Who Speaks for My Body?

Today I went to the doctor for my annual exam. When I booked the appointment I told the receptionist to please put in my file that I have recovered from an eating disorder, that I practice Health at Every Size, and that it was not appropriate to weigh me or counsel me about my weight – I explained that I would understand and respect if they didn’t want to work under those boundaries and that if that was the case I would just not schedule the appointment.  She said it was no problem and that she would put it in my file.  Easy squeezy.

I reiterated this to the person who called to confirm that appointment and she said that it was no problem and that it was in my file. I reiterated it to the nurse at the front desk who showed me that it was clearly written in big, bold, black letters in my file, verbatim as I had requested. I relaxed and sat down.

The nurse took me back less than 10 minutes later and the following conversation took place:

Nurse:  Let’s get you on the scale.

Me:  What?!  No. I refuse to be weighed.

Nurse:  (looking me up and down disapprovingly) Well, your body is a concern.

Me: No, my body is amazing.  Your lack of care for me as a patient and inability to read my file is a concern.

Nurse: Reads the file, sighs and says “well, what am I supposed to do?”

Me: How about you apologize and move on.

Nurse:  Starts to take my blood pressure (with no apology)

With how angry I was I would have guessed that it would be 999/999.  It was 121/82.

Nurse:  See, due to your weight you have dangerously high blood pressure and I would bet high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes as well.

Me:  Are you serious?  I’m barely in the pre-hypertensive range and that’s after you’ve completely pissed me off and stressed me out. You either don’t understand blood pressure – making you incompetent, or you are purposefully lying to me to terrify me about health conditions I don’t have – making you a monster.  Either way you don’t deserve me as a patient, I’m leaving and I’m not paying for this.

My body does so many things for me.  It breathes, pumps blood, blinks, runs, dances, does push-ups, it does millions of things for me –  some without me even asking, some every time I ask.

If someone said nasty lies about my best friend you better believe that I would say something. Why would I not do the same for my body?  I speak for my body because my body deserves an advocate and I’m the best person for the job.

Epilogue:

I wrote the clinic director an e-mail explaining what happened, my credentials, and offering to do a training for the staff on working from a Health at Every Size (r) perspective.  I’ll let you know what I hear back.

World Tour Update

I should really be asleep right now, my flight leaves in 8 hours and by this afternoon I’ll be in New York City for the first let of my tour.  I am so excited!!!!!!!

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 6:58 am  Comments (94)  

94 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow. Just wow. You are my hero. Seriously.

  2. I am appalled at the lack of professionalism and respect for personal choice that the medical staff showed you. It’s inexcusable and it indicates a dangerous aspect of the authority we’ve handed the medical establishment – there is so little respect left for individuals. The false superiority of medical professionals is epidemic and can be so harmful, both physically and emotionally. I’m proud of you for standing your ground and walking out.

  3. This nurse is an embarrassment to nurses everywhere. Honestly, 121/82 doesn’t really even count as prehypertensive in my book. They lowered the damn numbers so Big Pharma could push more pills on people. We didn’t used to think of blood pressure as being prehypertensive until it was in the 130’s over 80’s range.
    I do have mild hypertension and so of course my weight gets blamed, rather than the fact that it runs in my family and I’m under a lot of stress. I take a low dose of amlodipine besylate. But here’s the thing: the blood pressure issue hit my brother, who is not “obese,” when he was 35. It didn’t catch up to me until I was 46, had lost my father after a long illness, and was in nursing school while trying to work at the same time.
    On behalf of nurses who aren’t judgmental asshats, I would like to smack the ever-loving crap out of that nurse.
    I am very admiring of your upcoming tour. I think that you will do a lot of good and that you are a very brave person.

  4. Rock on! I was very relieved that little was said about my weight at my annual female exam (except by me because I was shocked to have gain as much weight as I did in a year!) and when I went in in severe pain due to my gall bladder. The only thing that was mentioned was that the weight could make it harder to get the instruments in and that was it.

    But when I was pregnant and afterward…ugh.

    We’ll see how it goes when I see my primary physician for my first physical in over three years. I’ve seen him before and he was pretty good but I’ve gained a bit of weight since then…

    So sorry you went through that. It’s frustrating and aggravating and it just makes you wanna scream (or cry). Been there, done that, and still feel nervous around doctors because of it.

  5. What angers me, of course, is that they paid absolutely no attention to what you had requested they put in your file. I wonder if they didn’t understand or simply weren’t paying attention, or a combination of the two.

    f we were all able to be as brave as you, the medical establishment would be both confused and much much better informed. I love the fact that you were able to walk out.

  6. Hopefully someone else will correct me, but If I remember right that reading isn’t even enough for a BMI so called ‘normal’ weight individual to be considered pre-hypertensive. But I suspect it would be enough for a fatty mcfatterass to be prescribed sixteen pills and a quadruple bypass or something.

    Which has always seemed illogical to me… so someone with a larger body mass is sick and needs pills, but someone with the same blood pressure reading and a smaller body mass is just fine? If anything, I’d be wondering if the larger person didn’t have LOW blood pressure, since of course it would seem to be logical for blood pressure to be higher in a larger person without there being anything wrong. Which would result in two people who were equally healthy to have different blood pressure readings because one was larger and the other smaller? Assuming of course you could ever have an empirical measure of a relative concept such as “health” anyway.

    Of course, I’ve never figured out how a muscle that gets used more gets stronger if it’s in your arms and legs, but weaker if it’s in your chest either. Or how having it pumping at X rate is good if it’s because you’re walking around the neighborhood exercising, but bad if you’re just walking around the zoo looking at giraffes, walking around your house picking up laundry, or walking around the grocery store getting dinner.

    This is why I am neither a doctor nor a scientist I suppose.

    • 130/80 is “prehypertension stage I” on my doctor’s wall chart, anyway. I was mildly peeved I was apparently at it, but the nurse just said “You’re at a doctor’s office. Everyone ends up high.” Of course she also didn’t mind my asking not to hear my weight and in fact said “I was going to ask” when I stood with my back to the scale. The doctor didn’t mention anything either. They apparently considered it not especially relevant to why I was there (but it was a first visit, and I do consider it something they should have on file. Baselines are important, as are unusually changes. Especially in the mind of paranoid hypochondriacs, so I prefer my doctors have lots of ammo….they usually have to spend more time convincing me I”m NOT sick.)

  7. Yay, for sticking up for yourself and your body! You handled that situation really awesomely (hm, is that a word?). In either case good luck on your tour. Are you going to blog about it? I would love to hear how it goes.

