"Step on the scale."
The last time I visited the doctor's office I did not step on the scale immediately, instead I asked the nurse to "guess" my weight. She was not amused. I was.
For years I have dreaded the scale at the doctor's office. It is the first hurdle you must cross in what I like to call, "The Ultimate Humiliation Obstacle Course".
On prior visits I have worn the lightest clothing I owned, short of a swimsuit, or something equally less appropriate, in hopes that my weight on the doctor's scale matches the same weight on my scale at home. I have worn slip on shoes so I can kick them off before stepping on the scale. I have tossed my purse on the floor, contents falling every which way just to lose another ounce or two. I have blamed my bra and underwear for the extra pounds I see on the scale. I tell the nurse that my underwire bra is made from reinforced steel and weighs a ton so would she please deduct at least 10 pounds from the actual weight. I tell her my underwear is reinforced too. I tell her that it has some kind of titanium components woven into the fiber to keep it from riding up my rear end but the downside is that even though it feels light as a feather against my skin it weighs the same as a baby elephant. The nurse writes something on my chart. She raises her eyebrows at me. She says nothing. I try and peek over her clipboard. She flips it over.
I hop up and down on the scale. The weight on the digital readout fluctuates wildly. I laugh. The nurse does not. I stand on one foot, then the other. I touch my finger to my nose. I ask if this can be the balance portion of the humiliation chronicles. She flips the clipboard over and starts writing something on the bottom of my chart. I realize she left her sense of humor at home that day.
As she writes something down which - for all I know - could be another item on her grocery list I contemplate what it means to stand in the middle of the hallway on a scale feeling embarrassed whether I weigh as little as a super model or as much as a whale. It means nothing. This scale is not the true indicator of how much I actually weigh. The scale at home is. The scale I stand stark naked on in the privacy of my own bathroom with not a soul peering over my shoulder waiting to write a number on a chart. I am free. The weight has lifted. I smile. I reach down and grab my purse. I slip my shoes back on. I ask the nurse if she wants to join me on the scale just to see how high of a weight it can register. I no longer care what the scale says.
That day I left the office with one less thing weighing me down. And the next time I go to the doctor's I'm wearing my lead boots, my winter coat, my heaviest sweater, and ten pairs of pants. It doesn't really matter. *
*Note: I am aware that weight is an important factor in determining prescription dosage and other important medical issues. That is why I am fully prepared to hand over my driver's license in case the doctor cares to know my true weight. Everyone puts their true weight down on their driver's license right?