Friday, July 27, 2012


The complexity facing an obese person is precisely how "in the way and unavoidable" your size makes you, yet how invisible you appear to be to the world around you.

There was a time when I would look at someone obese and I could see the pain in their eyes, the sorrow in their hearts, and I would say to the person with me "If I ever end up like that, please shoot me".

Today I find that I am one very happy lady that no one in my circle actually carries a gun, AND, luckier still that they love me enough not to do that to me.  You see, I did become "that person".  And it honestly happened while I was trying to very hard not to let it happen.  I can't remember the last time I wasn't on some sort of diet.  Even when I was pregnant and gained 90 lbs, I was on some kind of diet...I just fell off the wagon a lot for several very solid reasons.

So the time has come that I've registered in Ontario for the bariatric surgery program.  I know what hospital I'll be going to.  My referrals were sent in last month.  I called to confirm that they had my referral in hand, because well, it's been 6 weeks now and I've seen nothing.  I was told that the wait time just to get in for an orientation session with like 24 other people, will take 11 months.  This is a crying shame.  No one chooses this option lightly in my mind.  This is a last resort, and the healthcare system can't keep up with the demand well enough to make this happen any faster than 1 to 2 years?  What it tells me is that even though medical health professionals will speak to it's health benefits, here we are again, still struggling with treating this like it's a health issue.

We hear all the time about how obesity contributes to arm's length lists of health issues, but when it comes to reversing that root cause, we treat it like it's a cosmetic option.  Not like it's contributing to quality and availability of life.  I will wait patiently, because the private option is ridiculously expensive.  If I had $16K disposable cash on hand, or if I could get over the fact that a life saving surgery shouldn't have to be paid in installments or on a monthly plan, I might jump at the chance to do it privately.

My obesity in large part contributes to my mental health or lack thereof.  The amount of estrogen the fat in my body takes away from the organs that need it alters my body chemistry enough to mimic all of the symptoms of menopause.  My obesity also restricts me from being able to teach my child how to jump, from sitting in concert venue seats, airplane seats, and while I'm still active and keeping up with my life, I can tell very dramatically how things have changed for me.  I have chronic back pain, and joint issues that will only continue to get worse if I don't start losing the weight soon.

And I've been on a diet and trying the best I possibly can the whole time.  Nobody chooses this, any more than they choose to be the person who suffers with cancer or depression, or anxiety.  And knowing this, and seeing how the world at large ignores your needs, is substantially harder to deal with than any thin person would be capable of enduring.  And the most staggering thing I observe, is how the world isn't keeping up with the vast majority of people who buy and use it's products and services.

So all this had gotten me to brainstorming.  Apparently I need a new project - brainstorming will inevitably be my own demise.   Stay tuned for more while I get these ideas baked.

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