Doctor, Doctor!

in All Posts

I slept so well last night, and I woke up to a delicious breakfast!  A perfect start to Saturday, don’t you think?


I’m going to try to step up my calories today (well, I technically started last night with dinner) in an effort to increase my glycogen stores in my muscles.  This will better prepare my body for 26.2 miles!  I tend to get really hungry while running long distances.


I made a wonderful bowl of oatmeal!


My oatmeal contained:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • Toppings:  cashews, flax, and blackberries


I also had a serving of POM Wonderful juice on the side.  POM’s research shows that the magical fruit helps reduce inflammation in the body.  I’m not sure how fast the effect is, but I figure it can’t hurt to take some of nature’s ibuprofen.


Plus a coffee.  🙂


Doctor, Doctor!


This morning, my mom and I were reminiscing about the first terrible doctor’s appointment I had regarding my knees in October 2008.


If you recall, the doctor told that there was “nothing” I could do for my knee pain except stop running. He told me that I should “beg” my Husband to “tie me to the bed to stop me from running,” which not only implies that I’m incapable of making my own medical decisions, but that my Husband also tells me what to do. 


Because I knew I didn’t need to stop running forever and the doctor gave me no other treatment options, I kept running.  After a few more months of running with pain (I didn’t know my true condition and how to treat it), I decided to take two months off of running this summer to give my knees a break.  Then I saw another doctor who correctly identified my knee condition (a very simple and common problem called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome) and how to effectively treat it.


My mom and I were discussing this because another blogger recently sent me an e-mail about a doctor who, among other insane things, told her that she should be eating 800 calories a day and that “hunger pains” were a GOOD thing!  My mom (who is a nurse) was aghast.


I think it’s so important that we are our own advocate with health care.  The vast majority of doctors are caring, intelligent, and know their stuff, but they are human and make mistakes.  That’s why I’m a huge fan of the second option when it comes to medical decisions.  Knowledge is power!


The second orthopedic doctor helped me so much, and I cannot wait to write him a letter to say that his treatment plan helped me run again (and hopefully complete a marathon)!  I have only had symptoms of my PFPS twice during marathon training, and it was very, very minor.  I am so grateful! He is a wonderful doctor.


I’m curious… what positive and negative experiences have you had with doctors?



  • Jessica @ How Sweet January 9, 2010, 9:44 am

    That is crazy that a doctor said to eat 800 cals a day!! What the heck?! Luckily my experiences have been good, but when I was 21 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. The doctor said ‘Yeah, you have some nodules on your thyroid and they might cancerous.’ I was like WHAT?!?!? I freaked and cried for days, then learned that they are very common and rarely cancer.
    Some doctors just have no bedside manner.
    Have a wonderful time calorie loading today. Should be fun. 🙂

  • Joanne January 9, 2010, 9:54 am

    I avoid Doctors. I only see a Gynocolgist and if I have other pains will ask his opinion. Now I realize his area of expertise is not…uh…my feet for example, but he does offer good advice since he knows I avoid medicine (only natural remedies) and I won’t hear of invasive procedures. Good for you, Caitlin, in letting your body heal itself. Best way.
    If I have to name one bad experience, my mother says it would be a dentist when I was very, very young who got mad at me because I had to go to the toilet when he was working on my teeth. Not my fault! I was a kid…although I still feel a need when my current dentist is doing a long procedure. Must be a mental thing 🙂

  • Michelle@eatingjourney January 9, 2010, 9:54 am

    I was hospitalised in Japan and the Japanese doctor said to me ‘change your diet to low fiber foods and avoid fresh food, drink tons of tea’

    Then I came to Oz, went back into hospital..was told I had cancer..then they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Spent 1900 on a colonoscopy to be told they had no idea what was wrong ‘casue it couldn’t get to where they needed to go’. Spent six more weeks spending 150.00/15 minute consult w/ a doctor who didn’t do anything for me.

    I went to a naturopath. I have cured my body.

    I hate doctors have their place. Naturopaths, diet, exercise is more important than western medicine can and does give credit to.

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething January 9, 2010, 10:10 am

    Very good advice. Infact, I am going through some stuff right now and am actively working on my behalf to solve it. Thank you for letting me know other people get crazy suggestions from their docs as well.

    I wish I had some holistic help in my family like you do-it would be great to have them for sources of good information!

  • Lindsay January 9, 2010, 10:20 am

    my worst was when i had really bad adult acne (face) and my GP, instead of referring me to a dermatologist (im in an HMO), told me to use hydrocortisone cream on it!! on my face. i finally found a skincare regiment on my own that cleared it up but i have some scarring and for that i hate him. my current GP is wonderful. i went to see him about my knee and he told me about the “insurance game” we’d have to play in order to get an MRI. and he is more than willing to “play the game” in order to get me the care i need. also he’s kinda sexy.

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) January 9, 2010, 10:21 am

    I completely agree. I think people should work WITH doctors instead of just following everything they say because they have credentials. I don’t go to the doctors much *shame* but I have a feeling I’d try and be a know-it-all 😳

  • Jen January 9, 2010, 10:27 am

    that’s crazy about the 800 calories a day! i’ve been pretty lucky with doctors but a friend of mine is diabetic and was told that she should learn to ‘enjoy hunger’ in order to lose weight! Enjoy your carb loading!

  • Kristine January 9, 2010, 10:31 am

    When I did weight watchers, I was told that being hungry meant that your stomach was shrinking so you could lose weight! I know part of that is true, but 800 calories a day is wayy too little!! That’s crazy!

