Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Cheese Grates It: Not a Pretty Girl

Every now and then I think it would be cool to try and reconnect with a friend I had back in the day, but then I remember that said friend had a crush on me, and it becomes weird and awkward. I had a lot of these guys in my life.
It wasn't that I was stunningly attractive by any means. I have always been "too fat" to be conventionally attractive. Even when I was thin I had a chubby face. In fact, after having surgery on my chin, my boss pinched my cheek and said: "why didn't you have the doctor do something about these chipmunk cheeks?" So, yeah.
Anyway, I was the "troubled girl" trope. People, mostly guys, have always thought they could turn me, who, to be honest, resembles Miss Piggy more than any other celebrity, from a plain, troubled, chubby girl into a stunning swan who would then be grateful to them for life. However, people are not plot devices, and shit does not work that way. When you try to mold people into the image of what you think they should be, they resent the fuck out of it. 
The end is never pretty.
I always fear that if I try to contact some of my guy friends from the past, they will expect me to still be the vaguely cute, troubled girl that they can fix. I am not her. She is long gone. There were reasons why she existed. She doesn't need to exist anymore.
I'm not cute, and I don't care about being cute. I'm sick and tired of people who think I should care about it, and that includes fucking doctors who think I should care about whether or not people find me physically attractive. I don't care. I don't want to care. I don't want anything to fucking do with it. I want to be out of that game.
I am not a pretty girl. It isn't what I do.
So, this is why I don't contact some of the dudes from my past who I thought were cool, but I know they wanted to "save" me.
I don't want to be "saved," and I don't want anyone trying to turn me into something I'm not.
This rant is why I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a keyboard in the early hours of the morning.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Cheese Grates It: Hell No to your Weight Loss Surgery Bullshit

This was a reply to a thread over at This Is Thin Privilege regarding Netflix' "Insatiable" shit show as compared to what real fat people experience every day in a world that wants us thin or dead and doesn't much care which.

Doctors suck so much. My endocrine system is a dumpster fire. I have hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, PCOS, and some features of Cushing’s Syndrome, although I don’t have the stereotypical Cushing’s body, which is heavy on top with thin legs. My weight is evenly distributed. 

I’m only trained as low tier medical personnel, (licensed practical nurse), but you don’t need any medical training at all to know that doctors are full of shit. Knowing that every one of the health problems I described comes with weight gain and difficulty losing weight (in fairness, diabetes can go either way. Some people who develop type 2 diabetes start suddenly losing weight.) you would think they’d realize that hey, this person being fat is not a huge surprise. Let’s concentrate on treating their actual health issues instead of harassing them about their unsurprisingly fat body. But, nooooooo. If you think that’s what they’d do, you’d be wrong.

For twelve years, I went to a doctor who would give me the old “every health problem you have could be solved by losing weight” schpiel. I found a new doctor, and, initially, she seemed wonderful. I had issues addressed that weren’t being addressed previously. But then one day I came in for my quarterly appointment, and she asked if she could get my weight. As we had discussed during my initial appointment with her that I don’t want to be weighed, I gave a curt “no.” The appointment went downhill from there.

This woman does not have a large adult cuff and so can’t get an accurate blood pressure reading on me. I told her I’d let her know if my blood pressure was ever outside of the acceptable range (I take my own.) My triglycerides were slightly elevated (not surprising for someone with diabetes) so she was trying to push me to take a statin drug. I refused. This is a really hardcore medication, not something I want to take if not absolutely necessary. Then she tried to push this medication on me which has all kinds of digestive side effects. No thanks! I got off Metformin because it was making me queasy and I never knew if I just needed to pass gas, or if I was literally going to poop my pants. I don’t want to have to carry around a spare pair of pants, oddly enough, and I don’t want to have to wear Depends, oddly enough.

Then came the straw that broke the camel’s back. She told me that her patients who have had WLS are doing “very well.” I said, “yep, you doctors want us fat people thin or dead, and you don’t much care which.” She is a more effective doctor than my old doctor. I’ve had issues addressed that he never would have addressed. But he never in all his “lose weight, blah blah blah” rhetoric mentioned weight loss surgery. In fact, when I shut him down about the weight loss stuff, he’d just shrug and say “okay.” Plus, he had medical assistants who knew how to take a blood pressure. I don’t have the spoons to search for another doctor, so it’s a choice between overall more effective but a WLS cheerleader, or kind of half-assed but at least he isn’t pushing WLS.

