Remember that post I made about going to my doctor? Well, in case you forget, here are some highlights of that visit.
He shamed me for having tattoos and wanting a facial piercing, telling me that they are “dangerous.” And when I told him to quit body-policing, he told me, “I’m a professional. I’m allowed to be the body police.”
He told me he was “sorry to say” that I gained weight during the past two years I didn’t see him, and told me I should see a nutritionist.
He told me my blood pressure was high, and I didn’t even try to tell him it’s because I was so nervous and didn’t he notice how much I was sweating in his freezing cold air conditioned office? I didn’t even tell him that when I was in the hospital in December, every time a doctor came in my heart rate shot up so high it made the machines beep out of control because I HAVE A PHOBIA OF DOCTORS.
He rolled his eyes at the problems I described in my feet, and decided instead to drill me about what I eat, my exercising habits, etc. and told me he needed a blood test for insulin and whatnot. He completely ignored the fact that for the past month and a half I have been eating differently and exercising NOT TO LOSE WEIGHT BUT TO FEEL BETTER. I was sick of my stomach feeling like shit after eating out too much, eating a lot of processed food, etc. But I did it because I wanted to feel better. (Obviously, anyone can eat whatever they want and I will never pass judgement. This is something I’m doing because I want to. It has nothing to do with losing weight or “being healthy.” It has everything to do with me experiencing less stomach pain, etc.)
Then after I stared at him he said, “And we’ll get an x-ray of your foot too.”
SO REALLY what happened is that he didn’t treat me for my ailment. He instead decided to attempt to convince me that my fatness is the cause of, and/or more important than the pain and numbness in my foot that I’ve been experiencing FOR A YEAR. He didn’t decide to attempt to figure out if my back pain is at all related, if I have a pinched nerve, or anything.
He gave me a pity x-ray in attempts to calm my nerves.
Well, all of that was made ten times worse when I got a call from his office yesterday.
Mary, his nurse, told me that my blood work came back fine except my insulin was less than one point above normal. My doctor was putting me on medicine to bring it down and in three months I would take another blood test to see if it worked.
And that was it.
No word about my foot. No word about my x-ray. In the meantime, my foot is still in pain, and there is still numbness in my toe. In the meantime, I’m still panicking about my foot, wondering if I will be able to walk around Dublin in the fall like everyone else, or if I will have to spend more money on more cabs more often.
“But maybe he didn’t see the x-ray yet!” you might say.
Well, the x-ray was done an hour after I saw him at his office. X-rays are taken, and sent directly to the doctor electronically. It’s pretty much instantly. The blood work was done the next morning, and blood work (duh) has to be sent to a lab, tested, and sent to the doctor. He must have seen the x-ray.
AND if nothing showed up on the x-ray, then I want something else done to figure out what is happening.
Thus ends, not the first time I have felt systematic discrimination against my body, but certainly the first time I felt it from a doctor, and on this scale.
And let me tell you, it wasn’t simply anger I felt. I was hurt. I was extremely, extremely hurt. And while I have experienced discrimination before, it never got to me the way it did yesterday. I was never bothered by it. But yesterday, I was hurt deeply because I wasn’t treated equally. I wasn’t treated with the care I deserve.
So what did I do? I looked at body-positive and FA blogs, and took a trip over to this post by This is Thin Privilege and posted it on my facebook. And then, this happened:
(Mike is a “friend” and Skyler is a “friend” and former coworker. Both have male, cisgendered, white, able-bodied [as far as I know], and thin privilege.) And I’m Taylor. (duh).
So NOT ONLY are they denying thin privilege. They are denying that privilege even exists…. putting it in quotations as if I am making it up or it’s some figment of my imagination!
And yes, I didn’t respond with my normal patient consistency. Understandably, though, considering the day I had. Notice how a person with all the same privileges immediately defends Mike, and how no one shows up in support of body-positivity and FA.
(Although, the lovely Megan tried, but is out on an Indian reservation having the time of her life, typed up a huge long comment on her phone and accidentally deleted it. She is awesome).
From the moment I got that phone call until the moment I fell asleep, I was crying on and off. Everything was made worse by the fact that I’m left, again, completely alone in my apartment (after being at home for a week and having my mom up for the weekend) with nothing to do and nowhere to go, going out of my mind, feeling helpless and unloved and worthless.
But today will be better, right?
He ordered some foot/ankle x-rays, blood work, and told me to see a nutritionist. He also told my my thyroid looked enlarged.
And the body-policing was at it’s PRIME. The thing is, I love my doctor, even though I HATE HATE HATE going to the doctor’s or anything involving le world de medical. My doctor is generally pretty cool, but he, of course, rocked out to some hardcore body-policing.
First of all, when he told me I gained a “significant” amount of weight since I saw him last (it had been two years) he added, “I’m sorry to say it.”
Sorry to say it? DON’T apologize for my body or “the state of my body.” Take your pity party somewhere else, because I sure as hell don’t need it. You have NO right to apologize for my body. And I will NEVER apologize for it either.
On top of that, he gave me shit for having two tattoos, and when I told him I was getting my eyebrow pierced this summer, he tried to talk me out of it. It’s not your face, sir, I don’t care if you don’t like facial piercings. You’re not getting one so back off.
On the way out of his office, he told me to stay out of trouble, and said again, “Eyebrow?” Then he shook his head no and made a face.
So I straight up told him, “Okay, quit your body policing.”
“I’m a professional. I get to be the body police. I’m telling you it’s dangerous and not good for you.”
YOU GET TO BE THE BODY POLICE? YOU GET TO SHAME PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU WENT TO SCHOOL? REALLY? I wasn’t aware that paying thousands of dollars gave you permission to impose on my body.