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PrincessPurrsALot

S06.E08: Robert's Story

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On 3/2/2018 at 6:16 PM, dbell1 said:

Hey everyone, I was confused by the timeline too! It absolutely wasn't 9 months, unless they filmed in NJ for some scenes? 

Kathryn was still in NJ in July, that was when she told me about Rob and their hope to get on the show. A few days later, was when the hospital said they were sending him to a nursing home because his instead running out. They knew it was a death sentence and had already been in contact with the show. That's when the discussion about pain meds came up that I mentioned a few pages ago - he had to be off a certain medication before they would even consider him due to a prior patient who was a nightmare.

Now sure about September, Rob was rarely able to get out of bed, I remember a post from Kathryn in April (?) about getting him outside for the first time in a long time just to get fresh air. Staff didn't want to take a chance on putting him in a wheelchair, she managed to get him up and outside. (Horrible way to live) :(

He died in November, so it wasn't 9 months in Texas, more like 4 max?

There was another viewing the day after Rob's memorial. IMHO, the family was more concerned about that than the service. But, we all handle grief differently, and it had been a while since the passing, so there's that to consider.

Rob died November 15th.

Hi dbell1.  I don't post on this board a lot but was just reading some of your posts here.  Are you involved with the show?  Thanks for sharing so much info!

I am just catching up with some older episodes that are sitting on my DVR.  This was really sad!! I don't recall any other episodes where the subject died.   He was really trying hard and deserved a chance for a normal life.  This is the first time this show ever made me cry.

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On 3/1/2018 at 4:42 AM, AVM said:

This story needed to be told,pain meds and obesity can be deadly,addiction kills..

See, I was wondering if he would have been better off if he had just been left on the painkillers.  Yes, he was addicted, but at least it gave him some motivation.  I mean jesus if he lived in Canada, I think he could get them over the counter.  Who cares if he takes them the rest of his life?

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On 3/4/2018 at 5:12 PM, dreadfulLeigh said:

I was also thinking of Kathryn’s frame of mind. She met him at 18 or 19? Has been with him for 14 years. That’s so young and such a huge chunk of her life spent in the caregiver mindset. Even if he wasn’t immobile when they first started dating, he was already morbidly obese. She’s spent her entire adult life with a man who chose food over her. Where she did all the scut work and physical labor.

I wonder if, as dbell said how he constantly texted Kathryn while out that one time, he had a history of controlling behavior towards her? It’s a lot easier to control and manipulate a young, barely fully formed teenager than an adult woman his age. (Not that age discrepancies are inherently bad). I’m not sure we as an audience were shown enough to suggest NPD, but at the very least, I’d believe it if you told me he had controlling tendencies. 

Thankfully she seemed to still maintain a separate life and career. It seems like every other 600 pounder’s family/caregiver/hostages are completely consumed by the obese person. At least, it seems she has the benefit of education and social support. 

I was wondering that too - to attach yourself so young to someone.  Does she like to rescue people?  Per the painkillers:  He was A LOT of stuff - a major painkiller plus Ambien plus a few others could have been lethal.  Robert had an opiate/Ambien issue - a deep one.  

Robert raised a red flag to me when he so overly effusive about Kathryn:  "There she is!  The love of my life, an ANGEL!"  "Everything I do, I do it FOR HER!" etc.n Dial it down, mister.

When he finally got weighed and he was well well over 800 and he thought the scale was wrong, I was like, dude I thought you were going to clock in at 900!!!

Yes, he totally looked like Donny, Daphne's fiance from Fraiser.

 

On 3/8/2018 at 6:13 PM, cynicat said:

We don't know that he didn't have anything else prescribed for pain and I highly doubt they would have him do a cold turkey withdrawal from something as powerful as dilaudid.  We also don't know if he had therapy, heart/lung monitoring or other tests, however I'd be incredibly surprised if that didn't occur since that would be a standard baseline.  All we see is a snapshot intended to make for good TV, with the filler removed.

I am sure they withdrew him slowly, 

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So Robert is a bad person because he is in pain? OK...

 

I broke my back in the line of duty(I am a PA State Trooper), and for a full year I was on Perc 20's, 4 times a day. If a doctor(and I use that title loosely in reguards to "Doctor" Now) disrespected me like "Doctor" Now did to Robert upon meeting him, I would have told him to go fuck himself. 

Mean to say, this TV "Doctor" fed that scumbag Assanti pain meds just to make his TV show more interesting. He chose a freak just for ratings. Face it: this is a freak show.

Do you think he just happened to find that juggelo? That pig is(or was) all over YOUTUBE talking about getting high and singing like a humped over jackass. Never minding the Assanti brothers. 

And whats with all the love that Justin gets? Fine. He had a bad childhood. But at what point do you say "I want to change"? I LOVED when Justin said Steven "GOBBLED UP ALL THE FOOD that the Mom left out for them!" Dude, YOU are 600lbs+! YOU did your share of eating.

Sorry for the rant, but I overcame a fair few things in my life. I was wounded in Kunar Prov.(Afghanistan.2009) and went on to become a State Trooper. Broke my back in the line of duty. I will recover.

These super fat people are just sick . Why don't they stop and think:I have now reached 400(or 500lbs), I need to stop?

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I did'nt like this turd. At all. He was a disgusting fat body and any man who eats like he did, well, isn't a man. And for the Mother and wife to sit there while he ate "just 2 more wings. I did'nt have many wings." They were disgusting also. How do you sit there and not get sick watching a person eat like that? I could'nt watch that.

But to attack said turd because he was in pain? What people don't understand is the bare fact that by making pain meds impossible to get, we in Law Enforcement are seeing everyday people turn to Heroin. You can't have it both ways; Make pain meds impossible to get, well, get more Heroin addicts. You won't see it on the news, but believe me, its happening. And as a person who has NEEDED pain meds(Two 545x39 rounds in the right leg on Halloween 2009 in Kunar Prov. Back broken after a high speed chase on Christmas eve 2016), for "Doctor" Now to take away Pain meds that were R/X'ed by another Doctor? I hope there was more we at home did'nt see, because it was BULLSHIT.

But lets have ANOTHER Assanti special. Thats LOL funny.