Anyway, I resonate with what all of you are saying, and I hope this “Insatiable” mess fails so fucking hard. “Hurr hurr hurr fat people amirite” is not humor, and if you think it’s funny, you really need to check your shit. Fat bodies are not costumes. Millions of people live in fat bodies every day. I don’t give a flying fuck if anyone finds my fat body attractive or not. You still have to treat people whom you don’t find fuckable with basic common decency. Using fat people as the butt of jokes is not basic common decency in any way, shape, or form. Fuck this “Insatiable” shit, and fuck all the crap-ass fatphobic doctors out there who take a huge dump all over their “do no harm” oath whenever it comes to the happiness and well-being of fat people.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Cheese Grates It: Fuck Your Fat Suit Wearing Bullshit

This is a clueless, conventionally attractive, thin privileged asshole in a fat suit.

This is an actual fat person. Also appearing: Crowley.
I don’t like sharing pictures of myself because people are assholes and are going to say stupid and obvious shit like “ur fat!!11!!!”, but I wanted to make a necessary point. Hopefully, one day we won’t have to make such points. It’s a huge fucking waste of time, and I’d rather be doing something else. That being said:
I don’t think I’m beautiful in any way, shape, or form, so don’t try the old “ur just trying to force all the menz to think ur beuateeful, u old fat bitch!!!111!!” crap on me. I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m beautiful. I don’t think I’m beautiful. But I do think I’m human, and I think that all people, regardless of whether or not they are “beautiful”, deserve to be treated with common decency. If you’re the sort of person who only treats people you deem “fuckable” kindly in the hopes that they will fuck you, you are a horrible person and need to fuck off now.
I have been both thin and fat during my life. When I was in my teens, I starved myself down to 108 pounds. I am five foot six now. I was probably a little over five foot four at that point. I have a big frame. There is no way I should ever weigh as little as 108 pounds. If I do, there’s something badly wrong with me.
Not that I need to justify my body to anybody, but I have a dead thyroid gland sitting in my neck being dead. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome. I have type 2 diabetes, which onset when I was in my late 40′s and didn’t surprise me at all considering that my endocrine system is a complete dumpster fire. My pituitary doesn’t work quite right and I have some features of Cushing’s syndrome, although I don’t have the typical Cushing’s body: large upper body and thin legs. My weight is evenly distributed.
All that being said, I have a typical puffy endocrine face. I have a double chin.
I don’t look like someone slapped a clay tube under my chin the way Miss Clueless Fat-Suit Wearing Conventionally Attractive Thin Privileged Barbie Doll does.
I just look like a rather plain, garden variety, run of the mill, middle-aged fat lady that no-one would look at twice. I’m fine with that. I’m sick to fucking death of other people thinking it’s their business to tell me what to do with my body so I can look like Miss Clueless Fat-Suit Wearing Conventionally Attractive Thin Privileged Barbie Doll looks without her fat suit. No, I am not going to have my stomach amputated, not ever, unless I am unfortunate enough to get stomach cancer, and fuck you for suggesting that I should. I am not going to get injections of deadly pathogens injected into my face to smooth out my wrinkles. I am not going to have my hands bleached to get rid of my age spots. Fuck all of that ageist, fatphobic shit right to hell.
No, I do not eat all the time, so I don’t need to “lay off the Kentucky Fried Chicken and the McDonald’s.” I don’t like either of those. Further, I am actually food insecure and generally only eat one or two meals a day despite having diabetes, because I can’t afford adequate food since becoming disabled and only being able to work part time so I don’t lose Medicaid, which I need for my numerous health issues. Plus, I can’t work the kinds of physically demanding jobs I worked during the majority of my life anymore because of significant reversals in my health over the past few years. Punishing the disabled shows that a society is a huge fucking fail, if you ask me. 
And another thing:
As well as not looking like a thin-privileged asshole wearing a fat suit, being fat does not feel like wearing a fat suit.
It does not feel any different living in a fat body than a thin one. I don’t wake up every day and slap padding all over my body. The adipose tissue is simply part of my body.
If you want to depict a fat person, you need to get an actual fat person to play the part, not a thin-privileged Barbie doll in a fat suit.
Also, shit like “Insatiable” needs to not exist. It is inaccurate, it is offensive, it is mean-spirited, it is disgusting. This real, actual fat bitch says “enough.”

