- Prayer, Bible study and meditation
- Planning the next day before I go to bed so I'm not rushed in the morning
- Planning meals by the week to facilitate shopping and ease of cooking
- Drinking enough water every day
- Making healthier food choices
- Getting some form of exercise
So, I'm feeling a bit off today. I don't know why, other than the fact that I can't seem to get anything done. Which is, of course, hyperbole and I need to ratchet that back a notch. I know that I don't take care of myself the way I should, so I'm working on the RASCAL challenge with Ragen and Jeannette. I need to treat myself better. Here is a list of things I should be doing daily or weekly:
Normally, as a Christian woman, I strive to be respectful and peaceful person in my conversations and I listen to others intently and with caring because I want to be the compassionate and loving person that Jesus wants me to be. I want to help people. I don't ever want my words to harm someone else, but sometimes if I hold back my anger inside me, the person who's harmed by my NOT speaking is ME.
I read this article today, and nearly blew a gasket: "A morbidly obese patient tests the limits of a doctor’s compassion." Oh, no, he didn't. I mean, is this guy for real? Um.... Let's try that again. "A doctor tests the limits of a patient's tolerance and perseverance in the face of socially-sanctioned bigotry." Yes. That's much more like it. This bombast has the compassion of "Dr." Josef Freaking Mengele experimenting on people like objects.
(Step to the left to avoid getting the sarcasm on you as it drips from my keyboard.)
Let's start with the accompanying photo, (not the one to the right) courtesy, I'm sure, of the Washington Post, that bastion of objectivity.
1. Headless fatty. Because we're not complete people or anything.
2. Headless fatty has a cane. Because clearly all fat people have mobility issues.
3. Headless fatty with a cane is wearing sloppy clothes - WOOT! WE HAVE A STEREOTYPE TRIFECTA and I'm not even into the article itself yet! Seriously. All us fatties are utter slobs, you know? Oh, wait - I noticed their major fail here - did you catch it? Her clothes, which are all stretchy because obviously nobody carries clothes big enough for us fat chicks (which is scarily all too true), have NO FOOD STAINS! How did they miss that little gem? I mean everyone knows us fatties eat like a perpetual-motion munching machine, so how did they manage to find the one clean-shirted photo that exists?? Holy cow - there's not even a dab of mustard from her last trip to McDonald's!
Now let's look at some of the ugliness and assumptions in the article itself, shall we?
1. "A mountain of flesh." Well. Hyperbole much?
2. "His voice surprisingly high and childlike." Why is that surprising? Maybe because you have made an assumption of some kind?
3. “Well, what’d you expect?” he's asked. What did he expect? Hm. Maybe he expected what most of us expect when we go to the hospital with gallstones - that ER staff would be professional and respectful in the course of their work, not pompously rude and obnoxious.
4. "My hands look small and insignificant against the panorama of skin they’re kneading." Kneading. Lovely. Another objectification. He's not not a lump of dough, Doc. Perhaps you might say "palpating," instead, which is the more technical term. PS. Because of your attitude, you are small and insignificant.
5. "When [the surgeon] finds out how much the patient weighs, he says that he’ll be down to see him 'in a while.'" Nice implication you make about the professionalism of the surgeon there. You are just full of assumptions (or something) tonight, Doc.
6. "He is a walking lead shield." Stop. Just ... stop. Stop coloring your experience for everyone else. He is not a walking lead shield - that's just how you objectified him yet again. Your failure to be able to view this man as a person is your issue. How dare you speak of him as if your perception has the power to change who he is? You dehumanize this man with every word you type.
7. "'All [the medical specialists] have failed me.' ...The paramedics didn’t have the proper ultra-wide, ultra-sturdy gurney to accommodate his body." The patient puts the blame where it belongs - on the shoulders of the medical personnel. Good job, Sir.
8. "Indignantly." You know what, Doc? This patient who is receiving substandard care has the RIGHT to be indignant. You used exactly the right word.
9. "An oversized hospital bed." Since the bed fits the man, CLEARLY it is not "oversized." We need to get rid of the shame associated with fat words - overweight, oversized, plus-sized.... All indicate that there's a standard size and then there's "too much." No one on this earth takes up "too much" space. It's arrogant in the extreme to suggest so.
10. "Finally, we move an ultrasound machine into his room — it barely fits between the bed and the wall." This is said as if somehow this were the patient's fault. See my previous comment.
11. “This is impossible.” Well, that's not condescending at all. What an inconvenience it must be for you to do your job. If it's so difficult for you, maybe you need to find another line of work.