"Doctor" Now is a schill.

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On 3/4/2018 at 7:21 AM, Miss Ruth said:

While his mother bought what he wanted at the grocery store,  I didn't see anyone feeding him.  If he had access to a telephone, he had access to food. 

Right - and they could have let him order it.  And then let the delivery person into the house and the room where he was sprawled on a bed so that he could pay for it himself and take it, and then eat it alone in his big smelly bed.

On 3/4/2018 at 12:35 PM, Ravenna said:

What are you talking about? They were feeding him fast food and junk constantly. Kathryn even mentioned having to stop for food constantly on the road. If that isn't enabling then I don't know what is. 

He only started losing weight while in the hospital on a calorie restricted diet. However, it was a little too late at that point. 

Yep.  Kathryn was driving; she could have stopped for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that's it.

On 3/8/2018 at 12:36 PM, Redbundy said:

I personally feel it was the doctors fault for Robs death. Yes he was addicted to pain killers but you have to remember a doctor prescribed them in the first place. And for Dr Now to take him off completely at this point in his life!?! IMO it was absolutely careless and remorseless of him to do that! And the lies about him being in danger of dying from the drugs? I don’t understand that, he wasn’t getting heroin off off the street, he was taking prescribed medication. He was in absolutely NO danger of dying from the meds. But unfortunately in this day and age doctors think they can just solve the problem by taking these patients off their medication cold turkey and be damned if the consequences. Well, this is the result! If he would have continued to safely monitor Robs medication use while gradually going through with his weight loss plan I honestly believe Rob would still be alive today and in much better shape. Yes, he might be still battling the drug addiction but he’d still be alive. Drug addiction is battled for years rather than weeks as in Dr. Now’s Case with Rob. IMO, very unprofessional of him to do this because not only did Rob have to battle his food addiction he also had to battle his drug dependency. And as any alcohol or drug counselor will tell you, ‘You battle one addiction at a time’. Not all at once like in this case. It’s too bad, Rob seemed like someone who might have beaten his food addiction, or at the very least, was motivated enough to give it his best effort.

Although it seemed like he was taken off meds cold turkey, there were actually several mentions of him being on lower doses/gradually reduced, and he didn't like it.  Also, Dr. Now's problem was that the meds caused ulcers which could lead to a hole in his stomach and acids leaking out and killing him.

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I was told that IV pain meds DID'NT  cause ulcers. When I was in Germany after being wounded, I asked the Army Doc about it, as I had very bad ulcers when I was 11 or 12. He told me ulcers were caused by the tablet form of pain meds.

At any rate, you people have been rough on this guy because he was in pain. I think he certainly was in quite alot of pain. Said pain was because he was a glutton , yes. But for "Doctor" Now to say to Robert,"Whats this Diladed(sp) you are ADDICTED to?" 

Firstly, Robert was'nt addicted to the drug. He was DEPENDENT on the drug. Two very different things. 

Second, as I posted before, I HOPE there was more then was shown on the episode, because another Doctor R/X'ed that for Robert. That Doctor would have had to be consulted about the meds, and conclusions drawn from that. I guess "Doctor" Now saw himself being a easy touch with Steven Assanti, and now he is trying to appear tough about opiates.

I don't believe for one minute that "Doctor" Now did'nt know all about Steven Assanti. 

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Several states enacted laws in 2017 to tighten the prescribing of opioid medications.  Doctors are much more closely monitored about how many opioid prescriptions they are writing for each patient.  One of the things that doctors are now supposed to do is to try to treat the cause of the pain, not just dose patients up to avoid feeling it.

Dr. Now is helping patients to lower their pain by eliminating the primary cause of it . . . super-morbid obesity that puts a tremendous amount of strain on the muscles and bones.  If the weight isn't there and activity is increased, the pain is likely to decrease as a result.  But if the patient is addicted to opioids, that's a different medical issue.  And it would seem to me that it might be more effective to treat the drug addiction early, and then hold out the carrot that the pain will decrease with weight loss.  There are lots of skinny addicts, so we know that the weight loss will not cure the addiction, but breaking the medication addiction might encourage weight loss.

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2 hours ago, AZChristian said:

Several states enacted laws in 2017 to tighten the prescribing of opioid medications.  Doctors are much more closely monitored about how many opioid prescriptions they are writing for each patient.  One of the things that doctors are now supposed to do is to try to treat the cause of the pain, not just dose patients up to avoid feeling it.

Dr. Now is helping patients to lower their pain by eliminating the primary cause of it . . . super-morbid obesity that puts a tremendous amount of strain on the muscles and bones.  If the weight isn't there and activity is increased, the pain is likely to decrease as a result.  But if the patient is addicted to opioids, that's a different medical issue.  And it would seem to me that it might be more effective to treat the drug addiction early, and then hold out the carrot that the pain will decrease with weight loss.  There are lots of skinny addicts, so we know that the weight loss will not cure the addiction, but breaking the medication addiction might encourage weight loss.

I doubt Robert was addicted to the pain meds. DEPENDENT? Yes. But that is to be expected. I was Dependent on pain meds after I was wounded. I was weened off, and had no problem when my state-side Doctor did so.

At any rate, "Doctor" Now had no right to take away ANY meds that were R/X'ed by another Doctor. If I was Robert, I would have contacted the proscribing Doctor and had him tell "Doctor"Now that the meds were needed. Doctors don't step on each others toes, as a rule.My problem was the way "Doctor" Now approached Robert and asked about his "addiction" to Dilauded. He was trying to bully Robert from the get go. At that point, he had ZERO frame of reference. 

"Doctor" Now is a bad TV Doctor who gets good ratings because he provides good entertainment. Freaks. We watch because of the shear DERP we see when Nicole is hosed down on the back porch. When Chuck cries like a baby when Nissa hands him the Divorce papers. When that one fatass falls on the floor before going out dancing(I forget his name. I think it was the guy who went into a coma?). The deformed bodies. The awesome women who get skinny and send the men who wiped their asses for YEARS, packing. Or ANYTHING Assanti.