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Medical Industry and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Gruesome Twosome

This is a response to a post on the Art and Psychiatry blog about the negative effects of SSRI's.

Prozac made me so emotionally numb that one day I sat there staring at my arm, considering cutting it to see if I could still feel.

Zoloft made me psychotic. It felt like my brain had grown tiny hands and was trying to pick its way out of my head.

Effexor made me manic and psychotic. I jumped up on a counter and started preaching. I scared the hell out of my then thirteen-year-old son.

I have type 2 bipolar disorder. Type 2 does not present with full manias or psychotic features. I have only experienced these issues while on SSRI’s or certain prescription pain killers.

I get that psych medications help some people. For some of us, however, the cure is worse than the problem. It has always seemed to me that the psychiatric industry and, indeed, the medical industry as a whole, are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies and are more than happy to prescribe dangerous drugs to desperate people.

Not psych meds, but I got into it with my primary care doctor the other day. I have a dumpster fire of an endocrine system, including type 2 diabetes. My A1C is very good. My cholesterol is okay, but my triglycerides were a bit high, which is fairly common with diabetes. She wanted to put me on this medication that had the potential for some nasty gastrointestinal effects. I said “no thanks.” I got off Metformin because it was making me feel lousy and because, to be honest, there were times when I didn’t know if I just had to cut one, or if I was straight up going to poop my pants. I’ve been doing fine on Levemir (a long-acting insulin) twice a day.

So my doctor goes on to ask if I’d been “indulging in treats,” and I lost it. I told her that I am trying to survive on $12,000 a year, that I do not get food benefits (I’ve never gotten a straight explanation as to why) and that I “indulge” in whatever food I can get my grubby paws on. I don’t have the luxury of being picky. So she tried to make me go to this diabetes education class. Before I became disabled, I was a nurse, and I’ve been diabetic for five years. I bloody well know how to count carbs and test my fucking blood sugar.

Then, to add insult to injury, she suggests weight loss surgery. She knows that I have struggled with eating disorders in the past. From the start, I told her that I will not discuss dieting, let alone weight loss surgery. When you have an endocrine system like mine, unless you become extremely ill, you’re going to be fat. I told her that I have struggled to not hate myself for years, and that I wasn’t going to let her undo my efforts. I was way past done at that point. I am not going to have a perfectly good stomach amputated and run the risk of lovely complications such as dumping syndrome, explosive diarrhea, and increase risk of death so she can crow about having turned Miss Piggy into a svelte swan.

Addicts, people with other mental illness, and big people get treated like trash by the medical system. We’re treated like we’re weak and stupid. If we refuse to take medications that have had harmful side effects for us, we’re labeled uncooperative.

People with unusual diseases (and even some not so unusual diseases) get accused of lying or told that their symptoms are all in their head.

I swear that medical school makes people lose brain cells. After my father had a major hemorrhagic stroke, the cardiologist tried to put him on warfarin for A-fib. My mother, a retired nurse, put her foot down and said “no.” After the stroke, my father had a couple bad falls, and the bruising spread well beyond the normal range and healed slowly. Warfarin would probably have killed him.

For my own part, I’m disgusted because I’m going to have to look for another doctor. I can’t trust this one anymore. I might just go back to my old doctor. He kind of pissed me off, and he’d do the old “if you’d just lose five pounds, miracles will happen and unicorns will come fart rainbows through your window” bit, but he never once suggested weight loss surgery.

As for mental health professionals, they’re the last people I’ll turn to if I’m having a psychiatric crisis. Honestly, I think some of those fuckers are more screwed up in the head than I am.

