Fat and Not Afraid

Respect and love are for EVERY body.

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My Fat Pain in the Ass

October 8, 2011

So sorry for the delay in posting, folks! My net has been down the last little bit. Enjoy Carolyn's post!

My Fat Pain In The Ass
The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about being fat and in pain.  In case this is the first of my posts that you are reading, let me throw out a few statistics.  I am 5 feet 8 inches tall and approximately 370 lbs, and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia earlier this year (after approximately 15 years of symptoms).  So anyway, pain.  Living in a fat body with fibromyalgia, I actually experience several different types of pain on a fairly regular, if not daily basis.  Because I have an upcoming doctor's appointment, in which I plan to be asking to reevaluate my prescription pain intervention, I have been ruminating over the issues of being fat and in pain.  I am scared to ask my doctor for more pain medication.  Just writing that sentence makes half my brain seize up like a scared 5 year old, and the other half looks at it and goes "man you're a wingnut! why are you scared?!"  The latter half, dear blog readers, is what I want to discuss today. Why, exactly, am I scared?
I am utterly terrified of being told, once again, eat less exercise more.  After 15 years, I finally have a doctor who is willing to acknowledge that the health symptoms I have are not solely based on my weight and I am scared of losing her trust if I appear to be a fatty-fat-fatterson who wants to escape my fat life with narcotic pain killers.  I am petrified of someday, looking back, and realizing that mass-media was right; I could have avoided a life of pain, if only I had ate less and exercised more.  The last thought is one that really gets down into the cockles of my psyche about fat, pain, and fibromyalgia.  I am scared to approach the doctor about medicating my pain because I am not even sure I believe my own self about it.  (Let me just put a note here that says: yes, I am in therapy.)  I think, like most fat people, I have internalized that voice that says "ZOMG YOU'RE FAT! NOTHING WILL EVER MATTER UNTIL YOU ARE UN-FATTIFIED!"  It is truly a disconcerting feeling to not be able to trust ones own self and physical sensations because of an unrelenting barrage of voices and opinions that say fat people can not be trusted.  We can not be trusted to take care of ourselves, to eat what we need, or to move like we need. There is a pervasive, cultural myth that fat people are doughy, whiny, babies, who can't stand the slightest amount of discomfort. 

 If I had a pensive (yay Harry Potter reference!) that would allow you to see into my brain, you would be able to see the master general that stands in the back of my mind and judges every painful sensation I have as punishment for being fat.  Breathing hurts your chest? it's because your fat. Despite the fact that intercostal muscle pain is common in Fibromites.  Difficulty walking due to siezed or charly-horsed muscles? Your body is just straining under your fat.  Despite the fact that I do have thin Fibromite friends who have a similar issue.  Obviously, mine is because of fat and their's is because of a medical issue.  I could go on and on with this list, but I think the point is clear.  I want to explain to people that, yes, I am fat, but when I have pain medication (like my current vicodin Rx) I am able to walk, talk, and function like a normal person regardless of my size.  Without pain medication, I become a bitchy, unhappy, lump on the couch who can't even hold a conversation because of the distraction the pain causes.  

To summarize:  What I have realized is that I am scared because I have a lifetime of training for it.  The only way to move past it is to practice a new skill - self compassion.  I will be asking my doctor to evaluate my pain prescriptions.  If she can't do that, then I will find a doctor who can.  The master general in my brain will probably never go away completely. . . but at least I can demote it to deck hand or something.

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