Friday, June 20, 2008

No Weigh

When you go to the doctor's office, the nurse asks you to step up on the scale so she can get your weight. When I go to the doctor's office, the nurse asks me to step up on the scale and I tell her that I can't. This always perplexes them, although I doubt that I am the first person to have this problem. They usually have a walker surrounding the scale to help someone who is unsteady on their feet, but that's it. Occasionally, a nurse will actually say aloud that I am too big for the pediatric scale in their office. (that's the one that is part of the table) Realizing that there is no way that I can be weighed in their office, they ask me if I know how much I weigh. I provide them with a number, but it is now three or four years old. That just wasn't good enough for administering chemotherapy. I had to get weighed.

So, the doctor wrote me a prescription for me to go to the hospital and be weighed. I was told just to go to the main registration desk, show them the prescription and it would be taken care of. Knowing how things work in the real world, I was skeptical. Unfortunately, I was also right. The woman at the reception desk had no idea what I was asking for and told me that she didn't think they did that. She then suggested that I try down in the emergency room. My aide pushed me all the way down to the emergency room where we were again told that they didn't do that there. This person even added that she didn't remember ever getting that request in the 20 years she had worked at the hospital. We were sent back to the registration desk. This time the person at the desk give us a phone number that my doctor's office could call to arrange for me to be weighed. I had my aide make the phone call because I knew that my patience was wearing thin. I am thankful that that office was sympathetic to our plight, promised they would get it taken care of and told us not to leave until we had gotten what we came there for. We ended up returning to the emergency room, but this time someone met us and brought us back to a room with a hospital bed that had a scale. My aide transferred me to the bed, the nurses weighed me, I was transferred back to my chair and then wheeled out the door. All that it only took a hour of my time and a little of what was left of my dignity.

I resent being treated like a second class citizen because I can't stand. For medical personnel, very few are empathetic to my situation. They view and treat me like a problem that they don't want to deal with, not separating the person from their condition. I don't want to be difficult. I just want the same care that any patient deserves. Wouldn't it be more productive if staff brought up problems they were having dealing with the disabled to their supervisors? With the population living longer and a giant bunch of aging baby boomers, limited mobility problems like mine will become more common. Healthcare should lead the way in accommodations instead of bringing up the rear. I hope that someday when I go to the doctor's office someone will say "we can get your weight right here." It sounds simple enough.

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