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Lord have mercy. I was browsing through this forum after having watched Marissa and Jennifer, followed by Shenee as my first exposure to this show. I was bored this afternoon and went to the On Demand page and saw Robert's story. I needed a break from the women. I thought I remembered someone writing in a thread here that this person bullied their wife/SO for foods and was an overall dirtbag. I thought it was Robert.

As I watched, I was waiting for the personality change to take hold but it never really did. He seemed committed and very willing to do what he had to do and I was rooting for him. The move to the nursing home I thought might be a wake up call for him but oh my! I was not expecting that at all.

I was crushed for Kathryn. I was glad she stayed with him. It doesn't make it any easier, but two years ago, my husband was taken to the hospital. In the ER they told me he has pneumonia, they were taking him upstairs for tests and I could see him in an hour. I told him I would take his clothing and coat and stuff home and be back. "I'll be right back," I said to him never thinking for a minute that would be my last words to him. When I got home I got a call asking for permission to intubate. Twelve days later, he passed without regaining consciousness. Living with that has been HELL. I hope Kathryn finds peace.

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On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 2:02 PM, jerseydeviljohn said:

The awesome women who get skinny and send the men who wiped their asses for YEARS, packing. Or ANYTHING Assanti.

John, I don't agree with a lot that you have written, but, I sure feel you on this.  My first thought is that disgusting piece of crap, Lupe.  She was the grossest human ever on this show.  Her husband and caretaker, Gilbert?, was with her for years.  After she lost a ton of weight, then she left him.  I have never felt such disgust for a fellow human as I did with this bitch.

Assanti actually was on Dr. Phil (the quack, lol) and told him that he wanted to be famous.  Look at us talking about his disgusting ass now.  

Btw, thank you for your service in law enforcement.  

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2 hours ago, Tress said:

My first thought is that disgusting piece of crap, Lupe.  She was the grossest human ever on this show.  Her husband and caretaker, Gilbert?, was with her for years.  After she lost a ton of weight, then she left him.  I have never felt such disgust for a fellow human as I did with this bitch.

I thought she left him after he forced her to have sex too son after surgery, and her stitches were torn out, and she had a lot of problems.

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I just saw this. I don't understand why anyone says Robert tried. The truth is he didn't. He used everyone around him. His mother is a big enabler. Kathryn was too. As soon as they mentioned his brother died at 22 from a heart attack I wonder if he would die too from a heart attack. I'm shock his body supported all that weight. It pissed me off when I saw them stop for food or when Robert bitched about the hotel room. He also had no shame peeing in the car with his stuff all out. 

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18 hours ago, auntjess said:

I thought she left him after he forced her to have sex too son after surgery, and her stitches were torn out, and she had a lot of problems

Wow, I did not hear this - I just go by what is on the show.  

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Didn't Robert's family own a restaurant, maybe a fried chicken place?
I'm not sure, because I never  rewatched him, but I thought his brother and father died.

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On 3/25/2018 at 3:00 AM, princelina said:

Right - and they could have let him order it.  And then let the delivery person into the house and the room where he was sprawled on a bed so that he could pay for it himself and take it, and then eat it alone in his big smelly bed.

Yep.  Kathryn was driving; she could have stopped for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that's it.

Although it seemed like he was taken off meds cold turkey, there were actually several mentions of him being on lower doses/gradually reduced, and he didn't like it.  Also, Dr. Now's problem was that the meds caused ulcers which could lead to a hole in his stomach and acids leaking out and killing him.

I seem to remember some stuff about Robert's family getting very angry with Dr. Now and the show and blaming them for everything? But, Dr. Now didn't help Robert eat his way up to 900 pounds.

Edited by CoachWristletJen
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On 3/25/2018 at 2:02 PM, jerseydeviljohn said:

I doubt Robert was addicted to the pain meds. DEPENDENT? Yes. But that is to be expected. I was Dependent on pain meds after I was wounded. I was weened off, and had no problem when my state-side Doctor did so.

At any rate, "Doctor" Now had no right to take away ANY meds that were R/X'ed by another Doctor. If I was Robert, I would have contacted the proscribing Doctor and had him tell "Doctor"Now that the meds were needed. Doctors don't step on each others toes, as a rule.My problem was the way "Doctor" Now approached Robert and asked about his "addiction" to Dilauded. He was trying to bully Robert from the get go. At that point, he had ZERO frame of reference. 

"Doctor" Now is a bad TV Doctor who gets good ratings because he provides good entertainment. Freaks. We watch because of the shear DERP we see when Nicole is hosed down on the back porch. When Chuck cries like a baby when Nissa hands him the Divorce papers. When that one fatass falls on the floor before going out dancing(I forget his name. I think it was the guy who went into a coma?). The deformed bodies. The awesome women who get skinny and send the men who wiped their asses for YEARS, packing. Or ANYTHING Assanti.

He seemed addicted to me.  Once they weaned Robert off the medication he became even more ill-tempered and refused to move. He behaved just like an addict in treatment.

And, we know he has an addiction to food. People with one addiction tend to be more susceptible to other addictions.

Medications like Dilauded are very dangerous for the heart and the stomach. Dr. Now may have been concerned about his heart. He's dealt with many people at death's door and I think he weighs out the factors and does his best to keep people alive.

On 4/19/2018 at 7:36 PM, Tress said:

Wow, I did not hear this - I just go by what is on the show.  

That's exactly what happened. There was actually green mold on the stitches and they were torn open.  Lupe had to think so little of herself to allow him to have sex with her because the pain had to be intense when he was on top of her, on top of those stitches, ripping them open even more. Afterward, they called an ambulance, and while they were waiting for it, the dude cracked open one of those double sized beer bottles and proceeded to get buzzed. Dr. Now took her immediately into surgery to repair the damage.

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On 3/25/2018 at 10:48 AM, jerseydeviljohn said:

I was told that IV pain meds DID'NT  cause ulcers. When I was in Germany after being wounded, I asked the Army Doc about it, as I had very bad ulcers when I was 11 or 12. He told me ulcers were caused by the tablet form of pain meds.

At any rate, you people have been rough on this guy because he was in pain. I think he certainly was in quite alot of pain. Said pain was because he was a glutton , yes. But for "Doctor" Now to say to Robert,"Whats this Diladed(sp) you are ADDICTED to?" 