  8. Oops, and since there is no edit, I wanted to add – I also am appalled at how unprofessional that nurse was in completely ignoring the notes in your file! Our *vet* is more professional as far as following our wishes is concerned. Which amusingly, in the case of Èclair is no discussion of weight unless it has spiked alarmingly in either direction since the last visit. Èclair follows kitty HAES®, maybe she can be the offical HAES® spokes-cat LOL

    • Piping up to mention my cat follows HAES as well! He’s Pudgy McPudgerson but healthy as an ox and won’t stop zooming around the place.

      Yes! HAES cats unite!

    • I was just thinking about this (in relation to dogs as well as cats) seeing the advertisement in the vet’s office yesterday. It said something along the lines of “Think just a few extra pounds is no big deal?” Then a picture of a scale (the kind my mom would use to weigh a piece of mail, not digital) with, instead of numbers, the options for all the mainstream ideas of obesity-related maladies. It was an ad for VPI pet insurance. Wonder if pets over certain a BMI have trouble getting coverage…
      This is also the vet who insisted Purina’s prescription diet was the absolute best thing, despite my wariness at the animals by-products, corn stuff, brewers yeast, etc etc for my pooch. Turns out, a little research showed that Purina doesn’t go by their own scientist’s studies, which say the low protein recommendation for kidney problems is based on an outdated model and faulty science. But that’s another issue altogether.

  9. You are amazing. I wish I was able to stand up to my doctors that way. I’ve written a letter for them about HAES and how I do not wish to discuss (or consider) weight loss as a solution to my health problems. However, I haven’t even dared to give the letter to anyone.

    During my last string of medical problems (a cyst and surgery) I did found myself incredibly, positively surprised at the complete lack of mentioning my weight by the hospital staff. The anesthesiologist said “well, you’re a healthy lady!” when I came in and when he had to calculate my BMI because that’s just regulations, he didn’t tell me or show me or say anything about it. For anesthesia, they do really need to know your weight, but when I got on the scale and said the number no further comment about it was given. I was baffled. I’d never been treated that positively and respectfully before.

    I’m super-excited about your world tour! I live in the Netherlands, and fat acceptance activists are hard to come by here. I would love to see you!

    • Hi Damanique,

      I’m so happy to hear about your positive experience. That is fantastic!!!! We’re actually working on a stop in the Netherlands, I’ll keep you posted!

      ~Ragen

    • One of the things I remember with my surgery is that the scale was already in the bed. I didn’t have to get up or anything at all! They just took the weight and that was that. Only other concern was whether they would be able to do the surgery laparoscopically or have to do open surgery and the doctor mentioned that a possible concern with the extra weight was getting the surgical instruments in but the surgery went just fine and at the follow up appointment, he was quite impressed with how well I was healing. My only concern for myself was, not having had a recent check up, I wasn’t sure if there were any medical concerns at the moment that could have an affect on the surgery such as diabetes. As far as I knew, there wasn’t and that’s what I told them and they were fine with my answers.

  10. I want to know what the nurses said while you were leaving. Yeah, I’m nosy and I agree with facyinacroud (hope I spelled that right) they did lower the “ideal” blood pressure just so big Pharma could make money off of it. I am in the process of getting my Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness and while I do have to toe a certain amount of the “party line” in order to pass, I do get to speak my mind on occasion during discussions.

    At any rate, my nutrition Prof didn’t even have a good explanation for the recent changes. She also thought it was bullpucky and ridiculous.

    And by the way, Ragen, you DO reach people. I am fairly certain I have never disparaged anyone, but I’ve always been hard on myself and believed all the crap in the media about health and weight. My cousin is the one who showed me your blog and now I am a regular reader and trying to figure out my own path from my new place of understanding. What ever I do next, it will be from a HAES perspective. Thank you!

  11. I am so amazed and awe inspired at your ability to stand up for yourself. I would have been a whimpering mess had that been me.
    In fact, the last time I went to the doctors for what everyone thought was WHOOPING COUGH the doctor completely turned around to be about my weight. He put me on a “chronic disease management plan”…. yeah… I blogged about it, you (and others) can read about that experience here: http://anotherfatprincess.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/doctors-and-why-i-hate-them/
    I didn’t have the confidence to stand up for myself. I still don’t, actually… I refuse to go to the doctors now, because I can never get out of there without SOMEONE mentioning my weight.
    I hope one day I can be as self assured and awesome as you 🙂

  12. Oh my God. I’m from Australia, and I’m sure we have different “acceptable ranges” here (wouldn’t you think they’re kinda universal), and 120/80 is textbook ideal last time I checked. That’s hitting-the-nail-on-the-head perfect blood pressure.

    Quite apart from which, you’re supposed to take a reading, wait five minutes, then take another reading, and keep doing that until you have two readings that are the same – that’s your ‘true’ blood pressure. Of course, nobody does that, because everyone’s in such a hurry, so you get misdiagnosed high blood pressure happening all the damn time. Late dropping your kids off at school, late to the doctor, stressed and frazzled, blood pressure’s up. Is that supposed to be surprising? Has anyone ever actually had their blood pressure taken like that? You know, correctly? I haven’t. They always rush through.

    • Years ago, my whole family went to a fabulous doctor. She would take a second BP a few minutes after she entered the exam room. I thought maybe she didn’t think her nurse took it right, but now I have a more logical explanation. She was weight-neutral as well.

      I credit her with adding a few years years to my parents’ lives. Unfortunately, she has retired now.

    • Only when it’s been something like 115/75. Then they figure there must be something wrong with the instruments and take it 3 times.

      • I also had my blood pressure taken many times when I was younger because it was very low. Now that it run in the normal range, they take it twice. Very rarely, do they take it only once.

      • Exactly! That happens to me nearly every time. They look at me and check their equipment because they expected it to be way higher.
        At least at Kaiser I demur on a weigh and they give me no guff. Sending me to a special place for a pelvic is another story, because I am over the weight limit of their tables, they say. Several extra co-pays and lost work time later….

      • Yeah, that sounds like the kind of assumptions people make…

    • I had the “true” reading thing happen twice in a doctor’s office. One time it was surprisingly low (not dangerously so), and they kept wanting to make sure that was correct. The other time was with an impressively good nurse practitioner who was trying to work out why my previously-good blood pressure was suddenly high, and did the fortuitously rare thing of trying to work out what was going on instead of just assuming it was my weight and launching into the standard “You’re a big fat fatty and are dying of fatness and the only possible cure is to be less fat, fatass!” speech. (It turned out to be a medication reaction, which wouldn’t have been helped by weight loss, as I’d have been taking the same dose with a smaller body and probably had a worse reaction.)

