Monday, June 19, 2006

a real update on Jackie the 627 lb woman

I got a heads-up from one of my loyal readers, Rebecca, that a show would be on about 2 women who lost 800 lbs, and that one of them was named Jackie, and sure enough it was the 627 lb Jackie...now at 227 lbs.
I gave away the ending of the show but you could have figured it out from the title: "We Lost 800 Pounds"
The discovery channel blurb says "The stories of two amazing women, Jackie Finley & Robin Moran, who both experience a significant weight loss. Jackie dropped 400 pounds as a result of bariatric surgery. Robin has lost 400 pounds on her own, without surgery."
Next showings: June 25 4 p.m., July 30 10 p.m. and July 31 1 a.m.
So now at least we know her last name and that will help me search for more information on her.
Our brave Jackie lost her 400 lbs in about 18 months. That's more than I weight, btw. However, she was extremely ill, as we knew from the end of the last program, and although she ends up at a respectable 227 lbs, frankly she looks awful. She lost hair from malnutrition, she had an episode of brain damage, her skin is hanging like she's wearing flesh colored stockings which are several sizes too large--the only thing with real animation is her eyes. Even at that relatively low weight she seemed to be having problems walking and moving. Since her starting weight of 627 was in August 2004, 18 months takes us to the end of last year so the program seems pretty up-to-date. She also got her panniculus cut off (it weighed 36 lbs!) and had her bypass revised so she wouldn't be so sick all the time.
The other woman featured was Robin, who I thought I blogged, but I couldn't find it off hand. She has lymph edema in her leg except that her leg weighs 200 lbs. She weighed 787. She's in her early 40's so she's not much older than me. She moved herself into the Andover Village Retirement Community (where a lot of these obese shows are at least partially filmed--I wonder if they finance the films somehow?) and lost 400 lbs there, without weight-loss surgery. They showed her "debulking" surgery again--the flensing--she was the one whose leg was so big she was walking on the swollen flesh. I think at one point she said she'd had something like 80 lbs of tissue taken off that leg.
Right before that show was on, Discovery health showed another new program called "750 Pound Man" about a guy named John Kietz who hadn't left his bed for 7 years except to be taken out of the house on a whale sling to visit the doctor. He actually weighed 759.4. They never mentioned him losing any weight. He was sent to Andover also, where he made friends with another guy, a singer, whose name I didn't write down because I didn't realize he would be so intregral to the show.
My understanding of Andover was that they had a program of exercise and diet to help those who are so obese they literally can't move anymore. They called John a prisoner of his body and he was. He couldn't roll over or put on a shirt. His body was covered in baby powder and bruises and bedsores. Yet apparently the facility allowed him to bring in whatever food he wanted and eat it. The nurses were talking about some little debbie binge he went on and the head woman went and confronted him and started reading labels to him and he got very angry saying he could "manage" his snacks. Yes, he managed them right up to 750 pounds.
I don't know how long he was in the facility but he ended up dying there from a septic blood infection. He had been separated from his wife and sister (who lived with him and cared for him) and I think part of it was that he missed them so much. They seemed very poor and couldn't make it to Ohio to see him even when he was dying. The reason he had to go there in the first place was because they got evicted from their apartment and couldn't find another one he could fit in.
His Discover blurb: "Meet John Keitz. He has not left his bed in seven years because his legs simply cannot handle the weight of his massive body. He is severely, morbidly obese. Follow his journey as he tries to lose the weight that is slowly robbing him of his life."
Next showing: June 25 3 p.m.


But one thing I've noticed watching all these shows. The women who are very overweight seem so much stronger. Robin Moran (about the same age as John) weighed more than John plus she had the edema to deal with and yet she lost weight and was walking around. Jackie weighed almost as much and she too lost the weight, and at 687 lbs she still could walk with her walker--and she was much older. Do men just give up?
I've said before that people can't believe that I can walk. If I was a man would I be bedridden already? I think once you take to your bed it's all over. John said he was cooking dinner and his knees gave out and that was it. Did he ever see a doctor? If he was up walking and standing at that point he could have lost weight and not gotten bedridden. Or so I believe.

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

I'm glad it turned out to be "that" Jackie. :) I haven't watched the show yet, but it's waiting for me on Tivo.

momsaid said...

I wonder if any of the doctors have put Jackie on digestive enzymes. Lack of Hydrochloric Acid in the stomach is a common cause of malnourishment and GI problems.
Food that's been broken down well doesn't sit there and percolate, causing gas, burping, and general discomfort.