Firstly, Robert was'nt addicted to the drug. He was DEPENDENT on the drug. Two very different things. 

Second, as I posted before, I HOPE there was more then was shown on the episode, because another Doctor R/X'ed that for Robert. That Doctor would have had to be consulted about the meds, and conclusions drawn from that. I guess "Doctor" Now saw himself being a easy touch with Steven Assanti, and now he is trying to appear tough about opiates.

I don't believe for one minute that "Doctor" Now did'nt know all about Steven Assanti. 

IV Meds like dilaudid can still cause heart failure in someone who already has issues. (Not to mention liver damage and kidney failure. Robert may have already had a fatty liver.) And, as far as potential heart problems went, Robert checked off all the boxes, sad to say. Even after losing a couple of hundred pounds, he was still morbidly obese, and his body was in a huge state of flux! Daily opioid use would be dangerous and irresponsible.

Steven Assanti was in his twenties, and Robert was close to 50. That was the night and day difference between them as far as the decision to prescribe opioids for pain would be concerned.

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I think Robert was definitely addicted. The intentionally tearing out the stitches in order to get pain medication is extreme and to me screams addiction. He looked like someone in the throes of serious withdrawal at the nursing home: glazed eyes, very cruel and combative.

He was very compliant and willing to do whatever it took to get well during the show. If he was dependent but not addicted, I think he could have overcome the urge to use medication just like he was able to deal with eating so many fewer calories each day. Whatever it was, this was just a terribly sad episode.

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14 minutes ago, configdotsys said:

I think Robert was definitely addicted. The intentionally tearing out the stitches in order to get pain medication is extreme and to me screams addiction. He looked like someone in the throes of serious withdrawal at the nursing home: glazed eyes, very cruel and combative.

He was very compliant and willing to do whatever it took to get well during the show. If he was dependent but not addicted, I think he could have overcome the urge to use medication just like he was able to deal with eating so many fewer calories each day. Whatever it was, this was just a terribly sad episode.

You make some excellent observations, and I agree wholeheartedly. When Robert's medication was reduced, he basically threw tantrums, acting like addicts during their first days of treatment. Actually, he acted more like addicts who are thrown into jail, and he was very cruel and combative. And he refused to cooperate. Dr. Now kept telling him that he needed to move or he could get a blood clot that would kill him, but Robert seemed to eschew movement. I don't remember if it was a heart attack or a blood clot that actually took him out. Either way,  it was just all very sad. I wish they could have arranged for members of Narcotics Anonymous to visit with Robert and help him deal with the turmoil in his head. It might have helped unless he was just completely unwilling to change.

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On 3/1/2018 at 10:57 AM, Aw my lahgs said:

I believe there is something, not measurable, that signals these kind of things to our subconscious mind. I don’t know how it works, and I’m not sure why (maybe to prepare ourselves?), but it’s very real.

Sometimes, we can also smell imminent dead. It has a distinct, sweet smell.

There was this older man in our town that I knew, not very well, who was dying of emphysema. He had been in and out of the hospital. Two friends of mine went to visit him and I think he passed later that evening, and one of them, who had worked as an EMT said the next day that he knew he was going to die because the 'smell of death' was on him. There's something to that for sure.

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Also, for the record, I don't think Dr. Now is a quack. He was one of if not the first doctor in the country to dare to perform surgeries on 600 pound patients. And, they are in an entirely different league mentally and emotionally as well as physically. He is constantly honing is treatment plans as he figures out what works best to increase the odds for people who would die in a few years without the surgery. Robert came to him on the brink of death. Dr. Now gave him the very best that medicine had to offer. I get that the producers get a little farfetched at times... look at the people they are producing! That being said, I think Dr. Now is the real deal.

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On 3/1/2018 at 11:19 AM, jpc1 said:

OK, here are a couple of things that bugged me about this episode (aside from the obvious):

(1)  It's clear that in New Jersey Kathryn was a co-enabler.  (The mother was clearly the enabler-in-chief, but Kathryn was part of it.)  It's also clear that once they got to Houston Kathryn did a complete 180.  The amount of weight Rob lost in the hospital proves that.  I don't recall Dr. Now giving a specific goal when he admitted him to the hospital, but assuming something similar to his other patients Rob completely blew the goal away.  From that, I surmise that the "75 pound over next munt" he's told others factors in some cheating facilitated by the patient's companion, but that Rob's 200+ pound loss indicates absolutely no Kathryn-facilitated cheating.  My point is that Kathryn must have had a shockingly clear come-to-Jesus moment concerning her enabling.  I don't think there's ever been a more dramatic instance on this show of a companion getting as 100% with the program as Kathryn clearly did.  My beef is that the episode didn't elaborate more on this.  Had they done so - i.e. with a few extemporaneous confessionals from Kathryn, showing one or two scenes of conflict where Kathryn shuts down a request from Rob to help him cheat - they could have had a "how-to" manual for changing enabling behavior.

(2)  The testimonials at Rob's funeral (and from Kathryn's friend up-thread here) paint a picture of a gregarious, loving man.  I hope (and presume) that's true, but if it is true I've got to say that TLC didn't give him a very good edit, because I didn't see gregarious and loving.  When he got to Houston, especially in physical therapy before his lymphedema surgery), I saw determination and discipline (a rarity on this show to be sure), but I didn't see love.  He said the right words in his voice-overs - "I know what I'm doing to Kathryn isn't fair to her.", "I'm so grateful for everything Kathryn does for me.", "Kathryn is my world.", etc. - but his actions didn't match,  He seemed always to act like a douche to Kathryn.  Maybe Kathryn's testimonial comes from an earlier time in Rob's life when he wasn't in such a dire condition, but the Rob I saw wasn't the same person as the Rob Kathryn described.  

I know people tend to canonize their unruly loved ones at funerals. In fact, I've never been to a funeral when it didn't happen. In the fresh wake of grief, they long to be with the departed person, and all they seem to remember is the good stuff. I tend to think that was what was going on at Robert's funeral. 

After the family has had a year or two to process the grief, they remember things more realistically. Extended family probably already did remember more realistically, but they wouldn't say such things at his funeral of course.