    • I have — with my current provider (which is one of the reasons she’s my current provider). I let them know on my first visit that: a) I have anxiety about doctors; b) sometimes that anxiety manifests as “white coat hypertension;” c) that anxiety will often be present when I’m expecting a pelvic exam or when I’m going to discuss ways to manage my endometriosis. They responded by taking my BP once at the normal station, once after I’d spoken with the NP, and once at the very end of the exam. This is now the standard plan. While the first reading is sometimes a little high (120-something over 80-something, which *is* legit elevated for me), the last two are a solid 10-20 points lower and consistent with one another.

      But yeah, it took me 29 years to find this office.

    • That’s interesting actually – I’m from Australia too – and no doctor has EVER taken my blood pressure twice.
      Actually that’s a lie, one doctor did… when I was 6 weeks pregnant and my blood pressure was 190/100 (now THAT is high) she took it a second time and sent me straight to hospital.

    • My doctor was telling me that there is a phenomenon where some people’s blood pressure goes up just bcause they are at the doc and they are stressed out about what their blood pressure might be. Many people get a high reading in a doctor’s office, but if they wear something that takes their blood pressure periodically over 24 hours the readings are lower.

      • Oh, someone metioned it above. It’s called “White coat hypertension”.

  13. Good for you for standing up for yourself and being a self advocate. I’m only sorry you had to put up with this woman’s utter selfishness.

    The more we can all insist our needs are respected, as far as we can as much as we can, the more it will get through the more boneheaded that the days of us putting up with whatever they elect to dole out, is over.

  14. I’d say you handled it perfectly. I’m sure that nurse would be so embarrassed to sit in on a lecture about HAES by you, but she needs to be. Unfortunately, most doctors and nurses are trained a certain way, and weight seems to be a center focus. I blame medical practices in general mostly, but still that nurse should have apologized and she sure as hell should have looked at your file before she called you back to see her.

  15. Marvelous! What an ambassador you are! Good luck with your tour!

  16. You handled that amazingly.

  17. With how angry I was I would have guessed that it would be 999/999. It was 121/82.

    Nurse: See, due to your weight you have dangerously high blood pressure and I would bet high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes as well.

    What a liar! 121/82 is nothing to worry about while stressed. The competent medical doctors I’ve had have told me not to worry about readings as high as 130/85 if it’s before I’m about to get a shot or have blood drawn, because it’s normal for blood pressure to go up a bit and I hate dealing with needles, and when I’m relaxed I tend to get much closer to 110/70. It’s debatable whether 121/82 should be considered a problem when calm, and deciding that’s dangerously high blood pressure for someone you’ve just upset and stressed out is just bullshit.

    Also, how the fuck does she diagnose diabetes and high cholesterol by looking? Does she have magic powers? Can she identify blood chemistry by smell? No, what she’s got is special bigotry powers allowing her to assume all fat people are full of health problems and so enjoy her own certainty that she never has to acknowledge being wrong (because she can always predict it will happen, and eventually fat people, like every other member of the human race, will develop health problems and ultimately die, so she can declare she’s right.)

    • After Ragen handed her that can of whoop-ass over the weigh-in and not reading her chart, you can bet that nurse was looking for any excuse to justify her own rude and ignorant behavior, and to prove herself right.

    • “No, what she’s got is special bigotry powers”

      I love this.

  18. I thought of something else while reading this again.
    I wonder if you were the first person they saw who specified that you followed HAES(r). In that case, can you imagine how amazed they would be if and when someone else comes in and says that she follows HAES(r)? And then someone else…and before you know it, a paradigm shift occurs as everyone in that office realizes that “There’s something happening here” (This song line is being used for *OccupyWallStreet right now, but it seems quite appropriate here too).

    So you should be doubly proud. You stood your ground magnificently and you implanted the seeds of doubt and possibility in that beyond-reprehensible, uncaring nurse and probably in an entire office. Next time someone says that, they may actually understand..and not weigh her!

  19. “Nurse: See, due to your weight you have dangerously high blood pressure and I would bet high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes as well.”

    You missed your chance, Ragen. You should have said, “I’ll take that bet, and if I don’t have Type 2 Diabetes, you have to come on my blog and publicly post that you’re an anti-fat bigot that jumps to dangerous conclusions based solely on the physical appearance of your patients, and that you need to take remedial reading, along with a Dale Carnegie course.”

    I might have been tempted to throw something in there about her having to kiss some hiney, too, but keeping it a bit more focused on the real issue would probably be a better thing all around.

  20. I work in a professional office. Reading your post from that point of view, what stands out to me is that the first three people you encountered got it completely. You apparently were called back by the office Rogue Nurse. Her behaviors and attitudes probably drive everybody on staff up the wall. They’re probably constantly doing damage control.

    Here’s hoping that, after receiving your letter, the director comes down on her with hobnail boots. With a little luck, she may even get fired. Or at least moved away from patient care.

    What an awful thing to have happen. And with what grace and aplomb you handled it! I would probably have just gutted it out until I could get to the doctor. I would have made a verbal complaint there, and she’d have been free to abuse other people in future. I admire your firmness, your outspokenness! Maybe you made a ‘loud’ enough statement to get her access to future victims stopped.

    I shudder to think of the impact the things she said could have on someone who’s not as solid in their recovery as you are. . . relapse, permanent physical damage of all sorts, the attendant psychological pain and suffering, and ultimately, even death. If I were the praying type, I’d be praying that the director treat her behavior as seriously as it deserves to be.

    Please do blog your tour! I look forward to logging on tomorrow and hearing all about New Yawk.

  21. You would have thought you’d be the talk of the office before you even got there.
    And not that this is applicable but this is why I birthed my last baby at home. No. one. listened to me at the hospital I was treated like a c-section ready to happen.
    and they always pump that dumb cuff up to 200 and seem upset when its normal.

  22. Every time I read your blog I think how amazing you are. And the next day you doing another amazing thing. I’m a fairly forward woman–“authority” doesn’t scare me–but I like getting a dose of kick-ass from you each day.

    Can’t wait to hear what the clinic says.

    • Kelly,

      Thank you very much! Maybe I should change my blog subtitle to “a daily dose of kick-ass”…

      ~Ragen

  23. Nurse: Reads the file, sighs and says “well, what am I supposed to do?”

    You know what? I’ll bet she was honestly confused about how to proceed. She has her little checklist and no ability to deviate from it without rocking her little world. And THIS is the “front line” of patient care. It should give us all pause.

