Stuck in the Bathroom
Friday, January 15, 2010
This is not a funny story and I apologize to anyone if this makes you feel bad in any way but I do feel that it should discussed.
As an overweight and formerly obese person I can empathize with the plight of people in similar circumstances but in the past few years I have seen so many people on TV who have past the realm of being overweight, obese, or even morbidly obese and have reached a whole new category. I'm not sure if there is a term for this but Mega Obese comes to mind. I'm talking about people of normal height who weigh in excess of 500 pounds. As a nurse this worries me. Although I have seen these people on TV and really feel sorry for them I had never encountered one of these people before in real life until I was in a store Monday.
As I entered the restroom this woman, who I would estimate at around 700-800 pounds, was on her way out of the handicapped restroom stall. This woman filled the room and I'm not exaggerating, As a nurse, I'm familiar with medical equipment and am certain that this woman must have been in a custom made wheelchair. Even at that she was unable to sit completely upright and was in a semi reclining position. Her stomach cascaded over the chair and hung down between her spread legs. I was amazed that she was alone and wondered how she managed to use the restroom but then I have no experience with people this big. I went and used the restroom in another area and on my way to leave I discovered that she had gotten stuck in the doorway. I have no idea how she got in there if she could not get back out but maybe it had to do with her position in the wheelchair. At an rate I was stuck as well as no one could get past her.
Under the circumstance I would expect someone like this to be apologetic, tearful, or even upset but she was rude. She expected ME to get her loose and I wasn't about to injure myself trying to move someone who weighs 800 pounds. Do I look like a Hoyer Lift??? They won't even handle someone this large. We ended up having to scream for help. We were by the pharmacy so thank goodness someone heard us and found her husband and daughter who had to come in the women's restroom to get her out. In the interim no one could use the restroom. Her daughter and husband were both morbidly obese as well. It was an embarrassing situation and extremely sad but to be honest I seemed to be the only one embarrassed of the 4 of us. Seriously.
As a society we really need to help people like this. Not by injuring ourselves trying to extricate them from a doorway but by finding out why someone would eat themselves to death, We need to encourage, push, and even force these people to get help if need be. They are committing suicide.
I missed an opportunity to help her because I thought about telling her about Sparkpeople but I was afraid to and now I really wish I had. She probably would have told me where to go but at least she would have known that someone was honest with her and was offering her a lifeline if she chose to take it.
I hope if any of you are in this group of individuals that you will seek professional help. You need to learn to love yourself and your family more than you love food.