I remember reading somewhere that Robert was actually worse than what was shown, and TLC edited out some of his worse behavior in deference to his family, his memory, and the fact that he did work hard. Whether that's true or not, I don't know.

I could see him as being gregarious and loving when he had the right pills and the right food, and then not so much when he did not have those things. His life in a bed is had to be painful and miserable. I hope and pray he is in a better place now.

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This is also a cautionary tale. Look how much of her life Kathryn wasted on someone who talked to her like she was crap while in the nursing home and judging by the post above, throughout the show. Putting aside even the poor treatment, here's a guy that spends all of his time eating in bed and taking drugs. What kind of life is that for her? To sit there and watch him or feed him or whatever. Where is the appeal there?

There is none. She likely felt trapped: she loved him in some ways ueqrand probably felt that it was cruel and terrible to walk away from someone so obviously in need of help and support. But how far should people go? Should you let your life pass you by while you sit in hospitals and hotel rooms dealing with an impossible person that may be addicted to drugs and food? This is a person that was given such a golden chance to get his life back together again and once he was not being given the quantities of drugs that he wanted, he threw a tantrum and refused to follow doctor's orders. Then he died and Kathryn is left feeling guilty and lost how many years of her life? I get the "in sickness and in health" then but they were not married, and much of Robert's problems were self-inflicted and as far as I'm concerned, all bets were off once he was accepted into this treatment plan. There was no excuse for him to not get his act together if he really wanted it. 

Edited by configdotsys · Reason: ...some ways AND. My cat stepped on the keyboard while I was typing. Maybe 'ueqrand' is her way of saying covfefe?
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On 4/26/2018 at 1:13 PM, configdotsys said:

This is also a cautionary tale. Look how much of her life Kathryn wasted on someone who talked to her like she was crap while in the nursing home and judging by the post above, throughout the show. Putting aside even the poor treatment, here's a guy that spends all of his time eating in bed and taking drugs. What kind of life is that for her? To sit there and watch him or feed him or whatever. Where is the appeal there?

There is none. She likely felt trapped: she loved him in some ways ueqrand probably felt that it was cruel and terrible to walk away from someone so obviously in need of help and support. But how far should people go? Should you let your life pass you by while you sit in hospitals and hotel rooms dealing with an impossible person that may be addicted to drugs and food? This is a person that was given such a golden chance to get his life back together again and once he was not being given the quantities of drugs that he wanted, he threw a tantrum and refused to follow doctor's orders. Then he died and Kathryn is left feeling guilty and lost how many years of her life? I get the "in sickness and in health" then but they were not married, and much of Robert's problems were self-inflicted and as far as I'm concerned, all bets were off once he was accepted into this treatment plan. There was no excuse for him to not get his act together if he really wanted it. 

You are exactly right. I really don't understand what kept her there. I imagine that like most addicts, he must have been some kind of a manipulator who guilted her into staying. I'll bet the mother had done a number on her as well. Not to mention some very deeply ingrained habits. Perhaps she didn't have any family of her own. Also, there's the whole fallacy of sunk costs. After wasting so many years, she may have started to feel that the best years of her life were behind her when in reality, if she had walked out that door, only the worst and butt-wiping years of her life would have been behind her. And, she obviously had a very low self-esteem to think that she deserved any of it! I'm sure that all of the above combined into one very toxic soup so that she failed to realize she deserved so much better. How she didn't cut and run at the sight of him is still a mystery to me. He was one mean dude.

Dr. Now kept telling him his life was in jeopardy if he didn't start moving. I'm sure that narcotics would have put Robert's already frail heart in even worse jeopardy.  Yes, it was a major surgery, but I've seen people undergo major surgeries with deep wounds and do just fine after a day or two of narcotics. Dr. Now knew what he was doing when he took Robert off those meds, and yet some would expect us to believe that Robert knew more than the doctor. Sure, Robert knew what he was feeling, but Dr. Now knew more about these types of surgeries than Robert ever could even hope to know. And, addicts have a tendency to exaggerate their own pain when they are in an unhealthy place psychologically.  Robert was an addict.

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Just saw this episode.

The mother seemed distant and cold; whenever Robert told her "I love you" she never said it back.

After the funeral she hugged Kathryn and remarked "We don't deserve this, least of all Robert"

Seemed a very odd, self-involved thing to say.

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41 minutes ago, Bronx Babe said:

The mother seemed distant and cold; whenever Robert told her "I love you" she never said it back.

Didn't she always over-feed him, and his father too?

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6 hours ago, auntjess said:

Didn't she always over-feed him, and his father too?

 From what Robert had said, both his parents were more involved in running their store than caring about what he ate or didn't eat.   

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I re-watched this episode today. It's a real eye opener reading some of the comments here about how poorly he treated Kathryn. I had no idea he was that much of an asshole to her. Having said that, I still felt very sad at his passing if only because as addicted to pills and food as he was, he did make way more of an effort than some of our other pounders this season, in particular, Janine and the delightful Schenee. Life really is a crap shoot when you think about the fact that someone like James K is still alive (I think he and Robert are about the same age) and Robert dies while James K, who has got to be around 900 pounds by now, is still hanging on.

I dearly hope that Kathryn can overcome her grief--damn, 13 years with this guy--and find someone truly loving and deserving of her devotion.

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On 3/25/2018 at 3:00 AM, princelina said:

Right - and they could have let him order it.  And then let the delivery person into the house and the room where he was sprawled on a bed so that he could pay for it himself and take it, and then eat it alone in his big smelly bed.

Yep.  Kathryn was driving; she could have stopped for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that's it.

Although it seemed like he was taken off meds cold turkey, there were actually several mentions of him being on lower doses/gradually reduced, and he didn't like it.  Also, Dr. Now's problem was that the meds caused ulcers which could lead to a hole in his stomach and acids leaking out and killing him.

I finally watched this episode.

I love Dr.Now, I think he's great, but I absolutely do not agree with his ideas about pain management. In MANY ways, opioids are safer on the digestive system than NSAIDs which can be bought over the counter. Although opioids do generally cause constipation, it's the Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc that cause the stomach ulcers. I've dealt with bleeding ulcers for the past 20 years because my gynecologist had me taking 600mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day for my endometriosis. When my chronic pain from my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome was no longer manageable through natural methods and physical therapy, I was actually put first on Vicodin and later Oxycodone because it was safer on my stomach then high levels of Naproxen. 