    As Virgina said so well, what she did was actually malpractice. Her behavior would have landed someone like me (still shaky on the ED and body image and with a tendency to be sheeplike in my compliance with authority figures) right back on self abuse cycle that damaged me in the first place.

    • Hi Lisa,

      He probably was confused but the way he asked the sounded more like “I want to want to bake a cake but I don’t have any flour – this is obviously impossible and we should give up.”  Also, you are awesome for finding your way through ED and body image issues to get to where you are – however shaky that might be right now!

      ~Ragen

      • umm… dumbass you read the file before I get here and would already have wrote in that space “patient denied” discreetly.

        sheesh.

        its so hard.

      • I am disappointed in myself for assuming the nurse was a woman.

        But by confused I meant something like what you are saying. He is locked into “I have to follow this process with this data to do this.”

        Never mind if the process doesn’t need to be followed, if the data tells him nothing, and there is nothing to be “done” beyond getting a checkup.

        I’m not doing that well, actually. I spent the night last night fighting the urge to purge after I ate a piece of my granddaughter’s birthday cake (which I baked for her and decorated) I won the fight, but it shouldn’t be a battle in the first place. 😦

    • When I have encountered a nurse who looked perturbed that I refused to be weighed, I just told her, “Just write down in my chart that I refused to be weighed and I will discuss this with the doctor”. This allowed her to do her job and not be “neglectful in her duties”. The nurse that you saw was obviously biased, not just honestly confused.

      • Thanks Ellyn,

        That’s definitely a good way to handle it if the person is confused.

        ~Ragen

  24. I was thrilled to read your response to the Evil Stupid Bigoted nurse. I am barely crawling out of a slough of despair because of a somewhat similar incident recently. My husband is quite ill and I accompanied him to see a new doctor who insisted that all his symptoms are psychological and that he needs a psychiatrist (that’s how this incompetent unprofessional arrogant urologist responded to learning that he gets chronic migraines) and I KNOW that his diagnosis was based on seeing that the patient has a fat wife. Unfortunately we had to pay before we saw the dr. I’ve been alternating between despair and outrage, researching how to report this soul-crusher to the state medical board and knowing full well that if I do, the local medical community will band together and shut us out of care.

    I love how articulate and strong you were. Did you have a bit of a collapse afterward?

    • Hi Susan,

      I am so sorry that happened to you. I hope that your husband quickly finds a doctor who can give him both respect and a proper diagnosis. I didn’t have a collapse as much as I had a fit of rage but luckily I went directly from the doctor to the dance studio to practice the solo that I’m doing at my NYC workshop tomorrow. It’s a contemporary solo with a log of leaping and throwing myself at the ground etc. and so I was able to work out my rage physically there, then write the letter, then work the rest out mentally on the blog. Yay catharsis!

      Best to you and your husband!

      ~Ragen

  25. I am amazed at your retorts to everything the nurse said. I don’t think I’d be clever enough or fast enough to come up with those – I’d just get angry and feel helpless. Also, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to walk out and write a letter to the office. I would probably have just suffered through it and never gone back. I admire that you are proactive. We need more people like that to speak out for injustices as they happen.

    Do you think through conversations like these in advance to be ready for when they happen? Or have you just had enough of them that you aren’t surprised and have a reflexive response?

  26. I’d bet dollars to donuts that they would never try to tell someone in “normal” BMI range that 121/82 = OMG gonna die blood pressure. I get readings over that all the time — about mid 130s/mid-80s — (I’m in “overweight” range), and nary a word. I know they say in the U.S. that anything over 120/80 is “pre-hypertensive,” but I take that with a wicked big grain of salt, and my health care practitioners never seem to get that wigged out about it. They seem to keep defining things downward so that all of us are sick with some problem that requires medical intervention.

  27. Ragen, you certainly handled yourself well. Until I began reading your blog it never would have occurred to me to just say no to the scale.
    I had to go to the doctor recently because of an infected finger (probably not weight related), and I was mentally prepared for a confrontation. When the nurse said “set you things down here and we’ll get your weight,” I said, “no, I’ll pass on that today,” and she accepted it without another word beyond “okay.” Wow, that was easy! I was surprised and pleased at just how easy that was. Blood-pressure, pulse & temp all good. At the follow up appointment 2 weeks later, the same thing happened with a different nurse.
    I’m sharing this because it’s worth noting that there are a few (far too few) good stories out there. I’m fortunate that I live in an area where I have several options for primary care physicians and that I have found one that I like. I realize that these choices are not available to everyone, but if they are, please shop around. We all deserve to be treated well – especially when we are sick and vulnerable.

  28. Your courage, eloquence and clarity are such an inspiration, not just with this blog post, but in how you continually show up fabulously time and again.

    As a motivational speaker and stage performer, I get a LOT of comments about my appearance. I get spontaneous offers from doctors, personal trainers and nutritionists offering to fix me. Stepping up to confidence not in spite of my size but because of it has been a life changer for me. And, like you, I take no shit from doctors or nurses (or anybody) about my size anymore. HAES was the lynchpin in the way out of shame for me, and now I educate where and when I can, to the best of my limited ability.

    Women like you are fiercely appreciated by women like me.

    Rock on, sistergirlfriend, rock on.

    • Hi Molly,

      Thank you so much, and thank you for the work that you do, we need every voice we can get! I feel your pain on the spontaneous weight loss offers. I’m always amazed when I finish a talk on the Health at Every Size method and someone comes up to me to tell me that my problem is that I just haven’t tried their weight loss method! I fiercely appreciate you right back 🙂 I noticed on your website (which is fabulous!) that you are in Brisbane and we are actively working on planning a stop there on the second leg of my world tour so maybe I’ll get a chance to meet you in person…

      Big Fat Hugs,

      ~Ragen

  29. Ragen,

    My doctor’s nurses won’t discuss my weight or numbers for BP. Of course I can see my weight on the scale. Then temp. She writes it down. Then BP she writes it down. I asked “what was my BP?”. She grudgingly told me the numbers. “I said, is that normal?”. I can never remember. Her response “normal weight, blood pressure, temperatures vary, for example you always tend to rum “low” on your temp so 2 degrees above “normal” is a fever for you, I am only the nurse the doctor can discuss your numbers with you when he comes in- but don’t be worried it is just not my job to discuss that”. Not bad. Doctor….”your cholesterol is doing great on crestor”. Me “cool should I look at losing weight”. Well let’s look at bmi. For your height and weight technically you are obese. Huh? I am 6’3″ and 245. I don’t look obese. Doc “that is just the bmi, I don’t pay attention to it, I don’t want you too. Your cholesterol is genetic. If you lost weight maybe it would help but you will probably be on a med if you are down to 150. Try cinnamon pills and eatin more fish. Lose the weight if you want smaller pants”

    I was impressed after hearing some of your horror stories

    • “Lose the weight if you want smaller pants.”

