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Morbid obesity bathroom logistics
February 17, 2008 10:42 AM   Subscribe

I recently watched BodyShock: Half Ton Man & BodyShock: Half Ton Mum. How do people of this size go to the bathroom?

In the first documentary they touch on how Patrick is so big he'd never had sex with his wife. In the second, Renee was so big she'd been in bed for 4 years. Renee also says, "Most people of this weight cannot move around at all."

Watching either documentary you find yourself wondering how natural functions are carried out, but neither discuss it.

I'm looking for answers perhaps from healthcare professionals or those with some sort of experience of this condition, but certainly none from comedians. Thanks.
posted by forallmankind to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
There are mobility aids created for that lifestyle. You can see some of them here.
posted by pieoverdone at 10:52 AM on February 17, 2008


When I gained a significant amount of weight, I definitely noticed that cleanup became more of a chore. And I was NOWHERE near the level of the people in question. A radio personality that was in the high 400s at one point said he needed his fiance to wipe him clean with a towel because he simply couldn't reach back there. To be more than double that weight, I don't even think a bedpan is effective. There's no clear path for the stuff to exit through in a clean manner. I think the person just goes and then gets cleaned up. I can't imagine the infections that have to be dealt with.
posted by high0nfire at 11:14 AM on February 17, 2008


I don't know if it's wrong, but I've seen the same sort of programmes on TV about people who are super morbidly obese, and I've wanted to know the same thing, myself. Morbid curiosity, perhaps, about morbid obesity. I'm overweight, and maybe I wonder if this is one possible future for me. Maybe it's just human nature to wonder.
posted by Savannah at 12:00 PM on February 17, 2008


According to my doctorate in television-watching, there was a Nip/Tuck episode that asked the same question, and was based on a true story. Apparently, some people just go where they are.
posted by fermezporte at 1:06 PM on February 17, 2008


I work for a very fat man. I share a bathroom at work with him. From the condition of that toilet, I'd have to say that his asscrack is pretty much constantly filled with shit. I don't know, though, how he doesn't stink.

Overweight people are more prone to anal fistulae. Poor hygiene is a contributing factor.

If I were that fat, I'd try to rig up some way of hosing myself off. A bidet would be a wise investment.
posted by yesster at 1:55 PM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


This thread may be of interest to you.
posted by bobber at 2:10 PM on February 17, 2008


Bottom buddy. Says it all
posted by A189Nut at 2:47 PM on February 17, 2008


Quite simply, it's unpleasant for all involved. The more immobile, the more unpleasant. Yes, to the point of just going on oneself.

It never happens overnight, and the human capacity to adapt and not even notice it is vast. Truth be told, however, there is a lot of co-dependency going on when someone gets to the point of not being able to care for themselves.
posted by gjc at 2:47 PM on February 17, 2008


No kidding on the co-dependency. The 29-year-old 800+ pound woman in the Half-Ton Mum link above died of a heart attack after having gastric bypass surgery. She couldn't even leave her bed, so assuming she was overeating, she had help. So sad for her two kids.
posted by Scram at 3:48 PM on February 17, 2008


In a documentary I watched about a very, very overweight (but still mobile) man who was too big for a standard toilet. He crapped in the shower, pushing the shit through the drain and relying on water pressure and subsequent towel for clean up. He found this one of the most humiliating parts of his life, and a source of difficulty when the urge came and he was away from home.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:56 PM on February 17, 2008


He crapped in the shower, pushing the shit through the drain and relying on water pressure and subsequent towel for clean up.

How would that work in relation to the water pipes? I have some fuzzy idea that the sewage leaves our house by one pipe, and wastewater from showers and sinks from another. Maybe this a misconception I've carried for years.
posted by Savannah at 7:28 PM on February 17, 2008


...maybe this IS a misconception... I have missingworditis.
posted by Savannah at 7:28 PM on February 17, 2008


Savannah: Drains and toilet all go to sewer, then the treatment works. Storm water and roof gutters end in stormwater channels, fed by pipes to the street gutter where I live, then to rivers or sea without treatment.
posted by bystander at 9:18 PM on February 17, 2008


Savannah: Drains and toilet all go to sewer, then the treatment works. Storm water and roof gutters end in stormwater channels, fed by pipes to the street gutter where I live, then to rivers or sea without treatment. Ah-ha! Ignorance fought. Thank you.

Sorry about the hijack.
posted by Savannah at 11:10 PM on February 17, 2008


After watching the first 2 minutes of half ton man, they actually mean it. He just went in his bed, I assume as it was soaked in bodily fluids and there was blood and fecal matter under his fingernails.
posted by fermezporte at 2:16 PM on February 18, 2008


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