This is something I started writing yesterday, Christmas Day, but I had to put it away because I needed to help fix dinner. It’s just as worrisome today as it was yesterday.
We all know that obesity runs in families. The reasons for that are many, and range from habits through genetics in a variety of combinations. My family is evenly split. Some are very heavy and others are quite normal. Two of us have had the surgery, and we’re doing well.
However, I spent time with my brother over the past few days. We haven’t seen each other for about a year, and he now weighs close to 500 pounds. His every movement makes him breathless, and he has trouble climbing stairs. He falls asleep immediately while watching television, and has all the signs of sleep apnea. The edema in his leg is resulting in discoloration.
Blood sugar? I have no idea. We discussed weight loss surgery a couple of years ago, and his comment was that he didn’t want to stop eating. Fair enough.
His daughter took me aside and expressed her concern, and asked me to talk to him about his apnea. I did. His wife asked me as well, and I told her what I’d said. She said that he wouldn’t go to the doctor to have it evaluated.
He’s heading down the same path I was on, and there’s nothing I can do to stop him. It’s about his choices, and the way he wants to live his life.
It’s breaking my heart that he’s doing this. And that he didn’t learn a thing from my experience. Any ideas about what might make him wake up and make some changes? Will being unable to do anything he enjoys wake him up? Or will he have to go through a long hospitalization?
Believe me, I realize that I should have made my decision much earlier than I did, but I’d also like to think that if someone I knew had been down the same path I would have done something sooner. 20-20 hindsight, I know.
Surgery might not be the right choice for him, and that’s a decision that he needs to make [perhaps he’s already made it]. But he’s in trouble NOW.
So what’s running in my family besides obesity? Let’s add stubborness and denial. With a fair amount of fear.