I had my annual physical with a new primary care on Monday. I’m much less picky with my primary care than I am with my therapy team, primarily because most of my care is outsourced to specialists and I tend to take pretty good care of myself. When I met with my new primary care about a month ago to set up a preliminary, introductory appointment, I should have noticed that she seemed to ignore that I have a diagnosis of PTSD in addition to bipolar disorder. I don’t know why that bothered me, but it did. Probably because my new PTSD diagnosis is one of the few solid, concrete things that says, “Yes, she has experienced valid trauma and no, she was not lying, or making it up, or delusional.” I cling to it because it validates me and my experiences. And she ignored it.
Further than that, I was bothered by the way she addressed some of the “lifestyle” questions that doctors are required to ask (and as much as it irked me that she said “So you’re a homosexual?” instead of asking “So you’re gay?”, I won’t harp on that). First, she asked me what I did for work. I said that I don’t work. Then she asked me if I was going to school. I said that I went for a little bit and dropped out. So then she said:
“So… what do you do all day?”
Granted, I probably should have seen that coming. When she asked what I did for work, I should have said I was a homemaker or a housewife. Even admitting that I’m on disability probably would not have warranted that as a response. But seriously? What do you do all day?
Go fucking ask that to the conservative Christian bloggers who promote being a homemaker as a Biblical calling.
Go fucking ask that to my grandmother, who has been a housewife since 1950, when this sort of thing was more common.
And for the record, go fucking ask that to the “secretary” who sits at a desk all day and has access to Facebook at work. Because how the fuck is keeping house not as difficult as that? (And for the record, I have been that receptionist, so I know that it can be a trade-off.)
I’m sick of people trivializing what I do all day. Since when did work, a career, become the be-all end-all to existence? Since when do I need to validate my position as a homemaker with the caveat that I’m disabled, so I can’t work, so of course I would work if I were psychologically able? Why does that italicized statement have to be the assumption? Maybe I don’t want to work. Maybe I don’t want to have a career, or a college degree. Maybe my partner is OK with these goals and likes having someone at home to take care of the cleaning, the dinner, the pets, and G-d willing, the kids. Maybe she likes coming home to a dinner that took two hours (granted, that was partially due to a new recipe and time management skills) and that included handmade, from-scratch tortillas. Maybe she likes coming home to a house that requires very little maintenance on her end, because the trade-off is she is the one who makes the money. Maybe she likes knowing that the dogs and cat have attention all day and are exercised without a pet-sitter.
So what do I do all day?
A lot, actually. Just because I can’t/don’t work doesn’t mean I’m lazy, or a moocher, or a Welfare Queen. And for the record, the psychological work I do in therapy is also pretty heavy stuff. So don’t fucking laugh at me and ask me, “So… what do you do all day?”
But at least she didn’t harp on my weight, and since my BMI is technically overweight (despite my blood work/cholesterol/blood pressure all coming back normal), I guess I’ll take what I can get. I don’t have the mental energy to go through what I just went through in trying to find a therapist all over again, but this time with a primary care physician. I’m fucking done.
“So… what do you do all day?”, my ass.