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February 23, 2012 at 3:17 am #30504
I’m watching Big Body Squad on catch up. Originally on channel 5. It is about the medical services dealing with super morbidly obese and how to get them to hospital, caring for them and the services they need. I say them I mean me too. All the people involved in the programme seem caring, supportive and knowledgeable. I wasn’t sure about watching this show. My main concerns were that I’m sure anyone pre surgery didn’t have all good experiences like they show in the programme. Also because as I suspected they would mention the cost that the obese and super obese are having on the NHS. It is brought up several times through out the show.
I was interested if anyone else has watched the show and what they thought of it? My thoughts are that awareness about obesity in this extreme is important but obviously with out using us for sensationalism and “good tv”.
Thoughts?February 23, 2012 at 9:00 am #40518
Hi Shelley. I haven’t watched the programme but I certainly will now! I agree with you that good ‘real life’ programmes about the struggles of morbid/super morbid obesity are worthwhile if they are informative and sensitive. ‘Fat Doctor’ and ‘Fat Surgeons’ are brilliant as they do both those things. I hate programmes that sneakily treat obese people as ‘circus freaks’. Fatism is the last form of ‘ism’ that a good proportion of people think is justifiable: that is appalling.
No matter what a person’s problem is, be it food/drugs/alcohol/tobacco, it should be treated with the same level of sympathy and concern. We are all only human.
Doodah xFebruary 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm #40530
I felt the staff were supportive, but I didnt like the overall feel of the programme, I felt it focused on costing,not the real problems faced by patients, if anything it made me scared of needing an ambulance, because I dont think I would fit in a normal one,due to my weight,Iam mobile and independant, but the equipment wouldnt be strong enough for me, and I would hate to risk hurting any of the staff.February 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm #40529PaulineMember
I Watched this today, the narrator annoyed me ! but all the staff were brilliant and appeared to deal with patients proffesionally and with empathy, as part of my job we deal with booking ambulances and it amazes me when fellow nurses say I think we will need a bariatric ambulance for this patient as he/she is 20 stone !! and i think blimey if they new that there colleague ( me) was 21.7 stone !! ordinary ambulances can take patients up to 23 stone if they are weightbaringFebruary 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm #40527
Yes I agree that it is the narrators comments that let the show down. He brings up cost constantly and I did get the feeling that his comments were to there to point out how big and freaky we are. Like I said above to sensationalise it for TV and I think that often perpetuates the fear, ignorance and hatred other people have who don’t seem to have any idea what it means to be obese or why people become obese. Obviously cost is an issue but I think most of us agree that the cost of obesity and the related problems could be considerable reduced with better prevention help, more approachable staff (I mean how many of us avoided talking about our weight with professionals for a long time due to fear of reprimand and lack of understanding?) and more appropriate spending. For example imagine how many operations or counselling or dieticians could be paid for with one of those ambulances that cost £400000! That is around 33 gastric bypasses. Which is quite shocking if you think about it. Not saying that we don’t need the ambulances but that more prevention could lead to not having to buy more of them.
I think I will watch it again if it is on again to see more of the staff. Like it’s been said the staff are excellent. I was particularly impressed with the ambulance drivers but then again I’ve always have been. I think it would be interesting to do an under cover report on how we are dealt with once we are in general hospital as unfortunately I don’t think the understanding and support always extends to inside every hospital especially with the camera “off”. Well not in my experience any way. Obviously every experience if different.February 24, 2012 at 9:46 am #40519
I honestly believe some people think obesity is contageous! Have you noticed how no-one ever wants to sit next to a ‘big’ person? It can’t just be because there is not as much room or they’s be the same with a very tall person. Like I said before, fatism seems to be entirely accepted still. By that I don’t mean the odd ‘fat’ joke (some of them are even funny) but real, venomous, spiteful bullying. It happens even within families. A relative of mine once said to his teenage daughter ‘If you carry on eating like that you will end up like our Doodah’ RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! He was genuinly surprised when I told him where to get off. My fabulous teenage relative replied ‘What, funny, thoughtful and kind? I’ll take that’. What a gal. As it happens, she does have a weight problem now. She has Hypothyroidism and PCOS as it is rife in my family. However, she is a wonderful young woman of whom he is rightly proud. I wonder how many people look at her and instantly presume she is lazy, greedy and out of control?
Sorry for the diatribe there! I just feel very strongly about it. I’m no longer super-morbidly obese but in my head I will always be ‘fat’.
