Today I had to go to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor...well, I don't really hate going to the doctor, I hate going to see the doctor and having to get on the scale. I hate that they have the scale right out in the open in a hallway where anyone who passes by can see what you weigh. For me, that's scary. I want to keep my weight private. Shouldn't there be a HIPAA law or something to protect me from having my weight scrutinized by prying eyes? Surely there should be. Anyway, as much as I hated going to see the doctor today, I went. This was a follow up visit for an esophageoendoscopy I'd had done recently. I already had the results so I didn't really understand why it was necessary for me to go in for an office visit, but I'm compliant, so off I went.
I arrived at the gastroenterologist's office about fifteen minutes early. I'm always early. I like to have a few minutes to just sit in the waiting room and chill out before my appointment. For some reason, I get white coat syndrome...you know, where you're heart rate speeds up and you feel panic and you want to run?! Well, I sat in the waiting room listening to the receptionist giving out social security numbers and other private information over the phone to an insurance company. I was checking Facebook on my Iphone so I was half listening and half not. If I'd wanted to steal someone's identity, I could have done it easily. I wanted to chide the receptionist for being so careless about sharing very valuable personal information within earshot of those in the waiting room, but I did not. I used to work for a doctor's office. I knew it was not standard procedure for something like this to be done. That receptionist was going to find out from some irate patient, at some point in her career, that she wasn't being very professional and rightly so. A few minutes passed and I was being called back.
A heavy set nurse took me right to the scale. I don't usually mind getting up on the scale if the nurse is larger than I am so I stepped right up. I glanced over my shoulder to make sure no office staff were peering at the number on the scale. Thankfully, no one was in the hallway but the nurse and I. She didn't even tell me what I weighed and I hadn't been able to see it. (Earlier today, I'd taken my glasses off and put my sunglasses on as I was driving. The sun was so bright I could barely see without them. I have artificial lenses in both eyes and they're for distance so I only have to wear my glasses for seeing things up close.) I wished I'd had them on. I wondered what the scale had said. The nurse took me back to the exam room and began asking the normal questions. I gave her all the answers and she said the doctor would be in shortly.
I didn't have to wait but a couple of minutes before the doctor came in with his scribe. The scribe sat down at the computer and as the doctor asked questions, she typed away. Dr. R asked me if I was still having issues with not being hungry. I told him yes. He said, "Don't you ever have an appetite?" I answered, "No. I really don't. I just eat when it's meal time because I know I'm supposed to eat then." He looked at my chart and said, "Well, the last time I saw you for an office visit was about 4 months ago. You weigh the same today as you did then." Hmmm...I wondered if that was accurate. I knew what my home scale said this morning before getting dressed. I asked him what the scale showed today and he told me. "HA!," I almost shouted. He looked at me stunned. I said, "I know why there's no weight loss showing." As I finished my last word in that sentence, I reached inside my shirt and whipped off my bra with my prostheses still in it. I held it up with sheer delight and waved it slightly back and forth. "Here's the five pound loss that should have appeared on your office scale today. I forgot to take them off before coming in to see you." The doctor turned a bright shade of red and his scribe had a look of shock on her face. I sat there and laughed because I thought it was so funny. The doctor took a few minutes before he commented and then said, "Well, Mrs. Annis, I guess you can lose weight whenever you choose, can't you?" I smiled and wanted to tell him, "Damn, Skippy!," but I didn't. I just shook my head and grinned.
I'm finding myself getting a little more brazen in my old age and it's kind of scary. It's also kind of fun. I'm liking the element of surprise and how I can use my fake boobs to make medical professionals think about breast cancer when they least expect it. Maybe the next time a patient steps up to the scale, the nurse should ask, like they do in the customs offices, if the patient has anything to declare. It would be funny to see how many prostheses come off before the weigh in. Can you just imagine a pile of limbs or breasts stacked in the corner while patients are being weighed? I bet that would prompt them to move their scale into a small room instead of keeping it out in the open in a hallway. There needs to be some standard of privacy and respect for folks with artificial pieces and parts. HIPAA needs to get on board and revise their policies but I bet no one's ever considered something as silly as this, except maybe me...of course.
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