Friday, May 16, 2008

A Bum Pizza, and a Lie

Last night Brandon woke me up from my requisite nap and asked what I wanted for dinner. I responded with a grunt, which he intuitively understood to mean pizza. So he goes off to Little Caesar’s, while I snuggle deeper into the covers, with no intention of ever waking up. But well, I eventually do, because I was hungry, and the smell of that ooey gooey cheese and grease was deeeeeee-lish. So I opened up the box, and, and – what the hell?! Okay. So you know how pizzas are usually a uniform, more or less perfect circle that is then cut into pie-like, triangular (this is starting to sound like I’m a Geometry teacher, and it’s frightening me) pieces? Well, it all looked uniform, but there was this one random slice that you could tell had been stuffed in there. It was like the last piece of a puzzle that didn’t fit, but you keep trying desperately to make it work. And my first thought was, who tried to cram that imposter slice in there? And my second thought was, why? So then I lost my appetite. Even Cade would have nothing to do with the bum pizza. He threw his slice on the floor, leaving a nice saucy stain on the carpet that looks like blood. Pizza last night: bad decision.

So, I’m at work today, and there’s a doctor that works here. He still practices part-time, and then does administrative stuff on the side. So, we’ve never said even like one word to each other. He has really great posture and walks with his palms forward, so I always shy away. Something just isn’t right about it, you know? But today, we pass in the hall and I smile, he nods, blah blah blah. But then he turned around, asked me if he could ask me a question, and this is how the conversation proceeded:

“Hi. I’m Dr G. You don’t have to answer this, but I was wondering why you have a feeding tube.”

“Oh, yeah. Umm…I just have a hard time gaining weight, so my doctors thought this was a good idea to help jumpstart the process.”

“Oh, okay. I have an 18 year-old patient coming in this afternoon who has anorexia.” He gives me a conspiratorial grin. “And frankly, I’m not sure what to do with her. I think I need to give her a feeding tube.”

I raise my eyebrows. “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Wow. Anorexia. I know someone who struggles with that, and it’s so sad. Such a devastating disease.”

“Yeah, it’s just like the most frustrating thing ever to deal with. She’s so sick, but it’s all within her power to get better. She just has to choose it. It’s very difficult from a doctor’s perspective.”

“Oh yeah. I can imagine that would be tough to deal with. My doctors are glad that I’m doing this willingly. Wow! Anorexia, huh? Well, I guess things could be worse for me, huh?” I give a little laugh.

“Yes, they definitely could be. Just don’t ever go thinking you’re fat, okay? Because you’re very thin. I bet people mistake you for having anorexia all the time. Do they?”


“Anyway, thanks for chatting with me, I’m just trying to solve this little puzzle I’ve got.”

“No problem. Good luck!”

I am such a good liar.


KC Elaine said...

oh my gosh! what a moron! how awkward! It reminds me of this interview I had, the guy looked at my "honors and publications section" and was like, "modeling and anorexia, huh? there's a lot of people on college campuses with eating disorders I bet..." and I was just like, uh, yeah!

what a moron, moron doctor. why does he walk with his palms forward? I just tested it out in the mirror and it looks ridiculous. I'm sorry he told you how frustrating he is, I hope you didn't feel like he was saying it to you...people are so ignorant, huh?

brie said...

I really don't think he suspected I actually have ana. I put on a great show at work, which is exactly why I didn't want him to know the truth. And...part of it is the truth - it is terribly difficult to gain weight, etc. But I'm okay. I just thought it was funny!

KC Elaine said...

ps - it's very difficult from a DOCTOR'S perspective? He should try the other side!

Emily said...

Sorry you had to go through that uncomfortable episode. I'm glad, though, that you think it's funny- it's always good to put a humorous perspective on such things! :) I have a hard time keeping my mental illnesses to myself- they're such a huge part of my identity (which, btw, I am working hard to change) that I end up blurting it out when it probably isn't appropriate. I feel like I'm lying otherwise. I hate that I do that, because I'm sure it makes others uncomfortable.

Krista said...

Someone wrote me a letter and in it she commented regarding eating disorders...
If you were on the outside looking in, you would never be able to understand it, and if you were in the inside looking out, you would never be able to explain it.
I think that seems to fit your post.

brie said...

Krista, that's awesome! I'd never heard that before, but it does seem perfect for what I went through today with Dr G. Thanks. :)

zubeldia said...

Oh deary... I am a liar extraordinaire when it comes to the ED. People generally think i have SUPER body image.

I had a friend in grad school who walked with palms forward. It's the most oddest thing. I suspect that it is very hard for others looking in to understand eds. I mean, it is so anti-survival and seems to go against the evolutionary notion that as a species we want to survive. I think that for many of us anorexia is experienced as (psychical) survival, and this is hard, very hard, to articulate, an very hard for others to begin to comprehend.

Hope you're feeling good, brie.
Love Z

Brooke said...

