One of the many questions I always gets asked is; “Why did you go through a gastric bypass surgery?” There are many answers for this question, but the main one is simple. I WANT TO LIVE!
It might sound a bit extreme, but the thing that convinced me that it was time to do something drastic was a conversation I had with my GP a few years ago. I had went to see him in regards to a constant headache I was getting and he pointed out that this was due to a very high blood pressure. He immediately prescribed me high blood pressure medication and laid down the gauntlet to me. He told me straight and plain that if I didn’t do something and go down in my weight, I will not live to see my 40th birthday.
That was a proper shock to my system! I’m someone that works at least 12 hours a day and have studied and worked hard all my life. I am not ready to just drop dead and give all my knowledge, hard work and love of life up for pleasing my appetite 24/7! Something drastic had to happen and that was when I started researching about weight loss surgeries.
Whilst doing some research this morning I came across a very interesting, yet sad article that accentuate my thoughts about dying young. I’m reproducing the story hereunder as I would like to share it with all of you. The morale of the story is one. Please, if you’re afraid that you won’t see you kids grow, TODAY is the time to do something. Seek out help by speaking to a nutritionist or to another specialist. If you tried everything and all else failed, then seek further invasive help. HELP is out there. Do not give up. Life is too beautiful to give it up;
“38 Inch Wide Casket” – Story by a Funeral Director
In my twenty-four years as a funeral director, I have seen drastic changes in the weight and size of the individuals that my wife and I care for at our family-owned funeral home. The interior width of an average casket is twenty-seven inches. In 1987, we may have used an over-sized casket once or twice a year but now casket manufacturers are creating entire lines specifically for the morbidly obese.
Earlier in the year we were honored to care for a family in their time of loss. One young man in his early 30’s asked if his mother could come to the funeral home before normal visitation hours to pay respect. He stated that his mother had a medical condition and that she became very anxious when she was around large groups. He further explained that she was obese and self-conscious about her appearance. Dressing and transportation would be difficult for her. I quickly agreed hoping to eliminate any further grief for this family.
When I finally met this woman and heard a pleasant “good morning” coming from a bright smiling face she immediately made my day. She was so grateful for getting special considerations. The red gown was clean, her hair neatly styled and her make-up flawless. Matching slippers and purse completed the outfit. After a short time she was ready to go back home but was anxious to talk with me before leaving. I found her entertaining, witty and funny. She was protective and crazy about her family. After she struggled back to her van with the aid of an over-sized walker, I wondered if she had friends or interest outside of her family. She was such a pleasure and joy to be around.
Six months later the same son walked back into the funeral home. He asked I if remembered him. After some reflection with the help of my wife, I did. Sadly, his mother had passed away. Could we help him? She had been diagnosed with cancer. Because there were no CAT scan machines large enough for further diagnostics her treatment was limited and death was quick.
There are many obstacles that a funeral director deals with when handling the remains of a morbidly obese person. The first is transporting to the funeral home. You are always afraid that your equipment will fail. Most mortuary cots have a 550 pound weight limit. Your embalming table is only twenty-nine inches wide. The physical demand for moving the individual is overwhelming. Thanks to some good friends in the business, we were finally able to begin our process.
Next there is the issue of a casket. Over-sized caskets can triple the cost. Then there is the issue of an over-sized vault. Because the vault is over-sized, the family is usually required to purchase two graves instead of one. There are only so many doorways in a building that can accommodate an over-sized casket.
Twelve pallbearers carried her to her final resting place. I found myself both grateful and sad. Grateful, because for twenty minutes, this lady poured sunshine into my world. Sad, because her obesity robbed most others from my same experience.