Today's post is a little bit out of my comfort zone. We're going to talk about weight.
One of the most common symptoms of Cushing's is weight gain. Some people only gain 30 pounds, some gain hundreds. I always have a hard time quantifying the exact amount I gained because I was a teenager, or even a young child when I first had Cushing's symptoms. My best guess is about 150 pounds, only because that is close to what I've lost after treatment.
When you weigh almost 300 pounds, people treat you differently. I know this, because I've also seen how people treat me now.
I was obese, due to Cushing's, throughout college. In my opinion, this is one of the most difficult times to be heavy. My first year of college, I was often left out of plans. My two roommates were very close, and I always felt like the third wheel. One of them even left a letter she had written to a friend out for me to see. It was one of the cruelest things I had ever read. She was wishing I would have a heart attack and die.
I always tried to cover how heavy I was with baggy clothes, and oversized sweatshirts. I was so uncomfortable with myself. I had a hard time getting around, or walking. I would often get to class 10 minutes early so I would have time to catch my breath without others seeing. I got countless parking tickets because I couldn’t make it up the hill to class.
It was very isolating. I saw how people I had known most of my life treated me. Classmates from school would ignore me, or not say hi. My sister called me a whale. My parents hid food, my aunts told me to stop eating take out. Of course, food was not the issue.
I would get looks at the grocery store when my cart wasn’t filled with fruits and veggies.
I hoped that a diagnosis would change that. Maybe some of the people who had hurt me would apologize. Of course, that never happened.
Now that I am a normal weight, I can compare how people treat me. I am still uncomfortable with my body, I don’t think that will ever go away. I can pass as a normal healthy person, even if that’s not the case. Someone in a hospital lab commented that I looked healthy and fit, when wondering why I had such problems with my veins.
People don’t pretend not to see me. When I smile at someone, I mostly get smiles back. No one questions what or how much I’m eating.
I bet no one looks at a morbidly obese person and says, “I bet their habits have nothing to do with how much they weigh, a disease probably caused that.” Just like they wouldn’t look at me and say “Oh, she definitely has a chronic illness. Look at how slow she’s walking!”
Don’t automatically assume things about people. Be kind. There's always more to someone than what you see.
|Would you think this person has a hard time walking up stairs?|