      LOVE THAT!

  30. Sorry you had to go through that – glad you are so good about speaking up and out about these issues. Wonder when 121/82 became ‘dangerously high BP’?
    A few years ago my cardiologist made disparaging and condescending
    comments about my weight when I was, at that time, within the ‘normal’ range. I made a few ‘in your face’ comments back to him and then changed doctors.
    Knock’em dead on your world tour!
    Marilyn

  31. 121/82??? High? Dangerous?

    Man, every time I hit that kind of low on my b.p. readings (yay White-Coat syndrome), my doc wants to throw a freaking party for me. WtH was wrong with that nurse?

  32. That is just disgusting. Well done for standing up for yourself.

  33. I recall from reading the different books about fat & health, etc. over the years (I mean the relatively fat-positive ones) that anything up to 140/90 was considered normal blood pressure &, yes, I have also read in some of these books what one lady above suggested, that sometimes fat people, because we have more body for the blood to circulate through & perhaps slightly more blood volume, can have somewhat higher BP without it being a problem for health. I have certainly read more than one place that ALL so called ‘important health numbers’ have been lowered over the years…cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar…mostly because of profit motive, to get more people running to the doctor more often & especially to see more prescriptions; I learned from people who did deep research & had consulted inside sources that what the pharmaceutical industry in the US really wants is to get as many people as possible on medications; apparently, some years ago a CEO of one of the prominent companies instructed his people that it was not enough to sell drugs to sick people, ‘We want to get them to healthy people, too.’ For all of us, but most especially for those of us over 50, the wisdom these days is the more medicines the better, the more you can ‘medicalize’ normal health the better. Some in the industry genuinely would like to see every man & woman in the US on an average of 15 medications. Also, as some sources I have researched point out, concerns about cholesterol are greatly exaggerated; they do not even screen cholesterol in many countries & many believe that only perhaps 4-5% of us need to be concerned with it at all, those with a history of familial hypercholesterolimia.

    I was also informed, after an emergency room nurse screwed me up badly over 3 years ago when I was taken in after a fall in the bathroom to have my left earlobe, which was nearly severed, sewn back on, that indeed, you need to know HOW to take blood pressure…to use the proper size cuff for the patient, to make sure the patient is resting & has not just been exercising, to hold the arm straight out & quiet, to understand that shock & stress raise blood pressure temporarily, to further understand that when you get a patient such as I was…in pain, not expecting to have needles that day, on adrenaline overdrive, totally phobic about doctors, hospitals, & needles…that the BP will be elevated even more. Another thing that someone should have told that nurse was that, not only do you not use a cuff which is too small for your patient, you also do not pull the cuff so tight that you nearly amputate the damned arm! I had bruises for a week after that.

    You handled yourself with great dignity & restraint, Regan. I have a very negative & uncomfortable relationship with the medical profession & this nurse’s behavior & attitude clearly illustrate part of the reason why.

    • Wow… very interesting insider information you have! I believe whole-heartedly in the benefits (and wonders) of modern medicine, but not when it’s used for profit or to push an agenda. Such an abuse of science.

  34. Ragen, it just stuns me that this happened to you. There are incompetents and ignorant people at every level of medicine, but the lack of bedside manner in this guy just blows me away. I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    Speaking from the viewpoint of a former corporate marketing executive and journalist, I’m curious about whether you’ve considering including the clinic name in your blog posts about this event and otherwise widening your media leverage on the situation, depending on the response of the clinic director. In the age of the Web 2.0 I’ve found it can be quite impressive what happens when you tell someone whom you’ve had a bad business experience with that you’ll be publicizing what happened. (For anyone who doesn’t know, Web 2.0 is the capacity of everyday internet users to publicly create their own internet content in response to their experiences and interests, using social media, review sites, comment threads like this one, etc.) I’ve received Saturday phone calls from corporate vice presidents in Australia, had a Sprint representative tell me that my case had been raised to a “code red” because I was talking legitimately about publicizing a bad experience, etc. I don’t know how many subscribers and readers your blog has, but just your number of Facebook friends who’ve been exposed to this story would give any intelligent business owner serious pause. If you add in just local business review sites, ratemds.com, vitals.com, healthgrades, and angieslist, you could warn off a staggering number of potential patients.

    If you believe this nurse’s behavior could have endangered your health and those of other patients (and I certainly do!), you could contact the Texas clinic-accreditation and nursing accreditation boards, etc., which could contribute to them having to jump through some time-consuming, expensive hoops to ensure patient safety.

    I know I’m speaking from thin privilege here, but if a medical provider egregiously ignored vital health data in my file, lied to me and/or showed dangerous ignorance about common health indicators, and tried to intimidate me, let’s just say that I would “not go gentle into that dark night.” I completely support your civility and activism in being willing to train the staff, and 100% agree that’s a perfect place to start. If it was me, and that didn’t get a good response from that admirable offer, I would then lay an unholy bureaucratic hurt upon them with a publicity enema so fast it would make their heads spin.

  35. Just wanted to chime in and say that not all doctor’s offices are like that! 🙂 I’ve got great nurses and doctors at mine. Just had my annual physical 3 weeks ago. Now, they *have* to weigh me because insurance demands that it be documented for the physical to be paid for, but the nurse always tells me I can close my eyes if I don’t want to know. 🙂 She doesn’t say anything while I’m on the scale, just writes it down and goes on to the next thing. I never do close my eyes though. My weight is just a number and doesn’t really mean anything to me, especially since I’ve been about the same weight for almost 20 years (approx. 200#). My blood pressure is just fine at 112/76. It’s always been low, and sometimes they have to bring out the Mega-Cuff just get a reading. 😀 My cholesterol is just fine with total cholesterol at 169 with HDL at 58 (in the good range for women). The only lifestyle questions my doc asks me is if I am getting enough fruits and veggies in my diet (more than enough, being almost completely vegetarian) and if I am doing daily physical activity that I enjoy (most of the time). In the 13 years I’ve been seeing this doctor, she’s not mentioned one word about my weight or that I need to loose weight. She always encourages me to continue my healthy lifestyle habits :).

    No wonder I send her roses every year for her birthday and send her office a big spread of goodies every Christmas! Docs like that are one in a million!