  • Rachel January 9, 2010, 10:31 am

    Wow… I can’t believe these doctors! I’ve never had ANYONE talk to me like that, especially a doctor. Why would someone recommend for someone else to eat 800 calories? That’s starvation! It’s nothing!

  • Stina @ Girl Can January 9, 2010, 10:31 am

    I’ve never truly had a bad experience with a medical doctor, but the first orthodontist I saw when my mom was looking to get me braces, wanted to pull 4 of my permanent teeth. My mom took me to another orthodontist for a second opinion. He said not only was pulling my teeth totally unnecessary, it probably would have kept my in braces twice as long and caused additional problems for me later in life.

    The second opinion was all my mom’s doing since I was about 11, but I’ve definitely picked up the value of a second opinion from that experience.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 9, 2010, 10:41 am

    I don’t currently have a family doctor, which is bad I know, it’s on my new years resolution list

  • Elizabeth (The Dallas Celiac) January 9, 2010, 10:43 am

    It took me years to be diagnosed with Celiac disease even though I was clearly sick. But I think it is important to remember that doctors cannot be experts at everything and if you aren’t getting good answers, go see someone else (like you and I both did).

    Good luck tomorrow!

  • Suzanne January 9, 2010, 10:43 am

    As a doctor, I feel like I need to chime in and defend the profession a bit. From the physician perspective, I think a lot of the anger that patients direct at their physicians is due to a lack of communication, some of that from the doctor, but some of that from the patient as well. In order to receive the best medical care, a person needs to be honest and let the physician know their concerns, fears, and (importantly) expectations. And ask questions! It also seems that a lot of people get angry at their physicians when they tell them something they do not want to hear. A physicians job is to provide the patient with the information necessary for them to make the best decisions regarding their own health, and this information may not always be good. Patients need to take responsibility for their own health, the physician cannot make they better and cannot make them follow their advice or recommendations.

    Second opinions are great….but “doctor shopping” for someone to tell you what you want to hear is not good for anyone…doctors or patients.

    Also, since so much information is available on the internet now days, I think it’s also important to point out that not everything on the internet is true. It’s great to come into the physician’s office with some information and questions in hand, but often patients come in set on a particular self-diagnosis. Keep in mind that the physician does have more medical knowledge than you….that is why you are seeing them.

    Aside from all that, best of luck in the marathon!

    • caitlin January 9, 2010, 11:32 am

      i agree with EVERYTHING you said! you made great points. a second opinion is not just to find someone to tell you what you want to hear!

    • Run Sarah January 9, 2010, 2:35 pm

      As someone in training, I agree with all your comments Suzanne.

      I wanted to thank you too Caitlin for such an open and honest approach, especially “I think it’s so important that we are our own advocate with health care. The vast majority of doctors are caring, intelligent, and know their stuff, but they are human and make mistakes.” When I see blogs where people say how much they hate all doctors, I can’t help but take it to heart, especially when people wouldn’t necessarily say that about other professions (ie: I hate all teachers).

    • Lindsey @ Sound Eats January 9, 2010, 8:51 pm

      As the blogger who was recently told to eat 800 calories a day, I’d like to know what you, another doctor, thinks about that. Anyone who reads my blog or knows me, knows that I’m a very healthy individual. I’m a vegan, I eat very balanced meals, I already eat in (what I thought was) the low range of calories for an active individual (1400-1600 kcal/ day), I’m active and I’m going back to school to pursue becoming a R.D. Even my job is fairly active.

      I’m also under the impression that most general practitioners don’t get much formal nutrition education. While I respect all medical opinions, I really do have to question several facts this dr spewed off at me in a tirade (800 cal day = good, hunger pains/ headaches/ feeling like you’re going to pass out = GREAT, you’re losing!, exercise is bad and doesn’t make you lose weight, weght loss should happen rapidly and more, etc.)

      As another doctor, what do you think of this?

      (Also – I did express fears, concerns and asked questions. The particular day at the doctor I had only eaten 2 slices of toast and 1/4 a larabar and the doctor encouraged me that the severe headache (and I have history wth migraines) and dizziness was a good thing).

      • Suzanne January 10, 2010, 10:27 am

        Though I am a physician, I feel like I have to preface anything I say by pointing out that I do not specialize in nutrition…I am a surgeon (but interested in weight-loss surgery). That being said, I am very interested in nutrition and have learned a lot about it in the past few years, mostly in relation to my interest in bariatric surgery.

        As far as what your physician told you about eating 800 calories a day, I think that is absurd, just as you do. Getting headaches and feeling faint aren’t signs that you’re on a good diet and on a good weight-loss path, their a sign that you’re lacking the building blocks your body needs to function! And your’re right, most physicians do not get any formal training in nutrition, which is why a good doctor should refer you to someone who has more expertise in nutrition, be that another physician or a dietician. As far as exercise not having a very big impact on weight loss, take a glance at this article in Times,8599,1914857,00.html. If you want, I can email you the actual study it is referring to. While I think it’s interesting, I still this exercise is a key to being healthy, not only for its physical benefits, but also its mental benefits.

  • Alex January 9, 2010, 10:44 am

    Hey Caitlin!
    I finally decided to ‘delurk’ and make a comment 🙂

    I have had both good and bad experiences with doctors. Though I am married to a recently graduated family doctor, (who I have great faith in!) some of my experiences have not been so positive I have struggled for many years with stomach issues, which have lead to extreme pain, nausea, etc. My former family doctor, told me that there was nothing wrong with me, and I just needed to suck it up! Thankfully, I sought a second opinion, both through a new family doctor, and through a holistic practitioner, and I am now almost symptom free…. and needless to say it was not just ‘all in my head’ 🙂 There are some fantastic doctors out there…but we all truly do need to be advocates for our own health.

