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To be fed up of the nurse making a comment on my weight at every single pill check

(70 Posts)
thelongandwindingroad Thu 11-Apr-13 15:31:25

I have to have a pill check every six months during which the nurse checks my blood pressure and weight.

When I first went on the pill after my DC's birth I was overweight - it was mentioned at my pill check. Fine, I knew my BMI was overweight and went on to do something about it. I didn't mind it being pointed out to me.

I lost about 2 stone and at my next pill check the nurse commented on it positively. Ok, fair enough.

But EVERY time I go for my pill check the nurse (and there are a couple of them at the surgery so not always the same one) ALWAYS mentions my weight.

One time it was "oh, you've put on 2 kilos". I was wearing winter boots and coat at the time and weighed on different scales to the previous time so hardly thought it was worth mentioning. ESPECIALLY as my BMI was still in the normal range.

Another time it was "your weight is perfect, don't lose any more and don't put on any more".

Basically every time I go they mention if I've lost of gained a few pounds.

I HAVE A HISTORY OF EATING DISORDERS which I have managed to overcome in the last 5 years or so by eating well, exercising a lot and not weighing myself too often.

I find it incredibly stressful when comment is passed on my weight and I appreciate it wouldn't bother other people. But I am due another pill check soon and seriously considering coming off the pill and switching to something else as already I am worried about them commenting on the 4 pounds extra I weigh since last time they weighed me.

I realise this is MY problem. But is it really necessary for them to pass comment on my weight when it is in the healthy BMI range and has been at every visit except the first one?

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 11-Apr-13 15:33:36

They probably don't realise they are being insensitive, comments like "your weight is perfect" seem fairly reasonable to me.

Last couple of times I went it was "ooh, you're getting a bit old aren't you".

Well yes. Not much I can do about that really.

DinoSnores Thu 11-Apr-13 15:34:41

I'd guess she's just making conversation, like when the midwife would take my blood pressure and say whether it was high, "Ooh, a bit stressed today?" (generally taken after wrangling my toddler in the waiting room!) or low, "make sure you drink a bit more."

EasterHoliday Thu 11-Apr-13 15:34:59

since she has to assess you for risk factors associated with taking the pill, your weight is relevant.

thelongandwindingroad Thu 11-Apr-13 15:35:04

I have to admit, I didn't mind the 'your weight is perfect' bit so much grin it was more the "don't lose any more don't gain anymore" bit that I found stressful.

The "you've put on 2 kilos one" actually made me cry (stupid f*cked up eating disorder brain sad )

HumphreyCobbler Thu 11-Apr-13 15:35:20

Just say briskly that you would appreciate not discussing weight as you find it stressful. Do this when you walk in through the door.

I asked the midwife not to tell me my weight the other day, she agreed but then said it out loud when she wrote it down! I find it very triggering and am trying not to stress about it so I was annoyed with her. I am in a normal BMI range as I am a size 10, but I get very hung up on actual numbers and find it really negatively affects my perception of myself. So I know what you mean.

nethunsreject Thu 11-Apr-13 15:35:44


It is totally unnecessary as you are within the healthy range anyway!

It's worth saying to them - they probably don't realise how these comments can impact on someone who has had an eating disorder.

StiffyByng Thu 11-Apr-13 15:36:57

YANBU. They are being crap. Are you doing this at a Family Planning Clinic? Could you switch to your doctor's surgery? Or vice versa.

I am overweight and went to a FPC for contraception at the start of a new relationship. It was a weekend service and I suspect they don't have the best staff then. The doctor was handed my file, which had all the stats the nurse had collected, and she laughed, and asked 'has she asked you to shave a few pounds off yet'? When the mortified nurse gestured to the open door, and me sitting there listening, she just shrugged, and went on to tell me I was killing myself, shouldn't really use contraception apart from barrier, and, when I objected to an implant on the grounds that I was hoping to have children within the next 2/3 years, asked if I was sure that my partner wanted to have children with me rather than just wanting to 'have fun'?

I went to another FPC the next time and found she had prescribed the wrong dose of pill for me. And I am NOT that fat.

thelongandwindingroad Thu 11-Apr-13 15:39:14

Thanks all.

Stiffy - it's at the Dr surgery. I could switch to the FPC I guess, but the Dr surgers is a 20 second walk from my house and the FPC is a drive. Since I have to take the DC with me it's a lot more faff to go to the FPC.

Will look into whether they have evening appts though.

GruffaloAteMySocks Thu 11-Apr-13 15:43:12

YANBU I know a lot of people who have this issue. Including when they go for completely unrelated issues i.e. my Dad has arthritis in his hands, without fail the doctor will mention his weight when discussing treatment options. How does weight affect arthritis in your hands!?