12. "[The surgeon] is now a man on a mission: to unload the patient on another unsuspecting hospital." There is SO MUCH wrong with this sentence! Could be the surgeon simply wanted to actually help the patient by finding him a location that could better accommodate his physical needs, unlike the author who seems to celebrate his own bigotry here. Also "unloads" and "unsuspecting": my graciousness, what derogatory terms! This guy is right about one thing - his compassion is sorely lacking. This man is not some prank you're pulling on someone else. What inhumanity.
13. "'Don’t put him in a room right over the ER,' whispers the unit secretary to the admission clerk. 'The floor won’t support him. He’ll come crashing through and kill us all.'" I don't think I even need to dissect this piece of trash talk.
14. "Finally, a slew of huffing, puffing, grunting attendants wheel him down the hall, leaving me to reflect on his plight." His plight, Pal, is that he is stuck with you - an incompetent, oafish, ASS - as his doctor, and he is surrounded by supposedly professional medical personnel who exhibit decidedly sickening and repulsive attitudes and behaviors toward him. Every single person who made a nasty comment in his hearing should have a reprimand placed prominently in their file and be suspended until the completion of sensitivity and diversity training. This is basic-level HR stuff. The rudeness is just unspeakable.
15. "He lies at the very large center of his own world — a world in which all the surgery mankind has to offer cannot heal the real pain he suffers." Really? You mean they can't do gall bladder surgery on this man? Because THAT is the pain you're seeing him for. Anything else is pure assumption on your part, you wannabe psychiatrist. Listen up, Bud. A few hours of psych rotation does not a shrink make. I don't mean to go all Felix Unger here (oh, yes, I do), but you know what they say about "ASSUME," right?
16. "The patient lies trapped in his own body, like a prisoner in an enormous, fleshy castle." Again with the assumptions, but at least this time you are giving him the dignity of considering a person, albeit one with no free will.
17. "He seems to find succor in knowing that there’s no comment so cutting that it can’t be soothed by the balm of 8,000 calories per day." I can't ... even. I mean ... REALLY???? You don't consider THAT comment to be snide? You seriously consider that VILE comment worth printing??? Fuck you, Pal. No, really - FUCK YOU.
18. "He’s an oversize mirror, reminding us of our own excesses. It’s easier to look away and joke at his expense than it is to peer into his eyes and see our own appetites staring back." Wow, Doc. You are really into the metaphors today. What a convenient method of dehumanizing and objectifying people. Let's recap. He's been a mountain, a panorama of skin, a lump of dough, a walking lead shield, trapped, a prisoner in a flesh castle, and finally a mirror and object lesson.
You DO remember this is a person, right? A human being with a spirit and soul, a mind, loves, desires, wishes, hurts?
What a pathetic excuse for a healer you are. To blazes with your attitude and your arrogance - your downright hubris in treating this man like he's some seminal object lesson in a "there but for the grace of God go I" kind of way. HOW DARE YOU? Whatever happened to "First, do no harm"? I'm all for learning from your patients, but you seem to have treated this man as anything but. You come across as having been far more concerned with being disgusted and repulsed by him than with actually caring for him. This entire article was perfectly reprehensible, and while I wish you no ill, I do wish something for you. I wish you learning. I wish you compassion and grace and mercy. I wish you an understanding of the pain you brought this man.
I'm angry. It's OK for me to be angry. And it's OK for me to tell you I'm angry. You'll probably never see this post, and that's OK, too, because maybe someone else will see it - someone who needs to know that God doesn't love him any less because of his body size. Someone who needs to know that she's OK with who she is as a fat person navigating a fat hating world. Someone who needs to learn how to deal with people who have ugly thoughts and feelings inside them and who let those thoughts color their behavior.
I am a lifelong and imperfect Christian, and while I'm not sure I've represented Jesus very well here today because I'm focused on something earthly and temporal, I also remember Jesus in the temple upturning the tables of the merchants defiling his Father's house. Your words have publicly defiled this man - this child of God whose body is a holy temple - in no less a way. If I have represented Jesus poorly, I know that He will forgive me, and so I forgive you.
Getting myself into some kind of control is impossible, so I'll just try to control the contents of this site, right? *Sigh* Self-delusion, thy name is Diva. Time to let go of the need for perfection and just live life. Doesn't mean I can't work toward improving my situation and getting my home and life where I want it; I just don't have to be "in control" of all of it because that's both impractical and impossible. Maybe one of these days I'll believe that. Until then, I'll keep working on it. I am definitely a work in progress!
As a whole, we would be so much better off in society if we stopped lumping people together by a single set of characteristics, positively or negatively. Not all brunettes are smart, not all fatties are jolly, not all bikers are menacing. Stereotyping in ALL its forms is lazy, self-serving, and dismissive.
My name is Amy. I'm a very imperfect Christian, and your average middle-aged woman. I'm working on a Master's in Social Work and I hope to work in the field of agency administration or art, music, and drama therapy someday.