Thursday, May 21, 2009

Were they supposed to wish her to the morgue?

The Marion County Coroner's Office has come under fire after it was revealed that an obese woman was dragged from her home and hauled away on a trailer in front of family members following her death.Teresa Smith, 48, who weighed 750 pounds, died Tuesday in her apartment on Indianapolis' northeast side.

You would think that a story like this is unusual. Sadly I can tell you that it is not unusual to be sent to a call involving persons who weigh in at this monumental size. Its a very complicated issue. People of this size suffer amazingly debilitating health issues in addition to the wear and tear on their frame from carrying this much excess weight. Think about how the extra twenty or thirty pounds most of us carry around makes it that much harder to function. Now multiply that by ten.

Invariably when we are called these folks live in one spot in their home, usually in an over sized easy chair and their quality of life sucks. Their hygiene is abysmal and on top of that when they eventually have to be taken to the hospital it involves a great deal of firemen, power tools and unfortunately a substantial media presence.

What kills me is the enabling behavior. At some point, probably three hundred pounds ago this woman lost all of her mobility. In order to maintain this enormous weight she had to have a daily caloric intake measured in the tens of thousands of calories. Who the hell was bringing her all of this food. This is the worst form of enabling.

You can read the whole story including the family whining about dignity after they had deprived it from her during her life here.

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