For a doctor's eye-view of overweight patients, consider the following comments from surgeon's team about patient #2 (Thing Three was third in line that day.) Note that Thing Three was called to the hospital at 12:30 and that surgery didn't happen until 9 PM that evening. Those guys did three gastro-intestinal surgeries that day, beginning at zero-dark-thirty ("call us at 6 AM," said the hospital staff) and ending at the stroke of midnight.
The Anesthesiologist: "Oh good. He's [Thing Three] is healthy. The last guy was three times this size. At least."
The Nurse Anesthesiologist: "Oh good. He's not like the last guy. Nice and thin."
The Surgeon, after the surgery: "I don't mean to be insensitive, but your son was almost recreational. So nice to work with good muscle tone. That last person. So heavy. So difficult."
The message we took away was "If you want your surgeon to like you, take care of yourself."
Kudos to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Montefiore and Presbyterian). This organization has been outstanding. Every staff member has been friendly, caring, and competent. The doctors have been warm and interested and we have seen very little (none?) Dr.-Knows-Best attitude. The staff has, without exception, been very helpful to long-distance parents and taken a common-sense approach to privacy and HIPPA, helping us navigate their systems while maintaining a sense of respect for the individual.
Last comment: Thank you very much for paying your taxes. I know that some people think that too many people abuse no-cost health care—but there are a whole lot of people who simply cannot afford health care.
Most people want to be well enough to work. Some will never be well enough to work...but well enough to live and love, that's important, too. We and Thing Three are excited that, with continued access to no-cost (but very costly) medication, he will be well enough next year to go to college. Graduate. Get a job. Work. Pay taxes. Maybe even have an insurance plan that provides the medication he needs to stay well.
Looking to donate? Charity Navigator rates this organization well: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association