The Dr. Sneekers and the Glorias of the world...

Discuss the March 2016 Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.

(Note, Carrie Rubin's previous book The Seneca Scourge was book of the month in December 2012. :) )
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The Dr. Sneekers and the Glorias of the world...

Post by Scott »

[This is a discussion topic for the March 2016 book of the month Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.]


On page 17, “He [Jeremy] wondered if the Dr. Sneekers and the Glorias of the world knew what it was like to lie on an exam table, looking every bit a beached whale with a red, angry boil, and hear someone talk about making better choices?”

Do you think the Dr. Sneekers and Glorias of the world know what it feels like? Do you sympathize with Jeremy’s apparent frustration and hurt in this situation?



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Post by Gravy »

I'd like to say that I think everyone can empathize, or at least sympathize, but I feel that some, even if they are a minority, cannot.

I also believe that some people have never found themselves on the butt end of, if not a prejudiced joke, then humiliation of some sort, and if they can't understand that feeling, they can't know what their careless, if well intentioned, comments can inflict.
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Post by gali »

I agree with Gravy. I think that some people don't realize how difficult it can be to loose weight, so can't relate. They fail to realize that tough words won't help any. I sympathized with Jeremy’s struggle, and rooted for him.
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Post by Kaitlyn12 »

I kind of don't think they know what it is like. It can be very hard to lose weight, and especially when Jeremy's mom was enabling him, it would be hard for him to lose the weight. It is not as simple as saying someone needs to make better choices.
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Post by Gravy »

What I thought was odd about the interaction with these doctors was the fact that Jeremy seemed to suffer a lot from emotionally triggered asthma, and while that would still be negatively impacted by his weight, it would happen regardless, and I felt that they (including the fat slayers) should have noted it. If for no other reason than to show that being bullied can hurt more than just what is physically/emotionally done.

I also thought it was clever that his asthma was triggered by stress/emotion, because a lot of people don't realize it can be.
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Post by TeaAndSpooks »

No, I do not think that the majorities of nurses and doctors can totally relate to their patients, especially in this instance. Losing weight isn't easy, and for some reason people in the medical field seem to think its just dieting and exercise. Emotional trauma, stress, anxiety, depression and environment all plays a HUGE role in a person's overall health (I speak from experience. I was heavily abused a few years ago and I put on 50 pounds because of it. It has been a huge fight to try to lose it...)

I relate with Jeremy on that level. It's not easy. And the fact that most (at least, all the doctors that I have met and seen) doctors think it is makes it even harder and more discouraging.
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Post by TangledinText »

Yes. I can't imagine the true discomfort not only physically but emotionally with being overweight. When I'm a few pounds more than my goal I already feel like people are talking about how "fat" I look or how I need to eat better or work out and I'd have a six pack. I couldn't begin to relate to someone that was actually overweight and how it must feel daily.
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Post by LivreAmour217 »

I think that there are certain things that we all just cannot empathize or sympathize with. If you've never, ever had a weight or health issue, then it's quite difficult to be understanding of someone who struggles in this area. I have a relative who was athletic and healthy, never had a weight problem or major illness/injury. She would become very annoyed with overweight people, as well people who complained about having aches and pains. Then she sustained a knee injury, and it was a major wake up call. She is now much more understanding of injured, ill, and overweight individuals.

I guess my point to all of this is that the Dr. Sneekers and Glorias of the world cannot understand Jeremy's plight because they've never been there. For those people, only firsthand experience can change their perspectives.
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Post by KAV »

TeaAndSpooks wrote:No, I do not think that the majorities of nurses and doctors can totally relate to their patients, especially in this instance. Losing weight isn't easy, and for some reason people in the medical field seem to think its just dieting and exercise. Emotional trauma, stress, anxiety, depression and environment all plays a HUGE role in a person's overall health (I speak from experience. I was heavily abused a few years ago and I put on 50 pounds because of it. It has been a huge fight to try to lose it...)

I relate with Jeremy on that level. It's not easy. And the fact that most (at least, all the doctors that I have met and seen) doctors think it is makes it even harder and more discouraging.
I agree with you that not all nurses and doctors probably don't relate that well, but you also need to think about what they deal with every day. I'm not saying all diseases come from obesity, but being overweight does contribute to ALOT of health problems. I resent statistic said about 70% of American people are overweight. More people are flooding the ERs with heart attacks and breathing problems. I don't think Dr. Sneekers was trying to be cruel, but he had to bring the subject up because it is his doctorly duty. It is probably awkward for him to talk to patients about their weight problems. Plus he probably doesn't have that much time with each of his patients working in an ER. He could have approached it better and the nurse Gloria was just rude, but I'm sure they see a lot of patients with the same problem and relate it to being overweight.
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Post by Gravy »

KAV wrote:
TeaAndSpooks wrote:No, I do not think that the majorities of nurses and doctors can totally relate to their patients, especially in this instance. Losing weight isn't easy, and for some reason people in the medical field seem to think its just dieting and exercise. Emotional trauma, stress, anxiety, depression and environment all plays a HUGE role in a person's overall health (I speak from experience. I was heavily abused a few years ago and I put on 50 pounds because of it. It has been a huge fight to try to lose it...)