  36. I usually leave the doctor’s office feeling like crap, regardless of how I feel going in. In a relaxed environment, my blood pressure is low to normal. Years of getting diagnosed as fat, plus general fear of things medical, makes my blood pressure go up. Especially if it’s a new doctor that will probably diagnose me as fat and refuse to treat me until performing unnecessary blood tests and ignoring the results. It’s enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. I might have to adopt your approach and see if I get more positive outcomes.

    • Ann, I know exactly what you mean, even though we have a different health care system here in the UK, which is great usually, but on the weight issue!! I have unfortunately for me, moved around a lot in the last few years, so have had to change doctors a lot and you can guarantee when you go for the initial nurse check up, this issue is always annoying and horrible. You have to have the check before they will register you at that practice. I have been sent for I don’t know how many diabetes blood tests, which so far have come back negative, but still it goes on. I believe that the reason I started having blood pressure problems about 4 years ago was nothing to do with my weight, but extreme stress and family issues.

      I wonder what Ragen and others think about recent articles I have read, I don’t buy any usual trashy celebrity filled “women’s magazines , but I do get a weekly more “classy/intelligent” magazine called, “The Lady” and a friend gives me a magazine supplement from her Sunday newspaper. First in “The Lady” “health Special” we had the headline grabbing, “Are you a diabetes time bomb”? and a British doctor is quoted as saying, “It’s a statistical fact that overweight people seem to come to the doctor for one reason or more-coughs, colds, infections-far more frequently.” I totally disagree, I go because of my asthma sometimes and the Fibromyalgia and Arthritis, again which I feel are very little to do with my size. In the Sunday supplement magazine health section, which I am obsessed with reading, to see how much i disagree! there was a whole page on top 5 killer health conditions in the UK and how to avoid them.Once again, diabetes, type 2 was there with the emphasis on being overweight would be the reason for this. . There were other killers too, mostly made worse or cuased by smoking. And lets not mention alcohol and drugs, the UK has a massive problem with binge drinking and alcohol related problems are costing the health service millions and millions. You have to eat, you don’t have to drink, smoke or Marion arion take drugs.. Marion UK

      • Sorry for errors/strange placing of my name at end of comment, when you are typing, you can’t see the last line you are on, not sure why?

        Marion, UK

      • I can see the correlation between fatness and going to the doctor more often. It took nearly a year and a dozen physicians before getting the one who listened to my symptoms, asked relevant questions, and performed relevant tests to identify a hormonal imbalance. All the others said I was crazy and/or looking for an excuse for my fatness, sudden and rapid weight gain being a symptom of concern. If I want a positive outcome, it usually takes a second, third, etc. opinion before a diagnosis other than fat is obtained. Many times I don’t bother but sometimes Fatty McFatterson here has no choice.

  37. Ragen….awesome as usual! All the more motivation to move forward on developing a training model for medical professionals. ASDAH brainstormed about this at our conference in august. I hope we can move forward on it soon so we can get a prototype up and running before the next conference. As you know I spoke about this very thing at the endangered species: women summit in NYC in the spring. Here is link http://youtu.be/ScMZXSANqdU Health at Every Size(R) is going to change the world as we know it. I am thrilled to be on the ride with you!

    Deb

  38. I am large lady MD (BMI 39) and have tried to train my staff to request a weight but simply write “refused” if the person does not want it. If I need to know I will explain why (dosing meds, following fluid balance are two reasons that come to mind) I try never to fuss at anyone about weight as I have experienced enough of that in my own life. Medicare and many insurances now grade doctors on things like measuring weight at every visit and withhold money or give bonuses based on compliance. Doctors who have poor grades may be given poorer contracts or denied participation altogether. The reality is that weight is an issue for some illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. You can be healthy and free of these at any weight and be diabetic at average weight table levels but if you are heavier and diabetic, exercising and following a good diet is important. Your doctor has to be able to discuss this with you sensitively to really do their job. What is important is to assess readiness to discuss it, make it about health and not judgmental about size, appearance or other irrelvancies. I try to encourage exercise and healthy diets and celebrate the improved blood sugar and blood pressure. I am just as likely to ask about weight loss–sudden unexpected loss can also signal illnesses from infection to diabetes to depression. I hope you continue to give voice to outrage at size discrimination and congratulate you on your ability to stand your ground but do recall that there are medically valid reasons for looking at weight. What we need to get rid of is the judging, shaming behavior of health care providers (and society) around weight.

    • Catharine,

      It sounds like you are working with your folks to treat you with respect and I appreciate your encouragement. I do understand that there are valid reasons for taking weight – dosing meds is a really good example, or if there is a sudden unexpected change -up or down. I confused about your statements about weight and diabetes and hypertension. Of course I may be misunderstanding so I hope that you’ll give me your thoughts on this. To my knowledge no causal link has been proven between weight and hypertension or Type 2 diabetes, and as you stated, there are people of all sizes with and without these diseases. You said “if you are heavier and diabetic, exercising and following a good diet is important” but I would think that it doesn’t matter what you weigh, if you are diabetic exercising and following a good diet is important, correct? Considering that the link is only correlational and that people of all sizes get these diseases I’m unclear what relevance weight has in the discussion. It is my understanding that the changes that you talk about in blood sugar and blood pressure are the result of the behavior changes which are prescribed as health interventions (changes in eating or movement etc.)- of which another possible (and statistically short term) side effect might be weight loss. But it seems to me that there is no need to bring weight or weight loss into the discussion as it is a possible side effect of the health intervention and not a health intervention in and of itself. Should I have a health problem, I would expect my doctor to discuss interventions that deal with that health problem, rather than try to solve a health problem with a change in body size. My intentional is to be completely respectful in these questions, I hope it came across that way – I’m definitely interested in your thoughts on this.

      Thank you!

      ~Ragen

      • It is about the disease first and not the weight per se. You can have normal blood pressure and blood sugar and be heavier and you can be extremely fit at a higher weight (as well as hypertensive, diabetic and very unfit at a low weight) Overweight is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes and most overweight people with type 2 diabetes will improve glucose control with increasing exercise and relatively modest weight loss (5-10 pounds). This may be a side effect of following a healthier diet and exercising more. Similarly exercise, salt reduction and modest weight loss (as well as de-stressing) may be a perfectly workable non-pharmacological way to lower blood pressure. It does not work with everyone but always good to give it a try rather than add medications. I am very respectfully trying to separate out the judging, shaming behavior of society and the medical profession from the health realities. It is like smoking–not everyone wants to hear that it is bad for them and not everyone can stop smoking but for me to do my best for my patients I must also be able to give them the information they need to make choices and the support they need to deal with all aspects of their health.