Not to say that Robert didn't have a genuine problem with opioid addiction, it seems he did, and Steven Assanti definitely has a problem with them. I just feel that Dr. Now is very set in his beliefs when it comes to pain pills and those beliefs don't always follow logic. Chronic pain, which I am sure many of these folks deal with, can be a double-edged sword. I am 4'10"so even a couple of pounds really makes a difference on me. I got to where I was in so much pain from the thousands of fascia tears, the rheumatoid arthritis, the osteoarthritis, and the Chiari Malformation (my brain hung down into my neck and cut off CSF flow), that I was unable to perform anything but the smallest of physical activities. As a result, I gained around 40 pounds. The extra weight put more strain on my joints which then increased the dislocations and caused even MORE pain. I needed to be active to keep that weight off my joints and to stretch my muscles, but there was no way for me to BE active unless that pain was managed. I was finally sent to a pain management specialist who tried me on Vicodin. With the pain controlled, I was suddenly able to walk,ride my bike, etc. The weight fell off and the pain decreased. A lot of times Dr.Now will become billergent with patients who complain about pain and tell them that if they'd "just lose the weight", it wouldn't hurt. Pain management is VERY important, though. Of course, there ARE those with actual addictions who, even with opioid prescriptions, refuse to try to lose the weight or engage in physical activity. I think everyone should be judged on an individual basis and not grouped into one general lump, which I sometimes feel Dr.Now does. Robert was an addict, no doubt, but I really feel conflicted when I hear "well X didn't need pain pills after a week of having surgery" or "Y was able to manage so you should too."

As someone with a progressive medical condition and in chronic pain and being a member of both communities, I have seen dozens of people commit suicide because they weren't able to find proper pain management and they just couldn't live with the physical pain any longer. Sure, those numbers are smaller than the number of people who die of overdoses every day, but it's still very much a real issue.

Damn, it hurt me to even LOOK at Robert in some of those clips. Yikes. 

Edited by mamadrama
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12 hours ago, mamadrama said:

I love Dr.Now, I think he's great, but I absolutely do not agree with his ideas about pain management.  

I agree with you in terms of his not listening to what type of pain the patient has. People who have bone on bone knee pain (like my elderly mother), need pain relief of some kind just to function, before, during, and after weight loss. She can get a shot a couple of times of year and is OK. Why doesn't he ever recommend something like that? Or, there are pain clinics. I had hip bursitis that gave me an understanding of why people in pain commit suicide. I ended up going to the pain clinic at my uni's hospital and it changed everything. I could rest, for one thing, and was able to walk and teach, albeit with a cane and a scooter in the store for awhile. He should send the obesee to a pain clinic where they and their medication will be supervised.

Yeah, walking in a pool may help - or it may not. Sometimes you need Big Pharma.

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10 hours ago, aliya said:

I agree with you in terms of his not listening to what type of pain the patient has. People who have bone on bone knee pain (like my elderly mother), need pain relief of some kind just to function, before, during, and after weight loss. She can get a shot a couple of times of year and is OK. Why doesn't he ever recommend something like that? Or, there are pain clinics. I had hip bursitis that gave me an understanding of why people in pain commit suicide. I ended up going to the pain clinic at my uni's hospital and it changed everything. I could rest, for one thing, and was able to walk and teach, albeit with a cane and a scooter in the store for awhile. He should send the obesee to a pain clinic where they and their medication will be supervised.

Yeah, walking in a pool may help - or it may not. Sometimes you need Big Pharma.

I agree. Discounting their pain and not treating them is almost as bad as over-prescribing. And yes, from what we see Dr. Now rarely (ever?) offers them an alternative to the opioids. Yes. losing weight would probably help their pain but that's not going to happen overnight. At the very least, you're looking at several months before a big enough difference is made. I go to a pain management specialist which is like a pain clinic only, as you said, they also offer injections and other methods besides opioids. 

 

I'm kind of a pain management advocate. I had no idea how bad it could really be until my condition progressed. And yep, I can understand the suicidal thoughts without relief.I also have bursitis (mine's in my knees) and before we found something that worked I would sometimes just lie in bed and cry. And I am 38.

 

I mean,obviously a lot of these people on this show have actual addictions and not dependencies, and losing a lot of the weight would help with their pain, but I have a very hard time with Dr. Now's flippant "you need to lose weight not take pills" attitude. 

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However, I've seen people like (was it Diana) referred to orthopedics and other professionals for knees and other issues, so I'm betting that most of the 'hospital visits' by Dr. Now are mostly for TV, and hospitalists, and other specialists handle a lot of the care we don't know about.  

With Robert, a friend of the girlfriend posted that a lot of his mean behavior was edited out, to make the family and the girlfriend continue to cooperate, and complete the filming.     

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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I think we are not seeing a lot of the care they get, as the show focuses only on the weight loss aspect.  I bet you these people are on 20+ different prescriptions each...

As to why Dr. Now would not prescribe opioids - these patients are struggling with an addiction already, for them risk of just switching to a different addiction is extremely high, vs. someone who has never had an addiction problem and is leading an otherwise fulfilling life.  In these patients, the risk-benefit ratio just may not work out, it is very individual for every patient.  Compliance rates are very low among all patients for all meds, and these are not exactly shining stars of life organization skills... and not too bright, and often suicidal, etc. so there is also a risk of them overdosing either intentionally or unintentionally.   We don't have nearly enough information from the show to make a judgement.

 

And currently the climate is to make prescribing of opioids extremely difficult.  Just like the pendulum swung in one direction in the 90s/2000s, it's now swinging in another instead of finding the proper middle ground (for many, many reasons).

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On 1/5/2019 at 5:52 PM, Hellga said:

I think we are not seeing a lot of the care they get, as the show focuses only on the weight loss aspect.  I bet you these people are on 20+ different prescriptions each...

