BFDiva Michaela posted a link to this video on Facebook; in poking around, I also found a story to go along with it. The surgery is “deep brain stimulation” in the parts of the brain believed to control feelings of hunger and satisfaction. Here are the words of the woman, Carol Poe, who is getting the surgery:
“I’ve just known in my heart that there had to be something else. That there had to be something,” she said before the procedure. “I’ve tried everything else. I’ve tried all the fad diets. I’ve tried liquid protein. I’ve tried Redux, Fen-Phen. I’ve had a stomach bypass. I’ve tried the Atkins diet. I’ve tried them all. And it’s not coming off. So I really believe that it’s got something to do with the brain”…
“When you’re heavy and you walk down the street … everybody looks at you and they’re snickering and they’re laughing,” she said at her home in Morgantown, W. Va. “When you go on an airplane and everybody looks to see if you’re going to be able to sit in a seat … the weight has just taken over my life.”
First, you can clearly see how this poor woman might have benefited years ago from a little HAES thinking as opposed to trying increasingly drastic and dangerous measures to lose weight, not to mention allowing her weight to “take over” her whole life. I have nothing but sympathy for her as the guinea pig for this brand new type of neurosurgery.
As for the surgery itself, you might think this sounds terrifying (OH MY GOD THE BRAIN) or you might think this sounds like a workaround that is on some way less drastic than gastric bypass. In fact, the surgery is only made available to people who have already had bariatric surgery.
The description of the surgery made me feel kind of dizzy. They poke around in your brain, while you are awake, and ask you, for example, if you feel hot or cold. THAT IS FUCKING CREEPY. And check this out:
In the months ahead, the voltage going into Poe’s brain will be turned on and then increased over time. “She got a nausea feeling at higher voltages,” said Whiting. “Our ideal plan would be to set the electrical setting at just below that threshold of nausea where she doesn’t really feel any different but still readjust her weight thermostat so that she can metabolize better and actually eat less if that’s what it takes.”
SHUD. DER. Big Fat Blog also wrote about this video in some detail. And on Facebook, Michaela expressed her outrage:
What can I say? Since we OBVIOUSLY can’t regulate ourselves, they want inside our brains now.
I will NEVER let someone send ELECTRICITY into my BRAIN to make me more aesthetically pleasing/socially acceptable. People say they care about fat people’s HEALTH, but there’s zero mention of health in this news piece. Yet people will get the message that this women will be healthier, that THIN(NER)=HEALTHIER, whether or not they gave any health measures (before OR after).
I guess when you are addressing OMGtehFatness you don’t have to think critically, ask tough questions or give an accurate portrayal of risks and benefits.
We’re fat PEOPLE, not a scourge.
I have Twittered Nightline a piece (or two) of my mind. If you feel the power of the Tweet, do the same. http://twitter.com/Nightline
Note that she’s talking about the video; in the written piece, the doctors do say that obesity “will reduce your life expectancy maybe 20 years.” Which: what!?? This just seems terrifying and irresponsible to me, to say the least. What do you think?
Posted by mo pie