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They Took My Blood Pressure 5 Times Today at Urgent Care

Chrystal Bougon

Posted on April 05 2015

Urgent CareSo, let me start off by saying that I am fine. I did spend a few hours at Urgent Care today because I did something to my right eye. Turns out I have two small abrasions on my cornea.  I am using antibiotic drops and I am on my way to healthy eyeballs again. But, I have to share a bit about how my day unfolded. (And, thank you OBAMA CARE for my insurance. Because of my BMI, I always got turned down in years past, even though I am perfectly healthy and do not take an medication of any kind. Doctor once a year for my well woman, etc etc. I could go on forever, but if your’re fat, I am preaching to the choir.)

Ok, so real quickly, let me set the stage. I have new insurance and no specific doctor yet. So, I needed to go to an urgent care. I looked up on the Blue Cross Anthem website for a nearby Urgent Care that is “in plan.” I found one in Los Gatos which is nearby and headed over there. I get there and then I find out they ONLY work with kids and they are NOT in the Blue Cross plan. Ok, so frustrating. I have to call Blue Cross and find another Urgent Care. And then drive to the new Urgent Care (which is like 1.5 miles from my house. UGGGGG.)

I drive to the new Urgent Care and get checked in. The receptionist was very helpful. I waited about 30 minutes before they called me in for the requisite weigh-in and blood pressure check before the doctor appointment.  Right away I could see there was going to be a problem. I could see the little chair they wanted me to sit in. There was no way my big butt was going to fit in there.

I asked the P.A. “Have you all ever thought about putting a larger chair her or maybe a chair with no arms to make it work for more bodies?” She smiled nervously and said they would consider it.  I tried to squeeze in, but it was way too uncomfortable and I didn’t want to sit like that while she took my blood pressure, so I stood.

She then proceed to put a wrist cuff blood pressure monitor on me. I had never seen one before and was sort of confused.  She wasn’t being very clear and I guess I was supposed to put my wrist up near my heart. At the same time she stuck a thermometer in my mouth and a little pulse thing on my finger. So, yah, I am standing there with the wrist cuff on, the thermometer in my mouth and the little thingy on my finger. SO WEIRD.  If my blood pressure wasn’t high already, it was definitely going up by the second.

She gets a reading and says “Is your b.p. usually this low?”  It came back as 84 over 64.  I said, “no, my b.p. is normally about 110//60 or thereabouts.’ So I asked (for the second time) “do you have a larger cuff for larger people?” and “Can you take my b.p. the regular way using the cuff?” Instead she tried 3 more times with the little wrist thing. While I stood there for two of the three times. SHAKING MY HEAD>

The next time she did it using the wrist thing, it was 178 / 155. I told here “sorry, no way. That is not right.”  So then she walked me into the room for me to sit down and tried it again so I would be sitting down. The third time she had sitting down on the exam table, still using this wrist thing.  It was down some more but I still wanted the cuff for larger people. (When you use the cuff for smaller bodies, it’s often elevated.)

So, I asked again, very nicely, ” I would much prefer you use the larger cuff and I would also like to chill out here for a few minutes and relax.” I did not say how RUDE it was to have me standing there and to keep trying to take my b.p. three times in front of everyone in the room with the wrist thing. (Which fit fine, but I am not sure how it really works on a larger body. And, I do NOT want some kind of HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE thing on my medical records if my blood pressure is not high.)

So, she agreed. She got me a magazine and some water. I sat in a very comfortable chair. I did some meditations. I calmed myself down a bit. It had been a very trying 2 hours of trying to find an urgent care, stress with the chair, etc.  (BTW, it looked like NONE of the other chairs in the exam rooms had arms, so they could easily swap “THE CHAIR” for one of the more comfortable chairs.)

She came back and took my blood pressure with the larger cuff. And, she did it twice. Guess what, both times it came back at about 120/80. That is much closer to what my b.p. always is. She relaxed and I relaxed.

I only wrote this to say let’s remember that we ALL have to always be our OWN ADVOCATE when it comes to health care. And, we can ask for things like chair that work for our bodies. We are not putting anyone out. We are asking for something that is the bare minimum they should be providing all humans. I PAY for these appointments. They work for me. They are in business because of my insurance payment each month. They are here to HELP and SERVE me.

And, remember, you can always ask to have your blood pressure taken at the end of your appointment if you prefer. So much anxiety in the beginning of the appointment. So much unknown. Don’t be afraid to ask.

It’s called HUMAN RIGHTS and we all deserve to be treated like a human who deserves dignity and respect. And we especially deserve this from our health care providers.

And, btw, when I left, they asked me to fill out a survey about my experience. Of course, I suggested to them that they put a friendlier chair in their P.A’s. area. We will see what happens when I got back in a couple of weeks.  I’ll keep you posted.





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