Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reconstruction

I’m not a petite person. If you called me thin, slim or skinny, it would be because it’s opposite day. I guess you could say I’m curvy. I was this way before I had my two beautiful kids and I’m even more so now. In any case, I’m definitely plus sized. I’d love to not be plus sized and occasionally I get the inclination to make life changes to be a healthier person, but more often than not I give in to stress eating or just ridiculous cravings. It’s something I beat myself up over every single day. I don’t need other people beating me up too.

For the past few months, I’ve been getting weekly emails from the medical group that I go to for all my “women’s health” needs. I signed up for these emails when I registered for their web portal. I was promised the ability to “receive timely health information, manage [my] own health care, and stay in touch with [my] physicians”. Sounds good, right? Well, in recent weeks I’ve repeatedly received messages about how I can now receive a free consultation for facial, breast &/or body reconstructive surgery. One email notification would have been enough to get their message out to the people who were interested. The constant resending of their message is now bordering on harassment.

At first I was shocked and frustrated when I got these notifications. Here’s the thing: Now, I’m mad.

And it’s a shame because their patients trust them. As women, we go to their offices at our most vulnerable and endure uncomfortable exams because we have to. We trust them to take care of our infertility issues, diagnose us with STD’s, and aid us in early detection of different cancers. We go to them seeking advice about the right form of contraception, and when we need help balancing our diet and becoming healthier. We trust them with the prenatal care of our most precious cargo and we go to them at our weakest when a pregnancy fails or we’re struggling with postpartum depression. They are the bearer of some of the happiest and saddest news a woman will ever hear, witnesses to the major events in our lives.

When I chose this medical group as my provider, I trusted them to take care of me. I trusted them with my health and well being. I think they broke that trust by forcing that email at me week after week. I expected them to be my advocate, to be on my “team” instead of making me feel like the only way to fix myself is to go out and have major surgery. I understand that there are women out there who want to alter their bodies with surgery. There’s a demand out there and they are helping supply this service. I understand that this medical group is trying to utilize their contacts with their patients and turn it into another source of income, but I think their doing so will cost them patients who have gone to them for years - like myself.

There could have been a compromise. I think they could have given patients the option to request information on the various “Beauty” procedures they offered consultations on. I think it would have been a smart idea to see if their patients were even interested in those type of services before they pushed them at us weekly. I think to offset the message they were sending, they might have sent out info about the nutritional services they offer. Links to health articles and more information on early detection and prevention would have been a smart move and beneficial. They were so busy focusing on how to make more money, they lost focus on how they could reach out to their patients with a positive message. They could have empowered us to create healthy changes instead of making us second guess our bodies and our beauty.

I think they should be ashamed of that. Don't you?