The dreaded nurse partitioner visit …weight and waiting

June 19, 2011 at 9:44 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 5 Comments

Well I had my yearly nurse practitioner visit on Friday. I was dreading it because (a) All other nurse practitioner visits, bar one, since the dawn of time, have been a complete waste of time, and sometimes quite significant amounts of time( b) I didn’t want to see Mrs M-m-m-methotrexate ever again and (c) I know I’ve put on a lot of weight over the winter and didn’t want a lecture.

Well things started off OK. The junior nurselet didn’t call three of us in together, make us follow her like a row of waddling, arthritic ducks and then make two stand in the corridor while she weighed the first one and told everyone the result. She just called me in and did the weighing, didn’t even comment on it, didn’t even say ‘Ooh, that-many kilograms, shall I convert that into stone for you?’ I was ready for that one, with ‘No thanks, I know what I weigh. I weighed this morning.’ I HAD weighed that morning. In fact I’d bought a new battery for the scales specially.

The only criticism of junior nurselet is that she called my name and then COMPLETELY ignored me as we walked to the weighing room – no ‘Good morning’ or anything; in fact she didn’t even wait for me, just walked off and let me follow like a bad mother mallard’s sole remaining duckling.

Anyhooo, the way it works is you sit in quite a comfy, well laid-out waiting area with magazines and things, and then you get weighed and ‘sampled’ (unless you’ve forgotten to bring one as I usually do!) and sent to the inner sanctum, a smaller, far less comfy waiting area with less reading material and a lot of glum looking patients! It’s now been given a boost by some artwork though, ‘specially commissioned to commemorate the life of Seth’ somebody or other. Now I have to say, and I know I shouldn’t whinge and should appreciate anything to brighten up that gloomy little windowless room, but Seth must have led one hell of a boring life, whoever he was. There may have been better pictures behind me that I didn’t see, but that were three that I did see. One was a photo of some beach huts, one was a rather jolly semi-abstract that I think was sun-set over the sea and that I actually rather liked and one was … well, a mug of tea and what looked like a beef-burger sitting behind it. Now Seth might have loved his tea, and bully for him if he did, but sitting looking at a picture of a mug of tea for ages is a) not that inspiring anyway and b) slightly frustrating in this horrid little room where there’s no chance of getting a cup of tea (or any other drink, with the possible exception of a glass of water) until you escape!

Still, that’s more than enough chatter about a waiting room I think  … having examined the artwork I noticed the notice board … as you do. It said that various doctors were in room rooms 1, 3, 5 and 7 and that various nurse practitioners were in rooms 2, 4, 6 and 8. (I’ve muddled the rooms to protect the innocent.) I saw that Penguin’s favourite nurse practitioner was in room 2, two that I didn’t know were in rooms 4 and 6 and Mrs M-m-m-m-methotrexate was in room 8. Then I saw junior nurselet come in with my notes … oh please, please, please, not room 8. Anything but room 8! (And preferably room 2 come to that.) She walked up to room 2 ‘Yes, yes, YES!’ and hesitated – looked at the ENORMOUS bundle of notes on the trolley and carried on round … all the way to room 8!! Nooooooooooooooooooo…

Yes! Oh doom.

So there I was, twenty minutes fretting about having to see HER again …in between listening to the couple next to me arguing and the old codger on the other side muttering under his moustache about ‘this department’s a bloody joke’, ‘I’ve been waiting hours’ and ‘turn that bloody phone off – shouldn’t be on in here’. Quite right about the last one actually, and it was my phone that rang  – oops.

Finally Mrs M-m came out and called me. Heart in boots I toddled in. ‘I’m Mrs M-m-m-m-methotrexate,’ she said, ‘Nice to meet you’. Help! Has she forgotten I complained about her? Is this a trap? Do I say, ‘nice to meet you too,’ only for her to say, ‘Actually we’ve met before, you complained about me’? Do I say, ‘We’ve met’ and get us off to a bad footing straight away. So, diplomatic as ever, I think I managed an ‘er …um’.

‘Well,’ she said, ‘how are you doing?’ ‘Pretty well,’ says I. ‘Oh … good bye then.’ Good lord, was that a JOKE? Is she actually human? Yes, it was and she is. How extraordinary. To cut a middle-sized story short, she was absolutely fine. We had quite a useful conversation about a couple of minor things that were bothering me and then of course the dreaded weight issue. ‘You could do with losing some weight. You’ve put quite a bit on since we last saw you and would help the knees and ankles.’

‘I have been thinking about it,’ I replied gloomily. ‘Unfortunately I’ve also been eating too much.’

‘Well you need to think harder, eat less and exercise more.’

‘Yes … I know.’

End of weight conversation! So I can’t even criticise her for belabouring the point – and frankly I can’t really criticise her for not offering more help because I KNOW what I should be doing. It’s not that I need to see a dietician; I know what a healthy diet looks like … I just prefer cake. I certainly don’t need to join a gym – you wouldn’t get me through the door for a million pounds. And I know what kinds of exercise it’s OK for me to do … I just need to do them. <Sigh>

Anyway, I went on a ‘spinning with a drop spindle’ course yesterday. More about that in another post, but just to say here that hubby pointed out helpfully that I’d have been better off going on a course on one of those spinning exercise bike things. <Sigh> He might be right …



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  1. Ha, ha, this rings a bell! Got to go tomorrow to be weighed by a nurse several inches shorter than me (and at least a couple of inches wider!) who will shake her head and say something annoying like ‘Well, we certainly haven’t lost any weight, have we?’ and I shall have to smile and resist the urge to say ‘Well, you certainly haven’t’. Then I have to see the rheumatologist who only speaks to my knees, and try to convince him that I don’t need a gastroscopy just because I’m slightly anaemic (when it seems obvious to me that it’s either the arthritis or the drugs, since I was a blood donor before the arthritis, and I have no problems with my gut!). I can’t believe it’s never occurred to me to ‘forget’ the sample – that alone should improve the day slightly…
    Nice to know I’m not alone in East Anglia, your blog is great, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

  2. LOL! I really DO forget the sample … don’t mind taking one, I just honestly never remember!! It did irritate the heck out of me to be told it’s really important to bring the hospital ones because they do checks the surgery doesn’t, and then be told by another official medic type person that actually the tests are exactly the same!

    I really hope your appointment goes surprisingly well, or at least much better than expected, as mine did! 🙂

  3. I think it’s ridiculous, all this medical nagging about weight. The science is in by now – it’s not as simple for everybody as just eating less and doing more. And on the basis of a completely unscientific and made-up poll of me and most other cripples I know, weight is more likely to reduce when one is feeling healthier. I wonder if our bodies hold on to fat and stimulate our cake appetite when we’re in a low state, on the basis that we’re not going to be able to get out and do much hunting/gathering? (Apologies for cod evolutionary speculation…) Doctors must know that if they can get us feeling better we’re likely to be more active and less cake reliant. So why not focus on that?

  4. I don’t know how accurate it is but I like the cod evolutionary speculation; I like even more the phrase ‘cake reliant’. That’s one I shall have to remember!

  5. […] I was ‘better off than most people I see in here.’ Then there were all time times the junior nurse ‘processing’ us prior to appointments made us feel like ducklings, or perhaps more like Turkeys at Christmas. There […]

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