Saturday, July 28, 2007

What good is "health" without happiness?

I'm responding to a wonderful comment someone left in an older entry, because she made me think, and it was too good to keep stashed away in a comment oubliette:

Lavalady said:
I notice that weight loss messages are ostensibly about "health", but very often are about how denying yourself things (like basic acceptance) will lead you to a better place.

Indeed! They seem to focus on what will make you physically healthier (and they're wrong about that anyway!), but seem to have no concern about whether you are happier!

I firmly believe that the quality of one's life should come before everything else, including health. That might seem paradoxical, but if the pursuit of bodily health comes at the expense of the joy of living, then what have you really gained?

And, that doesn't just apply to the fat situation. If I am told that my life depends on an excruciating regimen of medical treatment that will take up the entirety of the remainder of my life, or I could let things happen naturally and live relatively pain-free for the remainder, then the former option will not be my preference in most circumstances.

Strangely, I cannot honestly think of any medical condition that would require a treatment of daily, unending torture, except for the "o" word. Yes, doctor, I'm fat, and okay, you say it's going to kill me. Tell you what, we can make a wager on it. If my being fat kills me, then you get ten bucks. If your medical malpractice of telling me to lose weight for every problem from a sore knee to a gunshot wound ends up killing me, then my family gets every asset you own, plus your stupid fat-hating head on a platter. That's fair, right?


anon1235 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andee said...

I know a fat woman who (eventually) overcame fibromyalgia without losing an ounce, trollperson. It doesn't happen overnight. So, what's going to make you overcome your complete lack of compassion and intelligence?

Ruth said...

Looks like I missed the troll. Oh well.

QOL is a very good point to bring up when talking about this nonsense. I already have a diminished QOL for ACTUAL medical reasons, but before I was sick I was the same size as I am now, and there was nothing wrong with me. A doctor once tricked me into getting a cholesterol and blood sugar test, then afterward started telling me about all the prescriptions she was going to put me on when the results turned the way she thought they would. The side effects for these medicines scared the life out of me and I couldn't imagine taking those dangerous and (likely unnecessary) drugs forever, and also having to "make lifestyle changes" when my life was already something I liked and enjoyed and was happy about. Needless to say, said fatphobic doctor was showed up when my tests came back with LOW cholesterol and LOW blood sugar. Do you think she talked to me about having low scores and what they might mean? Nope. She never even asked to see me back after that.

QOL has become a very large issue in the field of MS research lately. Drug researchers and doctors are now combining QOL with length of life to determine how a drug or treatment might affect someone's overall wellbeing. It's working wonders with trial subjects. I wish people in "obesity research" would take the time to consider it just for a minute.