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Fat Phobia and Prejudice from Medical Professionals is REAL

Chrystal Bougon

Posted on March 22 2016





I posted this simple graphic today on my Facebook page and in about 4 hours, it had over 82 shares. Maybe you when you see me say things like “fat rights are human rights” you will get where I am coming from. When you read the comments, your heart may be broken like mine and you will understand why I am so passionate about helping people of size to DEMAND the same kind of CARE that everyone else gets. Thin people don’t have to DEMAND respect and dignity when they go to see their doctor. They just automatically get it.  When you are a thin person, you have a privilege that we do not have. And, that my friends, is total bullshit. (And, this meme has been going around for a few years, but I wanted to share it again today and 556 comments, 82 shares)  It’s still relevant and still touches people so much they respond with their medical horror stories. (See below.)

Here is the direct link to the CONVERSATION:

But here are some examples, shared with permission:

From Claudia: ”  All the time from this one same ER doctor.
Went in for an infected cat bite….”you need to lose weight”…I lost 40lbs just before that visit. Went in for a fracture on my ankle…”you need to lose weight. I guess I should be nicer since you are one of us”… Dr Petty,  you sir need a new job where you will be happier. You need to lose your attitude!!”

From Corina Alfaro: “Sadly this is all too true & is one of the main reasons I avoid going in at all costs. This is despite years of pretty frickin good lab results(i.e. excellent cholesterol, blood sugar, & blood pressure).

I once had a doctor tell me immediately upon walking into an exam room on the first visit “You’d be a perfect candidate for gastric bypass” & later on told me “you need to make me your regular physician so we can get you that surgery”. Then after thoroughly pissing me off & about 3/4 into the visit he finally decided to take my blood pressure & proceeded to give me blood pressure medication to sample. Mind you, this was an appointment to evaluate me for workman’s comp on a stress leave issue years ago.”

See what Corina said there? She said she “avoids going in to see her doctor at all costs.”  That makes my blood boil. And, it’s so common. It’s so sad and unfortunately. I wish someone would do a study about how so many of us do NOT go to see our doctors on a regular basis and THAT is the reason we have health issues later in life. Maybe THAT is the reason we die at a younger age.  Did anyone consider that? We do not go and get our well woman exam because nurses and doctors can be assholes to us – so we don’t go to get tested for ovarian cancer and breast cancer because we don’t want to get treated like a damn animal when we go to see our HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS! (People who too the Hippocratic Oath, for f***s sake.)

From Britany: And this is why I don’t go to the doctors. I’m obese, I get it, no shit lol. It could be the simplest of things and yet they make it into a weight issue. And some doctors have no filter! I had to see a doctor bc of my gallbladder. I had to wait an hour for him. He comes in, sits down and says “well we can’t do anything for you because you’re morbidly obese and our instruments we would use for your surgery will not reach. We suggest you lose 200 pounds”. And then he leaves and the nurse comes back in and I’m in tears. I was mortified and embarassed. Yeah I am almost 400 pounds but what that asshat didn’t know is that I had been working my tail of to lose weight. Some doctors just don’t care and their bedside manner is horrendous.”

From Steve: Gawds, yes. Annoying as hell. I have a spinal disk impingement, and my doc claimed it was diabetic neuropathy, despite a very normal A1c.”

From Gilian:Yup, I’ve experienced this on several occasions. Nearly died once because a doctor brushed off a serious illness as just my body’s way of telling me to lose weight. I’ve even had a doctor tell me that my eating disorder wasn’t really an issue because I could stand to lose some weight anyways. Ridiculous.”

From Melissa:All too true. I went to the emergency room with terrible stomach pain and all the dr said was my muscles are sore from carrying around all my weight and released me to see a nutritionist. Three days later I was in the operating room and fighting sepsis because I had ruptured an ovary.

From Kitty: “ugh I had a Doctor flat out tell me I do not have fire damage to my lungs, that I do not have COPD, that I am just FAT. And if I lose weight I will magically be able to breathe again. This Dr then proceded to not refil any of my breathing medications. I ended up in the ER the next night for a breathing attack. I almost died. The ER Dr after looking at X-rays of my chest asked right away, “so when were you in a fire?”. She never said a damn thing about my weight. She wanted to know about the fire I was in. And even went so far as to tell me when I started balling that my weight is not my fault and its ok. That years of fighting to live with fire damaged lungs on steroids caused my weight gain and I have to live with it. That it will never go away so long as I need medication to breathe.

I got a new Doctor by the way, and she is great. She thinks I am pretty awesome for how hard I keep trying. I think she is awesome for having a soul.”

From Renee:My mom went to a urologist about her bladder problem and asked her to carry a 200 lb bag of potatoes across the room and she told him she couldn’t and he said well that’s what is on the front of you. My mom weighs 345. He said no one would do surgery on her. She cried her eyes out.

From Angela : Ain’t that the truth. I went to the doctor because I had spider bites all over my belly. She told me it was allergies from being obese.”

Now I am sure you can definitely see why this gets me SO mad.

Please be sure to bring a friend with you when you go to see your doctor. Doctors and nurses are rarely rude when you have back up. And, if you are a person who is an ally, please be sure you are doing all you can to make sure NO ONE has to put up with this kind of sub bar treatment.

All my love to all of you who get such crappy treatment.  Being your own advocate is so important in these times of BIG Pharma and a health / insurance system that is so completely flawed.

xo, Chrystal



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