Insensitivity toward under-weight people

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Mark Mac
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/8/2008 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone else experience a kind of social awkwardness around being so under-weight? People are very quick to talk about how skinny I am and make jokes about me watching my weight; even people who know I have Crohn's. I find it strange that people aren't very sensitive about being under-weight, but most people don't make light of overweight people's struggle. Just wondering if that is an issue for others.

mark

sjkly
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 3/8/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if I could actually bring myself to do it but it would be very funny and probably effective to tell a fat joke about the offender.
Sj

MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 3/8/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh I do not know about that whole fat joke thing. It is not that unheard of for person to be a fat crohnie and people do not respond well to mockery. I would say I would be more then happy to give you my disease so you can be skinny, and I can be healthy. yeah
Crohn's Co-moderator

We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....


Mark Mac
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/8/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
My bosses husband asks me when I'm going to eat a cheese burger almost every time I see him. If he weren't married to the person signing my check I'd smack him. I once (in college, so she was young and probably didn't know that what she was saying was inappropriate) had someone ask me jokingly if I was anorexic. I was so taken aback and embarrassed for her and me that I couldn't say anything but "no". Needless to say, afterward I had a flood of witty comebacks swirling in my head.
Diagnosed CD in 93'. Currently taking Humira, and darvoset for pain. Also getting acupuncture and chinese herbs as well as a massage when I can afford it. 107 lb

"I cannot promise that change will make things better, but change must occur if things are to become better"


MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 3/8/2008 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I would love to eat a cheeseburger, but why contribute to my pain and explosive d, not to mention a chance of a heart attack.
Crohn's Co-moderator

We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....


pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 3/8/2008 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
You can't win for losing with this DD when it comes to weight...if you're overweight then people think there's likely no way you could have IBD because they ASSume all IBDers are skinny...if you're too skinny people would sooner believe you're lying about having IBD and ASSume you are anorexic instead.

There's no pleasing people when it comes to weight...as long as you eat properly, exercise regularly and try and maintain a healthy weight, who really gives a crap what anyone thinks.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/8/2008 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I hear the " Jeez I wish I could be as small as you all the time ........" and It does bother me .......
But like Navy I am not about to eat a cheeseburger and be in pain nd on potty to try and gain weight.......

It is a no win situation IMHO.....

In all honesty I would love to say oh NO you dont my knees hurt from bone on bone and bum gets sore just laying in bed so do the " no hips".......As for breasts what breasts .......LOL


  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
         Mod for Alzheimer's, Anxiety and Panic and Co Mod for Crohns
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ALI9
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/8/2008 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I find this all the time, people wondering or assumming that I have anorexia. I just reply also, do you want to trade bodies for a week??????

gumby44
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4100
   Posted 3/8/2008 8:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I was overweight before I got sick, and have lost over 20 pounds since last fall. Now all I hear is how fantastic I look, or what is my dieting secret? I know people are just trying to be nice, so a sarcastic comeback seems inappropriate. But it is so hard to feel worse than I ever have in my life, and getting compliments all at the same time!!!
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007
currently taking Pentasa 2750 mg- 9pills/day and on and off Prednisone for flares


lilturbo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 3/8/2008 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been called anorexic a time or two. I was a bit irritated but then took personal satisfaction in realizing they were simply being jerks b/c they wished they were the skinny ones (or at least I told myself that). What I couldn't stand is the deliberate stares from random folks in the store...some folks have no tact!

Have them take a walk in our shoes, bet they won't open their mouths again...gggrr!
turboemma.blogspot.com/


Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3998
   Posted 3/8/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Mark - I've been dealing with that insensitivity my whole life! I didn't lose weight from UC, but I've been thin my whole life and people automatically assume I must have an eating disorder even though this is my normal, healthy weight. Yeah, I get the whole "eat a cheeseburger" line all the time, too. And, yeah, it would be considered blasphemy to tell a fat joke, but it's somehow okay to make fun of thin people...
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into complete remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly; Canasa (1,000 mg) in the morning
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 2/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv


yogaprof
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1665
   Posted 3/8/2008 10:15 PM (GMT -7)   
as a woman it is easy...I give them a hair flip (in my head!), know they are jealous, and go on with my day. i am sure it is different for men. people can be idiots; no doubt about that!