I relate with Jeremy on that level. It's not easy. And the fact that most (at least, all the doctors that I have met and seen) doctors think it is makes it even harder and more discouraging.
I agree with you that not all nurses and doctors probably don't relate that well, but you also need to think about what they deal with every day. I'm not saying all diseases come from obesity, but being overweight does contribute to ALOT of health problems. I resent statistic said about 70% of American people are overweight. More people are flooding the ERs with heart attacks and breathing problems. I don't think Dr. Sneekers was trying to be cruel, but he had to bring the subject up because it is his doctorly duty. It is probably awkward for him to talk to patients about their weight problems. Plus he probably doesn't have that much time with each of his patients working in an ER. He could have approached it better and the nurse Gloria was just rude, but I'm sure they see a lot of patients with the same problem and relate it to being overweight.
While breathing problems can be exacerbated by weight, and even caused by them, I believe Jeremy would have had ashtma, anyway.
His worst episodes were almost always brought on by emotion, and weight does not contribute to intense emotion.

I'm not saying that Dr. Sneeker could have known that emotion caused his attacks, but Connie wasn't exactly aware of it either, and she should have been.

Of course, the author may not have intended his asthma to be (or seem to be) so effected by emotion, but the theater is the perfect example. Yes, there he was first effected by smoke (loved that being thrown in!), but it got hospital bad because of Calvin.
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Post by tortoise keeper »

I think that people who have not had an issue with weight gain have difficulty understanding how hard it can be to lose weight and then manage to keep it off. I agree with TeaAndSpooks that emotional issues, depression, and stress all play a part in weight gain also. I do sympathize with Jeremy and his situation. Just telling someone that they need to diet and exercise does not fix obesity. Obesity is a complicated issue, then it would not be such an epidemic in the United States.
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Post by MsMartha »

tortoise keeper wrote:I think that people who have not had an issue with weight gain have difficulty understanding how hard it can be to lose weight and then manage to keep it off.
I agree! Actually, I think it's hard to understand a lot of issues if you haven't experienced them personally.
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Post by chytach18- »

I agree with MsMartha and others that "it's hard to understand a lot of issues if you haven't experienced them personally". The problem is that most of the "Dr Sneekers and the Glorias of the world" had never experienced the issues on which they advise the other people. And the trouble is they have power to advise and persuade, and sometimes even force the other people.
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Post by Momlovesbooks »

I believe that someone who has never had to deal with certain issues, can't fully relate to the person having to go through it. In an ER environment, the doctors and nurses are unable to spend the time necessary to get to the root of the problem.
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Post by Sarah G »

KAV wrote:
TeaAndSpooks wrote:No, I do not think that the majorities of nurses and doctors can totally relate to their patients, especially in this instance. Losing weight isn't easy, and for some reason people in the medical field seem to think its just dieting and exercise. Emotional trauma, stress, anxiety, depression and environment all plays a HUGE role in a person's overall health (I speak from experience. I was heavily abused a few years ago and I put on 50 pounds because of it. It has been a huge fight to try to lose it...)

I relate with Jeremy on that level. It's not easy. And the fact that most (at least, all the doctors that I have met and seen) doctors think it is makes it even harder and more discouraging.
I agree with you that not all nurses and doctors probably don't relate that well, but you also need to think about what they deal with every day. I'm not saying all diseases come from obesity, but being overweight does contribute to ALOT of health problems. I resent statistic said about 70% of American people are overweight. More people are flooding the ERs with heart attacks and breathing problems. I don't think Dr. Sneekers was trying to be cruel, but he had to bring the subject up because it is his doctorly duty. It is probably awkward for him to talk to patients about their weight problems. Plus he probably doesn't have that much time with each of his patients working in an ER. He could have approached it better and the nurse Gloria was just rude, but I'm sure they see a lot of patients with the same problem and relate it to being overweight.
I entirely agree with you. It must be difficult to see people come in day after day with health problems exacerbated by weight and then have a young overweight patient in front of you that isn't improving. The doctors may just feel helpless in this case. He may not have been gentle about it but some people respond well to the harsher truth. That may not be the case for Jeremy but we don't know how the doctor was with him before.

I understand that if you've never been in the same position it is harder to get advice from that person, however you get male obstetricians who help but obviously haven't had the same experiences. In situations like this poth patient and doctor should empathise with each other.
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