Weight Convos at the Doctor

Best conversation I had this week. Try writing script-style (or with dialogue) today to recap an awesome conversation you had this week.

Blood pressure measurement

(Lights up on the vitals station of a doctor’s office. There is a scale, a blood pressure cuff and reader, and a chair. A woman patient, plus-side, and a medical assistant, not, enter.)

Medical Assistant: Have a seat right here, and I’ll take your blood pressure.

Patient (sitting): Sure.

(MA secures a blood pressure cuff around the patient’s arm and turns on the machine. MA then holds out a covered thermometer.)

MA: And this goes under your tongue.

(Patient takes the thermometer and holds it in place. For several seconds, there is only the noise of the machines as the blood pressure cuff inflates and deflates and the thermometer beeps.)

Patient: Do I get to know my scores?

MA: Your temperature is 98.6 exactly, and your blood pressure is 122 over 71. Now it’s on to the scary one! (She gestures toward the scale.)

Patient stepping on the scale): Nah, the blood pressure is the scary one. I already know what this one is going to say.

MA: I take it this means you haven’t gained or lost an unusual amount of weight lately?

Patient: Nope.

MA: Well, your number is a little high, so the nurse practitioner is going to want to discuss it with you.

Patient: Happens every year.

(Cut to inside of examining room. Patient is on examining table, wearing a paper gown on her top half, a second paper sheet over her lap. The nurse practitioner sits on a stool.)

Nurse Practitioner: Of course, this is where I’m supposed to tell you that your weight places you in the “clinically obese” category.

Patient: This is the part where I am not shocked, given that my weight is pretty much the same as it was last year.

NP: Are you still exercising regularly?

Patient: Yep, and my diet is still moderate and as full of as many fresh vegetables as I can get a hold of.

NP: So it seems like recommending diet and lifestyle changes is a moot point. (Glances through patient chart.) Your current blood pressure is good, and your past bloodwork has always been normal, though you are overdue for more.

Patient: So let’s do what we did last year.

NP: Which is?

Patient: Draw blood for cholesterol, blood glucose, thyroid, all that fun stuff. If something comes back that’s problematic, we can talk about it then.

NP: And if everything is normal?

Patient: We can have this same conversation again next year.

NP: Sounds like a plan to me.

(Fade.)

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7 comments on “Weight Convos at the Doctor
  1. Bola says:

    I love this! So honest and well written. When I was writing for today’s prompt, I briefly considered using manuscript style like you have done. Then I thought, Nah, stick with what you already know and went with dialogue. My decision is validated by your great style.

  2. nadinefawell says:

    🙂 My weight is right at the top end of my healthy range. I keep it there deliberately, because it’s insurance in case the eating disorder raises its ugly head again…

    Nice one, Tori.

    I nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award.

    • Tori says:

      Thank you.

      My weight is the result of, if anything, a lot of exercise and eating adequately to fuel that exercise. I don’t do anything with it deliberately but rather gauge on how I’m feeling, what my clinical numbers say, and the continuing improvement in my endurance, strength, and flexibility.

  3. I like it. Sounds like you’ve got a good doctor.

    I’ve been lucky; despite my BMI being ~30 during my adult life, my doctors haven’t really commented on my weight, beyond the nurse reading off the number, not even to say “your BMI is in the obese range”. (They sometimes asked me about exercise and eating habits; perhaps my answers reassured them. Even back when I was exercising IRregularly, apparently that was enough.)

    • Tori says:

      Interesting. I’ve been hearing it off and on my entire adult life — and regular as clockwork any time my BMI was over 25. (In the interest of clarity, I’m not sure what my current doc would have done during the time my BMI was climbing from 25 to where it is now, as it’s been at its present point the entire time I’ve been her patient.) I wonder if height has anything to do with it? I’m just thinking that since I’m 5’8″ — which tends to be taller than most of the (usually presenting as women) healthcare providers I’ve known — the mass it takes for me to have a BMI of 25 or 30 or 35 is objectively higher than for someone who is, say, 5’4″ or so. I wonder if more providers are likely to read that weight number in something closer to isolation and therefore interpret it as “too fat”?

      • Could be. I’m 5′ 5 1/4″, which is slightly taller than average (so why do I have to buy short/petite pants if I don’t want to roll them up!) but not “tall”. The cutoff for “obese” at that height is 182. The highest weight reading I’ve had at the doctor’s is 199 (usually it’s in the 180s), and I’m sure that doctors aren’t immune to the psychological impact of a “2” in front of patients’ weight.

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