  39. In re. the bp thing — I’ve been dealing with that for 21 years. I have 17 cousins (both sides of my family) born within two years of my birth date. All those on my father’s side of the family (13) have developed high bp and high cholesterol when we hit 50 yrs. old. We have radically diff. life styles (urban, rural, smokers, non-smokers, drinkers, non-drinkers, athletes, couch potatoes, mild tempered, intense and easily ignited, etc.) And diff. body types — slender, medium, fat. At a reunion we compared how we were treated by drs. when our b.p. and cholesterol numbers went up. Only the fat ones among us were “blamed” while the others were almost immediately identified as having a familial problem.

    I’ve learned how important it is to get an accurate reading of bp which requires what others here have said — a properly fitting cuff, five minutes of stillness before, etc. I am always amazed by how many medical offices don’t have a large cuff, how many practitioners poo-poo the need for one, saying they can get an accurate reading by attaching the cuff at the wrist or the ankle, or pulling the cuff so tight it leaves bruises, etc.

    I bought a large cuff for the clinic I attend now (and I LOVE the family nurse practitioner who is my primary care provider) and donated it because funds are very tight for them. They have a hard time keeping good assistants on staff because they don’t have the funds to pay well. They keep hiring people just out of training who come for a first job and more training and who leave for more pay as soon as they can. So when a new one comes along and tries to use a reg, sized cuff on my arm, I assume she doesn’t know better and ask her to get the large cuff. When she says, “We don’t have one” or “I don’t need one” I know she’s lazy and/or lying.

  40. I had the same thing happen at a previous doctor’s office. I left them after writing them an extremely nasty letter. I love my current doctor and her staff… they are all women and they get it! 😉

    • Hi Julie,

      I’m so glad that you found a practitioner who is awesome, I hope to join you soon!

      ~Ragen

    • Not all women in medicine get it. I’ve been dismissed from a woman’s practice because, she said, she didn’t like fat people. I think maybe women are more likely to “get it” but to say they get it because they are women somehow seems, to me, to diminish their perspicacity. Don’t forget Margaret Thatcher and Phyllis Schlafly are women, and Sarah Palin. . . . I’m glad you found them.

  41. The last time I had my blood pressure taken, the doctor said cheerfully ‘120 over 80, textbook normal!’ Literally two days later I learned that my textbook normal reading is now considered a little on the high side… but still not exactly a death sentence.

    The idea that one point up from that is somehow dangerously high blood pressure would be laughable if it weren’t so egregiously designed to cow you into submission, which probably works on way too many patients. And wow! What a diagnostician that nurse was! Even with fasting blood sugar levels that made everyone wonder why he wasn’t already in a coma, Mr. Twistie’s doctor didn’t diagnose diabetes until he’d had multiple tests not only of his blood sugar levels, but his A1C. That nurse could tell by looking at the combination of your waistline and your blood pressure reading ten seconds after he’d gotten steam coming out of your ears!

    Good for you, advocating for yourself so effectively! Also, I agree with Virginia S Wood about how it’s likely this one nurse is the rogue element in the building, since everyone else seemed to get it and take you seriously. Enough complaints, and he’s going to be looking for a new job. I don’t want to take a job away from a qualified person, but this guy a) ignored clear instructions on a patient’s chart, b) tried to intimidate said patient through scare tactics and bullying, and c) utterly refused to apologize when informed this behavior was inappropriate.

    If I was running the business, I would want patients telling me about this sort of shenanigans so I could either get him to shape up or ship him out.

  42. I got my first taste of your doctor’s office horror stories a couple of weeks ago when I went to my university’s clinic about a very persistent “cold.” The doctor walked in and said, without looking up from the chart, “You’re a tiny little thing, aren’t you?” and I knew immediately I’d be deflecting eating disorder questions for the entire appointment. The solution for everything was to gain weight. You’re sick? You probably need to eat more. Your back and chest hurt [from scoliosis]? Put on some weight and that’ll fix it.

    I was actually totally fine with the initial, fairly obvious questions about my eating habits, because, hey, at least someone cares enough to ask. But by the end, it was obvious that I was being advised to gain weight more for her comfort than my health. She gestured at my chest and arms so many times that I ended up keeping a sweater on for the rest of the day because I thought I must look like a walking skeleton. My roommates had to convince me that I didn’t.

    The only thing the doctor actually asked about my diet and exercise was if I was a vegetarian (which I involuntarily laughed at; I love meat). She also brought up the fact that I’d lost weight since my last visit (two years ago, when I had a meal plan, a laid-back job, and didn’t do nearly as much walking), but she didn’t tell me how much I’d lost or try to figure out if there might be another reason for the fluctuation (stress, mood disorder, or, you know, the fact that I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet because I’d left at 7:30 to get there).

    And all of that was just to get a prescription for antibiotics. Which didn’t work. So I’m still sick but won’t be going back until I cough up blood. Afterward I just kept thinking, how does Ragen do this?

  43. What a bunch of [expletive deleted]ing [expletive deleted]ing [expletive deleted]ers. 😦 Darlin’, I am *so* sorry you had to endure such a mockery of supposed health care, and I hope you find a much, much better health care practitioner soon.

    People like that are why I’m in physician assistant school.

    *hugs*

    ~ Hope

    • Thanks Hope! The fact that you and other awesome people like you are going into healthcare professions gives me hope for the future (no pun intended!)

      Big Fat Hugs!

      ~Ragen

  44. I would love to hear if they get back to you, that is appalling to be treated in such a way and there is no excuse. I’m also disappointed you needed to have to ask them to put that in the file. Any patient should be offered the choice to be weighed or not. Grrr

  45. Good on you for standing up for yourself, and for complaining to the higher-ups! That is SO important to preventing behavior like that. Make sure you tell us what happens!

  46. You are amazing. Thanks as always for being such an inspiration.

  47. It took me nearly 20 YEARS of drs to find one to take my complaints of pain and stiffness seriously. 20 years of “you’re fat, you just can’t handle getting older (i’m 36 now), you’re fat, lose weight you’ll feel better”. Meanwhile, my blood pressure was low, my cholesterol perfect, my heart stress tests were all fantastic. Hm. They kept blowing me off. 20 years of excruciating pain in my feet, knees and hips, and me insisting NO THIS ISN’T NORMAL FOR ME. Three years in bed. Finally, an orthopedic surgeon took me seriously, we had some knee surgeries, but things were still not normal. He didn’t blow me off. He checked a simple blood test and immediately sent me to a Rheumatologist. Now I’m dealing with the damage of 20 years of untreated rheumatoid arthritis that is concentrated in my feet, knees, and hips. I sent my diagnosis to several past Drs who blew me off, who said it was because “I was fat” (never mind the fact that I was “skinny” when it all started). My current Rheumatologist is also a firm believer of HAES. All she wants from her patients is for them to feel comfortable and healthy in their own bodies. I LOVE her!!

