Freak Show & Tell: Morbid Obesity, Extreme Foot Warts, and a Polar Bear Mauling
Every week, television documentaries present us with so many unusual people, with so many strange and/or disturbing problems, you might find it hard to keep up with all of them. That’s where I come in! Here’s an unflinching look back at TV’s Week in Freak Shows.
My Mom Is Obsessed (Discovery Fit & Health)
Who Is This Now? Rosa (and her daughter, Kiana).
Why Are We Watching Her? Kiana is concerned that Rosa has become unhealthily obsessed with food.
How Did She Get Here? Now morbidly obese, Rosa started gaining weight around the time she got married, at the age of 17. She says she’s tried all kinds of different diets, but that the root cause of her unhealthy weight is that when it comes to her love of fatty foods, she has no self-control.
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? Kiana’s Aunt Alva invites Kiana and Rosa to go out for a walk. After Rosa makes various excuses for why she doesn’t want to, Alva and Kiana take a walk, and Rosa … drives alongside them, in her car, yelling out the window at Kiana and Alva, tauntingly offering them a ride.
What Have We Learned? With the help of a creative personal trainer, even a very heavy person with limited mobility can successfully embark upon a specially designed exercise program and start improving her health.
Embarrassing Bodies (Discovery Fit & Health)
Who Is This Now? Charlotte.
Why Are We Watching Her? She has verrucas (extreme plantar warts) all over her foot. I do mean “extreme,” and I do mean “all over.”
How Did She Get Here? It turns out they don’t respond to over-the-counter treatments because the verrucas are a symptom of a more serious immune disorder.
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? A dermatologist suggests to Charlotte’s mother that Charlotte soak her affected foot in formaldehyde to “pickle” the most extreme outgrowths and cause them to fall off and ease some of Charlotte’s pain in walking. This causes the verrucas to turn dark brown. Then we see Charlotte waggling one back and forth like a loose tooth. LOOK, I AM NOT OK ABOUT IT EITHER.
What Have We Learned? What seems to present itself as a simple skin ailment could end up requiring you to have a bone-marrow transplant, so don’t sleep on these things: See your doctor!
Bizarre ER (Discovery Fit & Health)
Who Is This Now? Sebastian.
Why Are We Watching Him? No big deal, but he got mauled by a polar bear.
How Did He Get Here? He and a friend thought it was a good idea to try to kayak around a remote Norwegian island.
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? First, you think it’s the shot of Sebastian’s skull, all sewn back up from where the bear messed with it. Then, it’s actually the shot of surgeons revisiting other gashes and gouges, which have to be cut back to make sure there isn’t any skin left with bacteria-ridden polar bear saliva on it.
What Have We Learned? If you currently don’t spend much time in places where wild bears might attack you, you should continue doing that.
Tara Ariano feels a lot better now about the state of her callused winter feet.