ShowOfHands Thu 11-Apr-13 15:44:46

I wonder if there is a facility for them to record somewhere that you prefer not to discuss your weight. I know they do have to weigh you as part of your pill check so it's unavoidable from that pov but they have the ability to be discreet and sensitive to your needs.

It sounds to me like you're doing absolutely brilliantly with regard to you EDs. Do you still receive help with them?

Have you thought about a coil? Condoms? Implant?

bigkidsdidit Thu 11-Apr-13 15:46:25

I think it is now recommended to family doctors that they bring up under / over weight at every appointment, even if unrelated. I heard about it on the news recently, I'm sure. Because people don't tend to make appointments with their doctor about their weight.

Startail Thu 11-Apr-13 15:46:29

I wouldn't worry, I don't believe my nurse's scales anyway.

I'm sure I'm heavier than last time. My clothes are tighter, but her scales said I'd lost weight confused

Seriously HP should shut up about peoples weight. My DMum's knees are beyond redemption and she never did anything about them when she was younger in part because she said the Dr. will just say I'm too heavy.

Yes, she is over weight, but she honestly doesn't eat a lot or have a sweet tooth. Yes she didn't take any exercise, what SAHM does unless they own a dog. She needed help with her knees not a lecture on something she was well aware of and for which there was no quick fix.

comfysofas Thu 11-Apr-13 15:47:12

A nurse always told me I should not be taking the pill at my age.

Im 44 and take it [not for contraception ]
to calm my crazy periods. I check with my doc every year she is happy, and she is.

Last time I went and saw the nurse she said it again, so I told her the doc is more qualified than her and I see her for the prescription not medical advice for that I go to the doctor.

And when i book an appointment i tell them i want to see another nurse.

bigkidsdidit Thu 11-Apr-13 15:47:21

that was to gruffalo btw, doesn't apply to you as you are not overweight now.

StuntGirl Thu 11-Apr-13 15:48:40

Well its directly relevant so she has to check your weight.

Just point out you have a history of eating disorders and you'd prefer her not to mention your weight as it is a trigger point for you. Ask her to put it in your notes.

angelos02 Thu 11-Apr-13 15:49:05

YANBU. I think if people are outside the healthy BMI range (either way), it should be pointed out but they shouldn't pass comment on it at all otherwise.

CabbageLeaves Thu 11-Apr-13 15:51:41

I was all ready to defend HCPs professionalism in tackling obesity related health issues but this is a completely different scenario to someone saying I don't want to know about the health risks I'm taking...

Nurse probably has no idea of the effect of her casual words. Just refuse to be weighed next time? Any interaction with a HCP is voluntary. Common sense should dictate if it's an issue in terms of health risks assoc with losing or gaining. It's obviously not and therefore her remarks are idle careless personal comment.

If you commented back about her weight it would have the same value. Not required, personal and unmerited.

thelongandwindingroad Thu 11-Apr-13 15:51:47

Thanks all.

I really don't feel comfortable with telling them I have a history of eating disorders (I think it's quite common for people to be secretive about eating disorders?)

In fact, I'd rather go through the weight comments than look someone in the eye and tell them something that private.

Gingerandhibiscus Thu 11-Apr-13 15:52:17

i've never been weighed by a doctor, I'd say no I'm within normal ranges thank you if I were asked to stand on the scales I think.

comfysofas that's interesting. I sound like you. I could use it. I did wonder if they'd prescribe it for me. 43, a period every 21 days now confused some heavy, some light. I should ASK anyway. Has taking the pill sort it out for you?

trinity0097 Thu 11-Apr-13 15:53:14

I find that the doctors themselves are more laid back, why not see the doctor not the nurse?

Startail Thu 11-Apr-13 15:54:53

Xposted - Yes bigkids I heard that too.

I shouted something very rude at the radio. As the OP and the above about my DMum indicate it can be very, very counter productive.

Over weight and people with ED aren't stupid they know they have a problem.

However, they also have other things they need/want to discuss with a doctor, but don't because they can't face the 'weight' talk again.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Thu 11-Apr-13 15:57:02

I think they should mention people's wieght. Especially if people are over or under wieght. I would hope it would always be done in a sensitive manner though.

Some people never wiegh themselves at home so it can be useful to let people know if they have gained or lost weight.

thelongandwindingroad Thu 11-Apr-13 15:58:29

trinity, thanks, I hadn't though of the Dr. The Drs there are all lovely, I wonder if the receptionists would let me book it with them.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Thu 11-Apr-13 15:58:33

In future, can you just decline to be weighed?? I am not sure if that is possible.

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