, , , , | Healthy | July 28, 2018

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(I am a female and a teenager. I’m temporarily on a medication that has a lot of side effects, one of the main ones being high cholesterol. I have no prior history of high cholesterol, though. I’m at the doctor’s office with my mom specifically to check that the side effects of the medication are not getting out of hand.)

Nurse: “Okay, so, looking at your results, your cholesterol is higher than it should be.” *addressing my mom* “Mom, no more serving hamburgers, and no more fast food! All that salt, red meat, and fat is really bad for teenagers, even if that’s all they want to eat.”

Mom: “Actually, we never eat fast food, and we’ve been eating pescatarian for the past few months.”

Me: “Yeah, I don’t think I’ve gone to a fast food restaurant in years.”

(The nurse looks a little flustered at this point.)

Nurse: “Well, I know how teenagers are in the summer, so try to do some walking, at least! No more laying around on the couch all day!”

Me: “I’ve actually been swimming a mile every day, and I am working as a lifeguard.”

(The nurse is starting to look annoyed, like she doesn’t believe us.)

Nurse: “Right… Well, you need to fix this, or we’re going to have to put you on medication, and you’re too young to be on cholesterol medication.”

(My mother is getting annoyed and defensive now.)

Mom: “She’s on [Medication]; that’s the whole reason we’re here! Isn’t high cholesterol one of the side effects of the medicine?”

Nurse: *glaring at my mom* “Well… Sometimes.”

Mom: “Don’t you think that might be the reason she has high cholesterol, then?”

(The nurse just walked out at that point, and we didn’t see her the rest of the visit. We mentioned it to the doctor later, but she just said, “Well, your cholesterol is kind of high.” Luckily, once I got off the medication a few months later, my cholesterol dropped back down. But seriously, at least ask questions before making patronizing assumptions about someone’s diet and exercise.)

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