To the caregivers at Kindred Hospital Seattle - Northgate:I am terrified of medical facilities. Even more terrified of doctors. This is probably a very common reaction for most people who are overweight. When you are overweight, every single occurrence that requires medical attention is focused on your weight. On October 25, when I went to the emergency room of a local hospital with an infected leg, my anxiety was pretty high. When I had to return a day and a half later because my leg had gotten worse, I still had anxiety. This time, however, they decided to keep me. I then began a ten-day journey of comments, deliberate neglect and overt prejudice that affirmed every fear I had on my initial visit to the emergency room.Then I was told with no notice that I would be moving to Kindred. It did not help that the people at the previous hospital made it very clear to me that not one other local facility would take me because of my size. So you can add a million pounds of shame on top of the fear and anxiety I was feeling as I made my journey to Kindred.Kindred gave to me such an incredible gift. For the first time I felt like I was respected and valued as a person and a human being. I also felt like it was okay to say when I was uncomfortable or not feeling great without it automatically being assigned as a weight issue. Kindred certainly helped me regain my physical health. Kindred also gave me much more. I have been on a journey for a while now to try and learn to love myself, and Kindred did more for me on that journey, just by being accepting and kind, than I have done in the last four years. Kindred helped me do a lot of emotional healing as well as physical healing.Thank you Kindred for showing me what it feels like to be more than just a weight problem. It has changed the way I view myself. It has changed my life. - Debby
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