My doctor’s office STILL thinks I’m fat, and a troublemaker too


Well, it happened again. Unfortunately, I had to go back there. To the medical office that thinks I’m fat. In case you haven’t heard this story before, the skinny, er fatty is this: the new medical group I’ve been going to has decided that my BMI (ratio of height to weight) qualifies me as overweight, causing them to give me a weight-loss handout (aka fat handout) every time I leave their office.

Against my better judgement, I went back there for a follow-up visit, but this time, determined that I wasn’t going home with the fat handout again. My strategy: if I don’t step on the scale, they won’t record my weight, and won’t be able to give me the fat handout. I went in resolved to avoid the scale at all costs.

“Put down your things and step on the scale,” the medical assistant, whom I’ll call Ethel, says after calling me back into the office. “No, I don’t want to be weighed today,” I answered calmly. I was totally unprepared for the ensuing backlash. “You have to be weighed,” replied Ethel, her voice going up a few decibels. “Um, no I don’t and I don’t care to be weighed today,” I answered, pretty calmly I thought. “But you have to be weighed, it’s our policy,” Ethel replied, putting the same emphasis on the word policy as if she were saying mandate, decree, or law. “Well, no I don’t have to be weighed. I have the right to decline,” I answer back. I’m getting a little worried now about the backlash I’m getting, but I can’t back down now.

Ethel is positively sputtering now. Her voice has gone up well above inside voice level, and I’m a little surprised that she’s carrying on this way in what should be a professional setting. “Well, I’m going to have to get the manager,” she finally sputters back, several times, I might add. She’s positively frantic by now. Apparently, this hasn’t happened before.

The manager? Really? Let’s stop and look at this situation for a minute. The issue that has caused Ethel to go to red alert is that a patient has declined to be weighed. Does she get paid by how many people she weighs every day? Or does she get beaten or fired if she doesn’t weigh every patient? Now granted, there are a few groups who really should be weighed at their health care visits: children; anyone being seen for unexplained weight loss or illness; persons with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease, pregnant women, and people who are ill. But I don’t fall into any of these groups. I was just there a few weeks earlier and was weighed then, so this really shouldn’t be an emergency now.

But, back to reality. Ethel is still sputtering about calling the manager and their policy. She’s positively shrieking now. I would expect the manager to be more upset about her unprofessional behavior than the cranky patient who declined to be weighed. So finally to stop the standoff,  I told her to ask the provider I was seeing, and if she insisted that I be weighed I would do it, but otherwise not. “Well, we’ll just see about that” Ethel answered as she shuttled me back to the exam room.

So back in the exam room, I talked to my provider and told the whole awful story. She’s good-natured and understanding, unlike the others in this office. “I’m just sick of getting the fat handout every time I come here,” I told her. “I’m really not overweight, it’s just that I’m too short. If you could make me a little taller, I’d stop getting the fat handout.  An inch should do it”

So, I finished up the visit and left, not sure if she was willing to go out on a limb to save me from the fat handout. Then, I looked at the papers they handed me at checkout. I know I was 5′ 2″ when I came into the office. But on the way out, I had turned into 5’7″.

© Huffygirl 2012

Maple leaf money


Dear Canadian friends:

I’ve got your money. I want to give it back to you. Really, I do. Although your money is beautiful, with pictures of queens, reindeer, and large birds, and has charming names like Loonies and Toonies, unfortuantely, it’s almost worthless here. Our vending machines don’t want it. Coin Star doesn’t want it. No one likes to get it in change, and who pays with change anyway? The bank won’t take it. And I bet you folks would like to have it back.

I would come over myself and give it back to you but I can’t because: a) even though you’re very nice about letting me come in to your country, my own country insists on strip-searching me when I return, and b) I’m afraid I’ll end up accidentally bringing back more of your money with me, thus starting the whole process over. So you can see why I can’t come. But, you could come here and get it. Americans love Canadians. After all, you gave us hockey, Michael J. Fox and Canadian bacon. As a people, you’re wonderfully polite and kind, and have quaint expressions like “queuing up” which we find charming. Your national anthem, O Canada (which, thanks to televised hockey, I almost know by heart) is melodic and rousing. In fact, this past Canada Day, July 1 BTW,  my hockey-loving son and I faced Canada and saluted you with our own robust rendition.

But, I digress. If it’s okay with you, I’ll leave the money in a big paper bag just across the Blue Water Bridge. Come and get it whenever you’re ready. If your economy is anything like ours right now, chances are you’ll need it.  Thanks Canadian friends.

Love,

Huffygirl

PS: Since you’re coming anyway,  maybe you can bring us some of your national health care. We can’t seem to get it right here, and you’ve been doing it for years, so you’ve probably got it down now.

O Canada (sung to the tune of O Canada)

O Canada, Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

(Images courtesy of Google)

Satire Friday: Do Not Operate the Internet


Courtesy of Google

I had some minor, minor surgery today, and came home with four  pages of the usual disclaimers and instructions. Now I work in healthcare myself, and understand how our litigious society and fine legislators (remember HIPAA?) make it necessary to offer such disclaimers. But just as the disclaimers on appliances, machinery and medications have gone from the bland to ridiculous, so to have medical disclaimers gotten, well, you’ll see.

Page one is generic instructions that they give to everyone, with some blanks to fill in for your specific condition. It has a place to fill in your specific medications, and when to call your health care provider, so that one’s pretty good.

The next page is pretty short and clear-cut with emergency instructions, blanks to fill in specifics for me and a place for your responsible accompanying adult to sign to show that you received the instructions. I’ve been other places where I’ve taken someone else for surgery and then watched in surprise as they had the patient sign the discharge instructions, even though they just gave them three pages telling them that they’d be loopy and basically incompetent for the next 24 hours. Sigh. Page two also has a specific instruction that says “No physical activity for 10 days” which contradicts page one which says one may  resume sex whenever he/she wants. But we won’t go there.

Page three is specific instructions about my kind of surgery, pretty clear-cut. Page four is the ubiquitous pain scale that almost everyone uses, with the faces that go from happy to sad.  I’m glad they include this because I remember when I first began working in health care, that pain was not taken seriously. It only took 30+ years, but we’ve now gone from telling patients to “Man up.” to asking them to point to sad and happy faces to rate their pain. Progress.

So what’s wrong? These instructions sound pretty reasonable. Until I go back and reread page one (even though I’m not expected to understand what I’m reading, because I’m loopy, remember?) In the paragraph that warns against the usual – driving, operating machinery, signing prenups, using power tools, they’ve added a phrase “…do not use the internet.” Medical instructions have joined the 21st century. They recognize that the internet can be a dangerous place where people can update their resume,  post comments for all the world to see, purchase large quantities of everything from Amazon books to assault rifles,  and play online gambling. But don’t operate the internet? Really? Other people might need that instruction, but not ciououommm me. I feel fine, really, just zzzzz like my old jllll;jkjlj  exiilike iiilllllll;;l; 900  jzjzzjz8