Feeding the Elephant

I woke up this morning feeling like Grade A Horse Pootie, but the day was saved by my consult with an allergist.

First of all, the guy bursts into the room like a smarter, savvier Kramer from the old Jerry Seinfeld show, carrying on three conversations with himself while reading my chart.  I could feel my hair blown back by the gale winds.  His interviewing technique had me choking with laughter.  But when he actually addressed my obesity, I knew I’d found the right doc.

There’s just something about the elephant in the room when said elephant is me.  My GP walks around it.  My shrink pokes it once then pretends she didn’t.  But, Dr. Brown talked to me—about my diet, my exercise routine, my compulsive eating, gastric bypass, new studies about the benefits of near-starvation (I nodded politely), how obesity affects respiratory disorders and all the rest.  Granted, he talked so fast and unloaded so much information I didn’t have much of a chance to respond.  But, I appreciated the guy’s guts.  Telling someone they’re obese is not a popular move.

So, I happily went through the breathing tests, and allergy pricks, and chest X-ray.  I had a feeling this doctor could actually help me.

And, lo, I find I have asthma, and I’m allergic to dust mites.

I was surprised by the asthma diagnosis.  But, Doc said that when every head cold goes to the chest, that’s a sure sign.  And that would be me.

The dust mites are a fairly easy fix.  I have to buy special Baggies to put around my box springs, mattress and pillows; wash my bedding in hot water more often; vacuum and dust more often.  I can do all that.

The asthma will be a process, though. Doc gave me a bunch of drug samples to try.  When we find one that works, his office will help me get on that drug company’s patient assistance program (like I did with my psychotropic meds), since, of course, this won’t be cheap.

I have to say I’m not thrilled about taking medication, but this time I understand the science behind them.  Asthma lowers the lung’s tolerance for irritation.  Pile on too many irritants and the lungs go nuclear.  So, to be healthier, keep the lungs happy.  I get that.  And I’m willing to take medication to make that happen.

I’m also willing to work with this wild-man medic.  I know when I see him in a month, he’ll throw more case studies and statistics at me about obesity while making sure I get the care I need—feeding the elephant instead of ignoring it.  I like his style.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheryl Mae
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 20:50:20

    Well, and there you have it. I’m so glad you like this new doc. Kramer was always my favorite – skidding into the room, crazy as a bedbug (oh, sorry), and yet lovable. Hope he finds things that will make you healthier all ’round – pun intended.


  2. Fiddle gal
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 22:19:56

    Girl, you are right on with your writing. This is a great piece. Put this at the top. I am also glad you got to the bottom of your being sick. Hopefully you will have a better winter.


  3. Kathryn McCullough
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 07:10:37

    Holy humor, Sandy! I’m so thrilled you found you Kramer with a stethoscope! Think he’ll prescribe a low-flow or high-flow shower?


  4. pegoleg
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 09:17:55

    I’ve always loved that word-picture, of the elephant in the room.

    Last night I had a meltdown. A bunch of church-ladies brought a smorgasbord of sweets to this place and I could have all I wanted with nobody watching. I devoured 2 huge brownies, maybe 3 congo bars, and one of those big, greasy, salty mall pretzels. I had to leave early because I thought I was going to throw up. I went home feeling sick in mind, heart and stomach.

    After losing 54 pounds, I look like “them” on the outside now, But the elephant is still in the room, and probably always will be. And that elephant is still me, and probably always will be. It’s so, so discouraging.


    • Sandy Sue
      Dec 07, 2011 @ 16:53:43

      Bless your heart. People think once the weigh comes off you can relax. But each day we start over. Each choice is just as hard as the last one. I hope today you’ve had time to forgive yourself and move on to the next choice.


  5. Tina Axley
    Dec 09, 2011 @ 15:05:46

    I have seen Dr. Brown and you are right. He looked me right in the eye and said “You are going to die young.” so seriously and yet compassionately, because I smoke. My family doctor always said “I know you know it’s bad for you, so I won’t say anything more.” His frankness shocked me and yet I appreciated it. This was years ago. I’m sure if he saw me now, he would also address my weight! Glad he can help you! He’s one of those rare finds.


    • Sandy Sue
      Dec 09, 2011 @ 19:25:15

      We take those gifts when we stumble upon them, right?
      Tina, thank you for sending me Gram’s journal. What an amazing gift. I’ll keep it safe (also the fun vintage cards).


  6. Tina Axley
    Dec 09, 2011 @ 20:38:47

    Sandy, I have treasured that journal for years. I practically know it by heart. I felt it was time to pass it on, and you were the one I knew who would love it like I did. I think she would want you to have it.


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