I appreciate your blog. I didn’t mean to go off on a huge tangent, but once I started relating my own experiences, I couldn’t stop, because sadly there are so many of them.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Cheese Grates It: Poverty Kills

Believe it or not, people with psychiatric dysfunctions get angry and frustrated about situational stuff too. There is an actual person here behind the broken brain. I'm not just symptoms of my synapses. I may not be a genius, but I know when shit ain't right, and it hasn't been right for a long time.
People love to tell folks "Just" do this or "just" do that, and then it's on to blame the victim if the person can't "just" do what they suggested.
I've had bipolar disorder since I hit puberty, which was when I was nine years old. I can remember my feelings becoming really intense. I thought it happened to everybody. I remember hating what my body was becoming because unlike everyone said, I wasn't stupid. I knew the way guys were going to treat me just because I had visible breasts now, and I hated it so much.
I get angry with having to take medicine all the time, and I don't even have to take that much on the scale of things, but I have so much shit wrong with me. Most of it is chronic shit. Diabetes is serious, but mine is well-controlled. My family has cardiovascular problems out the wazoo. If I have a major stroke, I hope it kills me outright. I don't want to live for years with declining physical health and decreasing cognition the way my father did.
I feel like I'm being punished for my health problems, and it makes me furious. Nobody should be forced to live in poverty because they've lost their strength. I used to be very strong physically. I didn't know just how strong I was. I could carry cases of beer up three flights of stairs and only be minorly winded, rest for a moment, and go back for more. I was a beast!
I could work 16 hours caring for immobile and combative patients. 
Now I become fatigued and sometimes confused with minimal exertion.
It frustrates and upsets me greatly.
I was never able to work day jobs because of my screwed-up brain. I don't sleep well at night. I actually do like my delivery driver job well enough, but it isn't a stable income. Some nights its busy, other nights I'm making five bucks an hour. 
If it weren't for my son, I would quit taking all my medications including my insulin and be dead in a month. I'm not saying this to be extreme or to look for attention. I'm simply past the point where I can convince myself that "there's a better tomorrow around the corner." I don't think there is for me. I pretty much think the rest of my life is going to be more of the same. I'd like to enjoy life, but it's way too stressful. Some of us are not the "favorite children." I'm physically unattractive and not particularly charismatic. Nobody's going to come to my rescue.
I don't want people adulating me or fawning over me. Most of the time I kind of want to be left alone. I want to be treated with basic respect. I want a modest, comfortable place to live. I want to know I have enough food available. I want to be able to have a little enjoyment. I just want a chance.
Mental illness killed off a lot of my chances when I was younger. But it isn't mental illness that makes me consider suicide these days. It's circumstances. And if anyone thinks its okay for people to be wondering where their next meal is coming from or if they'll have a place to live or thinks that people who can no longer physically work hard jobs with long hours deserve to live in poverty, you need to check your shit.
I'm not an atheist. I believe there is a higher power. However, I'm a deist rather than a theist. I believe that higher power is a creator energy. I don't believe it (or they) are involved in the lives of us lowly hairless apes. We're kind of on our own. So, telling me to "trust in god" doesn't work. I tried that, and I was treated like crap by his followers because I had some questions and some ideas, and I liked hard rock and metal. Kind of put me off the whole "trust in god" bit when people were spreading rumors that I was a "devil worshiper", oddly enough.
If there is a deity who monitors our behavior, I believe I will be judged on my actions. I try to treat others with basic consideration. I'd like to do more, but right now there's nothing I really can do.
I don't believe that suicide is "a sin" and I wouldn't want anything to do with a deity who was so cruel that they condemned someone hurting enough to commit suicide to eternal torture. I don't think that suicide is "selfish" or "weak" or "cowardly." Suicide happens when a person is at the end of their rope and has no hope. Perhaps if people extended compassion instead of derision to their fellow human, including those fellow humans who aren't pretty or popular, some lives might be saved along the way.
That's my rant for today. I have a grain of salt for you to take it with.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Big And Chunky

One of those songs I like to listen to when I start feeling bad about my body, which is hard not to do sometimes in a thin-obsessed culture