DEAR ABBY: I have fought obesity all of my adult life, and my weight has yo-yoed over the years. My problem is, when I go to the doctor's office and I am taken to the exam area, the scale is right out in the open where other patients come and go as well as all the office personnel.
Mind you, I don't care if I am weighed in the presence of people walking around -- if they don't peek. However, when the medical assistant is done weighing me, she reads the scale out loud. I have felt humiliated when other patients are walking past. I have put up with this for years.
Recently, this medical assistant weighed me and I just knew she was going to "announce" my weight. This time there was a man I could tell was a patient, standing nearby at the reception window staring intently at me getting weighed. Because I was sure the M.A. was going to say it out loud, I started to cough to try to muffle the sound of her voice. It worked, but then she acted irritated because of my coughing, so she repeated it loudly. I was very embarrassed, to say the least. When the doctor saw me, I was afraid to say anything as I didn't want to get anybody in trouble.
I graduated from a medical assistant school many years ago and I remember the registered nurse who was our instructor taught us to never say out loud somebody's weight when you weigh him or her. It only makes common sense. I no longer want to go back to that doctor's office.
Do you have any advice for me when this happens again? I say again because it happens at other doctor's offices I visit as well. I am at a loss here. I would appreciate your input. -- STILL STINGING IN NEVADA
DEAR STILL STINGING: The first time it happened, you should have quietly mentioned to the medical assistant that she embarrassed you, and asked her please not to do it again. When it happened a second time, you should have spoken to the doctor about it. You are far from the only person who is sensitive about weight. If I were that physician, I'd certainly want to know why patients were disappearing from my practice. Wouldn't you?