“Living with obesity yourself is tough. Watching your children cope with it can be brutal.” – Nikki Massie, OAC Community Member
Nikki Massie knows what it is like to live with obesity. Through the years, she has fought hard to improve her health and navigate her treatment options, often forced to move past the shame and blame she faced from healthcare providers.
Which is why, as a mother concerned about her child’s health (a teenager who is also affected by obesity), Nikki was anxious to begin the search for a new Primary Care Provider when her daughter turned 18. In addition to obesity, her daughter struggled with health conditions such as migraines and sleep problems.
Nikki remembers the frustrating appointments she and her daughter went to with the pediatrician they used before. He didn’t understand how to talk about the subjects of weight and health in a meaningful way.
Nikki writes, “He had good intentions, but the conversation usually ended up with him sharing how he lost weight as a teenager by simply not eating half of what he was served.” Not surprisingly, this “wisdom” wasn’t helpful.
Obesity Care Providers: A Tool for Finding Healthcare that Effectively Helps Manage Obesity and Health
There were growing pains involved as Nikki and her daughter faced the difficult transition from pediatrician to “adult doctor.” However, Nikki found comfort in knowing that the OAC provided her family with a valuable resource which would help.
The OAC’s Obesity Care Provider Locator is a relatively new website that lets users search for a variety of medical providers who have experience treating patients with obesity. You can filter your search by zip code, provider specialty and other considerations, then be matched with primary care providers, surgeons, specialists, dietitians, nurse practitioners and more.
After finding what appeared to be a good match, Nikki and her daughter braved that first appointment with a new provider. How would the doctor address her daughter’s obesity? Would her daughter feel comfortable and confident in learning to manage her health?
Reflecting on Access to Care
You’ll have to check out the OAC’s Spring issue of Weight Matters Magazine to get the full story, but this experience demonstrated to both Nikki and her daughter what true, quality healthcare for a patient with obesity should look like.
It shines light on an important issue in the healthcare system if you live with obesity: finding the right care can be tough. Really tough. Many patients report feeling stigmatized or looked down upon because of their weight, which affected the level of care they received. However, a stigma-free and collaborative relationship with your healthcare provider can make an unbelievable difference in your health journey.
Weight Matters Magazine Spring 2020 will debut shortly, but until then, check-out the OAC’s Resource Article Library for past articles shared online that you might be interested in. CLICK HERE to visit the complete magazine archives.
To learn more about the OAC’s Obesity Care Provider Locator, CLICK HERE.