Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fat Folks Are Wise Folks

I have a dream.

You see, I am in medicine and I have been working with all kinds of patients for more years than I can to admit. Anyone in medicine, a policeman, or a fireman... they can all tell you that they live vicariously through their patients/prisoners. We don't always have to have a disease, go through an experience, or do something stupid to learn. We can learn through others. I am convinced that retired nurses are bored to tears, they are no longer living life through others. They need the challenge and the lessons. I remember walking into a room of seriously mentally ill folks and "feeling" what they were feeling and to be quite frank, it scared the hell out of me. I could zone into the person I was connecting with. I got it, I understood. I didn't like it - not even a little. I would never want to experience that for the rest of my life. But, I did have the opportunity to experience it for a few moments.

A friend of mine is a nurse and she still relates a story from her own "care home" days. She had a mentally ill young patient that was bare butt nek'ed on the front lawn on her hands and knees mooing like a cow. Now seriously, how many of us have seen such a sight? I had a patient that drank so much water (it's called water intoxication syndrome) that he aspirated the contents of his stomach and drowned in his own water. He died at 31. I had another mentally ill patient that probably taught me more than I'll ever know in my whole lifetime with her one experience. She was a paranoid schizophrenic. I was working late one evening in my office and I heard some strange noises and left the safety of my office to see what the noises were. It was Margene, my patient. She was outside, curled up in a fetal position rocking back and forth making primitive noises. I sat down on the ground with her and asked her what was wrong? Was she in pain? She said she had just been gang raped. The reality was that she had not been gang raped on a pool table (we had no pool table) but the voices she heard 24/7 convinced her she had. It was that moment that I realized just how real these voices she heard were. She *believed* she had been gang raped and she was going through all the emotions that someone who really had been gang raped would go through. It was that moment that I realized, I get it. I really get it.

Obesity is not really a lot different in terms of lessons. We learn things we would never learn otherwise. Obesity isn't such a bad thing. STAYING obese is a very bad thing but going through the weight loss journey... not so bad. Sure, it's hard. But we learn things we wouldn't "get" otherwise. If someone would have told me this before I got to goal - I would have laughed at them and told them they didn't have a clue. It wasn't until I got to goal that I really fully understood. It IS worth it. If we are on this earth for nothing else it is to learn and you can't help but to learn as a fat person getting to goal. You learn about yourself and more important, you learn about the world around you. You learn about the issues of others. You "get" it, you really really do! Lessons you could not possibly learn through another, you learn through your own experiences.

I have a dream. My dream is to be a little old lady sitting in my rocking chair clicking my nails on the arm rest while on my front porch. You see, all the little neighborhood children will come to my front porch and hear my really cool stories. Everything, everything from my career to the ability to have a kind of compassion for people I would have never had, had I not been fat at one time.

It's not all bad. Obesity is a disease - it's not a character flaw. We learn to fix our disease. We learn from our disease. California beach blondes twirling their hair and rolling their eyes at us fatties... they will never get it. They will die uneducated. We are a different group, we will die a compassionate and intelligent group of people.


amRy said...

Always felt that way. :)

Gia said...

Beautifully said. Love your blog.

frknmidget said...

That was very well said, I get it! I'm days away from WLS(sleeve) thought I'd read all I could find, then found your blog, thank you soooo much!