In the summer of 2004, I weighed 92 pounds. I was very sick and doing everything in my power to put on weight. My doctor went so far as to prescribe an appetite stimulant, derived from cannabis, which was supposed to give me the legal munchies.
It may have helped me put on a pound or two, but that wasn’t enough.
It wasn’t just that I was too thin; I needed a lung transplant and had to weigh a minimum of 100 pounds before I would even be considered for the surgery. I was left with one option: a feeding tube for high-calorie protein shakes every night while I slept, in addition to a high-calorie diet every day…
On the operating table, I was prepped for the procedure by a female nurse and a male doctor. When the nurse lifted the hospital gown above my abdomen, she exclaimed, “Look at that pretty flat stomach!”
I processed this statement for a moment. A medical professional had complimented me on my thinness, which was so extreme as to prevent me from having life-saving surgery, while prepping me for a procedure intended to help me gain weight.
To his credit, the doctor quickly snapped, “That’s the problem!” but her message couldn’t have been clearer.
We live in a culture that so values thinness, that values such extreme thinness, that I received a compliment about my body when I was on an operating table, when I was so ill and weighed so little that doctors feared I might not survive major surgery.
From here. (Thanks, C!)