I needed to visit my [general practitioner] to get some more birth control pills, but unfortunately she was on holiday so I agreed to see a locum [Editor’s note: a locum is a doctor who fills in for another doctor, a substitute doctor so to speak].
Birth control pills mean you need your blood pressure checked, so the locum put the cuff around my arm, started inflating, etc. I wasn’t expecting anything unusual, since I’ve always had blood pressure on the low end of normal.
While she was doing this, the locum suddenly blurted out: “so, while you’re here, would you like me to make you an appointment to see the dietician”? Remember, she was in the middle of taking my blood pressure at this point. I _could_ have just said “no, thank you”, which in hindsight might (or might not) have made her shut up, but I did go on to say “I don’t see any need to” – because I didn’t see any need to. I know plenty about nutrition, I have a very varied diet, and my regular GP has never had any concerns with my physical health.
Locum took this as a cue to start a rather blustering argument with me – a patient with her arm in the blood pressure machine. (She wasn’t very good at the arguing; she did seem to get quite upset that I was actually scientifically literate.) Unsurprisingly, the machine correctly noted that my blood pressure was high. The locum decided this meant I couldn’t have my pills; I told her this wasn’t acceptable, and she caved in and gave me them.
My next few blood pressure readings all went wrong too, though – to the point where the GP/nurse said that it was obvious they were inaccurate. The whole business soured me so much that I didn’t bother registering with a new GP when I moved house several years ago, so I haven’t seen once since.
Luckily, as I said, I’m pretty healthy, so this is no great loss for me, and my partner doesn’t mind using condoms _too_ much. I can only imagine how much it sucks to be unfashionably unthin and actually _need_ regular contact with a GP.