Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Comment on an Article

First please go read this article.
As a person who used to weigh 330 lbs, and today under half that, and as  a registered nurs, I feel that I have a unique perspective on this..
   I admire the doctor's honesty in exploring this difficult topic.... and it is a multi-faceted one.
    I remember only too well my former loathing to go to a doctor, when many were openly hostile. Overeating in the extremely obese is nearly always an addiction. [A person who finds moving difficult due to a back injury might be slightly overweight, but 600 lbs is an amount that indicates that something else is in the equation.] As with any addiction, the food is satisfying some need that to the addicted person (temporarily) is more important than the current disadvantages.(The future disadvantages he chooses to try and forget.). Even when they reach a point where they WANT to change, because the physical/emotional/social effects outweighs the "advantages", the overweight person is often at a loss of HOW to accomplish what appears to be a nigh-impossible task.
    However, I can empathize with the frustration of the medical staff. When a patient is so large that doing even the most elemental procedures becomes difficult, an overworked, understaffed hospital staff can easily feel thwarted. It is very frustrating to try and help someone when they appear unwilling to help themselves, and the situation appears hopeless.
    The staff, however, should not make snide or insulting remarks. Not only are these remarks hurtful... they also are not helpful. A bit of understanding of the complexity and difficulty of the overweight person is in order. Because weight loss is not only about eating less. It is about how to MANAGE to eat less.
 The overweight patient needs to learn that treating his addiction is possible- and up to HIM. (And BTW, not as hard as you fear!) The rest of the world, while they can try to help, can not cure all the woes he has, he needs to take responsibility for himself. If he is not willing to make the effort, he cannot expect that others will always "save" them!

    As a society, we all need to show compassion, while simultaneously promoting an environment more conducive to healthy living. And facilitation of practical, useful interventions of food addictions needs to be a priority in the health care system.

1 comment:

Batya said...

This is all very sad.