Doodah xMarch 1, 2012 at 6:55 am #40528
I completely understand where you are coming from Doodah. Unfortunately I can believe what your relative said. It seems a lot of people do not make an effort to understand what they do not know. Something I always try to make an effort to do but I really feel people should try harder to do the same. What a lovely attitude his daughter had and how right she was. He would be very lucky to have a daughter who was so caring, and works so hard to achieve and maintain her goals. A true compliment, even if he didn’t mean it that way. More fool him.
xMarch 1, 2012 at 9:54 am #40523
Exactly Shelley, he couldn’t see how absolutely brillaint she was because he can’t see beyond ‘size’. It infuriates me. When people meet me for the first time now, they treat me so differently as they don’t know that I was ever obese (super morbidly actually!) and it makes me seethe. I know I shouldn’t but I will always be a big person in my head. I also make sure everyone knows that I had surgery and with the help of Streamline, all the team and my real friends and family, I have managed to reduce the size of my body to a ‘normal’ one. However, in my head, I will always be the ‘big girl’. My fab teen relative is now a mature young woman who is smart, beautiful, married and in a fab job. She will not be able to have children due to her PCOS which is such a shame as she would be a terrific Mum. BUT, because of her weight, she is forbidden by the social services to adopt!?!?! Prejudice. So the struggle continues.
As for ‘Big Body Squad’, I think the staff and crew are all marvellous, however, the narrator always sounds like they are having a snigger behind thier hands. I’m afraid it will be years until people wake up and realise that we are all equal.
Doodah xMarch 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm #40531
I’m unsure of this programmes intentions, is it to make people think even worse of us, with all the money we cost, or is it to shame those of us that havent lost weight into doing so,I know the staff were excellent, BUT its left me angry and disappointed.March 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm #40533Paul-HParticipant
I must agree I sat watching this show in hospital, 1 day after my bypass, and it made me feel real bad for the people probably tricked into appearing on this show.
PaulMarch 3, 2012 at 11:40 pm #40524DeifersmumParticipant
I also watched the program yesterday and thought the staff were fantastic, one point that did come across was the story behind the weight problem. One poor chap was paralysed while on duty, I think he was a paramedic and got injured while trying to rescue someone from a car crash, as a result of his lack of mobility he now has a weight problem, amongst other things. I thought it started to look at the underlying cause but I quite agree, I did get the impression that the narration was very patronising. I suppose in about twenty, thirty etc, years time the public as a whole will be better educated regarid obesity but in the meantime I feel I’ve take on the responsibily, after the marvellous gift of weight loss surgery, to put my point of view across and make people aware that obese (I hate that word) people are not lazy, and there are valid reasons why someone has got to that particular point.
Ok, off my soapbox how, take care all.
xxxMarch 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm #40532
Thanks Paul, its good to know I’m not alone in my thoughts, good luck with your recovery, everyone here seems so supportive,and I for one will be excited to know your experiences, good and bad, good luck again, gentle hugs.March 5, 2012 at 11:35 am #40522
Behind almost every obese person is a tale of anguish, injury, abuse, loss and/or eating disorder. People are SO quick to judge. Addicts: smokers, alcoholics, drugs etc often appear perfectly ‘normal’ whereas our particular ‘drug of choice’ makes our bodies grow, making our suffering visible to everyone. Therefore, not only do we have to suffer the hell of addiction but we also have to deal with prejudice and bullying. A coke addict can look beautiful (‘heroin chic’ models) but be completely out of control and running the risk of killing themselves and /or others. Obese people are visible – noticably so by their sheer size.
I’ve always thought it strange that the bigger I got, the more invisible I became. I finally realised it was because other people dont WANT to see obese ones. We are treated like second class citizens, we are belittled, mocked and reviled and what for? For having an addiction that isn’t ‘fashionable.’
So, my worry is that the programme encourages the ‘freak show’ mentality in society. It’s wrong on every level: morally, legally (it’s an ‘ism’) and spiritually (I don’t mean religion here folks, I mean it damages the spirit both the perpetrator and the victim) so I shall reserve total judgement until I have watched a few more.
Sorry for the soap box but I feel SO strongly about it!
Doodah xMarch 6, 2012 at 2:20 am #40526GayleMember
Doodah. May I say you are fantastic with words!! What you have said is so spot on!! You need to write a book Mrs xxMarch 6, 2012 at 9:54 am #40521
Pssst, Gayle, I AM writing a book 😉 It’s taking so long as my fab new life keeps getting in the way lol xx
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