Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Steroids Bring out the Worst

Aren't there things that just piss you off? Take steroids. They settle down inflammation wonderfully, but unfortunately make your face look like a balloon and your stomach like an instant beer belly. You get looks of disgust from people who don't know that you're on this wonder drug -- look at that pig, you can see them thinking. But worse are people who know about the steroids and think the same thing. And even worse are the people who ascribe all the weight gain, the fat migration to the face and stomach, and facial puffiness in a child to stuffing his face. Not much credence is given to the fact that fast weight gain happens because of fluid retention. I met one person who gained 100 pounds in three days, and her mother nagged her about her piggishnessc as if food alone could cause such rapid weight gain.

"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23)

Who is worse? The person who takes medication in order to control a disease and bloats up or the person who gets on his case about his weight gain?

A child is dependent on his parents for his food. Can a small child buy his own hot dogs, cook them, and eat them at home all on his own? Who serves him the junk food, who introduced him to the junk food? Who is responsible for the child's welfare? Who is responsible to ensure his brothers and sisters understand the truth of steroids, to teach them that steroids can increase appetite -- which is not the child's fault -- that much of the puffy look comes from salt-balance changes, and not to use them as a source of barbs, as kids are wont to do? But when adults live in denial, see health as a reflection of their own ego, it is easy to focus on the bad eating habits as the child's fault and the main reason for steroidal weight gain. Some adults need new glasses.

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Addendum:

Imagine God's view of a person on steroids. Zoroastrianism teaches us to resist the evil that comes from human impulses and to see the Divine, starting with our thoughts as thoughts affect words and words lead to action. Somehow I cannot imagine God belittling an adult, or worse a child, for weight gain associated with steroids. Somehow I see God showering compassion on the person and encouraging them, saying "let's use this as an opportunity to try new foods and drinks," instead of, "you're getting fat and have to stop eating junk." Children mimic what they see and hear: children who say, "Look at that stomach!" are saying baldly what the adults around them are really thinking. Adults are good at saying nasty things in nice ways; children are not. They just say it, and they're even more likely to say it if they think the adults around them agree.

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