Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fat Doctor, Versions 1-3

Hello, my name is Sarah Parrott and I am a recovering blogging addict.

In October of 2005, I struggled with emotional adjustment to a health crisis. Because I needed to write to heal, I Googled "online journal", found Blogger and decided my blog's title should be The Fat Doctor, because that's what I am. I chose the username bigmamadoc. My first post was brief, raw and full of anger. I still believe it's the best I ever wrote.

I thought the blog would be just for me, but after a week or so, I realized that taking my blog public would give me more "reason to write." I'm the type of gal who loves an audience. I signed up on medlogs and eventually a few people started to comment on my posts. After I hosted a couple of Grand Rounds, the readership increased. Somewhere along the line I started thinking about my blog as a brand and renamed it "Fat Doctor" and changed my username to that as well. Readers addressed me as FD.

My blog friends became increasingly more important to me. TBTAM, Doctor Anonymous, all sorts of bloggers felt as real to me as the friends I met for movies and dinner. During my hospitalization in San Francisco in April of 2006, Husband printed out the comments on my blog and bring them to me every day. In the heyday of my blog, which was probably Fall of 2006, I was getting about 800 hits a day.

In May of 2007, I was outed at work. Too many personal details...it was bound to happen. My department chair came to my office and said that he was particularly dismayed to read my comments about a recent faculty meeting. He did not ask me to take the blog down, but I did just that. I moved to WordPress and my posts changed tone. Fat Doctor Lite, if you will. It wasn't that much fun anymore.

After changing jobs in July 2007, which probably was a result of the embarrassment I felt about being outed (and the lure of twice my salary), I kept that boring blog going. When I was laid off in 2009 and I needed to find a new job, I took it private, allowing only usernames I trusted to see it. Fat Doctor still exists, and I post there a few times a month, but only a handful (if that) of the 100 or so registered users read it regularly. I believe that blog has started the agonal breathing that signifies impending death.

Meanwhile, it seems a lot of bloggers have outed themselves. What a refreshing concept! I started a new blog as just plain old me. It, too, is extremely boring. I won't discuss work at all. I'm not sure this blog will work out, either, but it feels good not to hide behind an eponym.

Funny, but I don't seem to need blogging anymore. It really served a role when I was worried about dying, but I'm now convinced I'll live forever. Similarly, blogging served a role when I was miserable at my first two jobs post-residency because I could "safely" complain, but that kind of backfired. Now I love my work and want to stay where I am until retirement.

I need a new addiction, perhaps, but I certainly won't choose anything related to exercise. After all, my blogs may come and go, but I'll always be Fat Doctor.


  1. You have been missed by this reader! How are the kidlets? Thanks for a least letting us know that you are fine...hope you are loving the job as well as the big boy and little girl!

    Pattie, RN

    PS: WV "humerose"...a combo of humorous and morose, sort of like real life!

  2. You've been missed by me too! I must say,your comments to me (usually @ Dr A's show) in support of me when I went back to school were priceless and never forgotten!

    Was just thinking about you last week wondering how you were and trying to see if I had your email to see if I could get access to your blog.
    (I knew you were going private, you'd said to send request and I kept thinking 'tomorrow' and before I knew it, *poof* you were gone!)

    Am looking forward to catching up with you on your new blog. You've never been boring!


  3. I also enjoyed reading your blog from time to time. Hope all is well with your new job!

  4. Thanks for mentioning my blog. As I have said before, the Fat Doctor blog was the first physician blog I ever read and inspired me to start writing myself.

    I definitely understand blog fatigue. I don't write as much as I did when I started. Plus, when I started I wrote almost all patient related stories and posts. Not anymore.

    I agree with you, when blogging and social media are no longer fun, I'm outta here. But not yet...

  5. I write less these days, too, but I still enjoy writing and participating in the community.

    I blog anonymously (well, I use my name, but no one in my daily life knows about the blog) and I can imagine how I'd feel if I was ever outed. Yuck.


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