48 y/o woman.  Diagnosed 4/06 after colonscopy, SBFT, CT-scan all showed crohns. 3 months later, after pred and remicade, all tests showed no crohns. December '06 had adhesions cut through a laparoscopy. Now taking Glycolax, Ultra Fiber Plus, Florastor, and DHEA. Have become gluten-free diet per naturopath's tests.


upt0106
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 3/9/2008 1:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I dealt with this just a couple days ago at work. i headed over to another office for a meeting and I brought my lunch with me. I asked the woman I met if it would be OK if I ate in the time before the meeting started, she said yes, that was fine, and then went on to babble about how I needed to really eat more, does anyone ever tell you that you need to eat more? Are you sure you have enough to eat? you are so skinny! are you eating enough...Do you have high metabolism? I really think you should eat more! why are you so skinny...I told her, well, actually, I have Crohn's disease...that shut her up right away...but much to her dismay, I continued...It's a chronic illness, immune system disorder that affects the digestive system...oh, hi, oh, I'd like you to meet, she says...I continue, one of the problems it causes is that I don't absorb all the nutrients and minerals I need from the food I eat...that's why I'm so skinny...she obviously didn't want to talk about it anymore, so I let it go there...I just thought it was funny...here she was incessantly asking me questions, then when I start to answer, all of a sudden for some reason she's uncomfortable and doesn't want to hear about it!
---
-Male, age 31
-Diagnosed with Crohn's 2002 - 5 surgeries for peri-rectal abscess in 2002-2003
-Started Makers Diet 26 Jan 08
-currently on prednisone taper after landing myself in the ER with a partial obstruction


Mormor Vicky
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 3/9/2008 8:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I've seen both sides.  My daughter, while in High School, missed several weeks because of a flare.  She had lost so much weight.  People started whispering that she had an eating disorder.  She hated it.  I, have always been overweight and could never lose weight.  Everyone, including me and my doctors, ruled out Crohn's for that very reason.  It wasn't until I had to have an emergency resection did we all found out it was Crohn's.  Sometimes, secretly, I wish that if I have to have this awful disease, why couldn't it be in the part of my intestines that would let me lose weight.  I know that sounds selfish and I'm sorry that I might hurt peoples feelings because I know we all struggle with this disease but I've always had a weight problem and sometimes I don't think it's fair. 
 
Sorry,  but I'm just venting again because I'm still struggling to get my weight undercontrol and I just can't.
 
 
Sometimes I wonder if my Crohn's is the reason I can't lose weight.  I don't eat bad except when I suffer from fatigue so much that I tend eat fast food because I'm too tired to cook.  That's not very often though.  I'm lucky if I eat 1200 calories a day and I still don't lose weight.  Do you think it would be safe to take an appetitite surpressant?
Vicky / 48 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
 
Daughter (27) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
 
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor


Kittikatt
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 3/9/2008 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I think those people who make comments about us Crohnies who are underweight who DO NOT know about our disease need to be given a break. I've definitely been in situations before where someone has made comments about how much weight I've dropped but they didn't have a clue about my illness. Most people have never even heard of Crohn's Disease and can't even comprehend the complexity of it. But when I was first Dx, I was really defensive if someone commented on how skinny I'd gotten or told me I needed to eat more - although I never shared with them my CD struggle. I just got irritated with them. I think you have to give uneducated people a break from that standpoint.

However, I think for those people who make comments about our weight who DO, in fact, know about our disease need to have their smart-alleck, ill-prepared comments about our weight thrown back at them! If you've told a friend/co-worker about your illness and they haven't BOTHERED to ask or do a small amount of research about the disease for their own understanding, then they are pathetic. I've had several weight comments over the years from people who know I have the illness. I simply say, "Yeah, well I'll be happy to trade my sick, skinny body for your healthy, overweight one." That usually makes them realize what a stupid comment they've just said.

