Optometrist shows fat phobia

A reader writes:
I’m a very fat (deathfat!) woman who lives in the UK. A couple of weeks ago I had an eye test at a well-known high street opticians. Now I’ve been going there for the best part of a decade now, and never had any problems. Their eye test rooms are actually downstairs, but each they make an appointment they ask you if you’re okay with stairs, and if not there’s an upstairs room that you can use.

But this time I got a really horrible optometrist. The first thing they do is ask you about your general eye health. “Do you have any diabetes in the family?” he asked. “No,” I replied. He moved on to other questions. Then he said, “Are you sure there’s no diabetes in the family?”

Because I’m fat, yeah? So obviously diabetes runs rampant throughout my family, and obviously I’m going to lie about it?

The next thing they do is to look right in your eyes by making you lean against something and shining a bright light in your eyes while you look right and left. Before I’ve never had a problem with this. But this time the optometrist pushed the moveable table with the leany thing (I’m sorry I don’t know the technical terms) right into my stomach. When it didn’t go back far enough, he pushed even more. He was forcing it right onto my flesh, and really hurting me.

I tried to sit up more so that it wasn’t hurting so much, but I couldn’t as I was trapped. Thankfully it didn’t last too long, but it was still an unnecessary part of the examination, and it stripped my dignity. I didn’t speak out, but I should have.

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  1. I didn’t speak out, but I should have.

    Thank you for speaking out here.

    And I just want to say that I have big time problems speaking out during an examination of any kind. Sometimes it’s my own personal issues, and I try to make sure I bring those up with a doc before the examination has started.

    But sometimes it happens because a health care provider has done something really wrong that I did not foresee.

    Basically — Speaking up is fabulous, but the real issue is that whether you spoke up or not, this doctor was wrong for doing this to you.

  2. Tori, thank you. I appreciate the props for speaking out here 🙂 It’s just that usually I am very vocal – my dr and nurses know it! – and this time I wasn’t. But yes, I think it was because it was unforeseen and because he was physically hurting me!

  3. Duckie

     /  February 24, 2013

    I went to an optometrist last year who gave a lecture on diet and exercise before recommending something like 4200 oz. of water per day, which of course would cause severe life-threatening electrolyte damage…so no, we will not be going back to her…I seriously considered reporting malpractice.


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