    Great post! Good luck with your marathon!!!!

  • Allison January 9, 2010, 10:45 am

    I have some sever back pain and problems and my chiropractor (who is great) recommended a couple different doctors. The pain management specialist told me that I would be a patient of his “for a very long time”, recommending all kinds injections and other procedures (and thousands of dollars in procedures not covered by insurance). Then I went to the orthopedic surgeon who, surprisingly, told me that I was way to young for surgery (39…so not so young) and that I just needed to work on strengthening my core. I have really worked hard at the weight training, which has eliminated about 80+ percent of the back pain and made a huge improvement in how I look and feel. Never get just one opinion if it is really impacting your life.

  • jen trinque January 9, 2010, 10:46 am

    My mother and I are both vegetarians. A couple of years ago she went to a doctor who is also a vegetarian, yet the doctor told my mom she was too thin and that it was actually very unhealthy to be a vegetarian, but she (the doctor) was one for religious reasons, other wise she wouldn’t recommend it. However, this doctor lived on peanut butter and jelly! She did not understand nutrition and had no right to tell my mother not to be a vegetarian! Luckily, my mom kept up with what felt right to her, and she’s switched doctors.

  • Courtney January 9, 2010, 10:49 am

    I had a doctor tell me I should try the South Beach Diet because “it worked for her and another doctor in her practice” YEAH OK. I was so pissed I didn’t go back….thanks for the health advice. My gyno actually sat me down about 4 years ago and talked to me for 30 minutes about the importance of a healthy weight, diet and exercise and how it can affect getting pregnant etc etc. He was non judgemental and truly concerned about my health. What a difference! I’m still bitter about that South Beach comment and it was probably 7 years ago.
    adventures in tri-ing

  • Erin January 9, 2010, 10:51 am

    You definitely know yourself and your body better than a doctor who sees you only once or twice. Listen to your instincts and always get a second (or third!) opinion if you have doubts.

  • Jenna January 9, 2010, 10:52 am

    Great oatmeal! Start the carb loading!!

  • Jacquie January 9, 2010, 10:56 am

    As a former anorexic, hearing that a doctor “prescribed” 800 calories a day left me speechless. That’s so wrong!
    My worst experience at the doctor was in high school and I still went to the pediatrician I had gone to since I was 8. I was asking her for an inhaler because I knew I had exercise induced asthma between my rigorous Irish Step routines and my springtime allergies. She tried to ask me if I was just out of shape and really drilled me on how much I was exercising when she knew that I was dancing about 20 hours a week at that time. It was so annoying. Luckily, she caved and gave me the darn inhaler!

  • ashleigh January 9, 2010, 11:02 am

    I used to have a serious bladder problem.. I was going to the bathroom 20 times a day and hardly drinking anything. It was so bad that when I student taught I literally wouldn’t drink all day long and would constantly have to run out of my classroom. My Dr told me that I should try and hold my pee longer and try and go 19 times a day instead. I was like ummm, is this guy kidding me? I also have issue with my tailbone where it hurts whenever I sit and his remedy was to not sit down. I was in college at the time and I was like ok I will stand for my 3 hour lectures. I don’t see that guy that anymore!!

  • Sarah January 9, 2010, 11:03 am

    i haven’t had a horrible experience with a doctor but just in general i hate when you go to the doctor and tell them your problem and you can just tell they don’t really care they just want to get the appointment over with…it is so nice to actaully have a doctor want to talk to you and try figure out the problem…glad your knee pain is so much better! good luck tomorrow!!

  • Jolene ( January 9, 2010, 11:26 am

    My family doctor is really good, and is against prescribing medicine unless it is REALLY necessary, and is very against people being on meds long term. He has prescribed me natural remedies in the past. He also encourages second opinions. I also have visited a homeopathic doctor, and that was a great experience.

    If a doctor told me I couldn’t do something ever again, I would definitely seek other opinions!

  • Nikky January 9, 2010, 11:27 am

    I haven’t been to the doctor, except an OBGYN, since I was 13. My pediatrician was HORRIBLE. I had stomach issues as a kid, to the point that I was nauseous all the time and throwing up at least twice a week. She told my grandma it was “all in my head” and I was doing it for attention. We were really poor, and she was the only doctor in the area who took my insurance, so we didn’t have much choice. I remember her announcing in the waiting room afterward once that I should avoid some food (I forget what it was) because it was not right for a girl to be developing at 9 and the hair on my arms was too dark. I was paranoid about that stuff for YEARS after that (still kind of am, really). Turns out I had an ovarian disorder.

    So yea. I HATED her. I can’t remember ever having a good experience with her. It was something every time we went in.

    Best of luck tomorrow! I’m excited for you!!

  • Jamie {inspired mess} January 9, 2010, 11:28 am

    Oh, I could go on and on with bad experiences with doctors during this past year and my MS diagnosis! But I strongly agree with you…always get a second opinion and if something doesn’t “feel right” with somebody you’re seeing, keep searching until you find somebody you’re completely comfortable with. We definitely have to be our own advocates and speak up and ask questions. No doubt about it!

    Good luck tomorrow, Caitlin! You’ll be in my thoughts & prayers.

  • meagan January 9, 2010, 11:28 am

    I feel pretty blessed in the medical department. My childhood GP was a wonderful family friend (who saved my dad’s life!). When I was in treatment for an eating disorder all my ‘team’ was truly caring, professional and amazing.

    However, the only two negative experiences I had were both gynecologists. The first when I was sixteen wouldn’t give me birth control (to regulate my periods!) because she “didn’t want to encourage me to have sex”. The second gyno, when I had questions about being pregnant, etc, she didn’t even address them! She just gave me a pap and left. I was so mad.

