The Weekly Whine is my favorite segment on my blog. I started it in response to someone complaining that I whined too much. I figured by starting this segment and being forthright about the fact that I was whining, nobody had the right to complain. After all, if you're reading an entry titled "weekly whine", you know what you're getting into. So if you don't like it, it's your own damn fault for reading in the first place.
The truth is, I don't think this blog is particularly whiny or negative about medicine. Mostly it's anecdotes, drawings, quizzes, etc. Yet sometimes people will start inexplicably yelling at me for being too negative, such as on this post (not even a particularly negative one). Or criticize me for complaining too much or something.
Yes, I do tend to keep from telling particularly positive stories or writing love letters to medicine. And here's why:
A couple of months ago, I completed a year of pumping for my baby. Even though I strongly believe women shouldn't place undo stress on themselves to pump, I was still proud of this achievement. It was a lot of work and it also took a lot out of me. So I made a post on Mothers in Medicine talking about my accomplishment.
For a while, nobody commented. Nobody cared, which is fine... it was a personal achievement. Then finally, I did get a comment. Was the comment saying, "Hey, good job working hard to provide nutritious breastmilk for the sake of your baby's health for a whole year!" No. The comment was to yell at me for saying that the stress of breastfeeding had caused me to have a BMI of 18 despite getting to eat anything I want. That I was glamorizing being dangerously underweight.
Just a little background on the BMI of 18:
I don't own a scale. Since I'm not trying to lose weight, I don't really see a need to own one. Why would I want to know what I weigh? What good does that do me? I had noticed that I had lost weight based on the fact that my clothes all fit me like a tent and my wedding band kept falling off. But it was during my yearly PCP visit that they told me my weight and calculated my BMI for me. I was very surprised, and for a week or two, I was talking about it a lot, not to brag, but the same way I told everyone when my hematocrit got really low when I was pregnant the first time. That got reflected in that particular post, I suppose.
The commentor also pointed out that I glamorized the fact that I didn't gain much weight in pregnancy. I did mention this fact once while talking about testing for gestational diabetes, where it was very relevant (I, in fact, didn't post at all about pregnancy while I was actually pregnant). It's true that I didn't gain much weight during pregnancy, but that's because I was violently ill for the first 20 weeks, and mildly nauseated for the second 20 weeks. If vomiting every day is glamorous, then I am the glam queen. Believe me, I got very jealous of pregnant people who said, "Oh, I have no symptoms at all."
Subsequently, a second post appeared on this blog (which I had written the same time as the other post, but had scheduled for weeks later) that mentioned my weight loss caused me to feel colder than usual. Someone then commented that talking about my weight made them absolutely furious (?) to the point where they couldn't read the rest of the post, that I was again glamorizing being underweight, and it was irresponsible for me to do so.
One thing this all demonstrated to me is this:
Nobody wants to hear you say anything about yourself that could be construed as positive. If your baby is sleeping through the night at one month old, nobody wants to hear about that. If your baby wakes up every hour, then that's an acceptable blog post. If you get a raise, nobody likes you. If you can barely afford food, that's an acceptable blog post. Whenever you tell positive stories about yourself, people think you're bragging and hate you.
Maybe that's a pessimistic view of the world, but it's just an observation I've made. And that's why I err on the side of whining. Because if I didn't, you'd probably hate me.