I didn't tell many people at all about my CD in the beginning. 4 years later, though, I'm becoming more comfortable mentioning it to some people, in hopes of disuading those annoying weight comments.

I've also gained weight during my Crohn's after I went into remission for a while. It's works the same way as it would with someone with anorexia. If you starve your body, it begins to feed off of fat. With Crohn's that's technically what happens. Our body begins to starve either from us not eating or not eating enough because of our STUPID bowels OR due to the fact that our body doesn't absorb the nutrients our body needs to survive. So when we go into remission and we start to feel better and eat more, our body is STILL used to the starving. So our body stores more fat JUST IN CASE we start to starve again, it'll have something to feed off of. And that's the reason for the weight gain. Even my own mother made comments about my weight gain! Here's me: "MOM! Come on! My body NEEDS this weight! It's been starving for years!"
Diagnosed in October, 2003 at age 31.
36/F/SC
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue


ginger71
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 3/9/2008 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I think people do make light of overweight people's struggle. My heart breaks for overweight people. Have you ever seen a group of guys moo at a fat girl? When I was 40 lbs. overweight in high school that happened to me. It did bother me back then. Now I could care less. We are so much more than what our bodies reflect.
 
I am about 15 lbs. overweight now and have people tell me I don't look like I have Crohn's.....(I've also had people tell me my hair is too blonde or I need darker lipstick, I look tired, etc.)
 
I don't really take offense to what people say, anymore. I can't help how they feel or what they say and I refuse to waste my energy worrying about it. It's not even worth a snappy come back, IMO. Just smile, wish them well in your heart and hope for them that they never feel any kind of prejudice like they made you feel.
 
Try not to let them get to you. :-) Concentrate on feeling the best you can.
 
37 year old female. Dx'd and undx'd a few times. Was just redx'd again 04/2007.
History of rectal abscesses and fistulas (29 surgeries including abscess I & D, exploratory surgeries, 4 C-ton drains and 1 fistula plug) Have also had several self bursting abscesses.
1st Remicade infusion 6/5/07-still taking it.  Praying I'll get better soon so we can have a baby.
Ginger :)


Mark Mac
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/9/2008 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear all,

Thank you so much for your comments, stories, and empathetic rants. It always helps to hear how others have handled a situation. KittiKatt, I too have become much more open in recent years with people about my condition in hopes of educating people and avoiding these uncomfortable situations. I find it helps. Anyway, thanks again.
Diagnosed CD in 93'. Currently taking Humira, and darvoset for pain. Also getting acupuncture and chinese herbs as well as a massage when I can afford it. 107 lb

"I cannot promise that change will make things better, but change must occur if things are to become better"


dunny2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Mark, it's the yo yo part of this disease that I and those around me have trouble with. Like right now, I'm piling on unexplained
weight, I'm not sure if thats from entocort , or humira, or both. Everyone says I look so much better, and that I must be eating
well, and therefore, feeling good. Not so!! A lot of it is bloat and water retention, and it's darned uncomfortable, and I haven't
been within a mile of a cheese burger.
On the other hand when I'm down to what I regard as a healthy weight, I get the lot, "Oh you don't look so good" " your a** could
do with some meat". Believe me whatever we do, it won't be right. I do feel for you, and the rest of us crohnies, we really are special!!!
Vicky

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.


Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts


nruth
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 3/9/2008 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I've heard this all my life. I've given up on people being tactful about the subject. I'm a bag of bones and I am fully aware of the fact that I look horrible. What does not help is having stupid people point it out to me. I don't even bother to explain it anymore. I've never told an overweight person how FAT they are, but there seems to be no problem with them telling me that I should eat more and fatten up.