    I’m now under the care of a birthing center/midwife practice and they spend an hour with me at every appointment, and now that I’m pregnant, counsel me on everything…from holistic nutrition, exercise, medical options…It’s great.

  • abby January 9, 2010, 11:33 am

    I couldn’t believe it when she told me about that doctor either. I got so fired up I wanted to call him and yell at him. He practically told her to be anorexic! UGH. I’ve had such HORRIBLE experiences with doctors. The same type of thing happened to me with my BC. Finally I got a doctor who found the right one for me and saved me from my almost daily migraines but then she lied to me about a different issue so now I don’t know what to do. It’s maddening!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) January 9, 2010, 11:38 am

    Ir’s been a mixed bag with me, although most of the time it’s been pretty much good experiences. When I had gotten a stress fracture in my hip from running back in undergrad, though, the first doctor told me it was just a strain… thank God it got better with phys therapy bc he definitely misdiagnosed me.

  • Kristin January 9, 2010, 11:38 am

    Seems like a course in “bedside manner” is missing from med school curriculum today! I too have had some questionable advice from doctors. I even had a male gyno call the vagina a “pussy” (not in reference to my own but in reference to the area in general) which was probably the most uncomfortable moment behind closed doors in a doctor’s office ever.

    In general, not to put down the awesome men of the medical profession, I’ve found better luck with younger, women doctors. I feel like I just get along with them better, that we see eye to eye and speak the same language.

    • Jennifer January 9, 2010, 12:55 pm


  • Diana January 9, 2010, 11:48 am

    I’m a medical student, and one of the things I get most frustrated with is that medical students (who will become the world’s doctors soon!) actually learn VERY LITTLE about nutrition. Sure, we learn all about BMI (which I think is silly, anyways…there are better parameters in which to define health!) and where in the digestive tract each nutrient is absorbed…but unfortunately the nutritional knowledge we are taught is VERY limited…this frustrates me so much, because one of the best ways to avoid disease (or manage it) is through proper nutrition and overall healthy living! (mental, physical, emotional, etc) I encourage everyone who is not satisfied with their current doctor(s) to please find one who listens to your complaints, and takes them seriously…and please, do NOT avoid your yearly checkups just because of one bad experience…go “doctor shopping” and find one that you like best!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 9, 2010, 11:49 am

    I’ve had several bad experiences. Once I went to the doctor for what later was diagnosed as Endometriosis and I listed all my symptoms to her and she said gave me excuses for things like weight gain, horrid digestion, constant severe headaches and fatigue as the ‘freshman 15, stress and bad diet’…I wasn’t a freshman, I wasn’t stressed and I had a great diet!!! I was so upset but mostly because during the whole appointment she never looked me straight in the eye.

    I’m so glad you were able to run again and completely recover from that!

  • Bronwyn January 9, 2010, 11:50 am

    I’ve mostly only seen my family doctor. He is good, only he doesn’t listen super well. It takes him FOREVER to understand you aren’t just whiny about little nothings. But once he understands this is actually something, he does a thorough job.

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place January 9, 2010, 11:54 am

    I basically diagnosed myself with stress fractures from running while I was in high school. The orthopaedic doc I went to had no clue what he was doing. I told him to order me a bone scan and see for himself that i indeed had something more than shin splints. I was right! Why did I pay someone when I ordered tests and diagnosed myself?

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) January 9, 2010, 12:02 pm

    my worst experience with any medical professional was with a dentist, who, after the hygienist had told me everything looked good from what she could see, and to keep up with my good flossing/brushing habits, came in, looked at my x-rays, and started accusing me of not flossing, telling me that I would have to have “lots of fillings,” followed by getting two needed fillings from the same office, different dentist, that were overfilled. The office staff at this place was terrible, and couldn’t seem to get that I was in excruciating pain AND that one of their guys was rude to me!

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama January 9, 2010, 12:10 pm

    I am a researcher at heart already, so if I know something is wrong I will diagnose myself PRIOR to going to the doctor. I am a huge fan of “getting a second opinion”, too. Doctors practice medicine, not perfect it.

  • Kelly January 9, 2010, 12:14 pm

    My craziest experience with a doctor was when I went to see a dermatologist in early college because I was getting a lot of break outs on my face. He told me to STOP exercising. Not, wash your face after exercising (which I was already doing) but STOP it entirely. Um…no thanks!

  • Freya @ January 9, 2010, 12:21 pm

    1200 cals a day!? That’s ridiculous! I don’t think anyone should ever eat below 1500, or their metabolism will start to suffer :s what a quack!

  • Kim January 9, 2010, 12:22 pm

    I have so many bad experiences with doctors that I now rarely (if ever) go.

    My co-worker told me that when she got pregnant with her daughter, a doctor told her that she should abort right away because of a possible heart condition. Luckily, she got a second opinion, found out that her heart is fine, and has a beautiful, intelligent five-year-old to show for it.

    I definitely believe in second opinions and also for advocating for our own health and out own bodies.

  • Mrs. Muffins January 9, 2010, 12:24 pm

    I’ve blogged about doctors before… I agree. Yeah, they go to school and everything but they have opinions just like everyone else and they aren’t always in the benefit of the patient. We have a responsibility as patients to be aware and make choices in our care. A few months ago when I took my daughter to a routine check up, I was in tears because the doctor said she wasn’t as big as she needed to be. They suggested I supplement her with formula, thinking maybe because I was vegetarian I wasn’t getting enough calories to breastfeed… Well I spend 24/7 with my baby and I just felt like they were wrong, she was growing fine, even if she was small… i’m small too and so is my husband! So, I kept an eye on both our intakes but didnt change anything and at her next appointment the doctor was pleased. I’m glad I stuck with my instincts. 🙂

  • Amber K January 9, 2010, 12:36 pm

    I can’t believe there are people practicing medicine who are doling out that kind of advice! I currently don’t have health insurance and have been to see the doctor a couple of times, but I can’t afford to pay for some of the tests that could possibly tell me what I have. She’s trying to diagnose me on my problems alone, and so far no luck. I can’t wait for a time when I truly figure out what is wrong so I can get back to actually living my life!

