I just learned that my Beloved died–not of hitting his head during a seizure, as I feared–but of a heart attack. At 35.
Now, it is a fact that at 6’4, and weighing at least 400 lb, some people would say that it was not a surprise he had a heart attack. Maybe even that he somehow deserved it. It is true that he did not eat well, or exercise often enough. It is also true that he had a major health defect besides the seizures. His body was not processing fluids properly, so that much of his weight was actually water, which pooled up around his ankles, making them look like elephant legs. When I realized this, I looked up the disorder: my research showed that either his liver or kidneys were not functioning properly. This condition could lead to–yes–heart failure. I tried to get him to be proactive about seeking help, but he said the doctors told him it was just because he didn’t exercise enough. This didn’t sound right to me. Lots of people are fat without extra water in their bodies. I started to look up herbal cures, but then found out about his epilepsy. Afraid to suggest a treatment that might be contra-indicated–I backed off.
I wish now that I had pushed him to find a doctor or Naturopath who would look beyond his weight. Yes, I’m sure that it was a factor, but he had an untreated medical condition.
I guess we always want to fix the people we love. I used to fantasize about moving in with him and getting him to go on bike rides with me–and I don’t even go on bike rides myself! I would teach him the art of healthy food. I would soak his legs in mullein and lobelia, and give him tinctures for his organs. We would sweat at least thirty lbs off in extra curricular activity… I loved his body just as it was–just wanted it healthier.
I loved his size! A strangely pleasing side affect of his disorder was that his kisses had a delicious moistness to them. I called him my tall drink of water, because I felt I would never need to drink again if I could only keep kissing him…(he thought this was silly, as the phrase is intended to refer to a skinny person.)
It’s scary. My life is not all that much more active than his. He was so busy playing music, drawing, chatting with me online, watching movies, spending time with friends…he wasn’t proactive about his health even as his body sent him clear signs that he needed to change. Many of his friends worried about him. I worried about him. He hated doctors–hated hospitals. He couldn’t get health insurance, so he had no regular doctor. He hated doctors. He hated being lectured about his weight.
People think that shaming someone will make the change. Like, if you just make them feel bad enough they will change. In truth it’s just the opposite. The more you try to make someone feel like they have to do something, and that they are wrong for not doing it, the less receptive they will be.
Now I feel like I have to make a change. My beloved has shown me that I need to get proactive: get up off the couch, go to the gym, work out at home, get my own long untreated physical issues taken care of, something!