As to why Dr. Now would not prescribe opioids - these patients are struggling with an addiction already, for them risk of just switching to a different addiction is extremely high, vs. someone who has never had an addiction problem and is leading an otherwise fulfilling life.  In these patients, the risk-benefit ratio just may not work out, it is very individual for every patient.  Compliance rates are very low among all patients for all meds, and these are not exactly shining stars of life organization skills... and not too bright, and often suicidal, etc. so there is also a risk of them overdosing either intentionally or unintentionally.   We don't have nearly enough information from the show to make a judgement.

 

And currently the climate is to make prescribing of opioids extremely difficult.  Just like the pendulum swung in one direction in the 90s/2000s, it's now swinging in another instead of finding the proper middle ground (for many, many reasons).

Well, shit. That one made me cry and I didn't even like him...

 

As for the opioid issue...I've already posted a lot about that. And you're right-it swung to extreme on one end for awhile and now it's swinging to the extreme on the other end. The people who are getting hurt are the ones who actually need it, while the addicts have moved on to street drugs like heroin (which are both cheaper and easier to get now than prescription pain pills). 

 

It must have been difficult for Dr. Now with Robert. I 100% believe that Robert was in pain. I am sure that the weight was awful strain on his joints and muscles. He probably had at least one type of arthritis. As someone who lives in chronic pain because of my EDS and has rheumatoid and osteoarthritis (as well as a Chiari Malformation, Tethered Cord Syndrome, and Crohn's Disease) I know what it's like to try to get through the day just doing normal activities while you're in pain. I've had to have a fentanyl pump put in me. For a while, non-opiod medications worked and then low-level opiods, and then kratom. Now none of those things work and we've had to go to a pump. He was undoubtedly in pain-yet he was also abusing his pain medication. Sometimes I think that Dr. Now has trouble distinguishing between dependency and addiction. I went through most of the episode thinking that Robert was just dependent on Diludad and not addicted to it. Once he pulled those stitches out though...It must have put Dr. Now in a bind-he needed to treat Robert's pain yet anything he gave him would just feed into that addiction. A vicious cycle. 

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Roberts downslide in demeanor was clearly from being cut off the opioids.  I don't think some people fully realize how hard it is to stop opioids.  I was on a very low dose of morphine for a yr or two, and it was sheer hell getting off it.  I can't imagine how hard it is to get off heavy doses and many years of pain meds.  That is clearly why the light went out of Roberts  eyes.  It's like losing your soul.  These opiates are the devil.  .....the wonderful high you get from them is not worth the pain and torture of getting off them.   Whenever I get to where I'm missing my opiates, I just remember how hellish is was to get off them...and it works....not had any since 4/2018....evil, just  evil...I'm telling you

Edited by suev3333
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On 1/29/2019 at 8:30 AM, mamadrama said:

As for the opioid issue...I've already posted a lot about that. And you're right-it swung to extreme on one end for awhile and now it's swinging to the extreme on the other end. The people who are getting hurt are the ones who actually need it, while the addicts have moved on to street drugs like heroin (which are both cheaper and easier to get now than prescription pain pills). 

Very true. My son and best friend are pharmacy techs and they told me about some kind of registry that that keeps track of the pills people get. So if you can't get them, you switch to something you can buy on the street no questions asked. 

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23 minutes ago, suev3333 said:

Roberts downslide in demeanor was clearly from being cut off the opioids.  I don't think some people fully realize how hard it is to stop opioids.  I was on a very low dose of morphine for a yr or two, and it was sheer hell getting off it.  I can't imagine how hard it is to get off heavy doses and many years of pain meds.  That is clearly why the light went out of Roberts  eyes.  It's like losing your soul.  These opiates are the devil.  .....the wonderful high you get from them is not worth the pain and torture of getting off them.   Whenever I get to where I'm missing my opiates, I just remember how hellish is was to get off them...and it works....not had any since 4/2018....evil, just  evil...I'm telling you

About 2 months ago, I went to the hospital with a second flare up of diverticulitis. I was in extreme pain. They did a CT scan and I didn't require being admitted but they gave me a course of antibiotics, some nausea pills and "something for the pain". As I was waiting for the prescriptions to get filled, I was looking over the instructions they sent me home with (I had to take a probiotic) and noticed the pain pill was hydrocodone! I went right up to the pharmacy and asked them to not fill it. I would rather take ibuprofin and use a heating pad when the pain is bad. I'm lucky I can do that I know. It would have been too easy to fill that and take it. 

In the past I have gotten prescriptions for hydrocodone (I found an old bottle while cleaning a dresser). I don't know if I just didn't need it or if in the case with vicodin, it made me so sick to my stomach I just stopped. Regardless, I don't want to tempt fate and ever take that unless absolutely necessary. 

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I re-watched Robert's episode tonight. It seemed to me that he was in good spirits and was handling the tapering off of his pain meds okay. The turning point seemed to come after his surgery to remove the lymphedema on his right hip. Dr. Now increased his pain medication for a while after the surgery, but then once enough time had passed, he lowered it again. But Robert felt he was still in constant pain, and wanted the meds increased again. Dr. Now would not do so, explaining to Robert that he's not really in pain any longer, that it's the addiction that is making him think he is in pain, and that he would need to ride it out.

I think this is what might have changed Robert's personality and made him give up; that he couldn't take this 'phantom' pain caused by the addiction and likely triggered by the surgery, since he didn't have that 'phantom' pain prior to the surgery.

Dr. Now felt that it had just been too late for Robert to regain his health; that if someone had really tried to help him several years prior, he might have made it. But it seems to me that it was the lymphedema surgery, where a forty pound mass was removed from his side, that precipitated Robert's downfall. Maybe that major surgery was just too much for him.

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When the body has been under extreme stress for a long time, like his has been, anything could precipitate an event.  It could have been surgery - it could have happened without the surgery just as well.  We will never know.   

As far as opioids go... lots and lots of factors go into why some people become addicted vs. not, and to me it's just as sad when people fear prescribing or taking opioids for legitimate purpose as when they abuse it (I used to be certified pain management pharmacist though I haven't worked in that area for a while).  Generally, though, when there is actual severe pain, there is less of a likelihood of getting a high because of how opioid receptors are activated in the body.   Because our bodies naturally produces substances similar to opioids, depending on what goes on, when we put external opioids into the body, they do not affect everyone the same and do not affect any given person the same at different time points.   The best thing is to take them only when you need it and not more and  dispose of them appropriately.  