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal January 9, 2010, 12:36 pm

    That’s so great you trusted your instincts and got a second opinion. Good for you, Caitlin:D

    800 calories?! That is maddening!!! I’m actually mad at doctors who even prescribe 1200 calories a day.

  • Abby January 9, 2010, 12:38 pm

    About 5 years ago my brother was diagnosed with Colitis after dealing with stomach trouble for about 3 years. The doctors told him that they’d treat him with drugs and steroids and that food had nothing to do with the disease.. wait?? isn’t it a digestive disorder?? So after flare-up after flare-up he went to a nutritionst who helped him manage his disease. I couldn’t even believe that doctors told him that food had no affect on his colitis. I think doctors are great and do great things, but too often they push drugs as the treatment. Side effects can be just as bad, if not worse than the initially problem!

    • Brittney January 9, 2010, 3:46 pm

      I also have colitis, and it makes me mad when it is automatically ruled out that diet does not have anything to do with it. I think for some people that’s true, but not for everyone.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) January 9, 2010, 12:39 pm

    I had a doctor tell me there was no way they could do surgery to fix my back and I would be in constant pain for the rest of my life. After getting a 3rd opinion I found the doctor who did the surgery and created the pain free back I have now.

    I also had a psychiatrist tell me I would always have symptoms of my bipolar disorder and would probably end up on disability since it is so bad. Now 7 years later I’m healthy and happy and symptom free balanced on medication.

  • Amy (REVAMP_I) January 9, 2010, 12:44 pm

    Last year i went to see the doctor and she wanted to weigh me, she told me i was overweight and that i should lose weight – very sarcastically she said that i could lose half a stone if i went out walking, she gave me a mini lecture about the benifits of exercise (as if i was a child who didn’t have a clue) – it was great when i turned around and said ‘i doubt walking will do much for me, i’m running my first half marathon Sunday and if all that training makes me overweight then i guess there is no hope!’ I wish i could have taken a photo of her face! The sad thing was i did take it to heart and when i got home i checked my weight against my height and i was in the healthy range. At least i had the sense to check, her comment could have been quite damaging to a sensitive person.

    • Lindsey @ Sound Eats January 9, 2010, 8:56 pm

      Bahaha I love this. I’m the one that was told 800 kcal day = good, and it was ridiculous to be in the dr office. He’s telling me to restrict kcal, and what not, and then I tell him I’m a vegan and show him a food journal and the only thing he could come up with was “well maybe you could eliminate that tablespoon of peanut butter here or there” (maybe once every other day). Seriously??? That’s all you can find wrong with my diet?!?

      And you would have loved this – my dr said exercise does nothing for weight loss. Riggghhhhttt

      • Amy (REVAMP_I) January 10, 2010, 6:26 am

        800 kcal is a joke!! I’m sure i feed my cat more than that in a day LOL!! Isn’t it a great feeling when you have evidence that you are a healthy person – i might take a food journal with me the next time too as back up just in case another doctor decides that i am overweight and tries to give me weightloss advice!
        Wow you are Vegan, i admire you greatly – i have just become vegetarian and loving the new flavours and foods because of avoiding meat, i imagine being Vegan takes a lot more planning and reading of food labels – good for you x

  • Meredith H. January 9, 2010, 1:00 pm

    Just want to say good luck tomorrow Caitlin! You are ready and you will have so much fun. 🙂

  • Jennifer January 9, 2010, 1:03 pm

    I’ve seen a lot of doctors and they’ve all been beneficial to my health…even the clinician that told me to “drink lots of water to flush all the toxins and shit out.” Candid, much!

  • Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. January 9, 2010, 1:14 pm

    I am very lucky to have never really needed a doctor. Although I did used to get Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) all the time and I would go and get the antibiotic pills from my gyno. I couldn’t get the pills with out a pee test. Then the antibiotics would throw my system out of whack and I’d get a yeast infection which I would have to go back to the doctor to get diagnosised and treated. It was lame, uncomfortable and lots of time and money wasted.

    I did some research myself (ah Dr. Google) and discovered if I can catch the symptoms of the UTI early I can selftreat with cranberry pills and by drinking tons of water. No more doctors, pills that give me other problems or yeast infections!

    I know UTIs and yeast infections are personal and kind of yucky, but I like to open up discussion on them when I get the chance. They are easy to manage on your own and even prevent. But women don’t feel comfortable talking about them so the information doesn’t get shared.

    If you want more information on how I self treat and prevent UTIs:

  • Tamara January 9, 2010, 1:24 pm

    When I was about 15, a nurse/doctor team convinced my mother that I was too chubby and Atkins was imperative. She had great faith in doctors and promptly banned any and all carbohydrates. When the dieting spiraled out of control, I told this doctor that I felt constantly hungry and sick on my 500-calories-a-day plan. She said it was because I was eating too many bananas, which had sugar in them.

    When I overcame anorexia and started binge eating, I gained a lot of weight really quickly. A new doctor (because I refused to see the old one) took a look at my chart and said, “You should lose 40 pounds. Your ideal weight is 110.” I told him about the past few years of disordered eating, and that I didn’t think I was in any condition to start a new “diet.” Then he said, “Oh. In that case, aim for 115.”