Kittikatt
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 3/9/2008 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
You know another thing I get besides the weight comments? People who make comments like, "Gosh, if you're that sick, why don't you go see a doctor?" DUH!! Why didn't I think of that?! Doctor comments...hehe. I just have to giggle at those who know about my CD and make those comments. IT'S AN INCURABLE DISEASE...IT'S CHRONIC...do you even know what either of those adjectives mean?!? Well, I hope you NEVER have to...
Diagnosed in October, 2003 at age 31.
36/F/SC
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/9/2008 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I have also been asked if I was anorexic ......and I am not .....I do not gain weight plain and simple and I do feel for those that cannot lose no matter what they do .......

If I am stressed out and in a breakout of the pyoderma I will go 2 or 3 days w/o eating I just cannot get food into me with those big ulcerlike weeping pus and goo sores all over ..........I do drink plenty of fluids and take vitamins along with Potassium

Great thread IMHO

LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
         Mod for Alzheimer's, Anxiety and Panic and Co Mod for Crohns
    www.healingwell.com Donate today to keep HW helping others
 
                     
 


hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 3/9/2008 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I even had my PCP thinking I was anorexic when they thought I had either thyroid problems or cancer, but ever test was coming back normal. I had to bring my husband in so he could tell her how much more I was eating than I used to! (I had lost 50 lbs in 6 months).

I totally understand where you are coming from. I used to be so think in school, but during my first pregnancy I gained 50 lbs & could never lose it. I struggled for 15 years before falling ill. As soon as it started falling off, I received so many comments from people commenting on how good I looked & how "nice it must be to be able to lose weight so easily." I really couldn't believe people actually said that! But they did.... I realize that they just don't understand the pain that has come along with it. I would trade my sick body back to a year ago when I was health & chunky any day!
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Not2Spunky
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 3/9/2008 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
B4 I was D"d, my PCP tried to treat me for a eating disorder, due to my abnormal bloodwork and weight. I always tell people I eat when I feel like it. Kay

 I Love MY Chihuahua: Roxy
DX with CD of the TI in 2004 by colonoscpy biopsy, with partical obstructions x 3. Anemic, constant elevated ESR & WBC. Constant abd. pain and fatique.    
Meds: Vit B-12 shots monthly, zinc, multi vit, Vit E, Pentasa and now Entocort.    


bluepurl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 3/9/2008 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
people are generally dumb and make all kinds of assumptions and judgments about bodies when they really shouldn't. Weight and food are things that people feel entitled to comment on for some reason. There are people that look great according to society who are very sick on the inside and people who don't fit society's norms and are healthy for their individual bodies. It's rude, but i think most of it just comes from not knowing any better. I guess we can educate people or ignore them.

Or like Upt0106, shame and educate simultaneously -- bet that busybody won't make that mistake again!

My doc and I are trying to figure out if i have crohns or UC, and my mom stated that there's no way I can have crohns because I'm overweight. I'll ignore her for now, and educate her once I have an answer based on medical science :)

praying4healing
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 3/9/2008 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Its worse when its family, my family thought i was anorexic (my mom always came to my rescue) but as i got older i realized she wouldnt always be able to fight my battles for me. that i could either stand up for myself or pass it off as stupid and let it ride. Sometimes its a hard decision to make. My grandmother would claim im so skinny, and call all of my other cousins fat. Most of the women in my family are bigger boned but carry it well. It took me years to realize that she'd been so put down in her younger years taht she really just didnt know how to start a normal conversation. and thats the case with most people, sometimes they try to cover their own insecurities.

Since the surgery ( i went in at 103, and now am 120) i've been happy to gain weight, and not ashamed to say it. So now, my grandmother says "well dont gain to much" and i told her "well grandma, when u've been in my position and have not been able to eat, you thank God for every piece of food that you can put in your mouth" I'll never kill myself dieting, or deprive myself for vain reasons. NO ONE has to live in my body but me...so they can all shut their pie holes! lol
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!
 Temp Ileostomy performed 1/29/08
Still Adusting
 Healingwell.com has been my Godsend...Thank you

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