Thursday, August 19, 2010

Housebound Fat People

Fat people do become housebound. I am considered housebound [really apartment-bound] though in my case, on good weather days, where breathing is not compromised, I can make it out.

Good weather days, are the narrow weather window of when it is between 45 degrees to around 78 degrees. There are fat people right now who haven't left home in days. This happens to me during winter, once I was inside for three months, the temperature not breaking the 30 degree mark. Summer can be tough too if it's a hot one. I have known fat people who gained weight and one living on a second floor apartment, literally got trapped up there for three years, as the stairs became too hard to do. There are fat people who are totally bed bound, and right now a friend in nursing home care, has informed me of the fat people my age, who cannot walk at all, or walk very minimally who have lost the ability to live independently.

One huge factor affecting being housebound is mobility factors. Over 250lbs, normal walking ceases, you can't do 5 mile walks downtown so easily, at around 350lbs, say goodbye to even traversing your local shopping mall, at around 400lbs say goodbye to shopping without a scooter at Wal-mart or store of like size. 450lbs: say goodbye to staircases, with more then a few stairs, and walks over a short distance and so forth and so on. Due to my height, near 6 feet, I can carry 500lbs and still walk, most people cannot. Normal walking and mobility is obliterated for those who cross the 500lb mark. The 700lb mark you are looking at never leaving your bed: I was young when I was near 700lbs so could still walk though looking at pictures do not know how I did it.

Normal things that people take for granted a stroll down the street, going shopping on their feet, where its more then one store {I can amble through half of a Dollar Store}, all disappears under the unwanted tons of adipose tissue. I know my mobility given one knee twist, one fall, or broken or injured limb, and it could be the nursing home for me. I needed physical therapy and walking a little bit for couple months, to even be able to take a small bag of trash out, which is about 1000 feet down from my apt door. This is a walk I take daily, to make sure I still can.

Even in my old town, I found out about two hidden away 600lb people [one I saw a few times in a wheelchair] and heard about a 900lb man, one friend helped to take care of. There are probably thousands of obese hidden away people. They are the invisibles of American culture.

There is nothing more low status then being a housebound fat person. In some ways it is really hitting bottom, and don't think endocrine sufferers receive more good will and mercy then those who suffer eating addictions. Read this discussion regarding housebound fat people on the Straight Dope Message Board, and you'll see what I mean.

One thing that happens to fat people beyond the physical pain, swelling, fatigue and breathing problems that preclude making it outdoors, is the social stuff. I was very spoiled enjoying a small rural town, [I still want to go back!] that was 30 years behind the time, under 7,000 in population, so with time people got used to me, fat or not, and being able to go around freely knowing except for the rare inerrant teen, who would make jokes on occasion. I did volunteer work, had a good small church and friendly people who worked around my health problems. Going back to stares and people who don't even say Hi back, has really gotten to me after years of the complete opposite. Fat people in other words, have disappointment, ridicule, overt discrimination, rejection and ostracization, all send them back home. In other words no place is made for them. Dealing with the outside world becomes a source of pain not of joy.

Social distress becomes more the norm, rather then feeling part of things. Others living in more urban areas and I have experienced this too, know that being super-obese and less able to run, in high-crime communities or ghetto communities, it's like walking with a target painted on your back. Add in poverty and having to deal with the indignities of public transportation and rude people, and one sees how fat people become motivated never to leave the house.

But for most, it is the physical factors, the sheer fatigue of hauling a very fat body around coupled with the lack of support. This country too, while it has endless clinics, drop-in centers, groups, for drug addicts and alcoholics, has absolutely very few helps for the obese, they are either shoved in nursing homes with the Alzheimer patients and extreme elderly or have the choice of 3-4 centers [why so few?] that do anything for the ultra-obese. The numbers of housebound fat people are growing.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I have been searching high and low for somebody who "gets" it. I am having so much trouble just walking from my car to my front door. I can't stand for more than 5 minutes without needing to sit because my back just starts to give out. Of course I've lost over 200 pounds TWICE already and gained it back. Humiliation and isolation abounds.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. I have a hard time too FunnyBits, I wrote you on your other post too. I can't walk well either. Today I am looking around my messy apt, knowing when I go clean it it is going to hurt and I am going to swell up ahead of time. I am glad you lost 200lbs, sorry you gained it back. I know the weight never seems to stay away. I wonder lately if I should develop an eating disorder since normal/healthy eating isn't taking any weight off. I did see your blog think it is yours where you talk about facing some food addiction issues, remember there can be a physical component to hunger, make sure you have that in check. My hunger levels have skyrocketed with the testosterone, I am on an eating schedule and having to ignore out and out physical hunger pain to NOT GAIN.
    Hopefully I have get back on my medication.

    ReplyDelete