    Thankfully, after I moved halfway across the country to escape from this lot, the doctors I’ve encountered haven’t said a peep about my weight. I’m in the “normal range,” so they don’t have any reason too, which is funny-in-a-totally-not-funny-way because I’m the exact same size I was when the whole fiasco began.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 9, 2010, 1:33 pm

    800 calories? That’s a crime!! Seriously!!
    I’ve been in and out of doctor’s offices who keep telling me there’s nothing wrong with me and to come back in 6 months. (Even though my white count is in the tank, I have chronic pain, and I’m black and blue.)
    The first few times I just said OK and left, but I learned to stand up for myself and my health. Don’t be afraid to be annoying and persistent. If YOU don’t care, they doctor won’t think they should.

  • Katharine January 9, 2010, 1:56 pm

    While doctors are often helpful and provide wonderful care, they don’t know all – it is up to US to take control of our health. To listen to our bodies, consider what the doctor says, do our own research, get a second opinion. It’s hard, and it can be scary, but it’s ultimately worth it. It took me THREE years to get my diagnosis – three years where I could have been doing something to HELP my cystic fibrosis. Doctors aren’t perfect, so you have to educate yourself, too.

  • RunToTheFinish January 9, 2010, 2:10 pm

    ahh doctors…in college i was getting sick all the time to my stomach so I went to the dr. she kept asking if I was pregnant and I kept telling her that wasn’t possible (seriously it wasn’t possible). ANyhow she had me pee in a cup to “run tests”. She ran a pregnancy test! I was so mad

  • Alison January 9, 2010, 2:11 pm

    can’t believe your first doc said that to you. you are def right–he was implying you can’t make your own decisions. i am a huge advocate of a 2nd opinion as well. i was diagnosed with something correctly but did not have the proper medication to treat it. a new doc helped with it. doctors are smart, obviously but they do make mistakes. great post!

  • Nikki T January 9, 2010, 2:17 pm

    I also had knee pain within my first few weeks of starting to run. I’m glad that I was at a point in my life that I didn’t just give up and think that running wasn’t for me because of knee pain…
    I saw an AMAZING chiropractor who adjusted me a few times and the knee pain (which was Patelar Tendonitis) was GONE! If I get any pains from running now, I see her immediately before it gets worse.
    As you’ve learned and talked about many times on your blog, you shouldn’t have to run through pain…it’s usually fixable! Listen to your body and it will thank you!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) January 9, 2010, 2:27 pm

    You’re right! Going to the doctor is important, but equally important is that we have some idea and knowledge as well! They can’t be expected to know everything about everything, after all.

    My dad was told to go on the Atkins diet and avoid carbs altogether which still drives me nuts. Carbs are good…especially for a runner like himself! 😀

  • Wendy January 9, 2010, 2:33 pm

    I’ve never had any truly bad experience with doctors, fortunately! Last summer, though, I was having major issues with my IT band – I couldn’t run 2 miles w/out stopping due to knee pain. I went to see my mom’s chiropractor (I was majorly skeptical!), and he had me back out & running in no time! I ran a half-marathon pain-free about a month later. I was so happy I decided to go see a chiro vs. a regular doctor, who likely would have ordered expensive tests and told me to stop running. I could have jumped for joy when the chiro did the adjustments and said “go out for a run and see how that feels”.

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner January 9, 2010, 2:35 pm

    I have had similar problems when trying to get my heartburn diagnosed and treated. My first doctor told me that “women get emotional and I was probably just overreacting.” My head almost exploded!!

  • Nadine January 9, 2010, 2:58 pm

    My primary care doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is one of the leading causes of fertility. After 6 months of depression, I made an appointment with my OBGYN and she undiagnosed me. Partly my fault for going to a GP for an OBGYN issue…but still, you don’t just rock someone’s world like that without referring them to a specialist!

  • Nicole January 9, 2010, 3:20 pm

    I agree, we have to be our own patient advocates. Just the other day my husband went in to the doctor because his blood pressure was running high. I had checked it several times at home, and it was over 140/90 (!) each time. The doctor didn’t seem to think this was a problem (my husband is 29 and not overweight!). My husband said, “I think my wife thinks I need an anti-hypertensive…” at which point the doctor agreed. SERIOUSLY?! Pathetic.!

  • Tammy January 9, 2010, 3:25 pm

    It’s good that you slept well last night, in case the jitters keep you up tonight! Rest those legs today, as much as you can…and after 6pm, don’t go crazy on the food…Glycogen stores should have been filling up all week…so if you eat too much trying to compensate, you might just feel miserable tomorrow. Of course, you know your own body and racing habits! Good luck to you and don’t start out too will more than make up for it at the end if you pace yourself!

  • Mellissa January 9, 2010, 3:34 pm

    Some of these stories are maddening, I think it goes to show how important it is to go to a reputable health professional. Just because they have lots of letters after their name doesn’t mean they know what they are doing!

    I had to have my ACL surgery re-done because the quack I went to didn’t do it properly. I had about 40 degrees of mobility for 6 months and ended up having 2 more surgeries on it!

  • Eve January 9, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Yeah for carbo loading! Definitely helps increase your glycogen stores.

    I’ve had some really great experiences with doctors. However, if you have something serious going on it’s in your best interest to seek out a 2nd opinion. The worse story I know is about someone who is pregnant who went to a doctor and she was gaining the normal amount of weight and her doctor told her to go on atkins!! She contacted me as a dietitian for a 2nd opinion and I told her absolutely not! There was no medical reason for her to be doing so, her doctor just wanted her weight gain to slow down. Awful.

