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You Should Warm Up Before A Stretch Like That

, , , , | Healthy | July 1, 2021

I am, by my own admission, rather overweight. I also have very painful periods, so I end up going on birth control to regulate them. As I am overweight, I have to get a blood pressure check every six months before I can get another prescription, so I’ve signed up with the University Doctors’ Surgery while I am studying at the other end of the country.

It’s a hot summer’s day when I come in for this appointment, and I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt. As my appointment is deemed low-priority, I get assigned to whichever doctor is available, so I haven’t seen this doctor before.

After taking my blood pressure and removing the cuff, he spots some marks on my arms.

Doctor: “How long have you had those?”

Me: “Not sure. Maybe about a year?”

Doctor: “And you didn’t think of mentioning them before?”

Me: “I didn’t think they were a problem. Are they?”

Doctor: “They look like symptoms of excessive cortisol. It would explain why you have so much excess weight. If they are still there in six months, let us know. They’ll probably have to do brain surgery to fix it.”

Me: *Internally* “WHAT?!”

Me: *Externally* “Okay?”

I don’t deal with this news very well. My hair is the one feature I like about myself, and it seems like a massive thing, so I just go into denial and cover up the marks on my arms.

I’m still doing this when I go home for the holidays, even though it’s getting hotter, and my nan — who was a nurse before she retired — pulls me aside one day.

Nan: “Aren’t you hot in that, [My Name]?”

Me: “Yeah, but it’s okay.”

Nan: “You must be boiling!”

She keeps badgering me until I blurt out the whole story. She looks sceptical.

Nan: “Can I take a look at these marks?”

Reluctantly, I take off my jumper, and she looks at them for two seconds.

Nan: “When you go back for your next appointment, go to any other doctor; don’t go back to that moron. He’s seeing zebras.”

Me: “Huh? What do you mean?”

Nan: “Those are f****** stretch marks.”

So, six months of worry because a doctor didn’t recognise stretch marks. Great!

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