Just a moment ago I saw the post that said “Thin privilege is not being scared to go to a new doctor because you don’t know if they will take your problems seriously and if they’ll immediately dismiss any issues as being weight-related.” I just have a story I’d like to share.
Both my mother and I are large women. My mother has a series of health issues, ranging from a list of allergies to other complications that simply come with life. For a while, she had been feeling something odd on her neck, and went to her usual doctor to go check things out.
Now, this doctor is a perfectly nice woman. She did my sports physical and had always been usually helpful, albeit a tad focused on diet and exercise for both my my mother and I. When my mom asked the doctor about it, her worries were dismissed with claims of ‘it’s just muscle/fat/body change don’t worry about it’.
Always one for second opinion, my mother went to two other doctors. The first one, female, again dismissed her claims as fat, muscle, or just change. Another doctor she has took a look as well. He agreed, and said that it should at least be checked out besides just feeling from the outside.
Some biopsies and phone calls later, it turns out that there may or may not be something wrong with her thyroid. There were small growths, but whether or not they were malignant, nobody could say. So, after consideration and thought, my mother made the decision to have her thyroid removed. If it did turn out to be cancer, then it would all be done away with and well. If the growths weren’t malignant, then at least she knew that thyroid cancer would never be a problem. Synthroids (the medication she would be put on afterwards) would take up the functions of her missing thyroid either way.
Again, after it was removed, the thyroid was examined and it was indeed cancerous. The growths were small, but there were several, and our family is horribly lucky that she caught it so early.
My mom went back to both female doctors and explained the situation. The first apologized profusely, admitting that she was in the wrong and that the mistake wouldn’t happen again.
The second one scoffed and said that it was too extreme a procedure for ‘just a little cancer’, and that it was to some degree my mom’s fault because of her ‘living habits’.
Needless to say we aren’t seeing her anymore.
Thank you for giving me a space to share this.