    Thank you for sharing this story. And please please please (to everyone who reads this) NEVER stop standing up for your body! It may take time, but in the long run it pays off!

  48. You freaking ROCK. What a great way to use your voice.

  49. I can’t believe that you went to all that trouble to prepare the ground and then that nurse just trampled all over it out of sheer inability to even read the materials. What are the fecking notes for, if not to be read? Crikey.

    Congratulations on not putting up with it. Go you!

  50. Interestingly enough, as I was reading this, the telly was on in the background, and it was advertising a new, faster way to do a blood test for diabetics, the kind where you prick your finger and it gets sucked up on a little slip and scanned into a hand-held device. I’m familiar with these because when I was pregnant I had to do that test three times a day to monitor for possible gestational diabetes (which was DEFINITELY going to happen because my BMI is over 30…and–shockhorror!–it never did).

    I noticed something interesting in this advert–it wasn’t a fat person talking about the blood test. It was a rather skinny gal. I wanted to shout out, “YOU MEAN THIN PEOPLE GET DIABETES TOO?? BLASPHEMER!!”..but as I’m staying with the Inlaws at the moment, I held my tongue.

    I’m really happy you walked out of the doctor’s appointment without an apology. I’ve been looking for a new doctor here in my new city, and I road-tested one last week by refusing to step onto the scale. For other reasons, I’ll not be returning to that doc, and I made an appointment with another doc whose nurse also insisted I step onto the scales. Again I refused, against she insisted. I finally said, “I’m here to see the doc about having arthritis in my thumbs. My weight is irrelevant, and I will take it up with the doctor, thank you.”

    Doc didn’t say a word, and I noticed from pictures hanging up in his exam room that his wife is a plus-zised woman. It’s a relief when you get someone who actually sees you as a person and not a number…

  51. wow your so brave i wish i could be that brave.
    i don’t know you but i don’t have to to know i love you.

    • Awww, shucks! Thank you so much.

      ~Ragen

  52. also my family only goes to doctors or hospitals if somethings really wrong. so one day i dislocated my left knee and was to embarrassed to tell anyone. i fell off the school bus on the way home it hurt so bad.. it took six weeks to stop aching. a year or so later i was at a store and dropped a quarter i bent down to get it and my knee kobled out of joint again right there and the staff panicked and called the ambulance then tried to pick me up to move me i told them not to but they did anyway. i have low blood pressure and i blacked out and fell over again, then i threw up bile.. the ambulance picked me up and got my readings and such on the way there. i hadn’t eaten that day and anything i did have was dumped in the bile so i waned them about the low blood pressure and that the leg had come out before, a cold pack was applied and i was put in emerge. i was hooked up to various machinery and carefully studied i was not broken just loose probably from a previous injury and would have to wear a brace. another nurse came in and started about how low my blood sugar was and that i had blacked out questioning if i had diabetes. i said i didn’t think so so she commenced stabbing me with a small blood reader thing… only problem was i hand sew for a living so she couldn’t break the skin. i had to sit there as she tried stabbing me 6 times in each of the first two fingers before getting through the third one in. i tried to pull away reflexively in pain and tell her to go to the pinky but she told me instantly to stop being a baby and grabbed my hand to continue.
    i was 5 hours in emergency the first time i tried to leave i nearly passed out at the door my energy was so low,. i was dragged back in and finally hooked up to an iv bag and given a small sandwich and juice. 15 minuets later my energy had returned and i was good to go. i never found out if i had diabetes but i assume they would have told me.. i guessing it was just assumed because im around 200 pounds and such.. after a week with brace my leg was better then ever though.

  53. Bravo! My doctor is relatively decent on weight stuff – or at the very least she’s not in your face about it. However I do find it annoying that when we talk about my blood pressure (which is high without my meds), she doesn’t seem to take into consideration that I work a stressful job (call center – trying to shill language programs), I have a long family history of high bp AND I have been taking birth control pills for about 14 years give or take. There were a few years I couldn’t due to no insurance. But yeah. All those other outside factors but my blood pressure is only high cause I’m fat. Sure.

    I’m actually looking forward to my next appointment since I’m going to bring up HAES and let her know that we’re not having weight conversations anymore. I’m glad that her method of losing weight “eat less” worked for her. That’s awesome she was able to accomplish the goal she set for herself and found something that works. However, weight loss is not one of my goals. Diets have never worked long term for me. My body obviously works differently from hers. I have a goal to have a healthy body (or at least as close as I can given I can’t always afford non-processed to hell food) and to continue being happy in this body.

    I’d love to know what happens after your doctor office has received your letter.

  54. 121/82 is “dangerously high”? So I’m guessing if your temperature were 98.7 your body would be on the verge of destruction from your “dangerously high” fever? 😛

    Seriously, who decided this woman was qualified to care for patients? Cause they really need to reevaluate that decision right about now . . .

  55. This makes me glad that my doctor understands what healthy is, and looks at your whole body perspective rather than little pieces of data individually.

    The only thing he cares about weight for is prescription dosing purposes. He’s NEVER said anything about weight etc. unless I asked about it. Not even for my kids.

    Hope you knock some sense into ’em.

  56. my. so glad you are speaking up for your body. the entire ritual that we walk into a doctor’s office and we are thrown on a scale and have our blood pressure taken often while we are still dressed to the max, often in a public place and usually when we have just rushed in from somewhere and just sat down for about fourteen seconds–and don’t get me started on the frequency of inaccurate weights and blood pressures being performed improperly–perpetuates a model of impersonal and often misguided care. those markers are considered absolutes while many other simple measures including the asking of simple questions that are usually not done, could give a much greater assessment of someone’s well being. even with a body deemed appropriately sized i have had nurses/docs say inappropriate and inaccurate things about my weight–usually reflecting their own issues.

    i too have refused both when i know they are irrelevant to the purpose of my visit and because i know my body and its vitals rather well. usually i get pushback too.

    as a nutritionist working in health care settings, i am very mindful of who, when, where and how i weigh someone. i will support you in your quest of training people on how to sensitively attend to weighing. dear pregnant women are frequent victims of this archaic model and many have been reduced to tears–with weight fear seriously affecting their joy of pregnancy.

    as always, you are raising a very important issue. .

  57. I thoroughly enjoyed your thoughts and comments regarding nurses not reading files
    Before opening their mouths…

    Thank you!
    Lorie


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