Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

I know, I know, I said that I would be spotlighting the other 15 forms of vasculitis next, but I have a chronically short attention span (I can blame this on the chemo and Pred right now so those of you that knew me pre-diagnosis can keep all comments to yourself!) and this little tidbit of information caught my eye right now. I will get to the rest, but for now I want to talk about this documentary that was recently a big buzz on the Vasculits forums.

                          This is the extended trailer for the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

What made this such a controversy on our boards was someone posting the trailer. This person joined our group, even though they do not have Vasculitis (the two men in the video that made the documentary do) and claimed that he was doing this in order to help support "awareness". Awareness is a BIG issue for those suffering from Vasculitis as these diseases are so rare that most doctors don't know anything about them, we try to get as much awareness out there as we can so that we can hopefully get more research funding and finally end up on the spectrum where we are not more knowledgeable about our diseases or conditions than the doctors are.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that this man was a stealth marketer, leading our board managers to decide that he really did not care about spreading awareness as he was actually selling the juicer and diet that is featured in this movie. I am not going to say one way or the other about if he cared to help spread awareness, as I do not personally know this man. But I do agree with the decision to ban him and delete his post, he was trying to sell us something. Something that for many members of our group could be dangerous. What he didn't say in his original post was that, the only symptom this man was experiencing at the time was a rash, a rash that probably would have gone away on its own anyways. He did not have life threatening organ involvement like many of the rest of us on the board. The person who posted the video also mentioned, and it is a very prominent tagline for the movie, that Joe Cross (the guy who made the documentary) was able to get off all of his medications through this diet.

The diet consists of 60 days of nothing but fruit and vegetable juice. It works really well to help a person lose weight, but for many of us that have Vasculitis, it is probably not a good idea to go on this long term or to try it at all without a doctors consent and close monitoring. Chemo has the tendency to cause anemia, which can be impacted by the choices in vegetables you would be using, and Prednisone causes diabetes which the fruits can greatly impact as they are full of sugars, natural or not.

Of course, many of the members expressed an interest in the diet and the video. Some had even gone so far as to order the diet already. Who wouldn't want to get off their medications? I know I would! I hate them and I hate what they have done to me. On the other hand, I generally like living so I will continue to take them as prescribed.

Some of the members got mad that the original post was deleted and the original poster banned, but I do think that it was probably a good thing that this was done. This man slid into our group, a place that is safe for us, and tried to market a potentially dangerous product to a group of people that would jump on a "miracle cure". I don't think that there would be many of the board members who would have started the diet without consulting their doctor first, but even if one person took it to heart and jumped at this diet to the detriment of their health it would be one person too many.

Not everything that came from it was bad, though. There has now been a lot of discussion on the topic coming from actual Vasculitis patients. Some of the members have re-posted links to the trailer, which is fine because now it is coming from a place of "Should I try this" or "I am going to discuss this with my doctor and this is what they have said". This has also brought up more conversations of member's diets and what they currently do to help minimize side effects and help their bodies heal. This is a dialogue that is good, I am happy to see it. But I also think that it was good that the original poster was deleted and banned, it made the conversation more of a topic than it would have otherwise. If that makes sense?

If the original post was left intact, then the conversation would have faded out without as many people seeing it. Because some members were angered about the deletion, it brought more controversy and kept the discussions going as people tried to explain the pros and cons. I know the diet is not something I could do, I struggle with iron and B-12 levels already and have my entire life. I need to eat me some meat or I would die.

I haven't seen the documentary yet, it was recommended to me on Netflix a few weeks ago and now that I know more of what it is about I am a little paranoid that Netflix is spying on me. Why should it come up, I don't normally watch documentaries and to send me one that is highly specific towards my own situation.... But that should be left for another rambling and highly paranoid post. A post which I will also probably blame on medication induced brain issues.

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