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@jerseydeviljohn

Anyone saying Dr. Now is a quack does not realize the difficulties of treating these patients. When he first came in Dr. Now was very concerned and said that Robert's condition was among the worst he had ever seen, he was amazed Robert survived this long and that very few people could survive this long in that condition. That voiceover was recorded before he died. There was a reason why Dr. Now immediately hospitalized him and put him in a rehab and long-term care facility which he usually does not do...in fact once he sent him to long-term care I think everyone probably realized it was probably too late because usually if you go to a facility like that, you're not getting out. Sometimes it just doesn't work out but Dr. Now has saved so many patients who would have died without his help.

On 4/25/2018 at 10:54 PM, CoachWristletJen said:

Also, for the record, I don't think Dr. Now is a quack. He was one of if not the first doctor in the country to dare to perform surgeries on 600 pound patients. And, they are in an entirely different league mentally and emotionally as well as physically. He is constantly honing is treatment plans as he figures out what works best to increase the odds for people who would die in a few years without the surgery. Robert came to him on the brink of death. Dr. Now gave him the very best that medicine had to offer. I get that the producers get a little farfetched at times... look at the people they are producing! That being said, I think Dr. Now is the real deal.

On 3/18/2018 at 5:45 PM, Honey said:

See, I was wondering if he would have been better off if he had just been left on the painkillers.  Yes, he was addicted, but at least it gave him some motivation.  I mean jesus if he lived in Canada, I think he could get them over the counter.  Who cares if he takes them the rest of his life?

On 3/15/2019 at 3:53 PM, suev3333 said:

Roberts downslide in demeanor was clearly from being cut off the opioids.  I don't think some people fully realize how hard it is to stop opioids.  I was on a very low dose of morphine for a yr or two, and it was sheer hell getting off it.  I can't imagine how hard it is to get off heavy doses and many years of pain meds.  That is clearly why the light went out of Roberts  eyes.  It's like losing your soul.  These opiates are the devil.  .....the wonderful high you get from them is not worth the pain and torture of getting off them.   Whenever I get to where I'm missing my opiates, I just remember how hellish is was to get off them...and it works....not had any since 4/2018....evil, just  evil...I'm telling you

On 3/19/2019 at 3:46 AM, ProTourist said:

I re-watched Robert's episode tonight. It seemed to me that he was in good spirits and was handling the tapering off of his pain meds okay. The turning point seemed to come after his surgery to remove the lymphedema on his right hip. Dr. Now increased his pain medication for a while after the surgery, but then once enough time had passed, he lowered it again. But Robert felt he was still in constant pain, and wanted the meds increased again. Dr. Now would not do so, explaining to Robert that he's not really in pain any longer, that it's the addiction that is making him think he is in pain, and that he would need to ride it out.

I think this is what might have changed Robert's personality and made him give up; that he couldn't take this 'phantom' pain caused by the addiction and likely triggered by the surgery, since he didn't have that 'phantom' pain prior to the surgery.

Dr. Now felt that it had just been too late for Robert to regain his health; that if someone had really tried to help him several years prior, he might have made it. But it seems to me that it was the lymphedema surgery, where a forty pound mass was removed from his side, that precipitated Robert's downfall. Maybe that major surgery was just too much for him.

He probably had PAWS, which can last for months after withdrawal. But considering he had a heart attack, I also think it's possible everything caught up with him after the stress of the move and surgery. It's entirely possible the reason why he "wasn't trying" is because his heart was failing and he really didn't have the energy. I think it was just a matter of time for him with his family history and the fact he was 850 lbs (!) and while the stresses of the treatment probably hastened his death, it was probably going to happen anyway at that point.

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I had normal sized clients who died after stopping drugs. Their hearts had gotten used to the chemicals, and the stress hormones the drugs produced, and couldn’t function well without them. You see that in people who’ve been under lots of stress, then die once the stress is removed because their hearts were surviving on the adrenaline. 

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It's been a while since I saw this, but didn't Robert's father and brother, or other relatives die fairly young of obesity related illness?.  

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19 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

It's been a while since I saw this, but didn't Robert's father and brother, or other relatives die fairly young of obesity related illness?.  

I believe his father and brother died of heart disease.

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I paid for this and have been running it a few times to see why people think Robert & Katheryn are some kind of saints. My impression is he was a selfish, controlling person who was not nice to those around him. In the 1st hotel room with the smaller bed, listen to his tone of voice when he tells her to "move that table" and "It's a full, isn't it?"

But here's what's been on my mind. After the fall and while he's in the van, he calls Dr Now. He's looking for pain meds - but they're in the car, way outside of Little Rock. What was Dr Now supposed to do - drop the drugs to him via a drone? Phone in a script to the nearest drug store? And wouldn't they be traveling with a bunch of drugs anyway?

I found him unlikable and didn't really care about his addiction. He had been big, had lived for years in a nursing home, couldn't help his sick mother, or get married to the girlfriend, all because he wouldn't stop eating. He laid there like a big baby while his toilet needs were attended to and food was brought to him. Nope. No tears here. 

Edited by aliya · Reason: I can spell
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My understanding from reading a post from a friend of the girlfriend is that Robert got a nicer edit because otherwise the family wouldn't have cooperated with the voiceovers and filming, so they would have to scrap the filming.     The girlfriend's friend said he was much worse than shown, and was miserable to his girlfriend.  

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3 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

My understanding from reading a post from a friend of the girlfriend is that Robert got a nicer edit because otherwise the family wouldn't have cooperated with the voiceovers and filming, so they would have to scrap the filming.     The girlfriend's friend said he was much worse than shown, and was miserable to his girlfriend.  

Even with the nicer edit I never liked him or felt any sympathy except for Kathryn.

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13 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

My understanding from reading a post from a friend of the girlfriend is that Robert got a nicer edit because otherwise the family wouldn't have cooperated with the voiceovers and filming, so they would have to scrap the filming.     The girlfriend's friend said he was much worse than shown, and was miserable to his girlfriend.  

Not surprised. I learned all I needed to know about him when they wound up in the hotel room with the wrong sized bed.

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