Well, I finally met with my new doctor.  Yes, I was nervous and apprehensive; but I was prepared.

How wonderful to find out I didn’t need to come prepared.  She was great – not perfect – but great.  The only “eh” part was she was glad I had lost a little weight, and she urged me not to gain any weight.  I explained to her that I don’t focus on weight – I focus on my health.  And she said, that was fine because whatever I was doing was working well for me.  Cool beans. 

I almost had a run in with the physician’s assistant because I would not let her hook me up to the blood pressure machine.  I always get a false high reading from the machine and then that goes in my record, and as a fat person that can become an issue – because doctors think I need blood pressure medication – and then that leads to another argument.  I called my HMO and confirmed that it is my absolute right to have my blood pressure taken manually; and that is what the PA did.  The funny thing is, while they usually have large cuffs for the machine, they seldom have them in the exam rooms.  But that is not my problem.  She used an average cuff on my lower arm and my blood pressure (even with the stress of having to force the issue) was normal.  Ta dah.  Told you so.  Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah. 

Don’t get me wrong, if I develop high blood pressure, I definitely want to know, and I have no problem with taking medication for a condition I actually have.  But blood pressure medication is serious stuff and should only be taken by people with high blood pressure. 

So I am so happy that I can once again have a physician who is willing to listen, discuss, and be my partner in my healthcare.  It would be my hope that every person can have the same good fortune.  Just remember, you are paying your doctor – he/she is working for you – and if they are not doing a good job, you have the right to fire them and find someone else.


12 thoughts on “MY FAT ASS GETS A NEW DOCTOR

  1. High pressure medicine in someone with normal blood pressure can lead to dangerously low blood pressure. My mother had that problem. It’s a dangerous situation.

    • See – that’s what I thought, and because I’m fat nobody would listen when I’d tell them the machine was giving a false high reading. Sometimes the doctor would take the BP manually and all would be fine – but then he/she wouldn’t put it in my charts! So next time, I’d have to go through the whole thing again! Arghhhhh.

  2. Very glad to hear you found a new and better doc now! Yay!

    As for BP, it is possible to use an avg-sized cuff on the forearm to get a ballpark reading, but that should not be your standard of care, especially if there is ever any question of high BP.

    The most accurate method to take BP is with the appropriate-sized cuff, manually, on the upper arm. Your feet should be flat on the floor (not dangling), and your arm should be raised to about the level of your heart.

    Research shows that an average cuff on the forearm actually does artificially raise blood pressure somewhat over using the larger cuff on the upper arm. The research citations for this are on my FAQs on blood pressure on my blog.

    If your readings were normal using the forearm method, I’m sure your BP is normal. BUT if your readings were elevated using this forearm method, you should always have them repeated using the correct-sized cuff on your upper arm, manually.

    • Whaliam has suggested I go through Ample Stuff and simply buy my own BP cuff – do you know, are they fairly generic? I have no problem bringing my own. I already have a hospital gown from them which I use when I need a gown – like for mammograms, etc.

  3. Do you have more information on why you get false highs with the machine? I’m just curious because I’ve been getting some seriously varying blood pressure readings lately, and I’d like more information so I know what to ask for when I’m at the doctor’s office. I don’t think I’ve had my blood pressure taken manually before (at least not recently). Thanks in advance!

  4. I have the same thing with my blood pressure reading high, only not with the machine (never been on it) but with the cuff that is too small. Without fail, the smaller cuff sends mine up. I think it’s probably because it HURTS!

    • I know – right? I kept telling them that the cuff size they were using on the machine was breaking blood vessels in my arm! You’d think that’d be a clue it was too small, wouldn’t you?

  5. Variations in BP reading with cuffs too small for the patient are well documented in the medical literature. Taking the pressure manually requires to provider to listen for the onset and decline of sounds – if the person is skilled, then manual pressure readings will be accurate. Machines obviously use a different system but should be reliable when the correct cuff size is used. Having said that, I always insist that my pressure be taken manually because my reading is generally falsely high with the machine.

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