Friday, June 26, 2009
I Can't Stop Eating!
In December 1998, he had a gastric bypass. By June of the following year, he had lost a hundred pounds.
Then, as he put it, "I started eating again." Pizzas. Boxes of sugar cookies. Packages of donuts. He found it hard to say how, exactly. His stomach was still tiny and admitted only a small amount of food at a time, and he experienced the severe nausea and pain that gastric-bypass patients get whenever they eat sweet or rich things. Yet his drive was stronger than ever. "I'd eat right through the pain-- even to the point of throwing up," he told me. "If I threw up, it was just room for more. I would eat straight through the day." He did not pass a waking hour without eating something. "I'd just shut the bedroom door. The kids would be screaming. The babes would be crying. My wife would be at work. And I would be eating." His weight returned to four hundred and fifty pounds, and then more. The surgery had failed and his life had been shrunk t the needs of pure appetite.
The above's an excerpt from Atul Gawande's book of essays, "Complications: A Surgeon's Note on an Imperfect Science."
Gawande's a decent writer but this book can be very boring. And the writing's often just Cheesy and clunky (especially in his ready-to-wear descriptions of people, towns and houses). But passages like the above made it well worth reading.