Friday, October 14, 2011

Those dratted scales!

No I'm not talking about music scales,
but the dratted weighing machines

If you're anything like me, you've probably thrown out your bathroom scales years ago - they're certainly not our friends and will take great delight in belittling us and our "feelings".

But I'm talking about when you do to the Doctors, or even more importantly, if you have need to go to hospital for any reason. That might be from getting an eyelash taken from the corner of your eye, to major surgery. They will at some time during the admission process, weigh you.

Now, don't get me wrong. I realise they need to know your weight, if only for the reason of how much anaesthetic to give you, should you need surgery. But I don't like the way many nurses seem to find enjoyment in loudly repeating your weight as they take notes. It's not as though everyone in the hospital is deaf, surely.

I'm sure you can tell many stories about inconsiderate hospital staff. I've had nurses very quietly look at the scales and make a note, and I've had strident nurses bellow once if not twice my weight as they write it down. Do I sense a fiendish satisfaction in their faces as they do their best to embarrass me?

I've been caught up with the obnoxious BMI debate and I'll not go into that at the moment, but the way in which plus size women are treated by a lot of hospital and clinic staff is no longer tolerable, in my opinion. It's time for us to stand up for who and what we believe in - ourselves, and actually say what we think - without being militant or nasty, that is.

So I've composed a short letter - constructive criticism I call it - that I attach to my medical details whenever I have to change clinics, or attend hospitals for checkups and so forth. I set out the fact that I am an adult woman, larger than some and smaller than others, and that my weight is very personal. I point out that I have learned to live with my weight, and that should it be necessary for staff to check/recheck my weight, then could they please give me the courtesy of doing it quietly. That would prevent me becoming embarrassed, not by my weight but by their rudeness, and it would allow them to do their job competently and efficiently. They'd have the numbers or figures they need, and there'd be two happy people. Me and them (the nurse and the hospital).

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