I actually wanted to strangle a healthcare provider today! Now you don’t know me personally, but I can assure you this is not a normal feeling for me. I pride myself in seeing the positive in situations, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and hoping that something good will come from a bad event. Really, this is how I am wired. However, I found my self in unfamiliar territory today as I sat with my beautiful teenage daughter in the doctor’s office over my lunch break so she could get a sports physical. The appointment was progressing normally with the nurse documenting her height, weight, 15,000 questions about health history, behavior, yada yada yada. Finally, the nurse practitioner comes in for the exam. She begins with a review of nearly all the questions the nurse just asked and then proceeds to ‘instruct’ her on BMI and that she is currently at the “top range” of her BMI. WHAT?! Could it be this is why teenagers have body images issues? Furthermore, my daughter is a healthy, happy, athletic young woman who has always thought being curvy was better than being scrawny, like so many girls her age. I ranted and raved in my car all the way back to school (yes I was talking out loud to myself).
It wasn’t until the drive home this afternoon that I was able to reflect on the ordeal. I realized two things 1) my daughter wasn’t at all phased by this woman’s insinuation that she was nearly overweight because she really doesn’t worry about what people think of her (yeah)! and 2) I could continue to be mad or I could be sure I never treat anyone in this manner. So today I have a renewed determination to treat each student with respect, even when giving correction/constructive criticism.