As I ate my sandwich of pastrami, cole slaw, and Russian dressing on a sub roll with a side of Cheetos and a Diet Coke, I read the Washington Post story about John Keitz, the 39-year-old man from Dundalk, Maryland, who has been bed-ridden for about seven years. Keitz weighs 625 pounds.
The profile, by David Montgomery, is, well, engrossing. Keitz had always been a big guy, weighing 100 pounds even in first grade and 250 pounds at age 18. (He believes his morbid obesity stems from a bad metabolism and not simply large portions.) As Montgomery explains it:
He lies on his front, because if he were to lie on his back, rolls of flesh would press on his windpipe and suffocate him. His head never touches sheet or pillow. At night, his left cheek nestles upon a soft white pile of shoulder and breast meat.
The last time Keitz stood, he was in the midst of preparing a mac 'n' cheese dinner for himself and his wife Gina. Just as he was slicing the Velveeta, it happened.
Keitz knows what people think: "How could someone get so fat? How could someone allow himself to be bedridden for seven years? How is it someone his size has sex?" (Okay, that last question was mine. And based on a friend's account of an obese couple she knows well, I do know how it works, the details of which are not suitable for publication under any circumstance.)
The story of John Keitz is a sad one. Yes, he has lost some weight--he once weighed 781 pounds--and he is trying to literally get back on his feet. But he still has a long way to go, and must simultaneously battle diabetes, arthritis, and sleep apnea. Let's hope David Montgomery does a follow-up next year.
8 hours ago