I'm sorry to break it to ya honey, but I'm pretty sure, he was just trying to be nice by saying that you are thin. He better have known that you are anorexic, or he probably shouldn't be practicing medicine! Hope that's not rude. I don't want to be the mean family member!!
I think you're doing awesome, and don't shy away from that last slice of pizza (even if it is all mangled and weird), because it keeps you on your way to gaining the weight you need!

Love ya, Brooke

Devon said...

Oh goodness lol ;)

brie said...

Broooooookie! What? I could totally have some legit disease other than anorexia that makes me deathly thin. Right? I hope he doesn't really know, though Bran, after reading this, suspects that he does, too. Suck.

Lindsay said...

Hey Brie, I stumbled across your blog today. Your little boy is so cute! how old is he? I hope everything is going well!
Lindsay Banks

heather said...

Good entry.....and by the way, I think he probably did know you had an ed. If you're anyone with brains who has an MD, then you'd got to have some sort of brain trauma not to think differently. But of course, I too have experienced some awfully stuuuuupid docs who think they know it all, when really they're just as ignorant as the majority of the population about eds. So, I've heard of those square-like pizza's...are those the ones that Little Caesar makes? I think it a bit odd to eat a square pizza. I probably would do it though, seeing how I'm always the fish swimming against the current. I taught my nephew (when they came to visit this weekend) the phrase....with fist raised...."DEFY AUTHORITY!!" Kyndra about punched my lights out! But oh how I love it.

it's me, t said...

I'm with brooke. even though he's a doctor, he's not a COMPETE friggin idiot. Ha ha. that's funny to think. when it comes to ED's doctors are completely stupid. but honestly, i think it was his way of saying, i have a pt like you, i wish she were willing to do what it takes though. it could've been doctor for keep up the good work.

Kathy with a K said...

You're right. You "could totally have some legit disease other than anorexia that makes you deathly thin"...however, you would have told him when he asked "why do you have a feeding tube?" A. I have cancer B. I'm undergoing chemotherapy and this is the only way to keep weight on me. etc. etc.
I'm pretty certain he knows you have anorexia. And really, that's okay. 'Cause you do. People with anorexia act differently than people with cancer or other life threatening diseases.
Reason for feeding tube: Anorexia

Tanya said...

UGH!!! I hate when people start conversations like that. As if they have this genius misconception that they have the entire answer. And I agree that doc needs to try it from the other side. Geez!!

I had a few teachers when I had the NJ tube that had that uncomfortable conversation with me and it sucks...pretty much sucks mouse balls. I was lucky enough to have the medical backup for saying it was a swallowing problem.

Penny said...

Yeah, I agree with the majority, he knows what you are dealing with but politely really wanted your input so that he could help his own patient. In remembering some of the docs i took you too years ago, they fumbled around because the mother of the patient was fumbling too. We weren't in denial at that time, we were in ignoranace and its hard to treat when no one at all really
understands what is going on. I know that we are both glad that we are not there at the beginning of all of this. I Don't think we want to live through it again!!Love and see you soon.

Justin and Nichole said...

I just wanted to let you know that I love reading your blog! Your whit and honesty make me smile and I get so excited when I see you have done another post. I really enjoy reading what you have to say and I hope you keep it up for yourself and for the entertainment of the rest of us who blogstalk you!

T.S.T. said...

I agree with Brooke, Heather, et. al. I strongly suspect that this guy identified you as anorexic. Perhaps--perhaps--he even thought that engaging you in this conversation might even have been encouraging for you in an odd way.

Maybe I'm being too generous here, but there's something about his comments--it being within his patient's power to heal herself, his admonition to you about never thinking you are fat, etc.--that makes me wonder whether he just thought this was a roundabout, semi-polite way to offer support/motivation without saying anything too direct to be considered appropriate.

As for his posture, however, there is just no excuse.

aLana said...

sorry i've been a lurker for so long, but you are just as funny as ever! i too, agree with the masses, this doc can't be that dumb. but that's okay. as least he wasn't a jerk about it, ya know? as far as the pizza... wtf? i'm all ocd, but i wouldn't have eaten it either. what if that was a contaminated rouge slice they were trying to pass for normal? they would have HAD to prepare it specially for it to not fit the pie as a whole- you can't just bake one extra slice of pizza! it just doesn't work that way! SKETTTTCCHYYY! haha love you b.

zubeldia said...

you know, I just am not sure about whether the doctor knew or not. Not because he might be a douche, but as a doctor he probably seems many people who are very underweight for other reasons besides anorexia nervosa. Anorexia (as in loss of appetite and not as in the eating disorder) is a side effect of many diseases, conditions, and medications...

ALl that being said, he might well have known :-)

Hope you're having a good weekend, Brie.

re: your question. I'm a sociology professor - although my PhD is in criminology.

love Z

firefly said...

I just started reading your blog. Not sure what to think of the dr. Does any of your patients mention the tube? That must be hard to deal with.

brie said...

Hi Firefly,

I'm not actually a doc. I work at an insurance agency, so I work with a few. But me? Nope!