Before going into rheumatology, I had the usual blood-pressure check (124/90, high because I was in so much pain by this point already) heart rate (85bmp, again, pain) and weigh-in.
I spluttered when the nurse told me my weight, and she immediately tried to console me; “Oh, that’s not that heavy, I mean, you are very tall!”.
I did the maths in my head. “That’s just under nine stone!”
She loked at me blankly, then smiled.
“See? Not bad.”
I twitched. “I’m five foot nine. I’m supposed to be about ten stone. I’ve lost a stone, without noticing it. And that was my weight in a leather jacket and assault boots.
“Ooh well lucky you then, even lighter! You can knock off a couple of pounds for them as well!”
On reflection, this may have been when my uncontrollable eye-twitching started. How have we reached a point wherein everyone is supposed to want to lose weight, even if they’re waking up ravenous in a haze of ketones every morning, and haven’t had a full meal in days? How is it that, even though if the nurse had really looked at me, it’s obvious that I’m underweight and suffering because of it, her automatic thought was that I must think I’m too fat and to try to console me that I can always be thinner?
Below the cut is a, probably fairly disturbing actually, photograph of me as I’ve been all morning – Naked but for my boxers, basically immobile. [spoilered for people who just wanted the commentary, and not my self-indulgent whine].
I am hollow in places where people shouldn’t be hollow. I can see my ribs, I can see my sternum, I can see where my clavicle attaches to my shoulder. I can see underneath my illiac fossae and between my radius and ulna next to the wrist. My knees stick out – the shape around them is defined by the femur and the tibia, not the useful fat that usually makes a thigh plump and pleasant. I promise that if I turned over, my ribs show just as much at the back, and the outline of my pelvis is clear, right to the tip of the coccxyx. My vertebrae can be counted through a shirt.
This is not a healthy body. Or at least, even if I’m not too far into dangerously underweight by BMI standards, it’s not healthy for me – My frame is large and predisposed to carry a lot of muscle along with a good-sized hakama belly, and it’s not on a healthy trajectory – Losing weight whilst trying to put it on.
Now, excuse me, I’m off to make the most greasy, garlicky, spicy, mashed potatoes I can muster, then wrap them in turmeric-luminous dough made with peanut butter and chilli oil, then fry them in margarine.