A few years ago, I was rushed to the emergency room because I was having such severe pain in my lower right side that I passed out. When I arrived to the (first) ER, I declined being weighed. As I was sitting on the bed, in agonizing pain, the nurse was fiddling with something on the front of the bed. Come to find out, she was weighing me with the bed scale, even though I had declined being weighed. How did I know? Because she loudly announced “Oh my god! You are SOOOOO damn fat!” to everyone in the ER. She then proceeded to walk around the ER, nudging the other nurses and pointing to me and laughing. Finally, the doctor came back, asked me what I had eaten that day and what I eat daily (I had not eaten anything in about two days because of the pain), to which he snorted and told me I was “obviously eating a lot.” He did not even examine me. I then get to overhear his loud conversation to the second emergency room I would be visiting that night, informing the person on the other end of the line that he had a “whale for a patient.” When the doctor came back, he told me they did not have any way of examining me due to my “massive size” and I would need to go to the second ER. I refused an ambulance, to which the nurse threatened me with jail if I did not go to the second ER (is this even legal?). I was scared and in pain, so I went. Bad idea.
The second ER left me in a room for over seven hours, not once sending anyone in to see if I was okay or to offer me something for the pain. The ER was not busy at all (small town, few emergencies). By the time someone finally came to my room, I was so exhausted I could barely keep my head up. After getting a shot, I was informed they thought I might have appendicitis, even though I had not been examined by anyone at this point at either ER. I have a CT scan, they tell me nope, not appendicitis, and discharge me. I was never told what the source of the pain was that night.
Thin privilege is going to the ER with a potentially serious illness and not being forced to wait 14 hours to have a CT scan to confirm if you do have that serious illness. If I had had appendicitis, I could have died before they bothered to do the CT scan. Thin privilege is not being ridiculed by both the nurse and doctor, especially not while you are in severe pain.