Blood work: as long as I can remember I’ve known about blood work. I remember the first time I realized I was fat. I was in the doctor’s office awaiting the results of my blood work. I was young – I want to say 6, maybe 7 – and I was sitting there thinking, “Do other kids have to have blood work done?” My mom, a neurotic Jewish mother, was sitting with her notepad preparing to bombard my pediatrician with questions about my health. I remember a few things that day, and what I heard would eventually shape my thoughts about myself for the rest of my life.
The word of the day was Cholesterol. Cholesterol: a pretty big and scary word that at the time only seemed to be negative in connotation (I did not know there was difference in HDL (good) and LDL (bad). My mom mentioned to the doctor how it was high and that it ran in my family, and she was worried (nothing new). When the doctor came in, he said my cholesterol was high and that I need to be on a diet (“diet,” “high cholesterol” and I am six). So I knew right then that I was different, that from that day forward I would begin a lifetime of being told “you can’t eat this” or “don’t eat that,” or waking up to eat my candy from Halloween only to be informed that my candy had been given away because I didn’t “need” it.
I do not remember every word that was said in the doctor’s office, but I do remember one statement from the doctor. “Well, we know she’s never going to be a super model.” Thanks, Doc. I’ll enjoy proving you wrong. Sincerely, Naomi.