Real Stories from Real People

Although these pages are primarily intended for a “professional” audience, I am well aware that a lot of people struggling with weight read my blog.

Not surprisingly, I get countless e-mails everyday from people telling me heartbreaking stories about themselves or their loved ones and their struggles with excess weight.

Unfortunately, I simply cannot answer any of these e-mails or provide any specific medical advise on the many questions.

Nevertheless, occasionally, certain letters very nicely illustrate what this blog is all about.

The following is taken from such an e-mail – the personal data has been edited to maintain anonymity: 

“I heard you on a recent podcast on CBC Radio and I want to thank you. I just wish everyone in Canada heard this. I am a 28 year old female, stand five foot five with a weight of 480lbs and a BMI of 79.9. I am currently fighting for weight loss surgery. I saw a surgeon in September. He made me and my mother feel hopeful until he told me that I am looking at a 2- 5 year wait.

I have written letters to the Prime Minister, Health Minister and my local MLA. The replies from them have not been helpful at all.

I recently lost my job a day after learning they couldn’t get me a uniform to fit me at all but of course they didn’t say that when they let me go. You said something in the podcast about laughing or coughing and leaking. You’re the first I’ve heard bring that up but I know all about it all to well.

I just want to thank you very much for the information you shared on that podcast. The 3-5 year wait kills me inside to hear. It hit me hard as I am a single parent to a very amazing 9 year old boy and with a 3-5 year wait, I’ll be lucky to see his 14th birthday.

Ive tried everything: not eating, eating little, making myself get sick, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, TOPS, Pills, Atkins, Soups everything. Im pretty healthy for my size: no high blood pressure etc. The only things wrong with me due to my weight are sleep apnea, sores all over, my knee cracks nonstop, can’t stand or walk any longer then 5 mins as my lower back causes me so much pain and my bum almost goes numb and I do leak a lot. But I have been told due to my weight lots can go wrong fast.

I don’t go out anymore due to stares, giggles, rude people, fear of not fitting somewhere. I just wanted to share with you my story and to thank you. I know if I don’t get this procedure soon it will for sure be too late for me. I just wish people knew more about all this so it can save the next person who truly needs this life saving chance.”

What can I say? The letter speaks for itself – this is just one of many that reach me every day.

Click here to listen to the CBC 1 podcast referred to in this letter.

Additional reactions to the podcast are available here and here.

Appreciate your comments,

Berlin, Germany