  • Heather January 9, 2010, 4:09 pm

    I just got diagnosed with the same thing as you! My PT also told me that my hips were extremely weak, and he gave me some exercise to do. I am going to add some of the ones you recommended to my routine. He also gave me a way to tape my knee, and I was wondering if knee sleeves would also be a good investment. Do you find that the sleeves work better than the tape you tried?

    Good Luck tomorrow!!!! You will do great!

    • caitlin January 9, 2010, 4:09 pm

      yes 🙂 thanks!!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 9, 2010, 4:46 pm

    800 calories?! That is insane!! I would chew my arm off!!

    I hate going to the doctor and avoid it at all costs. The only bad experience I have had was when I was attacked by a dog, and the attack was because the dog simply snapped, when I was about 16 and my doctor told me it was actually my fault while I’m sitting there crying as they stitch up a gash on the side of my face. Right…

  • nicole January 9, 2010, 4:48 pm

    I too have had some problems with ortho docs. Tore all the ligaments in my left foot when i was 13, my ortho told me he “wasn’t sure” exactly what I did and that I may have affected the growth plate in my tibia. I didn’t break my ankle, so I’m still not sure where he came up with that one…Luckily, he did have the intelligence to get me into PT. Finally, it was the PT who told me what had happened—he hit it spot on, and got me good as new within a few months. Otherwise, I have been blessed with incredible doctors. My gyno actually birthed me and my sister, and I couldn’t ask for a better GP either.

    As someone in training to be a physician, I’d like to speak out on behalf of the profession. It is IMPERATIVE that patients ask lots of questions, and make their concerns known. If a physician is not receptive to this, DUMP HIM/HER!!! But please share all your thoughts. Too often I am interviewing or working up a patient who seems disquieted or concerned, but won’t ask questions or express concerns when I ask if they have any. Frankly, you know your bodies best but doctors know medicine best. The amount of testing, sleepless nights, stress, and work hours that go into becoming a doctor ensure that we can answer your questions and treat you to the best of our ability. Medical knowledge increases by the day, so it’s impossible to know it all–but we are HAPPY to look it up and find out for you! We want to work with you to help–this is meant to be a partnership, not a fascist regime. Just because we start out with more knowledge doesn’t mean we can’t share it all with you to bring you up to speed.

    Also, please don’t google things. You can’t tell what’s right or wrong, and you’ll end up scaring yourself. All questions should be directed to Medline or the Mayo Clinic’s website. In my opinion….

  • Amber January 9, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Two years ago I had a suspicious mole and after talking to my doctor about it and showing it to him he told me it was fine. I then mentioned it again a year later and he again told me I shouldn’t worry and it was fine. A couple months after that I finally told him I wanted to get it removed anyway. After telling me it really wasn’t neccessary but doing it anyway – it turned out it was MELANOMA!! Luckily I stepped up and made them remove it but I get so angry thinking I could have gotten this done so much earlier and reduced my long term risks immensely. Don’t be scared to speak up and demand services with your doctor. Better safe than sorry!

  • Stacey January 9, 2010, 5:12 pm

    Just wanted to take a chance to say good luck tomorrow. Have fun!

  • jewels January 9, 2010, 5:20 pm

    i was a competitive swimmer and went to college on a scholarship,in high school i went to a doctor who told me (without an MRI) that i needed to stop swimming completely because of my shoulder pains. I was devastated needless to say and thought my hopes of a college career were done. I went for a second opinion and the doctor referred me to a physical therapist who was amazing. I continued to swim and go to therapy and swam four strong years in college with little to no pain.


  • Jessica January 9, 2010, 6:04 pm

    I am shocked and very disappointed that an actual doctor would tell someone, particularly a woman that she only needs to eat 800 calories! With all the women and girls in this country with eating disorders. Of course I once had an oral surgeon tell me I needed a nose job- and I was 17 years old! He tried to say it as delicately as possible, but come on!

    • Lindsey @ Sound Eats January 9, 2010, 8:59 pm

      This is why I was so glad I am a well-educated, healthy woman. If he had told this 800 cal/ day BS to a much younger version of myself, I would’ve been all over it.

  • Whit January 9, 2010, 6:18 pm

    hey, good luck tomorrow friend! that’s it. byeee!

  • Bridget January 9, 2010, 7:04 pm

    The worst experience that I’ve ever had with a doctor was here in Japan…two days ago!

    My problem is that I have some sort of infection. Neither of the doctors could figure out *exactly* what it was. My white blood cell count was way too high in December, but is now closer to the normal range, though still a little high. However, the main doctor was downright sexist and accusatory throughout the whole exam, saying that I must be a smoker, and that I’m morbidly obese because I’m sedentary and don’t eat enough vegetables.

    I’ll give him that, in Japan, anything over not anorexic is obese, so yes…here, I’m obese, despite how much weight I’ve lost and muscle I’ve gained. But, their expectations about weight are so out of whack that I can rarely even pretend to get my head around it. Next, I’m not a smoker, nor will I ever be a smoker. I almost punched him for accusing me of doing something that I abhor. I’ve spent the last two years watching my mom recover from smoking related illness, and am now watching my grandmother die from smoking related illness. Yet, he maintained that I must be a smoker.

    Lastly, I eat 10-12 different vegetables a day, between what I cook and what I get at school lunch. At the end of the appointment, I asked him if he’d ever studied genetics. He said no. There we have it. In such a homogeneous place, where people have generally almost identical genetic makeup, genetics is barely even recognized as medicine. (That may be different now–this guy is OLD).

    I want a second opinion, but am pretty sure that any doctor here would come up with something similar. Thankfully, the infection went down before I even knew it was a problem.

