As I sit here thinking about how I feel right now after eating food I shouldn't have eaten, I think it's a good time to remind myself of some of the many ways that my obesity affects those who care about me.
I have done whatever I could to avoid having my children's classmates see me. Through the years I have missed out on field trips and other things I would have done otherwise, all for the sake of my children not getting made fun of. In fact, I believe the only field trip I ever went on was when my oldest was a sophomore in high school and said "mom, I WANT YOU to go". I had a blast at Disney with her that year. She would have loved for me to go to Disney with her her Junior and Senior years as well, but that was when I began having all kinds of back issues, etc.
Everywhere we go, my size has to be taken into consideration. There are some places I cannot go. Several years ago I went to Olive Garden and finally stuffed myself into an uncomfortable seat, there was nowhere (at that time) that I could really sit. Perhaps they have different seating now, but I haven't been back to see. There have been doctors offices and other places of business that only have seats with handles. I have to stand or have them get a special chair. I have a wonderful doctor and nurse team now. Ever since my 2nd visit there, the nurse always has a seat without handles in the room waiting for me. Even when out with friends it is a problem.
My husband in particular is very good at noticing whether or not I'll be ok somewhere. He went to his surgeon's office for a first time visit before he had surgery. He said he'd go to his appointment immediately after work and that I didn't need to go. Once he knew that they had sturdy chairs without arms, he told me it would have been ok for me to go with him, and that I could go with him to his follow up appointment. I asked if he didn't have me go initially because he didn't want me to have any issues, he said "yes". My hubby has had to reinforce furniture many times. He's gone out of his way to make sure things are safe and secure for me and that I am comfortable. Yes, he's an amazing man, isn't he?
My children, especially my oldest, are all aware of my needs and are also always making sure I'll be able to fit, etc when we go places. There have been times they've had to help me up. I let my husband and daughters help me up (to an extent), I don't let too many people help me up though. (If I'm laying on a table in a doctor's office, the one time I laid down to get my eyebrows waxed, etc)
Through the years I've not taken my kids to the beach which is just a couple of miles away because I didn't want to be made fun of in front of them. My kids have seen me get made fun of enough just in doing normal activities. That's a terrible thing for a child to have to deal with. There was actually one time that a person's comment upset me, but it also gave me a different perspective. I had my children at a place with arcade games, etc., As we walked by a table my children and one of their friends were walking behind me. When we got in the car my daughter's friend told her that the lady had said "That is so unhealthy" about me. When I heard that I thought, "huh, that lady was concerned about my health, she wasn't making fun of me, she wasn't calling me names, she was just thinking about how it affects my health".
When we went to Disney a few years ago I was scared to death I wouldn't fit on the few rides I tried to go on. A friend of mine is a Disney expert and is also a large woman (though she's recently lost over 100 pounds from gastric) :) Anyway, she had told me in advance what rides I should be able to fit on. I was able to fit on the two rides I went on, but getting out of one of them was difficult. I did it though, with not too much embarrassment. However, when we were in line for the Haunted Mansion ride we noticed that the only way to get into it from where we were in line was to go through one of those turn thingies? The kind with the metal bar that flips around? I KNEW we were going to have to deal with it and I KNEW I did not fit. Thank God I'm tall. I forced myself through it quickly, and only made it because I could have most of my body above the bars. I was SO glad to get past that. I've since learned that there is a handicapped entrance to that.
The list of how it affects my family is a very long one. My health scares them. My kids are smart, they read. They look things up on the internet. They know what diabetes and sleep apnea are. My son broke my c-pap machine a few weeks ago. It was an accident. I had just filled the humidifier tank the night before and he knocked it down. Water got into the machine and broke it. I couldn't meet up with my respiratory therapist until 2 days later. My son was VERY upset. He was so remorseful. I kept telling him that it was ok, it was a mistake. I told him that my c-pap man would get me a new one. Then my son said "But you can stop breathing". I told him it would be ok, I was not going to stop breathing and I would have another one soon.
During the period of time that I could barely walk, my family had to do just about everything. They'd help me get up in the morning to try to walk to the living room, they'd help get my feet up on the foot stool in the mornings. My oldest daughter was getting the groceries and would often cook. They'd help get my socks on or off. I would take care of my own personal hygiene needs, thank God. No matter how much it hurt to move, I was stubborn enough to not put anyone through that.
Reading this list makes me wonder how I can be so stupid? I am really trying to understand this myself. I love my family. How can I ever do stuff that hurts them? It just doesn't make sense. I have often said to my oldest daughter that I wish I had had a fat person talk to me about what it was like to be fat. My mom was obese for all of my childhood. It was never discussed. I wish I had had an actual obese person talk to me about it. I wish they had told me about all of their issues. All I ever had is people talking about fat people, and people telling me that I was going to get fat. I really don't know if it would have stopped me from getting this way or not, but, I'd like to think it would have. I was someone who looked down on obese people, what happened to me?
I have some theories. Maybe I'll get to those too one day. If you are still reading, thank you so much!