Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Weighing on my mind

on February 26, 2015

scale While taking a pre-op patient down the hall this morning to get her weight, she mentioned that she told no one about what she was doing. I dwelled on her comment then mused about a fellow blogger’s recent post on society’s definition of beauty.

Now, I do want to preface this post by stating that I am not condoning a total disregard for a conscientious attitude about healthy living. Musculoskeletal and cardiovascular diseases are aggravated by excess weight and a diet high in cholesterol and fine sugars. However, being conscientious (I love the word), won’t bring you anywhere close to looking like Heidi Klum or the barely covered model on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Genetics, people. Genetics.

Back to how this relates to my morning with my pre-op patient (the one who’s weight I needed – needed because she was having a gastric bypass and we have to have a baseline weight).

Where is our 30×30 inch floor scale that takes up to 500 lbs.  It’s in Bay 14 — the same bay where we keep a small linen cart, extra wheelchairs, and IV poles. In the back. In a corner. With a quiet patient whose head is down, the walk to the scale always feels like a shameful secret. And I don’t want them to feel that way.

You have to move everything out of the bay before the patient arrives so they can even get to the scale. And, you pull it out from the corner — pull it out from the wall so your patient is not nose to nose with industrial grade beige wall paper. It’s embarrassing, the arrangement for where this scale is. If we weren’t so limited on space…anyhow..

I do my best and cheer my patient on for all the positive changes to come.

And I’m thinking to myself, while we at the same time elevate the waif-like figures making thousands of dollars for one photograph on an exotic beach, can we say that we support our friends and family just trying to get a little healthier.   So…

Next time your diabetic friend has a birthday, get them one of those cool Edible Arrangements with the flower shaped fruit instead of cupcakes. Someone you know walking every Tuesday night? For-go the idea of a Saturday night dinner out and offer to walk with them.

I sincerely believe that the majority try to make lifestyle changes quietly because to announce somehow implies that they don’t appreciate what they already have in life or don’t know if they will be taken seriously.  And when social events bring on temptations, we backslide. I say we because I’ve done it, over and over again. To decline dessert separates you from the group.

Getting on a scale shouldn’t be an obsession.

And walking toward a scale shouldn’t feel like a death march.



P.S. My patient recovered nicely.

7 responses to “Weighing on my mind

  1. estherlou says:

    In your patient’s behalf…I thank you for seeing more than the surface and realizing some things most people wouldn’t think about really can affect someone. You are probably quite good at what you do. And for patients’ everywhere, I appreciate it.

    • Susan says:

      I do like what I do – a lot, and I don’t get to spend as much time with my patients as I’d like due to the pace. So, your words are greatly appreciated!

  2. DM says:

    All three of my daughters have battled weight gain @ one time or another….really gave me an lot more empathy for those that fight that battle. I’m fortunate to have a physical job that enables me to not pay too much attention to what and when I eat (yet)..I know a few years ago I decided I needed to loose 30 pounds, it was the hardest battle I’d ever fought with my self, until I got into a groove, I can’t imagine trying to loose 100 pounds (or more) and do it wisely. thoughtful post~! DM

  3. If only we had more thoughtful souls like you in health care. It would be a different world. Great practical tips, too.


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