Well let me tell you...
Since becoming involved with the world of Bariatric Surgery, I am consistently made more and more aware of the failings it suffers and the fact that a good deal of it is only driven by the passion of the wonderful people who put themselves out there each day and fight for the rights of one of the nations lowest common denominators - The Morbidly Obese.
People look at the Obese and formulate their opinion untroubled by facts or knowledge of the individual. They see only one thing - Fat and doing so think only one thing - Lazy.
Very seldom is there any other consideration. Very seldom are the facts ever allowed to stand in the way of a negative thought. Absolutely never are the people who jump to this conclusion able to differentiate between the true fat and lazy (I have to agree, they do exist although in reality their numbers are very small) and the ones who were until several years beforehand fit and active people who simply had the misfortune of a massive change in their life whether it was injury of some description or a medical complaint that resulted in the use of prescription drugs.
It has now been proven that one of the side effects of high strength pain medication is an increase in the bodies desire to crave high carbohydrate foods. This is also a suspected side effect of both antidepressants and antipsychotics with sufferers of mental illness quickly displaying signs of weight gain very soon after being prescribed the medication. Medication although initially supposed to keep the patient mentally healthy and free from harm soon proves disruptive of the physical biology and they soon begin to pile on the pounds. This can lead to the patient becoming still further depressed thus requiring extended courses of the same drugs to challenge the self-image issues arising from the very drugs they were prescribed in the first place, a cycle which nearly always results in consuming the patient's everyday lives.
Being a post Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve) patient myself, I can hand on heart say I have not felt better in so many years and I am only one week post op. Imagine how I will feel in one years time. My body will be smaller, many of my self-image issues will be addressed and I will no longer need the massive amounts of pain medication or hopefully the high doses of antidepressant that I currently consume. This will be partly because of feeling better but also because being much smaller the daily dose will not have the need to work as hard to achieve its goal of good mental health.
As time goes on, I know for a fact that I will be congratulated on how well I look and how slim I have become and be told I have done well, but the minute that it is known that I have cost the NHS in the region of £8,000 people's opinion of this weight loss will change. They will not see the long-term of my wellbeing, the fact that my prescription drug consumption will reduce dramatically along with the requirement for costly trips to the Doctors surgery or the hospital ward. I will live longer and put more into society, not take from it with ever-increasing health issues.
These are of course only the long-term benefits of my own situation so just imagine how much money will be saved if the candidate is someone with high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes, with a heart condition and the possibility of health care resulting from a stroke. All of this and still not forgetting other associated ailments that come with aging obesity sufferers. The yearly medication bill for such a patient is already enormous so any possible solution to reduce it must be considered the only sensible option available to us; and that is before we even begin to consider their extended term and quality of life.
Just say for example someone has smoked 40 cigarettes a day for most of their life when inevitably they are diagnosed with lung cancer. Now imagine how the person with the disease would feel if they were to be told their life could be extended by three years if they received a £100,000 of medication and care, but because they were a smoker and did it to themselves, they were not entitled to it. Well readers that is the same boot but just on a different foot, and even though we might agree there is only so much budget to go around and there is always a worthier cause, I am forced to ask the following question:
Why should Bariatric's be required to jump through more hoops than everyone else?