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  1. #1
    leighlu's Avatar
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    Child Abuse?

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    I am an Operating Room nurse and have been for almost 20 years. When I went to work this morning my first case of the day was a gallbladder removal. Not an unusual start to the day, except that my patient was 12 years old and weighed 230 pounds.

    It was a nasty gallbladder, full of stones and the poor girl already has the start of fatty liver disease. When I gently suggested to her mom that she needed to help her daughter improve her diet and maybe should see someone to help her with that, she said, I kid you not, my entire family is big boned, she is not really that overweight.

    Mom was overweight as well, but not as big as her daughter.

    How do you help someone like this? I feel terrible for this poor girl. She is pretty much on the path to a life of pain and suffering.

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    "Bone's don't jiggle." All you needed to say
    "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

    Jack london, "Before Adam"

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    Nothing compared to this: Morbidly obese two-year-old from Saudi Arabia youngest person to have gastric bypass surgery - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
    How ON EARTH the child wasn't taken from the parents instead of being internally mutilated for life I don't even... oh, wait, Saudi law, nevermind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kochin View Post
    Nothing compared to this: Morbidly obese two-year-old from Saudi Arabia youngest person to have gastric bypass surgery - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
    How ON EARTH the child wasn't taken from the parents instead of being internally mutilated for life I don't even... oh, wait, Saudi law, nevermind.
    To be fair, I bet the same thing would have happened here... :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildrose View Post
    To be fair, I bet the same thing would have happened here... :P
    True. The funny thing is, so many people still say "But maybe there was something else wrong, maybe it wasn't his diet. Maybe it was his METABOLISM!" whilst ignoring the fact that hacking out 2/3 of the stomach is basically enforced caloric restriction. In other words: if the parents had fed him the prescribed calorie-restriction diets, he'd not have needed to have his innards irreversibly altered. And yet people feel the need to defend their notions of dieting first, rather than accept that what happened to this boy is child-abuse.
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    Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

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    I'd apologize, but...

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    Quote Originally Posted by leighlu View Post
    How do you help someone like this? I feel terrible for this poor girl. She is pretty much on the path to a life of pain and suffering.
    My heart goes out to you. I can't even imagine how agonizing a day like this must be for you. My 15yo DD has a classmate who just had gallbladder surgery. I don't know the girl, but now I'm wondering if she isn't obese too.

    Where is Dr. Lazarus? He seems to be pretty good at giving his patients the diet smackdown. As a nurse, you may need a Dr to step up and do the dirty work, though. And even that may not be enough...
    50yo, 5'3"
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    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

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    How do you help someone like this? I feel terrible for this poor girl. She is pretty much on the path to a life of pain and suffering.
    The very sad part is at that age, she probably would like to lose weight and like most teen girls, is worried about her appearance and not as blasé about the weight as her parents. It's hell being a fat teenage girl.

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    I don't think it's child abuse, it's just plain ignorance coupled with a predisposition to weight gain and other metabolic symptoms. I don't think they're deliberately trying to hurt the child or punish them or teach them anything. I was about that weight at the age of 12 too and my parents tried very hard to figure out what was wrong with me. I clearly had hormonal problems from a very early age but I also ate a lot of things in secret because my appetite had no boundaries, and this usually occurred either at friends' or family members' houses and especially at school. My parents never directly encouraged poor eating habits (no soda or junk food in the house, whole wheat bread, no sugary cereals, mindful portions, etc.) but probably indirectly did through their own habits. It's complicated. Believe it or not, many children do know right from wrong food choices and what is considered overeating. I started dieting at age 9. Once your metabolism and hormones are in disarray, everything changes. Appetite, energy, moods, etc. it's even more difficult when you start life out in such a state. It only gets worse with age, which is why it's so important to correct it immediately. I can tell you from experience that once you're already morbidly obese by age 12, the foundation has been set and it will take a lot of personal effort to reverse it.

    And what's probably completely overlooked in this situation is that the child is probably severely malnourished. If I knew then what I know now... Sigh.
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    Parental blinders can get weird. When I originally went from 265 to 240 my mother started researching bone cancer, anorexia, and tropical parasites in a 100% sincere effort to save my life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by picklepete View Post
    Parental blinders can get weird. When I originally went from 265 to 240 my mother started researching bone cancer, anorexia, and tropical parasites in a 100% sincere effort to save my life.
    I think this stems from the Depression era. My nanny and grandmother lived during those times and were raised by Italian peasant immigrants, like all of their friends and relatives, so eating was always encouraged. Going without food was hard wired into many due to scarcity, so an abundance tended to encourage excessive eating just because it was there and that's how many families show love. The first word I learned in Italian was mangi.
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