Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Cutting children

Over at BFB This story.
The teen, who became obese after surgery to remove a brain tumour, cringes as she recalls the humiliation she felt when she couldn't fit into the chair attached to the desk in her Grade 9 classroom.
The girl in question, Stephanie Atwood, was 9 years old when she had surgery to remove her pituitary gland which had been damaged by a tumour. The article says her body no longer signalled fullness and she became hungry moments after eating. If that's the case, and that's the whole of the problem- she weighed 348 pounds by the age of 15-why would baratric surgery be the preferred treatment? Why's there nothing to resolve that particular issue?

Cutting people can relieve a burden of weight. Indeed Stephanie says after losing 100 she feels as if she "got her life back", but what about that symptoms? People get to the point where they just have to rid themselves of some weight as the effects on their mind are becoming intolerable. She is now 18, and spoke of how she was ostracized and her social circle shrank due to her fatness.

When she should have been able to enjoy feeling glad to be alive, like a survivor, she had energy drained through feeling abandoned.  Equally though, what if this symptom cannot be tamed by cutting? And why is this an acceptable standard for children?

A group has been formed to cope with 'demand' from children. It's called, STOMP which stands for SickKids Team Obesity Management Program. Yep, you did just read that. A good doctor involved understands just how we might feel about it. He says that those against cutting children into thinness, haven't met them.

They have to understand that obesity is a disease like any other. No, Dr Langer, that's just where you are wrong, for many reasons, but the number one being that with other 'diseases' science and medicine are  focused around finding things that 'cure' or reverse those diseases.  Rather than what fits into a rigid ideology of what kind of solution that must be.

I have said times without number that I don't have a problem with weight loss, so provide it. Instead, you provide a variation on the failed energy manipulation. And that's why you're cutting up sick kids and I don't know why not even that moves you.
Their care will be overseen by an interdisciplinary team made up of a dietitian, psychologist, exercise therapist, nurse practitioner and endocrinologist.
That's five types of professional. Excluding surgeons, doctors, etc., Rest assured that this will be offered as a last resort;
Surgery will be offered as a last resort only to severely obese adolescents who can't drop pounds despite counselling, diet, exercise and medication.
So after all this, we'll just cut you into it. Dr Jill Hamilton the director of the programme says;
"We really stress that the surgery is a tool, it's not a fix,".......patients are expected to stay in the program for about two years during which time they must attend support groups.
Well, support is a good thing, I daresay these teens will need as much as they can get.
"I was at a dead end before the surgery ... For me it was a life-or-death situation," 
Can't argue with that. It's the adults who need to do better than this. 

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