THE ORIGINS OF MUFFIN
6:22 p.m. October 12,
1994, San Diego California
Surgery Rotation, University
of California, San Diego Medical School
The previous day began in
post-op clinic listening to liver transplant patients with booze
on their breath lie about how they have not been drinking. It
ended with my supporting the huge flank of a morbidly obese
woman who could not fit on even the extra-large operating room
table for a marathon operation to remove a lump in her breast.
There were many obesity-related complications. Overnight call
brought a new day which began at 2:04 a.m. with an operation
to clean up an infected wound on the ass of an heroin addict
and ended with another day in clinic cleaning diabetic stasis
wounds and having obese patients with all sorts of problems
ignore my advice to exercise and lose weight.
That evening as I sat numb
in front of my apartmentís television screen, a snippet of a
documentary about ancient Rome penetrated the fog of my day.
It described how Mount Vesuvius had erupted so suddenly that
its lava had captured people in the midst of everyday activities.
These citizens and the details of their lives had been memorialized
in the lava-hardened stone. Bitterly, I thought that if a mountain
were to erupt and catch our society unawares, all of us would
be doing the same thing - sitting on our asses in front of a
television. And most of us would be very fat.
This was the spark that generated
the film Muffin Man, and I am sad to say that despite the wonderful
technological and humanitarian advances our society has achieved,
physically we seem to be headed the way of the dodo bird. This
film was created as a comedy not only to get people to watch
it, but also to start a dialogue - among not just scientists,
but the common man - about what we can do to reverse the trend.
JD Eisner, M.D., 17 July