The doctor gently told the family to dis-robe and remove their jewelry. They were standing outside a modern facility and were told that they would be released but first were to be allowed to take a shower so they would be presentable to their loved ones. The people wondered if this doctor could be trusted because he worked with their jailers but surely since he was a doctor, he had their best interest in mind. Most of all, they WANTED to trust him. So they suppressed their fears and doubts. Showering would be nice, they thought since, they had not had this luxury during their time there. After taking off their clothing, they filed into the what looked like a community shower. They might have had hopes of "getting their lives back" because this is what they were told by those who led them into the building. Somehow one thinks they might have been in denial about things because their jailers were not really into saving their lives. But people will believe what they WANT to believe and they wanted to believe the nightmare would end with their shower. Standing in front of the shower head, they looked forward to living normally again. But no water came out of the shower head. Instead a deadly gas filled the air tight building. Their "release" was only by death. This was Nazi Germany.
And the kindly doctor who led them into the "shower" to their death, was on hand to sign the death certificates and report that he had further "taken care of the Jewish problem".
In 2006, Ray, a very large person, blogged for a year how he felt a radical type of weight loss surgery was going to "magically" save his life. To their credit, several bariatric surgeons refused to operate on him. He weighed close to 500 lbs and was still mobile (he drove a truck) but was in kidney failure from diabetes and required dialysis three times a week. One of the surgeons who refused him was Dr Baltazar of Spain who tried to explain to Ray that he didn't have a prayer of surviving weight loss surgery. But Ray bought the hype he had heard on some of the discussion groups and TV. He truly believed that Weight loss surgery would somehow make him slim and "normal". He did not speak well of those doctors who refused to operate on him and finally, he found someone who WOULD operate. Because insurance did not pay, Ray's grandma went to her savings to come up with the $50,000 for Ray's surgery. Ray's last letter before surgery, expressed hope that he would "get his life back" after surgery and he went into the hospital, confident and optimistic.
But after surgery, several other organs joined his failing kidneys and went into failure. He was awake, awake enough to realize that what those doctors who refused him surgery had warned about, was happening. His surgery was not going to save his life. On the contrary. People who went to see him, described him as very depressed before he died about 3 weeks after his weight loss surgery.
Ray may not have had the life he wanted before surgery (dialysis isn't everyone's first choice of a fun thing to do) but he _had_ a life. He drove his truck, he held his nieces and nephews, he saw his Grandma, he still could get around. Instead of giving Ray his life back, the bariatric surgery had denied him of the life he had.
TV just showed another similar case. Renee Williams was a pretty lady who at 29 years old, looked young. She had been bedfast for 4 years, partially due to a crushed leg from a car accident. And she had gained weight to 900 lbs. She video blogged and said she wanted to "get her life back" and do more things with her two kids. Like Ray, she had contacted many surgeons who refused to operate on her because she was too big a risk. But finally she found a surgeon who agreed to do a gastric bypass on her. After her bypass, he came out smiling at her family. "The surgery went well," he told them. Visiting Renee after she woke up, this surgeon said to her "and you will soon be skinny". And in the next 3 weeks, she lost 60 lbs. But then one night she had a sudden heart attack. The surgery HAD been too much for her. Her older daughter said tearfully that her mother had been her best friend.
"I know I have 100 percent chance of dying in the next year," Renee told her video blog.
But seems with the gastric bypass, Renee didn't even have a year to live but only weeks.
And Manual Uribe who refused the offer of a gastric bypass, and only a hundred lbs or so less than Renee, is still living albeit still bedfast. (It's a no brainer that walking is a lot more than being slimmer - many muscles must be developed before that even should be attempted.)
Somehow, I feel Renee's life was wasted and that she was given false promises because this drastic invasive surgery is not even that effective on larger people. One of the few studies we have which looked at many patients 10 years post op, found that 34 percent of them with a BMI over 50 regained all or most of the weight they lost.
We to date, have no data on weight loss 20 years after gastric bypass despite the fact that gastric bypasses have been done for 40 years. Why is that, some wonder. Dr Paul Ernsberger, associate professor of nutrition at Case Western Medical school, opined:
"A number of trials have been started, and the final results have never been reported. We have to ask, you know, why haven't we seen the final results? I think it's because it's bad news." (Dr Ernsberger on "The Donahue Show")
When these very large people showed hesitation about the surgery, this surgeon (now under lawsuit for the death of another patient) paraded a woman who had had a gastric bypass and lost 400 lbs. "It's the best decision I ever made in my life," this patient who works for the surgeon as a "liaison" said, enthusiastically. But that woman is only two years post op. We should remember that 6 months after Big Pete Herida appeared on Oprah and said how losing 600 lbs with his gastricbypass had "saved his life", Herida died of congestive heart failure.
And then there is another lady I know who weighs in excess of 500 lbs who is in her 50's and not real mobile. She says she's _outlived_ 48 of her friends who had Weight Loss surgery. One never hears about that on TV.
There is some evidence that losing a lot of weight even slowly, may be more of a strain on the heart than NOT losing it.
What really upset me was the misrepresentations going on.
"If Renee survives this surgery, she will lose 700 lbs" stated Renee's surgeon to the TV cameras.
None of the very large folks I know, have lost more than 400 or 500 lbs with gastric bypass (many have lost less) and most of them regain a significant amount of weight (if they live) within 4 or 5 years.
"Renee only had a year to live" was another thing we heard a lot on the TV show and no one can predict that at all. Surely it's not real healthy to be in bed weighing 900 lbs but who really can predict the lifespan of anyone. Telling her that seemed more like a misrepresentation in order to scare her into surgery.
And the worst thing was the spin they put on the show "If Renee had been accepted for surgery earlier, things would have been different. She called many doctors and begged them to help her."
This seems to suggest that those surgeons who were ethical enough to NOT operate on her were somehow guilty of her death.
"The show has inspired many to call for help - to not wait until it is 'too late' like Renee did. " the show told us detailing two other patients, both of whom got bypasses but are still in bed.
It's way past time to realize that what we hear on TV may not, and probably IS NOT the truth. TV makes only a commitment to entertain, not to tell the truth.
During the trials after the game show scans in the 1950's, one of the producers shrugged his shoulders when confronted with their lies, giving contestants the answers etc (there is a movie called "QUIZ SHOW" which details this famous case). "Well," said the producer, "no one was hurt. The contestants won money and the people were entertained."
Now with today's spin, giving people false hopes about surgery which may not even help them (and may cause their death), can we really say anymore that "no one is being hurt"?