Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Weighing at the doctor’s office

The visit to the doctor seemed unrelated to my weight, yet I am asked to stand on the scale.

Why do doctors want everyone to weigh? Is there a per-pound commission? Do deliverymen have to stand on the scale before the receptionist will sign for the package? Questions left for another time.

My medical assistant did not realize she was dealing with a professional when she said she needed me to weigh. Precautions must be taken; delicate ego states are involved. My weight is not a number I take lightly (er, pun not intended).

Facing the scale, I inhale a deep calming breath. Why is it boldly lit and right smack dab in the center of the room? Some things are for the private places.

While she waits, I remove wallet, cell phone, money clip, change, keys, pen, watch, rings, belt, and finally, my glasses. If I wore contact lenses, I would have removed them also. I’ve got 13 pounds of love handles hugging my hips and I’m fretful about three ounces added by a writing implement; go figure.

This ritual holds no interest to her; she is showing etchings of frustration. “Mr. Marcus, please get on the scale.”

“You want accuracy, don’t you?” An unexpectedly high number could damage my fragile psyche, hurling me into a tailspin. How would my doctor feel if my cholesterol spiked 40 points due to a peanut butter binge induced by mistakenly thinking I gained eight pounds? Couldn’t be good publicity for the medical profession, I’m sure.

Bending down and grunting, I untie a shoe. Trying to break the tension, I comment, “Pretty flexible for a guy my age, huh?”

Her eyes roll; she edgily checks her watch. “Can we hurry?”

“We?” I wonder. Seems like “Me.” I choose not to point this out; soon she will know my weight and could blackmail “Us”. Besides, I need focus. This is a delicate process to be executed with precision.

She is relieved as I remove my second shoe and start for the scale. Abruptly a horrifying realization dawns within me; I freeze.

She studies me, confused.

I explain. “While waiting I had a glass of water; that’s eight ounces. I first need to use the rest room.”

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