-pointing had to stop. Still, Nick's primary doctors were still at it, weighing him at every turn and quizzing him about exercise and soda. The worst part is that these doctors have convinced me to nag him, to push him, and yes, to shame him into eating differently and getting more exercise.

One doctor rolled her eyes when I told her he didn't even drink soda. Plus, she made Nick, then only nine, feel really bad about himself. She was fired immediately after that appointment. The other doctors have been a little more subtle, but not much. Most of their consultations have consisted of coded conversations about his health, his exercise, and his blood pressure. It still left me feeling like I needed to nag and shame more rather than less. Well, shit. I'm sick of it.

Nick has been on steroids all his life for his asthma. Within two weeks of having pneumonia at the age of four, he's been on steroids almost constantly and sometimes oral as well as inhaled. He's had six bouts of pneumonia and countless other encounters with his asthma. The steroids have wrecked his metabolism. Oh sure, he could try to be perfect when it comes to carbohydrates and fat, but he does okay until he starts trying to eat the way his friends do. I'm convinced that he wouldn't be human if he tried any harder.

And after eight years of nagging sanctioned by his doctors, I'm finally convinced that nagging him, shaming him, and coercing him in any way is not helping. In fact, it has done more harm than good.

Thank you for listening, jules

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