    My boss was with me to translate what I couldn’t understand. He told me not to worry, because both doctors were mean. I asked him about a second opinion, and he said that the test results would still be the same and that the old man doctor was just blowing hot steam about my weight.

    Understanding that not everyone is the same–that is one of the things that makes me miss the US the most.

    I’m glad that you were able to get a fantastic second doctor, who helped you achieve your goals. That’s what doctors SHOULD do–not be like your first doctor, the 800 calorie diet doctor, or my horrible doctor here.

  • jessica January 9, 2010, 8:46 pm

    I had a doctor tell me to go on Alli (the weight loss pill) to help with stomach problems I was having when I was already underweight. Um, yeah a doctor telling an underweight patient to go on diet pills? No thanks!

  • Lindsey @ Sound Eats January 9, 2010, 9:00 pm

    I still can’t believe the bullshit that dr tried to pull on me.

  • J January 9, 2010, 9:42 pm

    When you decrease your calories you are basically decreasing your metabolism as well; thus the measure is counter-productive. If you want to lose weight just exerctse more!

    Don’t mean to insult anyone, but based on some horrific experiences, I would say doctors are the most closed minded people I’ve met; they think they are ALWAYS right.

  • Jenny January 9, 2010, 11:55 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a completely “off” or negative experience with a doctor, but I do think that we put too much faith in people with MDs in general. You’re right, they are human too! They can only give us advice based on their medical knowledge and experience, and that’s not made specifically for everyone. Some things should be taken with a grain of salt I think.

  • kay January 10, 2010, 12:39 am

    i really don’t want you to take this as criticism, but i know one thing i’ve found in my life is that i’m a happier person if i frame things in a positive way (my biggest frustration is generally driving, so , if a car cuts me off i tell myself “they could be lost/have a crying child they need to get home/etc” rather than “i hate them soooo much”)
    you seem to have a focus on making your life happier and more positive in general. but i do get the vibe you’ve had some bad experiences with doctors. while i’m sure you’ve had valid reasons to dislike it, sometimes it seems like you want them to be wrong… like you’re waiting for them to do something wrong. with the “tie you to the bed” statement from the past dr, if it were me, i’d try and frame it as the doctor saying “i can tell you love running, and it will be hard to not do it. i’d encourage you to get the support from your loved ones, like your husband, to help you with it, because i know giving up something you live is difficult”. it might not be what they meant, but i’ve found framing things in a positive way keeps me from getting sucked into negativity.
    don’t take this as me devaluing your past experiences-i just know for me i’m happier, and less stressed if i keep things framed as though people around me are wanting the best

  • Shelly January 10, 2010, 12:28 pm

    Oh man I used to be married to a guy in the military and the base doctors I saw were the worst. I was having a problem with my anxiety disorder and since you have to go to a primary dr. to get a referral for most stuff (you actually didn’t have to do that to get a referral to a psychiatrist, I found out later, fortunately) I went to a primary care Dr. on base to try to get a referral. He told me to pray about my anxiety and gave me a CD of himself playing the guitar and singing religious songs.
    I was also having horrible allergy attacks and for some reason, a combination of benadryl and Afrin (Afrin is the devil, never take it) made my heart start racing. It wouldn’t slow down so after a couple hours I went to the emergency room. They couldn’t figure out why my heart was racing and did everything from check my thyroid to accuse me of taking drugs! I basically sat in the emergency room and received fluids (I was also a little dehydrated) until my pulse came down about 6 hours later. A year later, I went to a civilian Dr. When I told him the story, he immediately said “That sounds like mitral valve prolapse.” It’s generally not a big deal and like 1/3 of women have it, but it can cause chest pains and a racing pulse and sensitivity to medicine is a common symptom. I had to get tests to confirm it, but that’s what it was.
    So not to blame the military in general, but all of my medical horror stories come from care I received on base.

    • caitlin January 10, 2010, 5:16 pm

      oh my! i hope you are OK now.

      • Shelly January 10, 2010, 5:21 pm

        I am! Thanks. 🙂 Mine is actually very mild and it boils down to if I get too much caffeine, too much stress or too little exercise, I get chest pains. Some people with MVP need to take antibiotics before going to the dentist, but I don’t. And decongestants make my heart race, but basically ever since I figured out what was going on, I’ve been able to manage it and I haven’t had any problems in forever. 🙂
        As for the anxiety- therapy (at first) and running (now) are a girl’s best friend. 🙂

  • Ali@ Food, FItness, Fashion January 10, 2010, 11:03 pm

    WOW! I can’t believe your doctor said that to you or that that reader’s doctor said that to her. I once had a doctor tell me that my (now fiance) must be cheating on me and that I had an STD before she even examined me. Once she did, I was diagnosed with heat rash, not herpes…thank you very much. Needless to say, she is no longer my doctor.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat January 11, 2010, 8:57 am

    Wow, that is such a sad story!

    When I was 20 years old, I started having really bad pains in my side and upper abdomen. Like the worst pain of my life. It would come in episodes.

    It took three doctors, three ultrasounds and lots of pain and frustration for them to FINALLY decide it was my gallbladder (plus a slipped out stone in my main duct) and I had to have emergency surgery and stay in the hospital with a drain for 4 days (it had become infected and gangrene).

    All of this could’ve been prevented or made easier if the first doctor had recognized my problem. I think he didn’t want to because I was 20, but that is becoming more common now (I’m 28 now). Gallbladder removal is usually outpatient surgery. But he thought my gallstones that showed up on the first ultrasound were “not significant.” Grrr…

    So I totally agree with you, based on my experience too!

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point